Favorite Purchases of 2019

Okay this is a kind of late post looking back at my favorite/most used purchases of 2019. This is also just generally my most worn/used items of last year. I am not including book purchases in this list since I did a favorite reads of 2019 post a few weeks ago (I had to mention this since my actual favorite purchases of the year were probably some of the books I read). Enjoy!

Levi’s wedgie icon jeans: I am not a big jeans person but I picked this up last spring and they have been my go to all year. They button up (I know some people don’t love that) and are relatively high waisted. I have just found them very versatile and easy to dress up or down.

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Black ponte pants: These have quickly become my go-to pants for a dressier work look. They are as comfortable as leggings but look classy and flattering. I would wear them almost every day while teaching last semester. I was on the fence about purchasing them since they were pricier but they were marked down in the Nordstrom sale so I went for it. I would 100% buy them at full price just knowing how much I wear them!

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Madewell crossbody tote: This might be my most used purchase of the year. I got it at the end of summer and it is just the perfect size (it can hold a book!) and it looks great with everything. I have the crossbody tote in Maple Syrup (it seems like that exact one is sold out).

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Reformation cropped wrap top: This is going to be my kind of random pick from the year. I did wear it a ton but I know it is not quite as versatile as the others. It is super comfortable and very flattering! I will also say that I just love Reformation in general since they prioritize sustainability and have great quality clothing. It can be on the pricier side but if I really love something it is worth supporting a sustainable company.

 

White Everlane sweater: Everlane is another sustainable brand that I have been loving for the past several years. My favorite purchase from them so far has been this crew neck sweater. A good white sweater is a closet essential and this one is perfect for any occasion! It looks great and is very comfortable. I wore it a lot tuck into jeans or a skirt.

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Align leggings and joggers: I actually got my first pair of align leggings in December of 2018 but I got two more pairs this year (one for Christmas 2019) and have worn them several times a week for pretty much all of 2019. I also bought the align jogger in December and have worn them every week since. Both the leggings and joggers are so flattering and by far the most comfortable pants I have ever owned.

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Girlfriend Collective sports bra: This is one that I would recommend to everyone. I wear mine all the time… to yoga or just out and about. It is very comfortable, flattering and can pass as a crop top if you are into that for workouts. It is hands down my favorite sports bra I own!

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Now for some non-clothing items:

Drunk Elephant: I, surprisingly, prioritized finding some skin care products that I really like and that work for me. One of my best friends from home recommended the Drunk Elephant littles so I decided to give it a try. They are amazing and have worked wonders for my skin! I used just about every product and my skin care routine still feels simple and doable every day. They are also clean and make all products in the US.

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Karen Walker sunglasses: This is by far my splurge item of the year. It was probably not smart but I love them so much and do not regret it at all! For me this was a big purchase because I have been wanting these for years and they are expensive so I always just felt like I couldn’t swing that money on sunglasses. I went for it during a Shopbop sale to lessen the blow a little and am glad I did. They really are amazing quality and I think they will last way longer than any other pair of sunglasses I have owned.

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Cuisinart knives: Our roommate moved out so we ended up needing to get a couple of things for the house and one of those things was a set of knives. I did a little research but am not a chief so went for something with good reviews and that I thought would look good in our kitchen. So far these have been amazing, especially for the price!

Kindle paperwhite: I am always been a print book person. I just like having the book in my hands and I think it is way easier on my eyes. In 2019 I really got into audiobooks and I got a kindle! I still prefer print books but the kindle has been a game changer for a variety of reasons. First, I love having lots of reading options and the kindle allows that no matter where you are. It is also super light and easy to fit into a smaller purse. This one is also waterproof which has made reading at the beach so easy!

Thanks for reading. I’d love also to here what some of your favorite purchases of the year were!

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

2020 Goals

Before I really get into this years goals I do want to revisit last year. Many of my goals are based on how I did with my 2019 goals so context is important. Last year I put my goals into the following categories: fitness, personal, relationships, nutrition, blog and reading. You can read my post from 2019 for all the details. I pretty much nailed my nutrition and reading goals. I wanted to make lots of smoothies and start eating less meat. I ended up going completely vegetarian at the beginning of May and I had fun making lots of smoothies (although it has been a while now!). I feel good about that and I think it was successful in part because I had very specific aims. For reading I wanted to read 52 books. I did achieve that goal although I had wanted to be reading one book per week and I don’t feel like I really did that. Some weeks were really great and others I did not read at all. I also feel like I did pretty well with my goal for my blog which was to figure out what my goal really is and make sure it is an enjoyable thing for me to be doing. I also wanted to post three times a week which I did not do consistently but I feel pretty good because I took a couple months off, blogged everyday for a month and figured out what I really want to be writing about.

