Week in My Life No. 13

Happy February! The time is really flying by, although I could do with more warm weather. The past two weeks have been relatively uneventful for me. I has mostly been focusing on school/work with a few other things thrown in. Every Tuesday night we go over to our friend’s house to watch the Bachelor. Hazel gets some play time with her German Shepherd friend, Zoe. I also have been reading a lot and doing yoga almost every day. I did finally start going to some yoga classes again so I am hoping to keep that up in the coming weeks. We also have had a couple of game nights with our friends, one of which was last night Saturday. It was a blast and I am really glad I pushed myself to get out of the house.

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If you follow me on Instagram you probably know that Hazel really loves to be right there while I do yoga at home. It is so cute but can be a bit challenging!
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Hazel and Zoe hanging out. It is so great for her to have some dog friends close by and she just loves when we go visit them!

In other news I was not as productive at work/school as I was hoping to be. I ended up getting distracted with other things and then I got super sick on Thursday. I am not sure what happened but I barely left my bed and got pretty behind on a few things. Tomorrow (Monday) is kind of my make up day since I ended up having to deal with some other things on Friday. I have a pretty crazy to-do list for this week. We have also been pretty good about taking Hazel on walks. I have heard very mixed things about puppies and walks but she loves them so much so we have been doing shorter walks about every day.

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Lots of reading! I we be recapping everything I read in January later this week. 
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My favorite winter outfit. It was actually warm enough for this jacket but I think we are supposed to get lots of snow and cold for the next couple of days!
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Hazel got a super soft doggy blanket!

I did relatively well with my cooking goal this week. I made a delicious vegan soup that lasted us several days. It was a veggie stew but we added spinach, sauerkraut and avocado as garnish and it was amazing. I also baked something new yesterday which was fun! Today we hung out with some friends and made food for the Super Bowl. The half-time show was pretty amazing and there were a few great commercials.

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The amazing stew! The recipe was from Ellen and Andrew Fisher’s Epic Vegan Food.
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Waiting for Aiden to get out of an interview. Hazel and I had a great little walk around campus and I had a long chat with my mom!

Interesting articles (and many videos):

Recycling some unexpected items. All about recycling and being sustainable so this is super useful.

Patagonia fighting climate change. Patagonia is donating their huge tax cut to fund different organizations fighting climate change. This makes me so happy!!!

Ireland planting trees to fight climate change. Also this article has great organizations working to save trees.

Alexa Chung visiting the Dior atelier. It is amazing to see the time and effort people are putting into these clothes.

Shay Mitchell’s Home in AD. Yes this is another celebrity home tour because it is absolutely gorgeous!

An insightful take on aspects of Little Women with Great and the cast. Yes I went down a Little Women Youtube rabbit hole. Here is another great discussion with Greta and some of the actors.

Everlane came out with leggings. I love Everlane so I am 100% on board with this and I did order the lichen colored ones!

Reading: I am actually right in between books right now and will probably start Things in Jars later tonight. It is going to be released on the 4th of February but I got mine as a January book of the month so I am a little behind.

Wearing: I don’t really have anything new this week but I am still loving my Adidas sneakers and am debating whether or not I should invest in some Veja sneakers. I love that they are sustainable brand and I know I would wear them a ton. If you have them I would love to hear your thoughts!

Watching: In all honesty I have gone down a couple of Youtube rabbit holes and don’t feel super great about them. I sometimes find great things but I often feel like I just wasted a ton of time. On the other hand I am really looking forward to watching Taylor Swift’s new documentary!

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Overall the last few weeks were pretty mellow. I have been able to take some much needed me time and I have been prioritizing my mental health. I want to feel better and to be continuously striving to be a better person! I hope you had a great weekend and my this week bring lots of happiness, love and productivity!

Erin

Week in My Life No. 12

We are finally back in Utah and I am back into the full swing of the semester! Coming home was very bittersweet since I so loved the warmth in Captiva and am not really psyched to be back in the cold for another couple of months. On the flipside I am ready to get rolling this semester and am excited to get going on my goals for the year. I am also just so so happy to be back with Hazel. I missed her like crazy during our trip.

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The view of Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios. The Gringotts ride is so well done!

