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

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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Life Update

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.

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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