Major Life Update

Clearly I have taken a major hiatus from blogging. I was starting to feel like I just did not have the time and was questioning why I was blogging in the first place. A big part of both being busy and questioning what I am doing began with a huge career step that I was not really expecting to happen right now. I will be attending Utah State University as a PhD student in a biology lab. My research focus will be looking at the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on the physiology of the Bahaman Rock Iguana. It is going to be a long but exciting journey that will likely take the next six years of my life. I will be moving up to Logan, Utah in early August. Working out the details for this has taken lots of time and thought which has led to some neglect in other areas of my life. I am very excited however and have begun to plan out and my lists of priorities for the coming year. I have the fall semester almost entirely figured out, including classes and research. The last piece that has caused some stress is housing in Utah. I did not realize just how hard it is to find housing when you don’t live in (or close to) that place. With most of the details fleshed out I have started to think about some other things, including my blog.

Over the past few days I sort of re-realized my reasons for blogging. I thought a lot about why I started this project in the first place. During my senior year of college I was feeling very burnt out and overwhelmed by work. I have always loved school but at this point it had begun to feel like work I had to do and not at all like what I wanted to be doing. I think there were many factors that contributed to this feeling that were both circumstantial and stemmed from my own mental state. As my future plans have solidified and I begin to prepare for the years to come I am realizing that I am jumping straight back into the world of biology and academia. I do love this world but I learned in college that I need to have a creative outlet that is not in that world in order to continue to be happy and productive. So in essence I am getting back into my blog but will be making some changes.

In 2016 I had started reading and exploring different blogs. I had started my own in December of 2016 but was really just experimenting. As the year progressed I realized how much I was in need of a creative outlet. There are a lot of things I wish I had done differently that year but now I am going to take this opportunity to change some things. While I very much want to continue blogging, I am going to change my posts a little bit. I want to put a lot more time and effort into single posts which is kind of tough considering I am about to be in graduate school. Because of that I will probably not be posting as much, but I will focus on quality. I also want to rethink my content a little bit, but I will do a bigger post on that in a few weeks.

DSC_0718DSC_0663

Erin

Spring Goals

Looking back on my goals for this past winter, I realized I need to prioritize my goals by actually scheduling them in an planning them out. While I did some of them from my last list, I wish I had done more. As much as I love being spontaneous I feel like I will be able to fit some of these in more if I give them some more thought and a place in my schedule. I think part of that for me will be doing a blog post that features each goal. This will help me hold myself accountable.

Pick my own bouquet: I actually have no idea how feasible this one is but I would really love to make my own bouquets of flowers this spring. I think it would be so fun to first go flower picking, then try my hand at some flower arranging.

Spend time at the beach: This one is kind of cheating because we are actually leaving for Myrtle Beach tomorrow. I am really excited because I have never been there before and I love the beach!

Track my carbon footprint: This goal is not really seasonal however I want to track my carbon footprint and figure out some ways I can offset it. I love travel and do not want to give it up but I also do not want to go against my own values of trying to have a lower impact on the world. The idea with this goal is that I will track my carbon footprint and then figure out what I want to do to offset the big things, like flying to Europe. It might mean planting some trees or other greenery during the spring.

Go on a picnic: I love getting together with friends for some delicious food and time outside. Last summer I actually did it quite a bit and want to continue that this year. I am hoping to do at least one picnic this spring with only seasonal foods. That will add a little challenge to it!

Go camping: I am really hoping to do this when I get home to Colorado. I miss being outside a lot right now and I want to prioritize a camping trip during the next few months.

Visit a farm: For some reason I have recently been wanting to go see farm animals. My parents always have had chickens and I went to boarding school on a farm so I am feeling a bit nostalgic about that life right now.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any fun ideas/goals for this spring!

Erin

Life Update No. 2

Time is flying by, as it always seems to do. February is almost over already which is blowing my mind. We have had some crazy warm days lately which has been a sort of spring tease.

