I am trying to spend money as little as possible right now because I am in graduate school and on a very tight budget, however I have made a few purchases this year that I am very excited about and have been wearing on repeat. Here are my favorite items of clothing that I purchased in 2018. I am not including any accessories but am including one pair of shoes that I absolutely love.
Patagonia hoodie: This is hands down my favorite item from 2018. I wear it everywhere! It is so comfortable and the quality is amazing. I also love supporting Patagonia because they have an amazing mission and story!
Leather hooded jacket: This is probably my second favorite purchase from the whole year. It is so comfortable and easy to pair with just about anything (I wore it in my Living in Utah post for an outfit idea). I have never owned a leather jacket and was not sure how I felt about them but this one is absolutely perfect. The gold hardware and hood really drew me in!
Houndstooth skirt: This has been a very popular item with a lot of bloggers and I could not resist those perfect fall colors. I love how people had been styling it and was so pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and flattering it is!
Leopard booties: This were more of a fall thing since it is pretty snowy in Utah right not so I have been sticking to snow boots. But these from Sezane were they perfect way to bring that leopard trend to a classic I wear all the time (heeled booties).
Wunder leggings: I actually ended up getting two pairs one black and one grey and they are so amazing for everyday wear. My black ones are also great for yoga and lighter work outs.
Zella joggers: I got some grey Zella joggers at the Nordstrom sale this year and they have become my go to for loungewear/sweatpants. I will also go ahead and give a shout out to Zella leggings because they are just as good as some Lululemon pairs and way cheaper.
Cashmere white pearl sweater: White sweaters are great because they can be worn pretty much year round. This one is so soft and was definitely a splurge but worth it. I am also a big fan of this Free People sweater, I wore it basically all August and September!
The past four months have been an intense introduction to graduate school, not to mention the fact that I moved to an entirely new state. I chose my graduate program for my lab/advisor (I might talk about this more in a later post) however the location is definitely a bonus! I am a mountain girl through and through and am thrilled to be back in the rockies. Talk about 360 mountain views!
Here are my five favorite things about living in Utah:
Mountains galore. I can’t even explain how beautiful it is! The valley I live in is surrounded my mountains and I love it. There are such amazing hiking trails and plenty of rock climbing.
Salt Lake City. I don’t actually live in Salt Lake but I have gone a couple times and I really like it. There is so much good music, food and drink! I am actually going down there tomorrow with some friends to go to the German Christmas Market.
The location. This sounds kind of strange but I really love being back in the west. I was born and raised in Colorado and I am so psyched to be back in the area. It is way closer to family which is nice as well. There are also so many great national parks and ski areas!
Skiing. Speaking of ski areas! I haven’t skied yet but I have heard great things about the skiing here and am beyond excited.
The people. Everyone has been so nice and I am loving all the outdoor vibes. Moving is so tough especially when you don’t really know anyone so having good people around has been so helpful.
I also quick wanted to mention that Utah is incredible and so is graduate school but it has been so busy so I am hoping to get on a more regular posting schedule soon!
This is most definitely a very different post than any other I have done, however this part of me is so important that I decided I want to include more of it in my travel posts. Some may not take me for the type of person to pack up the essentials, throw it on my back and head into the great wilderness. The outdoorsy side of me is a major part of who I am and it is why I grew and changed in the ways I did. I think it is so important to have something that let’s you forget about our society for a brief period of time. Here I will share why I love to backpack so much:
It allows me to clear my mind and free myself from consumerism for a bit: Don’t get me wrong I love to shop, the hunt for my favorite items of clothing and decor is way I do love to spend my time. However, I think it is important to find that place, activity etc… where everything else goes out the window and you can truly be yourself. No one judges and no one is watching. It is my way of unplugging from all of the noise for a bit in order to re-organize my thoughts and stay in touch with myself. So after my first backpacking trip 7 years ago I realized how free I feel when I am out there just with a few friends wandering the mountains. I have everything I need with me so all I have to worry about is slowly making my way to the final destination.
I gain lots of perspective: A part of what I gain on each and every backpacking trip is perspective on so many different aspects of life. Most of all though is perspective on myself relative to the rest of the world, how small I am in such a great world, how small humans are. There are so many other living things in the world and it does me lots of good to be reminded of how we as humans are not the only ones. It also reminds me to be grateful for everything I have. The wilderness can be a very humbling place as you can surround yourself with the sublimity of nature.
It is a relatively cheap way to travel: So there is a lot of gear involved in planning and implementing a large scale backpacking trip but there are lots of ways to do it on the cheap. Also, once you do have gear it is a very cheap way to travel. Over the years I have collected various pieces of backpacking equipment however there are ways to find things or rent for cheaper. Many colleges and universities have rental systems. Definitely not all places but those that have outdoor programs are sure to have a center which will rent to students and employees. Many also rent to community members. This is a great option if you have never been before and are not sure you will like it. Make sure, however, that you learn how to use equipment prior to going into the field. The Sierra Trading Post is a great place to find deals on gear as well as the REI garage sales. Clothing items (quick dry, fleece etc.) are things that can fairly easily be found in thrift stores. I may do a longer post on this in the future but in summary backpacking can be a great way to travel and see beautiful places without breaking the bank.