We had a couple of days left of vacation after Captiva that we spend exploring Universal Studios. I have never been to Disney or Universal and the closest thing I have done to that is maybe six flags. Aiden’s family likes to go and I was all about going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Harry Potter parts of both parks were amazing. I was very impressed. I also wasn’t sure how I felt about rollercoasters (I had not been on one in over ten years) but there were some fun ones. Hagrid’s Motorbike was by far the best although the wait is kind of crazy. Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade are both very well designed and include some incredible details. Wednesday, January 8th we had a relaxing morning before flying back to Denver. We spent one day in Boulder catching up with my family and packing the car. Our drive home was pretty uneventful and Hazel did a little better then the last long car ride.

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My sister and I saw Little Women while we were back in Boulder. It is beautiful and all the actresses did an incredible job (I can’t recommend enough)!

 

We had the weekend to catch up and take Hazel for her vet appointment. This past week was very full for me. I had several urgent projects that I was pushing to finish. I ended up being in the lab eight to twelve hours every day. I worked at home on Friday though which was really nice! I really love that as a grad student I have a lot of flexibility with me schedule. I have a class this semester on Tuesday and Thursday but other than that I pretty much make my own weekly schedules.

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The sunset on our drive home was beautiful. We stopped just before Bear Lake so Hazel could take a pee break.

Oh yes I do have to say that the new season of the Bachelor started and I am here for it. I have had mixed feelings about the show in the past but I have been totally on board for the past several seasons. It is so entertaining! We had a watching party with our friends on Tuesday.

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Hazel cuddling with her friend Zoe during Bachelor night.
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I gave Aiden Pandemic for Christmas and we have playing several times already! It is so fun. I am a big fan of cooperative games. We also made breakfast tacos a bunch. Trader joe’s hashbrowns, goat cheese, egg, avocado and pear salsa. It is amazing!

I have spent most of my time this weekend with Hazel. She is just adorable and we have been playing quite a lot! We also took her on a couple of walks to parks nearby. She is still not great at walking on the leash but loves smelling all the new smells. I also started my 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene this weekend and am psyched to get back on my workout game.

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Lots of snow walks with Hazel. It has snowed probably four or five days since we have been back.

Interesting articles and other things I’m loving:

The real women of Bombshell. This is just a moving discussion that highlights what was kept true in the movie and what they got wrong. I highly recommend it!

Tan France’s home tour. Of course it is beautiful. I liked how he talked about how it was before and what aspects of the original house were kept.

The Everygirl Splurges. Great ideas on pricier things that are really worth it.

Almond Cow plant-based milk maker. This was in Hitha Palepu’s newsletter this week and I am very interested in trying it! Also this is a great read on the problem with almond milk.

The cutest sweater. I am so tempted by this right now.

Of course there is the whole Harry and Meghan thing. There is a lot out there on this. I recommend reading this article on the press’ portrayal of Meghan vs Kate. It is kind of crazy!

The temperature in your city last year.

Watching: As I mentioned earlier I am back on the Bachelor train and excited for this season. I honestly have not had time in the past couple of weeks to watch anything else!

Wearing: My brother got me this scarf from Anthroplogie for Christmas and I have been wearing it almost every day since we got back to Utah. It is so warm and soft but I have had to teach Hazel not to bite at the fringe.

Reading: I just started The Only Plane in the Sky as an audiobook on libro.fm and it is very moving. It is going to be tough to listen to but it is already a really good book. Also I already can definitely recommend listening to it (there is a full cast that reads it and I think it is a little more powerful since it is an oral history)!

Instagram: I am loving Julie Leach‘s Instagram feed.

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I am totally obsessed with this jacket right now. It is Gal Meets Glam and on sale for such a good price.

I hope you are having a great weekend!

Erin

Week in My Life No. 11

2020 is here! It is a little crazy. The holidays have come and gone and another semester is about to begin. This break has been a fun one and much needed!

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Christmas Eve outfit! I love this top. It is older and from Topshop, so not really on my sustainable list though. The open back and bow are so cute! I am also really into these pearl hoops.