DSC_0554

I am currently working for the college I went to and really loving it. The work is just so interesting and I love the professors I work with/for. We are doing some really interesting research that has made me so much more passionate about climate and our place as humans in relation to other species that inhabit the world. As much as I love the work and the people I still am struggling quite a bit with the environment since I did graduate and I am very ready to move on. In general I also am not crazy about Indiana and miss the mountains! The Olympics really having me itching to ski. Alpine skiing used to be such a big part of my life and I miss that a lot, especially right now.

A great thing about being in this area though is that I have a couple college friends who are still in the area and it has been really great to see them often. My friend Dörte had the genius idea of going to IKEA in Cincinnati last weekend and it was super fun. I love just wondering around and getting ideas for future home design/decor. We also did a little shopping and got to talk a lot. I also have watched a ton of Olympic events with another friends which has been so fun. I have been able to see lots of people in the past month and talk to even more which has been so great for me.

I am on a serious reading train right now. I mentioned a while back how I was re-reading Harry Potter and I am now almost done with The Goblet of Fire. I decided to listen to the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text which I mentioned on my podcast favorites. I am finally caught up to the current episode which is so exciting for me! Here are the other things that have filled my time/thoughts lately:

Reading: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, I actually just finished this book and it really put the human experience in a much broader perspective for me. It was a little depressing for a while because I thought so much of how small we are but Neil De Grass Tyson talks about this in the end so it is definitely worth it. I love his interpretation of things.

Watching: Grace and Frankie, I started this maybe last week and am only six episodes in but it is a super funny and interesting show. The perspective just feels so different. I also bing watched The Good Place at the end of January and realized I never talked about it on the blog. It is probably my favorite show of all time though.

Movie: Aiden convinced me to watch The Shawshank Redemption. I don’t love dark movies so I was skeptical but I actually really liked it, especially the ending.

Eating healthy: I am really committed to eating healthier. For breakfast I try to have an egg and sausage (maybe on a piece of toast), grapefruit or yogurt/oatmeal. At lunch I will eat toast with avocado, a salad or go to the café for a sandwich. Dinner has varied quite a bit but some of my favorites have been veggie pasta with red sauce, a salad with protein and spring rolls with peanut sauce.

New skin care routine: I usually just use a Bioré acne cream and wash my face with soap. Now I am doing a Pond’s cleanser and make-up remover at night with a Neutrogena moisturizer/sunscreen in the morning (on top of the acne cleanser). I don’t have a confident verdict on it yet but I am really liking trying something new and I have such a new found respect for my skin.

Wearing: Pink… you probably noticed as so many of my February posts have been pink-filled. I am seriously loving the statement booties from my last post (from Zara), I have been wearing them a lot and am going to include them in my up coming capsule wardrobe. I also found the heels (pictured above) at Aldo when shopping with a friend the other day. They are something I have been looking for for a while.

Have a great rest of your week!

Erin

Favorite Podcasts

It is absolutely amazing how many different incredible podcasts are out there. I say this mostly because several weeks ago I read The Golden Girl’s reader podcast post and was shocked to find that not a single podcast I love and was going to be including in my favorites post were on her list. It is not a bad thing at all, in fact that really got me thinking about how many amazing people are out there sharing different content.

IMG_1635

Revisionist History: I pretty much binged the entire first season of this podcast. It is so amazing and really makes you think about human behavior and how we interpret history. This is the podcast that got me into podcasts. I truly cannot say enough good things. The second season is also amazing and you don’t really have to watch episodes in order. The first episode, The Lady Vanishes, is still probably my favorite.

Serial: So many thoughts on this one! It is frustrating but so interesting one of those shows that captures your attention and you just keep wanting to watch. The premise for Serial is basically the investigation of a murder case from years ago and whether or not the person convicted was actually guilty. It made me think a lot about humanity, punishment and law.

Awesome Etiquette: Every episode of this podcast addresses different questions people have about how to interact in certain social situations. Basically what is appropriate and how to be the best you can in sometimes awkward situations. I feel like a lot of people have so many questions that are answered in this podcast in relation to etiquette, but don’t usually voice it.