There is so much time to really get to know people: Backpacking trips have been the best way to truly get to know a person. There is so much time and space to talk and there is nothing to hide behind. I have made some of my best friends in having experiences like this, it really takes a friendship to an entirely new level. Going by yourself can be rewarding as well but I love backpacking with other people. It brings another aspect to the experiences and you can learn so much about the people you are with.
Wonder Woman has really hit it big with this movie! I am going to see it this week and I am absolutely ecstatic because all I have heard are good things. This review sums up the impact pretty well, highlighting just how incredible it is to have such a strong female super hero as a role model. Also, Wonder Woman’s theme song is such a powerful song that is sure to amp you up for any game, workout etc…
Jupiter fly by, this footage is beautiful. It is a compiled video of all the shots taken of Jupiter during spacecraft, Juno’s fly by of the planet. The footage is definitely out of this world. Although this is not really related at all this storm footage compilation is stunning and kind of mesmerizing.
The Antarctic Series is an amazing virtual reality created to show people a more personal look at what some of the harshest environments on the planet are like and to raise awareness of climate change. It is amazing! You can see penguins waddling around, what its like at the research station there, underwater ice caves and much more. I was so surprised at how incredible and interactive it is.
TerraCycle is a website/program that allows you to recycle almost anything. It is a great step in personally reducing your carbon footprint especially if your area does not have a recycling system or if you do not know where to take special items. Basically it allows you to recycle almost anything. It can be kind of expensive but the do partner with some brands to make those items free to recycle. I definitely recommend checking out their website.
Alex Honnold making climbing history. This may not sound very important but what he did was an incredible feat. He free soloed El Capitan in Yosemite which is one of the most iconic but difficult climbs in the world. He scaled a 3,000 foot rock wall with no ropes or assistance in under four hours.
Happy Memorial Day! It is definitely the holiday that marks the beginning of summer. It is a tradition in Boulder to go to the big Creek Festival during memorial day weekend and run the 10k through our city. This year I am not running due to an injury but I definitely will be hanging out with friends at the festival. For some reason this weekend has always marked the beginning of summer, probably because school has just ended and warm weather has finally set in. Barbecue season has begun and the reds, whites and blues are in true high style.
Blouse American Eagle (on sale!), jeans Just Black, shoes Target
Here is my list of things to do this summer:
- Hit the beach: Yes I feel like I somewhat already accomplished this in the Bahamas but I do love going to the beach so much and I am hoping to go once more before the summer is over.
- Road trip: For some reason this has become a summer staple for me! Last year Aiden and I drove around Colorado, exploring my favorite places and parks and this year we are doing a girls trip to New Mexico to enjoy some pool side sun bathing and gorgeous views. There are an endless number of road trips all over the US and they are so great because you can truly tailor your trip to what you really want to be doing.
- See friends and family: Although I will be working for part of the summer, this is the first chunk of time I have had at home for several years and I am super excited to catch up with old friends and see family.
- Go sailing: Although Colorado is not the most nautical place I grew up sailing on the east coast and have a love for it even though I am very landlocked. This year the best chance I have will be on the Boulder Reservoir in a sunfish but that will have to suffice. We also have ample opportunity for paddle boarding and swimming.
- Hike a mountain: Getting outside always makes me feel better about myself. It is just incredibly freeing, no matter how high the mountain or how low the valley. It is also a great activity to do with friends because it gives so much time to really talk without the distractions of the outside world.
I am sure there are many more but these are my top goals for the summer! I am very excited for all this time in the sunshine after a grey Indiana winter.
Baby hippo taking a shower: This video is so cute! A friend showed it to be the other day and I just can’t get enough. The way she wiggles her ears is just adorable.
The Boring Company: This is basically a video of the owner of Tesla’s vision on how to minimize LA traffic. It is pretty cool and kind of futuristic (who knows though how far in the future!).
The Faces of Paris Fashion Week: Damien Florébert Cuypers’ sketches of Paris Fashion week are an inspiration for me this week!
The Travel Hack: This blog has existed for a long time however I was reading some of their posts this week and it just really inspired me to write more about my own travel adventures. I highly recommend checking them out!
Echo Look: I actually found out about Echo Look on The College Prepster and my mind was blown. It really reminds me of Clueless. Its Amazon’s new styling tool and it is incredible! I am really curious to see how it works in practice.
Here are my favorite finds from around the internet this week. They are pretty random but all of them really made me either smile, think or both. Enjoy!
A Tribute to Carrie Fisher: She seems like such a fun person. This video wonderfully captures her persona, highlighting her humorous side. It brought much joy to my day!
Instagram Dad (FOD): This dad and his kids are so cute! All of Instagram posts are hilarious pictures of him, his wife and four daughters. I really love how his portrayal of life feels so real with lots of joy and lots of struggle.
Edible Water Bottles: This is so cool! Basically it is water encased in a tasteless seaweed extract membrane to reduce plastic waste. I am not sure how I feel about eating one but I would definitely try it out! Also, supposedly they are even cheaper than producing plastic water bottles so it seems like it could be a really awesome way to reduce waste.
Woodpecker Hitches Ride Through Chicago: This is such a cute video of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hitching a ride through the city on some guys car. The driver’s commentary just makes it so much greater as well!
Cute Goats: Goats just make my day so much brighter. They are funny and adorable, so I hope this brings you as much joy as it did to me!