A Week in New Hampshire

In August I spent a week with my boyfriend’s family exploring the white mountains. I have been to New Hampshire before but never for very long. My dad’s family used to have a house there and my parents were married at Bretton Woods! There is so much to explore and I am already dreaming of going back around this time of year (fall) because I can just imagine how gorgeous the leaves are.

Exploring

I flew into Portland, ME so we spent the evening eating lobster and walking around Portland. We drove back to New Hampshire and spent the rest of the week exploring the area. I think my highlight was the Kancamangus Highway which goes through the white mountains. The views are so beautiful! There are also some hikes in this area and several historical sites. We also visited the Basin which I also highly recommend. It is a river that has carved away the rock in an incredible way. It is also not far off the highway although we did end up hiking the trail above it which is very pretty as well! We spent one of our days exploring the country roads and visiting the Frost Place. I highly enjoy Robert Frost’s poetry and seeing a place of his inspiration was very interesting. It is just so beautiful!

Eating

We had a fantastic time exploring the restaurants. My favorite was probably the Schilling Beer Co. in Littleton. Seriously the pizza is amazing and I highly recommend sitting out on the deck because the view across the river is incredible. There is also a covered walking bridge right next door and some great artesian shops close by. The Covered Bridge Farm Table in Campton is a great option for a delicious but affordable dinner. The shrimp tacos were amazing and I recommend the Ahi Tuna as well! There is also a covered bridge right next to it. Lincoln is a fun town to explore and One Love Brewery has a easy pub menu with a decent lobster roll. My favorite brunch spot was Old Main in Plymouth. The thrift shops near by are also fun to explore. I also highly recommend visiting the many farm stands for delicious fresh produce!

Staying

My boyfriend’s family rented two different houses both of which were in beautiful locations. The first was right next to a farm with some trails through the forest in the back. I spent most of my time at the second house which was up on a hill right next to the Campton Mountain ski lift. The view was amazing! Both were affordable so if you have more than two people I definitely recommend renting a house!

 

Erin

Life Update

Wow I have no idea where to even start with this post! Life has not stopped being crazy which has been incredible in many ways but also overwhelming. There have been a ton of amazing opportunities and adventures but I have had almost no time to process anything! Here is my best crack at an update on my life lately:

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Grad School

In August I started my first year of graduate school at Utah State University and I have been so so busy. I enjoy being busy and I think having more to do helps me be more productive but right now it is so tough to get everything done. I am teaching a class, doing research and taking my own classes, on top of moving to a brand new place and trying to figure out my life here. I barely have had time to think which is kind of crazy! The biggest thing I have come to realize is how much time professors spend on single classes. At least three days out of my week have been fully dedicated to preparing for and teaching a class that meets once a week (although we do have three sections). I spend one day focusing on my own research which comprises mostly of reading lots of scientific papers right now. The rest of my days in the week are spent in classes, doing homework and helping around our lab. I have had fairly little time for myself and do not feel like I have been utilizing that time all that well. Also if you don’t know I am starting my PhD in biology!

Summer

I am not even sure where to start with the past few months. So much has happened. My sister and I got back from Europe at the end of July, just in time for the wedding of a family friend (which was very beautiful). My mom and I left the next day to move a bunch of my stuff out to Utah. I had a few meetings with my lab but the trip was mostly filling out paperwork, moving in and getting some things set up. We only stayed three days before driving back to Boulder so I could pick up my friend who came to visit. I absolutely loved having her visit! We hiked every single day, visited the national park and did a short backpacking trip (which I did do a post about). She visited for about a week and then I left for New England because my boyfriend’s family was on vacation. I will do a post on this trip in the coming weeks because it was so beautiful and such a great place to visit (we were mostly in New Hampshire)! I flew home a week later and had one day to get any last minute things, pack the car head out to Utah.

As a side note, I was driving by myself for eight hours so I listened to the book Educated by Tara Westover and I highly recommend it! I spent my first week in Utah doing lots of safety related trainings and getting things in order. Classes started the second week and that Friday I left for Bahamas for 10 days of field work in the Exumas. My trip to the Bahamas was pretty crazy as well! I got sick (for two whole days!), visited pigs, went snorkeling and collected tons of data. I also met some great people and had lots of productive conversations about research!

Fall Outdoor Adventures

I having been really trying to get outside for a little bit every day and do something a little bigger once a week. This has definitely been way harder than I expected! Last weekend though I went camping up in the canyon with some friends which was so fun and very needed. The leaves were bright yellow and the air was cool and crisp. I have had fall camping on my seasonal goals for the past few years and it finally happened! A friend and I also went to the harvest festival to get pumpkins which as so fun and really put me in the mood for fall.

Apple picking has also given me some hard core fall feels. The house I am renting has two beautiful apple trees so I have been trying to bake when I can and freeze as many more as I can. I made an apple pie for our camping trip and am now psyched to get creative with some other apple recipes (we seriously have so many apples)!

Meditating

One of the best things for me lately has been meditating. I took a hiatus for a while and am so so glad to be back at it. I went ahead and bought the student yearly plan on Headspace and it is so worth it. It has been about a week since I started and I am feeling so much better already! Taking a few minutes every morning really helps clear my head and puts me in a better place to start the day.

Reading

One last update! While I definitely have not had as much time for reading, I did finish Circe while in the Bahamas and loved it. If you at all like greek mythology you will love it. The whole thing is about Circe (commonly known for her role in The Odyssey) and her struggles as the not so beloved daughter of Helios. Right now I am listening to In a Dark Dark Wood on Overdrive and I am hooked. If you haven’t heard of Overdrive it is a great way to get audiobooks on loan from your local library!

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Have a great weekend!

Erin

Fall Feels

Autumn is here once again and I couldn’t be more excited about the change in weather. I love love love the cool crisp days and the winds that require warm drinks and thick layers. I love every season but fall is definitely my favorite. The colors are beautiful, the food is fantastic (gotta love anything pumpkin) and I love the holiday season. I am changing up the format of my seasonal goals posts to more of a ‘fall favorites’ type list. I would consider the start of fall to be right around now… I can feel it in cool mornings and the leaves are starting to change!

Crunchy leaves
Pumpkins
Apple picking
Shades of orange
Bean Boots
Halloween
Bonfires
Plaids
Cups of tea
Sweaters
Hiking in the clear cool air
Burgundy
Spooky movies
Long walks

 

Also, check out my 10 Halloween Movies for some more fall/Halloween inspiration. Cozying up with a good book or movie is another great way to get excited for this time of year.

Erin

Life is Crazy!

This whole summer has been crazy. So much travel, adventure and big life changes. I am actually leaving for the Bahamas tonight for my last big trip of the season. It is entirely for field research but should be fun! So overall life has just been super hectic lately. I am going to do a more detailed post when I get back however I just wanted to pop in and say hello… I have been very MIA lately. Some highlights have been my big Europe trip in July, backpacking adventures and a trip to New Hampshire in August as well as starting grad school! I actually just finished my first full week of classes and it was crazy. It has only been a little over a year since undergrad but I forgot how much time classes take. They are great so far though and I am really looking forward to the semester. I will also do some more detailed posts on grad school in the coming months. For now I am going to sign off because my flight leaves in three hours!

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Love,

Erin

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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