Girlboss: This podcast is great because you really don’t have to listen in order and it is just great for female inspirational stories and advice. I definitely recommend checking it out for episodes that catch your eye.

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text: This podcast has been such a light in my days lately. Each episode dissects a chapter of the books (in chronological order) and looks into that chapter through a certain theme. The hosts Vanessa and Casper have this really engaging way of talking about each chapter. I have started looking at the characters and events in very different ways and I absolutely love it. I also wanted to mention another Harry Potter podcast. I just started to a friend’s podcast, MuggleWatch, where several cousins spend each episode discussing a different character. I have only listened to the first two episodes so far, but I really like it.

The Simple Sophisticate: I really love that this podcasts emphasizes finding who you really are living that best self. It is living luxuriously but as you not as how other people say you should be living. I loved the very first episode, 8 Pillars of Building a Simply Luxurious Life, and would highly recommend listening to it before you explore her podcast and blog further. That episode gives you a really good idea of what is the underlying philosophy of The Simple Luxurious Life and it really helped me understand everything else better and taylor it to my own life and needs.

Finally I wanted to share a specific episode from Courage and Clarity called 4 Steps to Plan Your Week in 15 Minutes because I really loved the rocks, pebbles and sand analogy she uses in understanding how we plan our weeks and how we prioritize tasks.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Erin

Sticking to 2018: January

In really trying to keep up with my goals for the year I wanted to do a check in post where I review my goals and talk about how I can improve my routine in order to set myself up for success in fulfilling my goals this year.

A2B4A3F1-C442-4FB2-B6B5-F0DE3C7EE640.jpg

It is funny because lately I have been feeling so great about my daily routines and practices/habits I am getting into, however, looking back at my goals for this year, they don’t all necessarily have to do with a specific goals. For example, I have been eating super healthy and I am really happy about that but that wasn’t really a goal. Also, journaling has become a favorite of mine this month and it was not part of my goals either. Just as a side note, I found a January journal guide type thing that gives you something to write about each day and it has made journaling so fun for me. I have changed the topics quite a bit in order for the entries to benefit me a little more, but it has been such an exciting way to journal. One of my favorite prompts so far was ‘write six words that describe your style.’ I loved this because I am really trying hard to define who I am a little better and why I really want to be keeping up with this blog. That entry has actually taken me on quite a journey which I will continue to talk about in some future posts. I also did an entry where I choose ten words to describe my day and it while I thought it would be so easy, it actually was quite difficult and stretched me a lot in a really good way.

Anyways, my first big goal was to incorporate fitness into my life in a more manageable way. I wanted to do this by moving every single day. It did not have to be through high-intensity workouts. I would say that while I have done a lot better than the past several months, I have a ways to go with this one. My schedule is so flexible which has made it hard to make some things more routine, including working out. That is not an excuse though and I really need to do better. I have been working outside at least several days a week doing something physical which is great. I also have done some sort of yoga or workout several times a week with a couple good walks thrown in. Despite my schedule I need to work on this as something that I naturally work into my schedule. I have definitely missed days and I am still committee to this goal for this year.

The second goal I set for myself was to work toward finding a job a really love. I am proud to say that I feel like this month was a great one for me in this respect. I re-did my CV and am working on creating several different resumes that are tailored to specific types of jobs that I am interested in. I also finished my StrengthsFinder which I am so happy about and feel like I learned so much about myself from. I have schedule a meeting with my dad this week to talk about our results further and interpret them better. I really feel like I have been focused on finding what I enjoy and taking steps to get there. I also returned to the job I am currently in this month and have really liked be back.

Thirdly are my travel goals for the year. This month was actually pretty travel filled with an amazing ski vacation with my family in Steamboat Springs. I also travelled back to Indiana to finished up some work. Writing this post also has reminded me to schedule some planning time into next month. I really want to take a mini-weekend vacation in February even as well if it is just to visit a friend. So I definitely think this was not a priority for me this month but if I want to achieve a goal like this I have to be on top of things like planning, saving and flights. One thing that is kind of part of this is that I have stopped spending money (aside from the essentials) and I plan on keep saving until at least the end of February.

