To-Read List No. 2

Happy Wednesday! Its time for some books. I am enthralled in The Royal Runaway right now. It is has totally sucked me in and I will be sharing all my thoughts next Wednesday when I round up October’s reads. For today I am going to be sharing some books on my to read list right now. In general my to-read list is very very long and continuously growing but there are some that top my list right now. I did a post like this back in July and actually really liked writing it since it made me take a closer look at my Goodreads and my bookshelves. I also think it is fun to hear what books other people have been intrigued by lately.

I will go ahead and start off with the two non-fiction books I am dying to read. The first is The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte. Despite being a scientist I was kind of surprised to be so interested in this one. This follows the evolution of the dinosaurs (yep talk about nerdy). I have heard good things about it and since I am really hoping to read a couple of science books per year I think it would be a good read. The other non-fiction book at the top of my list right now is Quiet by Susan Cain. I actually started it over a year ago and for some reason did not really get into it. Lately I have been thinking a lot about how people interact with each other and I think this would be something I should read. I have several friends who are very introverted and I think it always helps relationships to understand where other people are coming from.

On to fiction. The first is My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. So far I have only heard good things about this one and it has been on my shelf for a few months now so putting it at the top of my list. It is the first of four books of two girls growing up in Italy. Next is The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. It is the current Life’s Library book and since they just announced the next one I am really needing to start this one! I probably know the least about this one, only that it is about a young girl and her grandmother. Lastly is Finale by Stephanie Garber. My friend and I are trying to read together since we have similar taste and this is suppose to be our October book. Yep I am behind on the reading for sure but am going to try to read it on the plane on Friday. It is the third installment in the Caraval series (which I have raved about before).

I would love to hear of any books that you are dying to read!

Erin

Sabrina Outfit Inspiration

In lieu of Halloween I went with Sabrina Spellman for my October outfit inspiration post. Because it is kind of Halloween themed I took much more from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina since I think it brings way more Halloween vibes. Traditionally Sabrina Spellman is a witch living a normal teenage life and all the adventures the ensure with those worlds colliding. The Chilling Adventures definitely takes a darker spin and focuses much more on good vs. evil.

So I wanted to give a little history of Sabrina the Teenage Witch since I did not read a book to go with it. I found out that the TV series was based on a 1962 Archie comic series of the same name. It was released even before the TV show “Bewitched”. I am not a big comic person but I did check it out and you can read excerpts on amazon which was fun!

I chose outfits inspired mostly by The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina but I did watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch to get inspired. I might do a second post that focuses a little more on here but I had a harder time pulling inspiration since it is from a different decade (it would be fun though!).

Outfit #1: Headbands are a great Sabrina choice! I really love how much The Chilling Adventures brought the headbands.

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Headband Nordstrom, turtleneck similar, skirt similar, boots similar (another option)

Outfit #2: This is by far my favorite outfit and I think it is the closest to Sabrina Spellman from the Chilling Adventures. She emphasizes the red and black bringing the witch vibes to a tee. I definitely would not have chosen it without the Sabrina inspiration and I absolutely love it.

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Blazer Leith, tights commando (these are amazing), headband Nordstrom, boots similar (vintage), dress similar, belt Madewell

Outfit #3: Throughout these inspiration posts I try to mix my own style with the inspiration. I think this final outfit blends my personal style the best with hints of both Sabrinas (from the Teenage Witch and from the Chilling Adventures).

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Turtle neck similar, belt Madewell, pants similar (vintage), booties similar, necklace Madewell, jacket BLANKNYC (one of my fav jackets ever), hair bow Nordstrom (similar)

I hope you are getting into the Halloween spirit!

Erin

 

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!

recentfinds

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

 

Sustainable Style #2: Facing Reality

The amount of pain and environmental damage the clothing industry has caused is absolutely devastating. I will admit that writing this post has been an upsetting experience so far. It has made me realize just how terrible parts of the industry are and it has shown me just how much I need to change my own ways. I will continue to see fashion and clothing as a way of expressing myself but I think there is a better way to accomplish what I want (a better way to interact with the industry). Many of us go through life relatively unaffected my the negative impacts the fashion industry can have. This often allows us to turn a blind eye to what is really going on. The most important thing we can do is recognize issues and begin to match our behavior to our beliefs.  