We drove out to Boulder the week before Christmas. Leaving was pretty stressful since we had a lot to do and I was still working. The holidays at my parent’s house were so fun. I just love our traditions and we always switch a few things up. We saw a show on the 23rd and did our usually Christmas Eve dinner. It was so fun to have Hazel around this year. She was just adorable. Charlie (my parent’s dog) warmed up to her a bit more so it was fun to watch them.

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She didn’t understand that there was a hole in the top at first. She chewed on the side for a little while before we guided her.

Little Hazel got to open her stocking and it was so so cute. She could smell the treats so she really tried! Christmas morning was spent at my parents house. Our Christmas brunch is one of my absolute favorite meals! In the afternoon we headed to the airport for our flight to Newark. It was direct so we got in around 9:00pm and had late night tacos and Christmas with Aiden’s family.

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Fancy drinks at The Fine Grind in New Jersey on the 27th.

We spent two more days in New Jersey hanging out and meeting up with some of Aiden’s friends and family. We took a long walk around their town the day after Christmas and had coffee with his mom’s uncle the next day (Aiden actually was really sick that day and stayed home). On the 28th we headed to Pennsylvania to visit the Morris Arboretum. The lights and trains were pretty cool! We ate dinner at Farm and Fisherman Tavern (so delicious) and then stayed in a nearby hotel for the night. We drove on to Maryland the next day to visit some friends of Aiden’s family. They were so so nice and we had a great day eating delicious food and playing fun games. The next day we drove to Arlington and stopped for lunch with some of my family before heading on to Savannah. It was a very long drive but I loved Savannah so it was totally worth it!

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Savannah has such pretty squares throughout downtown. There is so much greenery and gorgeous walking paths.

I might do a separate post on Savannah even though we were only there for a day. I just loved it so much! It is very walkable and there is so much interesting history. It kind of reminded me of Charleston, South Carolina.

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E Shaver Bookseller in Savannah is a must visit. It is probably one of my favorite bookstores ever. They have so many pretty cats and lots and lots of books.
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Walking down the historic paths to the waterfront.

On New Years Eve we drove from Savannah down to Fort Meyers, Florida. It took almost seven hours and we ended up getting in around 11:30pm. Just in time to check in and watch the ball drop and the fireworks throughout Sanibel and Captiva.

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Throughout the week we did quite a lot of beach walking. I love the beach and really love the Captiva beaches since there are so many beautiful shells and lots of bird watching.

We took the first opportunity we could to look for shells along the beach. We had great weather and took a couple of much needed swims in the ocean. Aiden’s extended family was down there so we also spent a lot of time hanging out with them around the pool areas.

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Walking on the beach at sunset. The sunsets on Captiva are some of my favorite in the world. The colors are so beautiful!

Captiva has very quickly become one of my favorite places for so many reasons. The beaches are beautiful and usually not very crowded. There is also always so much wildlife. Just one short walk on the beach ends up being a pelican watching session. There were also lots of manatees and several dolphins!

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Watching the pelicans feed just after the rain stopped on Saturday.

Our last day in the Captiva area was today (Saturday). We spent the morning bird watching at Ding Darling (a wildlife reserve) and then headed up to South Seas Island Resort for some lunch. A big thunderstorm rolled in so we took cover and watched the rain. Once it cleared Aiden went fishing with his uncle and I sat in the hot tube for a while. We ended the day with dinner in Sanibel and then a couple episodes of Dark (we finished a few months ago but started watching again with Aiden’s family). Tomorrow we are headed to Orlando for a couple of days at Universal.

Some interesting articles:

50 things to be happier and healthier in 2020. I first saw this on Instagram and, as cheesy as it is, I love that these things are all relatively easy and attainable ways to improve your life this year!

Books that will change your life this year. Thanks Everygirl for all this inspo!

Some 2019 favorite products. Thanks for including some great sustainable products in your favorites Taylor (I am also a Dudley Stephens superfan)!

Political story of the week: what is the deal with Iran? This is definitely complicated so I am going to link some other articles as well. The Evergirl has an overview of what happened. I would actually recommend listening to the Special Report episode from NPR’s Up First. Friday and Saturday’s episodes also talk a lot about what is going on in very understandable terms.

12 best books of 2020 so far. I am kind of surprised this already exists but definitely not complaining!

Caitlin’s letter to herself 10 years ago. I really like this idea, thanks Caitlin!