My personal goal was not super specific which is why I think I struggled. I do think I am in a better place and am really enjoying my home life. There were some big changes liking Aiden moving out and getting Hazel (our dog) that were all so positive! For my relationship goal I really think I could have done better. I still don’t feel like I prioritized relationships and I did not send letters like I wanted. And then there is my fitness goal… I also feel like I really could have done better with this. I did pretty well last spring but once I started traveling I pretty much stopped working out for a few months. I do think I walked almost everyday but I don’t feel like 2019 was very fulfilling for me on the fitness side of things. Overall I do feel good about what I have accomplished and am excited for a new year!

Just to preface a little I am trying to make my goals as specific as possible because I am better at achieving them when I know exactly what it is I need to do. I also am not necessarily doing the same categories but I do want to improve on the ones I struggled with last year.

Cooking: While I do think I eat pretty well I have not made cooking a priority. I want to learn how to make good meals and make more of an effort especially during the week. Specifically I want to make at least 30 different dishes and for breakfast, lunch and dinner have five solid meals that I could make with no recipe.

Writing: This is another new goal for me. I really love writing but do not prioritize it at all. This year I want to spend time every week writing both for fun and for work (separately). I would include my blog on the fun side of this but I also enjoy writing stories. My goal is to have written two short stories that I am proud of, and to have 150 pages of ‘fun’ writing done. I also want to spend at least an hour per week writing for grad school.

Personal: Since this has been a hard one I want to give myself three things that I am going to focus on for the year. I want to meditate six-seven days a week. It always helps me feel better and I want to make it a part of my routine. I also want to write in my five minute journal every day. I have been very sporadic about it but it also helps me remember who I am and what I want to be doing every day. The final goals is to see a therapist a couple of times. I think seeing a therapist can be so good for everyone! There is nothing wrong with it and I have not been while in grad school so I am feeling the need to go again.

Relationships: This was another goal from last year that I don’t feel like I achieved. Specifically I want to say yes to social events more. Specifically once per week. I sometimes get so caught up in work and other projects that the social aspect of life falls to the wayside. The other thing I want to do is be better about keeping up with friends and family who are not here. I want to call my parents and siblings once a week. I also want to call a friend at least once a week. The other goal I have is to visit at least one friend who lives outside of Utah/Colorado.

Exercise: I mentioned I had a fitness goal last year and felt like I did progressively worse throughout the year. I am going to make it a little more manageable. I want to get outside six days a week (for at least 30 mins!). I also want to go to three classes per week when I am in town. For another specific goal I want to complete a 30 days of Yoga with Adriene every season (so four total). I terms of keeping myself accountable I am going to try to plan out my workout schedule for the week on Sunday so I know exactly what I am going to be doing.

Grad School: So I do have separate goals for work/school that are very specific so I don’t usually include them here. I wanted to this year since I am going to take my comprehensive exams in August. I want to spend several hours per week, starting in March, preparing.

I would love to hear what you all do to stick to your goals every year! I am going to try to post updates on my progress every season in order to keep myself on track.

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I hope you are having a good start to the new year!

Erin

December Books

December was a slow but good month for reading. I always think vacation is going to be a great time for reading but I end up handing out with family and friends and not reading as much.

Where the Crawdads Sing (5/5 Stars): One of my last reads of the year ended up being one of the best. I just can’t even explain how moving this novel is. It seemed really hyped up to me and for some reason I never was really excited to read it but I ended up getting it as an audiobook for our car ride to Savannah. I was totally hooked from the beginning. I am not sure why but the story of this girl who is abandoned by her family and her relationship is just so interesting and wonderfully written. She just has this relationship with the marsh she lives in that is beautiful. There is also a story that has to do with Kaya’s relationship with people after being abandoned by her family.

