2018 in Pictures

I am a little later than I had hoped for this, but I wanted to do the same thing as last year and review 2018 in photos (here is the link to 2017’s year in pictures). I think this is such a fun way to look back on the year and remember all that has happened. I will sat that 2018 was filled with more challenges than 2017 but there were also some major life changes and fun adventures. I hope to do a bigger reflection post on this in the future but for now, here was my year in pictures:

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I am so thankful for all the opportunities I had in 2018 and for all the people who have been in my life (and who I met!). I look forward to continuing to grow and challenge myself in 2019.

Happy 2019!

Erin

Favorite Books of 2018

I will readily admit that I fell short on my reading goal for 2018. I had hoped to read around a book a week (my number goal was 30 total). That worked pretty well through June and then things got crazy with lots of travel and graduate school. Since September I have only read three books. So throughout the whole year I read a total of 24 books (five of which were re-reads) and chose to include eight of those in this list of the best books I have read in 2018.

Educated by Tara Westover: Such a fantastic and inspiring memoir of a woman who grew up in a very religious family in rural Idaho. I listened to this as an audiobook and was thoroughly captivated the entire time. Tara’s story is heartbreaking, uplifting and inspiring all at the same time. It brought on so many emotions for me (it even brought me to tears at one point).

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrass Tyson: This is a short book that gives a great overview of general astrophysics concepts. It is so easy to read (especially if you have to background in physics) and incredibly interesting. I am so glad I picked it up because I feel like I learned a ton and didn’t have to work super hard to understand things.

Reason for Hope by Jane Goodall: I had no idea that this one would be more than just her life with the gorillas. It is so inspiring and uplifting (read my March Book Round Up for more on this one). I highly recommend it.

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez: This one took be quite some time and focus to get into but the story is so very beautiful. My friend has told me its her favorite book several times so I finally got around to reading it. I seriously loved it and it will probably be one of my favorites as well!

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: In all honestly I am mostly remembering the show for this one since I read it so early on in 2018. I do remembering really liking the book though. Liane Moriarty’s style of writing was refreshing for me and the characters were so intriguing. I will say that I did not like Madly Truly Guilty nearly as much.

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: I did an entire book review on this one so I won’t go to into detail. This story did a great job of reminding me to appreciate and understand where I come from and to change my outlook on the future by accepting that I can’t control everything.

Circe by Madeline Miller: This story of Circe (the Greek goddess) was a recommendation from Bad on Paper Podcast and I am so glad they chose it. The tragic and beautiful story of a underdog goddess, looked down upon by many, is told in full. I think this is my favorite fiction read of the whole year!

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green: This is the most recent book I read and I really enjoyed it. I have been excited for Hank Green’s book for a while and for me it lived up to that hype. I don’t want to give anything away so I will only say that it is about this girl, April May, and her journey to fame through her discovery of a stature in New York City (yes that sounds vague but just read it!). I will say that it took me a while to get through. I am not sure if thats because I’ve just been busy or because I took a while for me to really get into.

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear what your favorite books from 2018 were. I am always looking for new things to read! Happy reading!

Erin

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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

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.

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

Erin