My final goal had to do with my friendships. This was actually the goal that inspired this post. I was listening to a new podcast last night and found a post on friendships and how to be a good friend. Aiden and I are also watching The Good Place (literally my new favorite show) and it definitely got me thinking about what it means to be good and what it means to be a good friend. While I have tried to schedule things in and talk to friends a lot I still think I can do way better. My goal for the month of February is to do something for (or talk to/get together with) one friend and one family member every single day. I am not including Aiden in this for February because we have been spending a lot of time together and I feel like that relationship is going really well.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on 2018 goals/resolutions and how this year has been going for you. Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful Tuesday.

Erin

Around the Web

Happy Monday!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend with time to relax and have some fun. I am finally getting back into a routine schedule this week with work and it is definitely taking some adjusting. I love so much of what I am doing right now but managing my time has been a little difficult and I am excited to try the new schedule I am making for myself. I was able to get outside a lot this weekend which was great. I also saw some friends and watched some great TV and movies. I have compiled some interesting articles from around the internet. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to share any thoughts/comments or interesting articles you have found.

6B306A9E-575B-4B20-B258-DD18A5ACBED0.jpg

101 in 1001: This is where you make a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. So I actually read about this on Prep in Your Step but am linking back to Mackenzie Horan’s blog because that seems like the first. I really like this idea of a sort of bucket list but in a much more manageable/doable format. Right now I am just compiling my list but I am really excited about it and think it is just what I need right now.

Netflix TV Shows: We just finished watching the third season of Broadchurch yesterday. It is just such a fantastic show with poignant characters and story lines that pull at your heart. Anyways because it is over I will soon be needing a new show to try out. This list gave me some ideas. I think I will start out by trying Cable Girls since it has been recommended by several friends as well.

Hedi Silmane at Céline: Hedi Silmane was announced as Céline’s new creative, crtistic and image director. This will definitely be an interesting one to watch in the fashion world. Hedi Silmane did some great things for Yves Saint Laurent however I did really like Pheobe Philo and her impact on Céline as a brand as well as her philosophy in fashion. The fashion world moves quickly though so change often brings some great things.

Ethical Brand List: I really like to find lists like this because I find that the more ethical brands I am familiar with, the more likely I am to check them regularly and make purchases from them.

Outdoor Voices Leggings: I have see this brand pop up quite a bit in the past few months. They seem to have great reviews for workout wear. I love the pink color for these leggings and if I weren’t on a no spending month I would be very tempted. So so cute and I have heard amazing things about the fit.

Have a great week!

Erin

Life Update No. 1

So I am going to be doing this semi-new series where I kind of do a little bit of reflection on where I am right now and what is coming up in the near future. I think it will really help me stay organized since I will be moving around a lot and it might make things a little less confusing from a reader stand point. Part of the post will be what has been going on for me and the second part will be about any new/favorite products, books, movies, etc… that I have been really into. I do Around the Web posts, but usually those are more focused on articles, videos and news that are fairly current with the occasional item thrown in. I really like making those and will continue to for now but I wanted a place to just mention the current book I am reading and my other new/favorite things.

After returning from Steamboat it got a little crazy with catching up from the break but I was able to fit in some fun adventures and lots of relaxation. I did a photo shoot for a friends company, RockHill Designs, last week which was so fun. It was freezing cold and sunny which made it pretty hard to shoot (especially because it was the spring collection) but it was such a fun experience. My mom and I also headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park to find some snow and do some hiking. It was really dry in Boulder last week so I have been wishing for a winter wonderland. This week I am mostly packing up and finishing some last minute projects/logistics.

On Wednesday I will be flying back to Indiana to finish up the research job I have been working on. I really love the work and the people so I am excited to go back for a bit. It probably won’t be a very long stay, but the goal is to finish up that job and to look for future jobs. I will be going to visit a friend in Philadelphia for a bit, post Indiana.