The fashion industry produces 4% of the world’s waste.

One garbage truck full of clothing is burned or sent to landfill every second.

Every year the average American throws away 82 pounds of textile waste.

The minimum wage for factory workers in Bangladesh is $64.

Burberry burned $40 million dollars worth of stock in 2017.

The documentary that kept coming up in my research of the fashion industry and sustainability was True Cost (on Amazon Prime right now). It is from 2015 so I can’t believe I haven’t seen it yet but I am glad I found it now. It covers a lot of ground and gives a good overall picture of the entire industry and who is impacted. It speaks to the recent move to fast fashion, from a four season turnover to constantly changing trends. As a side note, if you are not familiar with the term ‘fast fashion’ it refers to brands that are producing large amounts of clothing and selling them for low prices. The turnover for these brands is very quick since they are built on constantly creating new trends so people will continue to buy their products. The documentary also cover factory workers and how they are treated. This has received more and more attention but the working conditions of some factors are unacceptable. No one I know would want to work in such conditions, or have their children work is such conditions, therefore it is unacceptable to allow any company to permit these standards.  The film goes all the way down to the cotton industry and how fertilizers of such farms impact people.

This documentary gives a clear picture of the dangers of the industry for people. It also interviews some people who are really trying to do a good job in the industry. People who care about other people and who care about the environment. I overall highly recommend watching it! I will give a warning that this documentary shows real footage that is very graphic.

I will do a more detailed post in the future about clothing waste and how we can best go about reusing and recycling what we have but while I was researching for this I found out some things about the waste in the industry that I just had to share. Fashion houses engage in a practice of burning unsold stock. This completely appalls me, I almost have no words and I truly had no idea about this practice prior to writing this. I know that massive amounts of clothing end up in landfills every year, even from the things we donate. The waste part if the fashion industry is a huge problem and very multifaceted. We often don’t think about the waste that is generated when producing each item of clothing. That should factor in to the overall environmental cost of an item and of a company.

It is so important to first recognize that there is an issue and then focus on remedying that. I believe that companies (especially the big ones) have a responsibility to consumers, workers and to the environment. That responsibility should include both short term and long term goals toward better practices. I know that, for a company, the problems are much more complex since a priority for most is economic success. The issue is that I see economic success as a short term, immediate reward. Companies may have strategies for the next however many years that involved growth and increase in total revenue but there is a lack of vision when it comes to potential environmental or social issues. There will be no revenue for a clothing company if our planet falls apart. This sounds extreme but as a scientist and researcher I have witness many environmental issues first hand and I know just how devastating an impact humans can have on the world. It is all a circle because damaging the environment will also have negative impacts on our standards of living.

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From the Global Fashion Agenda 2018 Pulse Report: Four Transformational Priorities for Fundamental Change

I want to end with some final, tangible takeaways.

Buy less and buy better. I have been trying to achieve this throughout the past year but it has become so clear to me that I need to hold myself to a much higher standard and really stick to that.

Eliminate waste. I have been going through my closet recently as a part of this journey to made a more eco-conscious closet and while researching waste and what happens to clothing once donated I realized that I need to try my best not to throw away. Instead I need to find new uses for things.

Advocate for a better industry. For a few years now I have let myself believe that not causing conflict was best for my own interest and journey. I used to be very vocally passionate about multiple issues and have been criticized for that. Learning about the true issues with this industry have reminded me of how important it is to speak up and advocate for what you believe in. Change happens through awareness.

Facts and information come from the following sources:

Global Fashion Agenda 2018 Pulse Report

True Cost Documentary

Forbes article: Fashion’s Dirty Little Secret

The New York Times on H&M’s Declining Sales

Reuters Article on Burberry Burning Stock

By the Numbers: The Economic, Social and Environmental Impacts of “Fast Fashion”

The Fashion Law on Bangladeshi Garment Workers

Planet Aid Article on Clothing Habits

I would really love to hear your thoughts on this subject. It can be a tough one to deal with but hearing multiple opinions is a helpful way of looking at things. Thanks for reading!

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