Obama’s favorite things of 2019. Um yes!!

Wearing: I have to mention this Amazon dress since I have been wearing it in Florida a ton. It is so comfortable and perfect for warm weather.

Watching: So yes we are re-watching Dark and it is just as amazing the second time around. I highly recommend it! I will say to stick with it, some people think it is really scary but it kind of just has that feel in the beginning… its not actually scary (I don’t want to give anything away).

Reading: In Savannah I picked up Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. I am not that far yet but it is so interesting.

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Hazel is staying with my parents in Boulder while we are with Aiden’s family. My mom has been keeping me updated with lots of pictures, but I am seriously missing her!

I hope you had a great holiday season!

Erin

Week in My Life No. 10

I am skipping straight to another Week in Review since I have not had a whole lot of time to post but want to at least stay up-to-date with what has been going on in my life. This has definitely been a holiday week. I had a ton of work to get done as well and really tried to cram that into the first few days of the week. It was busy since we also had to pack, take Hazel to the vet and tie up all the loose ends around the house.

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Last real day of work attire plus a necessary coffee.

Our drive back to Boulder was quite an adventure. I have to say that one of the biggest struggles we have had with having a puppy is travel. I knew this would be tough but I was always saying to myself that since we drive from Utah to Boulder it should be fine. Hazel hates the car. She whined for so much of the drive. We also had to stop to take her out a lot which is fine but when we did stop it took a while to actually get her to pee and eat/drink if was time. At Little America it took at least 30 minutes just to get her to pee (it was almost 0 degrees so she got really cold and we had to get her warmed up). Anyway we eventually made it to Colorado.

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She could not figure out what this statue is or what she should do with it. This was when we wondered around Little America waiting for her to pee!
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Warming little Hazel up in the car!

I still had quite a bit of work to do from home so I spent the rest of the week doing that and Christmas shopping. It was really nice to be around my family though! We had a great birthday dinner for my dad and brother! I have been doing yoga as much as I can even if it is just an online class (I do Yoga with Adriene and really like it). I also got in a cycle class that my friend teaches at Rush. I also got to spend some time catching up with that same friend (which was long overdue!). The weekend has been overall very chill and nice. Saturday we took Hazel up to Wonderland Lake and she met so many people and dogs. It took us two hours just because we met so many people and she played with other dogs. We baked lots of cookies and had some family/friends over for dinner. Today we baked more and hung out with Hazel.

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Christmas shopping with my sister!
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Saturday morning Rush Cycle in Highlands following by a delicious brunch.
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The end of Hazel’s walk up to the lake. Also the weekend was so warm in Boulder. It feels so weird because last time we were here (Thanksgiving) it snowed over two feet and was freezing. I know Boulder is always kind of like this (very drastic changes in weather/temp especially through winter) but it still feels weird around the holidays.

Articles/links (yes I am a little light on these since I have not really been on my computer this week for anything other than work):

A great last minute gift guide. It has a little of everything!

Women to watch in politics. So this is not just women who are in office (what I expected) but minority women who hold jobs that relate to politics. This is such an interesting and exciting read!

Ideas for New Years Eve. I feel like the New Years Eve hype can be harder as I get older! These ideas for staying in on New Years are great.

I will also say that something else I have been really following this week are politics in general. There are lots of both interesting and frustrating things going on right now. I highly recommend following Jessica Yellin on Instagram for a great recap. I also listen to NPR’s Up First podcast.

Wearing: Lululemon align joggers are amazing. I was picking up some gifts in Lululemon and somehow found my way to these. I am already a huge fan of the align legging so its not really surprising that I fell in love with these. They are so comfortable and flattering and I have been wearing them almost every day since I got them!

Watching: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3 is out on Amazon! I love love love this show and am so excited. I started watching this week and of course its amazing.

Reading: I am still finishing up Red, White and Royal Blue however I am hoping to finish up in the next day so I can start reading Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House.

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The sun setting over the mountains at Wonderland Lake.

I hope you are have a great weekend and holiday season!

