Recent Podcasts

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a nice weekend and are rested up for the week. It snowed yesterday. We woke up to the ground covered in snow and it was beautiful. About a year and a half ago I did a post on my favorite podcasts. I just reread my choices and definitely still stand by those. Such great podcasts with amazing hosts! Today I am doing a little bit of an update on that by sharing the podcasts I have been listening to recently. While I do still listen to those on my previous list I have some new ones that I have become a part of my routine.

Bad on Paper: This is definitely the one podcast that is a weekly routine. They have the best guests and and they read the greatest books. I read The Idea of You and American Royals thanks to them. I have mentioned it before but since I do make it part of my week I had to include it. Also Becca and Grace are just in general so fun and relatable!

Up First: I listen to this every morning on my way to work. It is a great way to get a quick news update. It is a great option if you don’t have that much time to catch up on what is going on in the world.

Armchair Expert: Dax Shepard interviews some big name celebrities and it is fantastic. They are all hilarious and have some great stories. Episodes are really long though (about 2 hours) so it is a good one for long car rides.

American Girls: Allison and Mary take you on adventure throughout the American Girl books. For someone who grew up with American Girl and loved it, this has been so fun and nostalgic to listen to. They also talk about a ton of 90’s and early 2000’s pop culture.

Others that I have been looking forward to: Drilled, Ologies (a science one!)

Up First

Erin

Week in My Life No. 6

I have been so work focused this week that I honestly can’t really think of what I have been up to on specific days. That is definitely not a good thing and is reminding me to balance more. I basically went to work around 8:00am everyday, came home around 4:00pm and worked from home until I needed to sleep. Yeah it seems a little crazy and it was but I have a bunch going on right now and am definitely feeling the pressure. Oh yeah I also have not fully recovered from being sick so when I was not working I have just felt so tired and have needed to sleep way more than usual.

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Last Sunday we went to Herm’s Inn for brunch and order a cinnamon pancake which was way bigger than I could’ve ever expected!
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The leaves were so gorgeous this week but had almost entirely dropped by Friday. It has been pretty cold here.

On Thursday evening we did go to a pumpkin patch to find pumpkins to carve today. It was a big bummer though because there was basically nothing good left so we ended up getting a couple from Walmart.

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Such a gorgeous sunset from the Smith’s parking lot! This photo definitely does not do it justice.
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Sad pumpkin patch feels. I am guessing most of the pumpkins were rotted now because we had such cold weather at the end of September and throughout most of October.

We did make Trader Joe’s mushroom ravioli for dinner last night and it was amazing. I love all their ravioli but this might be my favorite. It is in the frozen section and you heat it up in a saucepan. I am also 100% obsessed with their Harvest pasta sauce.

Interesting articles:

What to read, watch and listen to based on your enneagram. I had to include this since I just liked everything they recommended.

Carly’s Shopbop sale roundup. Such cute pieces and I am definitely having to put my foot down to keep from breaking my no-shop October!

Upcoming books from around the world. Such a good list of  books released in 2019 from around the world. This kind of thing definitely gets me out of my comfort zone and into other perspectives.

Atlantic-Pacific NYC capsule collection. I shared some of my favorites from this yesterday but still wanted to include up in my article round up since I just love it.

Kate’s Style Guide. Just love this. Kate Middleton is definitely a style icon of mine and I love that Lauren is sharing her best looks and giving similar options for all price ranges.

Fashion industry climate report. This is a great article bringing light to how companies are actually reaching goals and committing to change. It did make me really sad that Nordstrom is so low. They have great features on their website that allow you to shop sustainably but if they aren’t trying to change things it makes me disappointed.

Reading the right book. A great reminder, especially since I have been in a bit of a book slump.

New York Times best weekend reads. A round up of interesting articles and the news that we all should be reading.

A two quad figure skating routine. This 15 year old did had a stunning and historic performance. Truly beautiful!

Watching: I have been a little all over the place with show and have not been watching very much. Yesterday I did start re-watching The 100. It is a classic apocalyptic show and I love it. We also did watch all the Halloweentown movies last weekend. They are a definitely must every October. Totally nostalgic and perfect for Halloween (plus they are kid friendly!).

InstagramRachel Martino is absolutely killing it on the Halloween Instagram game. Her costumes and recreations are so amazing and have been even more excited for Halloween.

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On Friday I was the only one in the lab for most of the day so I went for a comfy look.