Red, White and Royal Blue (4/5 stars): I have so many thoughts about this one. It is the story of the first son of the United States and the royal prince of England. They have a very interesting relationship that weaves together politics, romance, acceptance and family. I thought it would be a fluffy romance, which it kind of is, but there are some aspect of it that made me think and that made me so sad and happy. It is basically an alternate reality post Obama and brings in the press and the public and how all perceive public figures (and what is expected of them).

The Nickel Boys (4.5/5 stars): This is a great read but also quite heartbreaking. The only reason I am not giving this one 5 stars is that because I listened to it on audiobook I feel like I did not pay 100% attention all the time and I think I missed some things. I know that is on me and not the book but I just can’t give it five starts when I feel like some things were missing. One of my goals is to reread it in 2020.

What are some great books you have read lately?

Erin

Florida Outfit Round-Up

Today I am rounding up my outfits from our trip to Florida. As a part of the new year I am going to try sharing my outfits, especially for trips, in a more cohesive way. I used to do monthly favorite outfits but stopped that. I really enjoy sharing outfits though so I want to try this way! This is partly inspired my Grace Atwood’s style of sharing her outfits. I am going to be doing a Captiva travel diary so this is really just what I wore. I will say there were a couple of outfits that I did not get photos of so I did not include those.

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Walking the beach: shirt Tommy Bahama, shorts AGOLDE, bag Faithful the Brand, sunglasses Karen Walker
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Pool day: dress Amazon, bag Faithful the Brand, sunglasses Quay, shoes Birkenstock (this dress is so comfy so I worn this outfit multiple times)
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Beach day: dress Free People, bag Faithful the Brand, sunglasses Karen Walker
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Casual Captiva evening: pants old H&M (similar), sweatshirt KJP, bag Faithful the Brand, shoes Birkenstock, sunglasses Quay
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Travel day: jeans Levi’s, top Madewell, bag old Kate Spade (similar), sneakers Adidas, sunglasses Quay
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Post rain storm South Seas Island Resort: jeans Madewell, cardigan Leith, tank BP, sunglasses Quay, bag Faithful the Brand, shoes Birkenstock
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Universal Studios: jeans Madewell, sunglasses Quay, jacket Levi’s (such a good price), sneakers Adidas, bag old Kate Spade (similar)

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your 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

Holiday Outfit Inspiration

Merry Christmas! I can’t believe it is already that time of year. Where has December gone? I wanted to get this post up before Christmas since my life is going to get even crazier starting tomorrow (if that is possible). I really love dressing up so I wanted to do a holiday outfit inspiration post. These are the five outfits that I have been wearing for the past week and that I will continue to wear at least through New Year’s. I love plaid but did not feature it too much since I usually wear the most plaid leading up to Christmas. I did want to give you all some ideas for ringing in 2020.

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I feel like dark green and blackwatch plaid carry through January since they are a little more muted! Blackwatch skirt old Pendleton (similar), blazer similar (another option that is on sale), headband Nordstrom Rack (I could not find the exact color online but they might still have it in store, I was there over the weekend and they still had lots of them), heels Nordstrom (on super sale!).

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I did have to include at least one other plaid in here. I wasn’t very sure about this skirt in the beginning but I love it! Plaid skirt J. Crew Factory, t-shirt Everlane (I actually planned to wear a black turtleneck with this but somehow it did not make it into my bag), heels Nordstrom.

A0EB8E59-FE58-47C7-BCF9-F1DCE4C1B2F61E32FF9D-EC6D-4090-B7CF-B3808EBC5346 I had to include this Gal Meets Glam dress (similar from the most recent collection) since it is so perfect for New Years! I also just think Gal Meets Glam has great dressier options (here is another great one). Jacket is Mark and Graham and shoes are Nordstrom.

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I think this is my favorite outfit of them all! It is also not very holiday specific so it could work through spring. Blouse is topshop, shoes are Sam Edelman, earrings are J. Crew Factory, bag is Kate Spade (similar color), sunglasses Karen Walker and I actually borrowed the pants from my sister but originally planned on wearing black leggings or a skirt with this.

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Okay my last outfit just has to be this plaid KJP dress (their cable knit dresses would be great for the rest of winter). It is so comfortable and perfect for this time of year. I paired it with some KJP socks and Bean boots but I also wore it at Thanksgiving with tights and riding boots.

Have a wonderful holiday!

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