Erin

Week in Review No. 9

This Week in Review is long overdue. It has been several weeks! So much has happened. My last big Week in Review post was just before we left for Thanksgiving break in Boulder. That break ended up containing a big life change for us! We drove back to Colorado the week before Thanksgiving, once I had finished teaching. I-80 can be scary to drive in snowy weather so we left early to avoid in incoming snowstorm. I am just going to jumps straight to the big news (I did mention this in a post last week). In short my aunt’s dog had puppies and we ended up taking one home with us! She is such a cutie and we named her Hazel Jane.

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Little Hazel Jane in our backyard back in Utah. She is a Stabyhoun (I am linking to some information on them since I have yet to meet anyone who has heard of the breed).

Okay we spent lots of time with the litter while we were home. They were seven weeks when we got there and just the cutest little things. I helped my aunt take five puppies into her work on Friday and Monday and it was such a blast. I met some great people and got to spend lots of time with the pups. My brother and sister also came home which was so fun! One of my close friends happened to be visiting other friends in Leadville so she stopped by for a night. We went downtown to Pearl street for some fun at into the wind and dessert. I also was able to get brunch one day with one of my high school friends!

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I spent so much time hanging out with the puppies! It was the perfect therapy!
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My sister with an armful of puppies and their momma in the back!
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Walking around the lake with our family dog, Charlie, a few days before the big snow came in.

It snowed twice while we were there. The second time (just a few days before Thanksgiving) we got over two feet of snow. It was crazy! I feel like I haven’t seen that much in one storm since I was a little kid. We had actually taken Hazel home right before the storm so it was so cute to have her around for all that snow. The morning after the bulk of the snow came in I got up early to take the puppy out. I ended up shoveling and shaking out the branches for a while. Hazel was so adorable but definitely could not go beyond the paths I shoveled for her! We spent lots of time by the fire with warm drinks!

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Snowy little pup on the morning after the big storm!
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Hazel watching Charlie roam the yard. Their relationship was so funny. Charlie is a bit of an old man so he did not really want to put up with her and he kind of ignored her most of the time. She was so curious though and would follow him around and watch him from afar. I can’t wait to see how they are at Christmas!

Thanksgiving itself was a blast. We had lots of family and friends over for a delicious meal. Our neighbors were snowed in so they ended up coming as well! As always most of the day was spent cooking and making last minute trips to the grocery store (I am pretty sure I went to the store four times in two days). We had lots of delicious food and then played several rounds of Telestrations.

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Lots of people required lots of pies (five plus mini pumpkin pies)!
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Our family portrait with little Hazel! Also I am obsessed with this dress from KJP.

We got sushi downtown and spent some time in Boulder Bookstore on Friday night. Both Friday and Saturday were crazy windy. The snow had stopped but the wind caused pretty much all the major highways around us to close. I got a little worried about the drive home. We left Sunday and took I-70 which is a much longer drive. Luckily the roads were clear but with Hazel (we stopped a ton) and the longer route we took almost 13 hours to get home (usually it takes about eight on I-80.

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Hanging out at my parents house. I also stopped in J. Crew Factory and picked up this adorable headband (similar J. Crew version).

Ever since we got back to Logan I have been super busy with work. I finished teaching but I have some big projects that really need to get done by the end of this semester. There have also been a ton of holiday parties and other social engagements. The week we got back I also hosted our Ecology Center speaker (every month we invite a professor/professional from somewhere else to come speak and share their research) which was amazing but ended up being a lot of time and logistics.

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It snowed in Logan while we were gone so we also came back to around five inches! I definitely had to quickly transition into dressing both professionally and warmly.

This weekend has been much more chill but we do have lots to do before leaving for winter break. On Saturday we did end up going over to a friends house for a bit so Hazel could meet their little daughter. We also watched The Christmas Chronicles which I missed out on last year and am glad I took the time to watch this year. Other than that we have spent a lot of time playing with Hazel. I also got some reading in!

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Reading this morning while Hazel slept some more.

On a side note I went down a bit of a rabbit hole with mormon mommy bloggers this weekend (you will see why when I talk about the podcast I have been listening to). That whole world is just fascinating and gives an interesting take on social media and blogging. I just wanted to preface since several of my links are related to this topic.

Articles/videos:

Emma Watson’s Bag. I hadn’t been on YouTube in a while and went on last week to this amazing video in my recommended. I just love her so this was incredible.