I hope you are having a great weekend!

Erin

Recent Finds

My goal this month has been to buy no clothing or books for myself. It is almost the end of October and I have actually been so good. I am pretty proud considering some incredible collaborations came out this month. I have been dying seeing all the amazing shoes, coats and books. It was definitely a good choice though since it is saving my bank account. I also don’t really need anything right now. Since I am not buying anything I am going to live vicariously by rounding up my favorites from recent releases. I just hope I can hold out once October is up!

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Black GMG jacket (so psyched about the GMG coats and I have been on the hunt for a nicer black coat), pink GMG coat (so fluffy and pink!), plaid heels (Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific), pink loafer (I was so close to breaking for these), green pants (an absolutely gorgeous Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific release, the matching blazer is also beautiful), bow booties (Julia really killed it this month, the shoes she released with Margaux are amazing)

I hope you are having a great Saturday and enjoying the last of the fall colors (depending on where you are!).

Erin

Science Week in Review No. 1

While this blog has been a way for me to do something else and get out of the science world for a little (I am a biology Ph.D. student so it is pretty constant), I have felt more and more compelled to share some more of that side of my life. I have struggled with how to do that and still stick with my blog mission. The solution I found is to have a weekly post that rounds up interesting articles that are science related. I am going to try it out for a few months and see how it evolves. For now I will be sharing several articles that are current and from a variety of disciplines. I hope for this to become kind of a round up of what is going on in the world of science every week.

A few articles to start us off:

A study of potential earth-like planets. UCLA scientist are finding that planets like Earth may be common throughout the universe. How? These scientists are studying the geochemistry of asteroids from other solar systems. They are attempting find out what other planets are made of, and they are finding similar elements to what we find on earth. This is incredibly impressive and interesting. The subject of life beyond our planet is so interesting!

Life after dinosaurs- the beginning of mammals. One of the great evolutionary mysteries has been the fall of the dinosaurs and rise of mammals. Recently scientists in Colorado discovered a trove of bones that have led to lots of interesting information about the period of time following the extinction of dinosaurs. This discovery is pretty amazing for the piecing together of mammalian history.

Linking gut microbiota to westernization. It seems that life style changes (increase in fats in diet, sedentary lifestyle, antibiotic use) caused largely by westernization have impacted our gut microbiomes. How? By comparing gut microbes from people in westernized areas to those in non-westernized areas these scientists were able to uncover significant differences in microbes. They were also able to compare to ancient DNA in order to confirm their hypothesis. If you are unfamiliar with the term microbiome it refers to the microbes (fungus, protozoa, bacteria, viruses) that inhabit your gut. I will continue to share microbiome articles since it is a relatively new field and there is a ton still being discovered about its role in health.

One idea for putting a stop to climate change. A solution to climate change by locking carbon into the soil. These scientist are proposing we stabilize C02 emissions through the land, by making desertified lands useable again. It would take a lot of effort and $300 billion dollars. On a semi-similar note, NASA released an article about monitoring the Earth’s atmosphere through satellites. I thought it was an interesting read!

Bonus: In lieu of Halloween I had to add one more article. This is not current science but the story of Roman emperor Domitian and the feast he threw for senators in 89 CE. It is chilling but an interesting historical read for this time of year.

I recognize that this is a little out of character for me but I think about this stuff almost constantly so I figured it would be fun to share some of the highlights and important articles. I hope you enjoyed and learned something new!

Erin

Wearing Leggings to Work

While I do like to look nice, especially for work, I think there is definitely a way to both look nice and be comfortable. I am totally not above wearing leggings to work. They are so comfortable and some days I just need a little extra comfort. There are a ton of ways of making them look professional. Some of my favorite leggings for work include Spanx faux leather leggings, Zella live-in high waisted leggings and my Lululemon align leggings (olive is a color other than black that works well for professional settings).

1. Adding a great blazer. This is always a way to up an outfit. I am particularly loving plaid this fall. I also think that by choosing a long blazer it does not really look like you are wearing leggings.

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2. Cardigans. Long cardigans are a great option to wear over leggings. Paired with a nice sweater or button down and you are all set for a long day at work.

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3. Nice shoes. A nice flat, boot or low heel goes a really long way. Add that great shoe to some leggings and a blazer or cardigan and you are ready for the office. I particularly love these Vince flats but they take quite a bit of breaking in. I am obsessed with the GMG x Margaux collection and every piece is great for work!