D8BDE53C-DD55-4CED-8BE6-2FD3D7CFDE2B.jpg

Movie: The Greatest Showman. So I saw this in theaters with my family last week and it was amazing. The music and choreography were both incredible. It wasn’t actually on my radar until the Golden Globes but I am so glad it won, because it inspired me to go see it!

Currently Reading: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. So I am trying out a 2018 reading challenge that I found on Pinterest and this week’s book is a childhood favorite so I, of course, chose Harry Potter. I was trying to read them around Christmas but I ended up having lots of books to finish and then things got super crazy with people in town and vacation.

Hair Product: Batiste dry shampoo. I have a serious hair struggle. My hair is really thin and the ends get dry quickly so it is so hard to keep looking healthy. I have tried lots of different products and I am always looking for new ones. My favorite is the Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum, which is great for dry ends. I have not however found a dry shampoo that I really like and I decided to try Batiste several weeks ago. So far I am really liking it.

Drinking: Celestial Seasonings ‘Almond Sunset‘ tea. This is one of my favorite finds from the past few months. I was doing some Christmas shopping at the Celestial Seasonings factory and I saw this new flavor and had to try it. It is an herbal tea and seriously amazing.

WearingComfy slippers (mine are Ugg). I have been living in comfy clothes for the past few days. The temperature dropped quite a bit and I have had lots of time at home to spend reading, blogging and just hanging out with my family. It has been really nice and I am savoring the moment as I go back to work on Wednesday.

Lipstick: Afterglow lipstick. My mom actually introduced me to this brand since she is super into healthy make-up especially when it is on your lips. I wasn’t really sure how I would like it but it is amazing. It basically goes on like lip balm (which is my ideal lipstick). I have been wearing it so much!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Erin

New Year Goals: 2018

Happy New Year!!! As crazy as it is 2018 is upon us.

I seriously can not believe it is 2018. I don’t know why but it just always seemed so far away. I am not really sure what this year will bring, as I am in such a state of transition, but I know it will be good. I decided that posting my goals for this year would be a great way to work through what I really want to focus on, and it is a great way to hold myself accountable. I am using categories, however the goal itself is within the explanation. Saying I am going to ‘work on my friendships’ is just way too vague for me and I know I wouldn’t really follow through. These are goals that I am really wanting to revisit at the end of 2018.

Fitness: I have kind of let this slip a little over the past few months. I often have periods of two or three months where I am really good about my fitness routine and then life will get in the way. I always feel way healthier and better in many aspects of my life when I am working out regularly, so I am really wanting to prioritize this. It is a goal I feel people often associate with the New Year but I want to make it a little more specific to me. I don’t want to focus on losing weight or running long distances. I am committing myself to moving every single day. It might be a 20 minute, high intensity work out, or an hour long walk, but it needs to be something. A big problem for me seems to be losing momentum. If I miss more than one day it becomes much harder for me to get motivated and find time to work out.

Jobs: I feel like this post is going to be very focused on how much I am in a transitional place in my life. I have been doing some jobs I enjoy lately but I feel like I am drowning in everyone else’s idea of what I should do next and what kind of jobs I should be looking for. I think I need to finish my StrengthsFinder and just try a couple things that I may not have thought about doing before. As much as I do want to find a more permanent job that I really love, that pressure I am putting on myself is really not helping me with the search process. Since I feel like I have to find the perfect job, I can’t really even look since I don’t even have a clear vision on ‘the perfect job.’ I really need to relax in this department and just try some new things that aren’t permanent or perfect.

Travel: A big part in why I should not be getting too permanent with any job is that I have lots of fun travel plans for this year. My sister is graduating from high school and we are planning a big trip for the summer. It is going to be a great opportunity to hang out with her and see some new places. I have been so lucky in that I have travelled a lot. There are so many places, people and cultures that I can still learn so much from. I am excited to spend a chunk of time somewhere else with some fantastic people! I really think that I have so much to learn from the world still so I want to prioritize traveling this year.