An ex mormon mommy blogger’s take on Instagram vs reality. So first I would say listen to Be There in Five’s mormon mommy blogger deep dive (I talk about it in my Listening mention), then read this article.

A scientific article on mormon mommy bloggers. This whole world is for some reason incredibly fascinating.

FIT museum exhibit on powerful clothing. I just love this little journey through the ages.

Maximalism and the power of taking up space. This is a great article on the power of maximalism.

Holiday from Trader Joe’s. Um yes… always.

Watching: We are on the final season of Parks and Rec. It is the best show and I am so sad that it is almost over.

Reading: Right now I am reading Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. Yep it is another book about royals. I am really on a role right now. I am about halfway through and I just want to keep reading!

Listening: Okay so I am definitely late to the game on this but Kate Kennedy’s podcast Be There in Five is amazing. I found her through Bad on Paper’s interview. I went back and listened to her Mommy Mormon Blogger’s deep dive which was so fascinating. I live in Utah which is very mormon so it was really interesting to here this take on the culture and learn about why blogging is such a big thing for mormon mom’s.

Wearing: My current clothing obsession is by KJP moose socks. They are so perfect for winter! I also do have to add my J. Crew fleece lined boots since I worn them a ton with all the snow. They are so warm and have great traction.

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One last pic of the pup… also I got her a matching moose bandana!

Thanks for stopping by and I apologize for the long and very puppy-filled post!

Erin

Brief Update

Okay since I have been pretty much MIA on both my blog and on Instagram I thought I would do a little life update post. I will get back on my Week in the Life post later this week and give a full rundown on what has been going on. There are several reasons for the hiatus. November was a very full month with lots of work and lots of fun. We drove to my parent’s house in Boulder for Thanksgiving week which was so much fun but crazy. Leading up to that was so busy because I was teaching my last classes and finishing as much as I could.

Since getting back to Utah I have another big push to the end of the semester. There is a lot to get finished before the year ends. So last week was tough. We also have had quite a few holiday parties and other events that have made the past week crazy. The biggest reason for all the craziness is… we got a puppy! Yep it is totally insane but I am loving it. She is almost ten weeks and can be quite a handful. It is a long story but an unexpected situation came up and we decided to go for it. Her name is Hazel and she is the most adorable little thing. Yep she also has an Instagram because I know I won’t be able to resist all the puppy pictures.

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So much time and energy goes into little Hazel and I definitely did not expect it to this degree. Overall though it has been great and she is amazing! I will have lots more to come on this but just wanted to give a quick update!

Erin

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Week in My Life No. 8

When I got back from Honduras last Sunday our friend from college was visiting. It was so great to see him and I definitely wish he had stayed longer but Aiden was able to show him around while I was gone and we took him to Herm’s Inn, out favorite brunch place, for breakfast on Monday. He and his cousin were driving from Seattle to Dallas. They headed on to Moab Monday afternoon. Even though I was at a conference for grad school I have had lots of catch up to do with work over the week. I taught on Tuesday so I spent a lot of time getting ready for that and grading. I also created an end of semester survey for the class to take this Tuesday. I am all about improving this class and my teaching so I really wanted to have a survey that has direct feedback for the labs we did and the lectures (just the overall structure and assignments as well). I also spent some time finalizing plans for the holidays. We still need to book our tickets (ASAP) but we have a pretty solid plan that hopefully everyone is okay with. I definitely struggle with where to spend Christmas. For the first couple years of our relationship we just went to our own families which made sense since we were still in college and had not seen our families all year. Now we have been together for over four years and we are getting to the point were we would like to be together but also want to be with our families. Last year we were living apart so we really wanted to be together and we ended up traveling between our families on Christmas day (flying from Denver to Newark). My family was not too keen on that so we reevaluated this year. Jess Keys did a great post on splitting the holidays!

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Walking to my office! It was actually a beautiful week with highs in the 50’s.

The other big part of work right now is data analysis for several projects. It is kind of looming over me so Aiden helped me out with some coding this week that took a ton of stress off of me. I have also been organizing a speaker that is coming to the ecology center at USU in December. On Friday we ended the work week with tea at a campus coffee shop.

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Friday’s outfit. I was feeling the jumpsuit and blazer vibes.
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Tea, grading and reading at coffee shop. The best way to end the week.