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Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week! I can’t believe it is already Thursday. This semester is flying by.

Erin

Non-Fiction Favorites

Happy Reading Wednesday!

While I usually read more fiction than non-fiction, I do try to read at least one non-fiction book per month. Some of my favorite books have definitely been non-fiction! I am going to share my current five favorites. At some point I will do a non-fiction round up by subject but for now here are the ones that have really stuck with me:

The Sixth Extinction: Yes I am starting off with some incredible science writing. This is by far my favorite non-fiction book and has continued to be ever since I read it. Elizabeth Kolbert addresses the sixth major extinction that humans are causing through the lens of different environmental issues. I first read this as a freshman in college and it was one of the reasons I became a biologist.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: This is a brilliant book about the woman whose cells have been widely used in medicine. It is such an interesting read and an important one considering the impact this woman has had on science.

Educated: I talked about this one in my Favorite Books of 2018 post. But it is one of my favorites because it tells the story of a Tara Westover and her journey from a reclusive family in Idaho to a graduate student at Cambridge. I found it fascinating and highly recommend it (especially as an audiobook!).

Three Women: I have raved about this book for a while. It is just so different as far as non-fiction goes. It kind of reads like fiction which makes it easier to read but it is about the lives of three women their experiences with sexuality. It sounds a little strange but it is truly amazing and made me think! It was also included in my August Books.

Unbroken: This is the story of a man who faced some crazy struggles throughout World War II. During WWII his plane goes down in the pacific ocean and he goes through some serious mental and physical struggles as he floats on a raft for an insane amount of time. For some reason this story has stuck with me for a long time. I read it back in 2011 and still think about it. The perseverance and mental strength exhibited are incredibly inspiring.

Honorable mentions: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Reason for Hope, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Under the Banner of Heaven, Man’s Search for Meaning

Let me know what your favorite non-fiction books are!

Erin

 

First Snow

The snow finally stuck! I love snow and although it feels kind of early I am so excited about out first real snow. So it did snow a couple of times throughout the past month but it never really stuck here in town. This weekend we had some crazy weather. It was so windy, rainy and snowy on Saturday evening. A big branch actually broke off into our driveway. Sunday we decided to take a drive up Logan canyon to enjoy the leaves, the snow and try to hike (we weren’t sure what the trail conditions would be like). The trail we wanted to do is pretty steep so we decided against it but did explore some little trails. It is so beautiful right! I truly love that transition from fall to winter.

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I hope you had a fun weekend and got to enjoy some fall weather!

Erin

Week in My Life No. 5

I have a grant proposal due tomorrow so I have been pretty focus on prepping my application this week. As usual Monday and Tuesday were spent mostly prepping for the class I teach. This week was not too hard since the students were just interpreting their data and prepping lab reports. Wednesday morning I had a great yoga class. The instructor was subbing and she was amazing, really worked me! I did have a lunch meeting on Wednesday and we decided to go to this ceramic bowl sale. The bowls were so pretty and they were serving the most delicious vegetarian chili. It has squash which was unexpected!

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The weather was beautiful for most of the week so we did lots of walking. I love looking at all the Halloween decorations at this time of year.
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The leaves in our neighborhood are so beautiful right now. Peak season for sure!

We went out for drinks and trivia on Wednesday night after work with a bunch of friends. Our team did not do all that well but we had a really fun time (that night’s categories were tough). Several of my friends have been away or sick and we are finally all back so it was great to catch up with people. I unexpectedly ended up working from home on Thursday. My one meeting for the day was canceled so I decided to stay home and focus on this proposal.

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I found another free little library on one of our walks! They just make me so happy.

Friday night we went to our friends house for sweets, Kentucky mules, Baileys and Over the Garden Wall. I have never seen it before and really loved it. It is a Halloween-themed animated show. I am sure it is not for everyone but I found it to be really fun! Saturday was a relatively lazy day. I made a orange spiced coffee cake for breakfast. Aiden had been wanting coffee cake for a while so I decided to try a new recipe. It was yummy but way more orange tasting than I was expecting. We watching Halloweentown which is a must for me in October. It is just so nostalgic and perfect for the holiday. I finally made butternut squash soup for dinner (my favorite)!

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The delicious vegan butternut squash soup. I made it with friends last year and absolutely loved it so had to make it again. It is a Minimalist Baker recipe.