Friendship: This is probably the most important goal to be aware of throughout the next year for me. Because I know I will be moving around a lot and in a very transitional place, I can see it being difficult to maintain friendships to the level I want. I want to dedicate some quality time to my close friends. I am already planning a couple trips with people but for some friends it might just be a phone call every other week or a text check in on a regular basis. I always get really frustrated when I am the only one in a friendship reaching out and lately I noticed that I have done this a little bit in the past few months. I really don’t want that to be a habit so my biggest priority as far as friendship goes is to reach out to people. I am going to include my relationship with my boyfriend in this category because the circumstance is going to be pretty similar. It does not look like we will be in the same place for very long in the near future and I know that is going to be hard. I really need to be diligent about my communication and organize my time well.

DSC_0415

May 2018 bring you adventure, health, style and lots of love!

Erin

Favorite Books of 2017

IMG_5298

I can’t believe this year is already coming to an end! It feels like it went by so fast, yet so much has happened. I decided in early December that I wanted to do a post on my favorite books from this year.

I am going to jump right into my favorites. I will say that most of the books I read for fun were in the past six months because in college it was so hard for me to find the time to read for pleasure. I have absolutely loved getting back into that reading swing. Not all of my pick’s were released in 2017, however most were 2016 or 2017 releases.

2e00900e5e0bb371c790241f65fe9fce

A City Baker’s Guide to Country Living: This book seriously blew me away. I knew it would be good but I definitely did not expect to love it as much as I did. They whole baking aspect was so fun and there were lots of great characters with complicated pasts and intriguing personalities. It is tough to chose a favorite from this list but this book and Along the Infinite Sea are probably tied for number one.

8c23c92e5ed5dbde2d39a00640988d5f

Magpie Murders: A modern Agatha Christie. It is a story about an editor and her interaction with a particular murder mystery author. I was surprisingly intrigued from the very beginning despite how long it took to introduce all the characters and their stories. It is a book within a book that is filled to the brim with mystery. This is the kind of book that holds my attention through the entire thing.

60071ada420b57e36df36ddecef122d3

Ready Player One: I definitely had a harder time relating to this story but I am a lover of dystopian fiction and this one made me think about things a little differently. I suppose that is why I love dystopian fiction. Most books I read in the genre seriously make me look at things in a different light. Some aspect of humanity gets turned on its side and dissected. I just found out that the movie is coming out next year and I am pretty bummed out. I saw the trailer and the characters just weren’t what I pictured and the whole thing is portrayed so much darker than I had imagined (literally darker).

e65816e2084c952f33b104572ad04d76

Along the Infinite Sea: I was worried that that era of war and tragedy would be glorified and made to sound almost idyllic. However the portrayal of the war itself and Nazi terror was terrifying and brought the book back to the reality of those times. Despite the historical context this novel depicts the great love stories of several people trying to find their places in a complicated and conflicted world. It is truly an amazing novel with fantastical characters.

8bab4b8002fe7eaa80c2399fa86a3be8

Party Girls Die in Pearls: This mystery is a Plum Sykes novel and I am obsessed. Its all about the adventures of two Oxford girls and a murder. It was such a quick read for me and the characters really enticed me. As goes with most murder mysteries there are lost of unexpected twists thrown in there.

1cd1d4957007e895d5d1f7d86dc08f13

Classic Style by Kate Schelter: These is the best non-fiction read if this year for me. I related to so much of it way more than I expected and just loved her take on life and style. Her illustrations are also so on point. I actually read this during the summer and it was the perfect time. I had the time and energy to really focus on the content and think about how my own life and views relate.

I would love to hear what some of your favorite reads have been this year. I am all for recommendations and am going to start including some more book related posts next year. A big part of that will be a bran new monthly series that will break down a book I read that month. I couldn’t be more excited! I also wanted to include a short list of books that have been either highly recommended or that I am very excited about but didn’t get a chance to read this year.

Turtles All the Way Down (John Green)

Milk and Honey (Rupi Kaur)

The Bookshop on the Corner (Jenny Colgan)

Happy reading!

Erin