This weekend has been really nice. We have been doing yoga at home to help Aiden with some of his pains so we did that on Saturday and had an overall chill day. I got lots of reading in! We went to a friends house in the evening to hang out and play Mario Kart (my fav). Today was mostly yard work (so many leaves to rake) but we also did some crossword puzzles and set up our Christmas tree. I know it is way to early but we are going to be gone through Thanksgiving and then also for actual Christmas so I figured we might as well enjoy it as long as possible. We also have some new ornaments that were my grandmother’s!

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Tree decorating… we added the Nutcracker characters this year!

Interesting articles:

3 Ingredient Trader Joe’s meals. As a Trader Joe’s fan I just had to share this and will definitely be trying some of these.

Time’s 100 most influential people. Also here is a blurb on how they choose people for the list.

Watching Hallmark movies for money? This is kind of hilarious and amazing.

Finland’s stunning public library. This place is beautiful and I seriously hope to visit someday. I also so wish we had such emphasis on public libraries!

Julia’s holiday guide for her. This is dreamy. I mean everything is seriously beautiful!

Plastic waste in laboratories. I have a constant struggle with waste in our lab. I do think what we research is important for conservation and for science but the amount of waste generated can be really hard to stomach. I am always looking for ways to reduce but it is so hard in science because it is extremely difficult to have a sound experiment, with no contamination, without producing a lot of waste.

Best celebrity memoirs. Grace Atwood posted this in her Weekend Reading and I really liked this article since there are so many books out there and so many celebrity memoirs that it can be hard to know what is worth reading.

Reading: I started Turtles All the Way Down by John Green several months ago and for some reason did not keep reading. I decided to pick it up again and finish this time! I am really enjoying it and am not sure why I put it down before.

Watching: Parks and Recreation has been our go to right now. I am not sure why I haven’t watched it before but it is amazing. I love it and have a hard time stopping because all the characters are hilarious.

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It was just barely warm enough for no tights. As much as I love the holidays and the snow I am relishing in these last few days of warmth!

I hope you had a great week and thanks for reading!

Erin

Week in My Life No. 7

So as you can probably tell it has been a few days since I posted and I only got one post in last week. I have been in Roatan, Honduras for the last ten days at a conference. It was the Iguana Specialist Group meeting and ended up being such a blast. I was so busy before hand as well, getting my class ready for when I was going and prepping my presentation for the conference so I did not have nearly enough time to prep as I was hoping for. This is definitely more like a two week update than a week in my life.

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We had our first crazy snow storm! I was not expecting so much but the afternoon clear up!

I have been at this conference for most of the time but I am going to be doing a Honduras recap post so I won’t be focusing on the conference a ton. I will say that overall it has been amazing and I have learned so much and met so many amazing people doing really interesting research and conservation work. I also learned quite a about IUCN red-listing and about invasive species control.

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Conference attire was difficult in a tropical climate. It has been in the 80’s but we were in an air conditioned conference room for most of the day.

First, wow way back to before Halloween! It was actually a really fun week. I did a lot of prepping for this trip and taught my class, as usual on Tuesday. We spent quite a bit of time also getting ready for Halloween. Also carpet cleaners came so that was a bit of a project since we had to move all of the furniture in carpeted areas. It is so nice to finally have it done though, we have been waiting for months to do it! We started carving pumpkins and I baked pumpkin seeds.

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Sorry it is not a great photo but we did The Nightmare Before Christmas theme this year.
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Sally was way harder than Jack Skellington but we did our best (more like Aiden did his best, he is way better than me at carving)!

Halloween itself was a blast. It was a really long work day so I was kind of rushing but still managed to baked some cookies and a pumpkin pie. We went to our friend’s house for another round of Over the Garden Wall, lots of drinks, costumes and pie. Later we went to a different department’s grad student Halloween party which was so much fun! I did call it early though since I needed to finish packing.

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I spent that Friday morning frantically finishing up some errands that I had hoped to get done earlier in the week. It ended up being crazy with some unexpected things happening so I had way more to do than I anticipated. I was on campus for an hour or two and then headed back to eat lunch. We left for the airport around 1:30pm.

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Last minute errand attire.