Interesting articles:

Jess Keys on the environment. These are by no means new things but this is a great list of ways we can be better about our impact on the environment.

Fun date night outfits. I am so into these outfits that Grace came up with. They are such unique and fun ideas!

Some amazing wildlife photography. Just wow! Such incredible photos.

Big name career changes. These are definitely interesting career change stories however I will say that I feel like a lot of them had enough influence and privilege to easily change careers (that is definitely making an assumption because I am sure everyone has their own struggles with it).

Podcasts for Halloween. I will definitely be trying some of these out in the next few weeks.

Another viewpoint on Paris Fashion Week. The Chanel show was amazing!

Everygirl fall wardrobe items. I though this was a great list of things to up your fall wardrobe.

On curiosity and why we are intrigue by certain things. This was a really eye-opening article for my on why we are curious but often don’t learn about what we really want to learn.

A collection of Halloween stories. Yep anything Halloween definitely gets me excited!

Rachel Lindsey interview. Yep I am a fan of the Bachelorette and I really love everything Rachel has to say.

Watching: I am in a Downton Abbey rabbit hole right now. For some reason I was never very interested before but my good friend recommended it so I had to try to get through at least the first season. Now I am entirely sucked in. We are already in the middle of season three.

Reading: I will admit that I am still working on last week’s books (The Seven and a Half Death’s of Evelyn Hardcastle and Upstairs at the White House). Of course I have a long to-read list but it has been a really busy month on the work side of things.

Clothing Obsession: I think my clothing obsession is definitely black and orange right now. I love embracing the Halloween spirit and a great way to do that is by embracing some Halloween-inspired outfits. I did a post on this yesterday.

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Friday work outfit, had to rock the black and orange.

Have a great Sunday!

Erin

Halloween Spirit

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I am not sure why but I just love everything that goes into it. The pumpkin carving, corn mazes, baking, great movies, caramel apples, dressing up etc… The holiday is just made up of so many fun activities that all take place in the fall, which is my favorite season. I thought I would give some ideas for fun Halloween outfits. This is not a costumes post but just ways to make an everyday outfit feel more Halloween ready. For me it is definitely about embracing orange and black. There is definitely a way to wear those colors together without feeling like it is too much.

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Midi dress (I so wish this was in my budget right now), pumpkin body suit (a little more costume-like but still great for getting in the Halloween mood), booties, pumpkin sweater (number one on my wishlist so I had to include it), bag (comes in a perfect orange as well), skull sweatshirt

Here are some outfits I have been wearing that are Halloween inspired:

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Happy October! Let’s fully embrace the Halloween spirit!

Erin

Finding the Time to Read

While I love to read finding the time to do so can be a real challenge. In college I really only read during breaks because I was reading so much for classes that I never had the time. It was also just a busy time in general with endless homework and socializing (don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved college). Since graduating I have made a big effort to get back into reading and wanted to share some of the ways that I allot time for reading.

I am definitely a believer that if you really want to do something you can make the time for it. There are definitely ways to bring reading into your day despite a very busy schedule. I am in graduate school and it is honestly if anything even more crazy than undergrad. There is still lots of reading involved and I always could be doing something else. Here are some ways I try to make reading a daily habit:

  1. Getting an hour in before bed and/or just after waking up. This has been the easiest way for me to get some reading in every day. Just by waking up an hour earlier or choosing to read instead of watch TV before by has really helped.
  2. Spending the occasional weekend half day. I say occasional because I know that it is not practical for many people to have even half a day every weekend to dedicate to reading. I usually do this when I really just need some time for myself. It also usually happens when I am reading a book that I just can’t put down. Giving this kind of time does allow me to actually finish multiple books.
  3. Audiobooks. If you really don’t have time this is probably the best option. Audiobooks are a great way to kind of multitask. I usually have an audiobook going for transportation and even sometimes at work. I can usually listen to an easy novel and follow the plot while still doing basic things.
  4. Choosing the right book. This is a really hard one to articulate but I am way more likely to finish a book quickly if I am really excited about it. For me this means mixing genres and reading books that I just can’t put down.
  5. Rereading your favorites. I find that rereading Harry Potter is so therapeutic and is often easy because I don’t need to be fully present (although I love it so often end up fully immersed). This is a good strategy if you have not been inspired to read recently and need something familiar (and that you know you will love).

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Have a great Friday!

Erin