As I mentioned I have been here in Roatan ever since. I presented some of my research on Monday and listened to lots of other interesting talks. We explored a little as well but almost our whole group got sick so that was a bit of a bummer. I did have to miss out on a fun field trip because of that!

Some interesting articles/videos:

An interview with Emma Watson. Of course this is amazing and very insightful. I was also just inspired to think about what I am doing and how I am effecting other people!

The Every Girl J. Crew Round Up. I am so loving these pieces and the winter essentials are extra tempting (the tissue turtlenecks and the puffer are at the top of my list).

National Geographic’s new book on women photographers. So excited about this. Such beautiful photography by amazing women!

Some current fashion trends. I am totally into most of these and they just about all can work in cold weather.

On being a woman in a male dominated field. Definitely worth a read.

Reading: I started listening to How Could She by Lauren Mechling on the plane to Honduras. I am not very far so I can’t say much yet but I will definitely keep you updated.

Podcast: So I know I just did a recent podcast post but I listened to Bad on Paper Podcast’s interview with Carly Heitlinger and it was amazing. She was so real and honest. More than I have every heard any blogger be. It was very impressive and insightful. I highly recommend the episode!

Watching: So I have two things right now. I was sick for a couple of days so I have been re-watching The Walking Dead. It is kind of a long story but I stopped because I certain character dies at the beginning of season six. For some reason I got the urge to watch again from the beginning. I also have been watching SNL skits both new and old… they are so funny. Here are some ones I watched today: Film ScreeningTarget Lady

Instagram: Caitlin from Lemonade Press Blog had such an amazing caption on her Instagram post from Saturday. It is about school and just learning in general and it resonated with me.

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Fire on the beach in Honduras!

Erin

Why I Committed to Posting Every Day for a Month

The month of October was incredibly hectic but I managed to post every single day. This has been a goal of mine and once I got started I was determined to do the whole month. The primary reason for this goals is that I have so many different things I want to write about and share but often don’t make the time to do it. By posting every day I forced myself to spend time creating posts about things I have really been wanting to talk about.

I love fashion, books, adventure, plus I enjoy sharing random lifestyle posts. Something that has really frustrated me in the blogger world is that everyone talks about “finding your niche.” I know that in order to be successful in anything you need to think about your audience and what they want to hear. When I listen to podcasts or read posts about how to be successful in blogging it seems to be a mix of talking to your audience and being authentic, but most importantly, finding your niche. You aren’t supposed to really focus about more than one or two things if you want to be successful. I really struggle with this because I love so many things and since I love them I want to share them with others. I don’t want to put myself in a box. I don’t want to just share my outfits or just share books. I love these things but can’t help but love other things just as much. This is part of the reason I struggled with making a decision about graduate school I felt like it would put me in a specific box and I would not be able to stray from that. I want to live a life full of many things, not just a few. I am not going to talk about my decision-making process for grad school in this post but it does give some insight into why I felt the need to post every day.

Since I did not want to write about just one thing, I needed to produce more of all the things I wanted to share. It does seem like talking about something different every week or month would not be as relatable to readers. People tend to look for specific advice from different people and if they don’t know what they will find from your site, why spend the time? My thought was that if I post consistently every week in each category that I am interesting in writing about maybe I can work around this. If your job is to blog this is feasible but as a grad student just the thought has been a little terrifying. I started posting every day at the end of September just to challenge myself and as we got through the first few weeks of October I decided to stick with it through the month. It felt good to be accomplishing a goal and I enjoyed dedicating some time every week to thinking about my blog.

Going forward I want to continue this as best I can but I do think I will be taking Saturday’s off. It is just a little too much to be focusing on both my blog and grad school every single day. I love them both but my health and relationships are definitely falling to the way side. I have been continuously sick since I left for Vermont (October 1st)… so the entire month. So I definitely admit that I am in serious need of some focus on my mental and physical health. Since I have been really liking the routine of posting everyday I am not totally giving that up right now, just giving myself one day to not think about posting. This may change in the future but I will probably do another check in around the holidays. I would love to hear any thoughts you have on the blogging world and how you have felt in response to the idea of committing to one or two things (in the blogging community and in life in general).

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Thanks for following along!

Erin