Week in My Life: No. 2

Sunday and Monday were work at home days. I am in the middle of some big projects so I really needed some time to focus and get some things finished. I love being in the lab but it can be very distracting and I always end up doing a bunch of other things. I was also able to spend time planning out blog posts and brainstorming for the holiday months.

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Taking a break from work to watch some Friends.

Tuesday’s are always busy with teaching and this one was no different. I will say despite arriving at 8:00am and not leaving until almost 6:00pm I did enjoy talking with all of my students. Aiden and I also went to Morty’s for lunch which was a great break in a busy day and they have some gorgeous views. They also have one of the most delicious veggie breakfast burritos! We also picked a ton of apples since our trees are loaded right now and the apples taste delicious.

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We have two apple trees in our backyard and they are so full of apples right now. I have been make lots of crips/crumbles and eating lots of apples. They are at their prime right now!

Wednesday and Thursday were just busy work days. Since I am leaving for Vermont next week I am trying to get a lot done before I go. I did go to the SACNAS social and  went to my professor’s presentation. We also started house sitting on Wednesday… hence the cat Instagram stories. Her cats are so cuddle and adorable and I am loving it. I stayed up way too late working on Thursday night yet the craziness was just beginning. I went to yoga in the morning with a friend who is in town for the weekend (from Seattle). I then worked until 12:30pm before heading down to Salt Lake City to pick up a friend who is visiting from Austin. We got coffee at this cute little place called Blue Copper Coffee Room. Then we made a Target and Trader Joe’s run before heading back to Logan. The leaves are changing color in Sardine Canyon and it is so beautiful! Our roommate is moving to Oregon so we stopped at her cookie farewell party before calling it a day.

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One of the cats joined our game of Forbidden Island on Friday night.

It rained almost all Saturday (and it is continuing today and Monday). Since my friend is visiting we still wanting to show her around a bit so we went to the farmer’s market (yes it was still open despite the rain and cold). We got coffees and berries and then headed to Lucky Slice for a pizza lunch (great vegan pizza if you are ever in the area). It was so nice to spend the afternoon under warm blankets. We just read, napped and watched the rain/hail. To end the day we made a bread run and cooked  some delicious food.

A few interesting articles:

NY Times Article How To Buy Clothes That Are Built To Last. Such a great article on skipping fast fashion and buying quality clothing.

A great article on climate change and sea level rise. Definitely worth a read right now.

Vox article on Reese’s Bookclub. A reader suggested this article and it is a great look at the power of celebrity book clubs (particularly Reese’s). I highly recommend this article, especially if you follow her book club. It gives insight into how books are chosen and to how integral books are to Reese Witherspoon’s brand.

Mattel’s gender neutral dolls. I am so an board with this! It is such a great way to teach kids that is ok to be yourself (whoever that may be) and to accept others for who they are.

Bookbub article on Three Women. Bookbub featured my favorite book of the year, Three Women, in article! Read it, it is so so good!

A video on Kate Middleton as a royal. I have never been that into the current British monarchy, aside for Kate and Megan’s outfits because they are always amazing, but I clicked on this video and was definitely intrigued by their influence and presence.

Ambient Worlds Youtube channel. This channel has amazing playlists for background music. They have lots of Harry Potter so of course I was into it.

Instagram: @chloeiscrazy is hilarious and I definitely went down a bit of a rabbit hole watching her posts.

Clothing obsession: Mark and Graham sweater coat. I posted about it in my Favorite Fall Outerwear post and have worn it four out of the five weekdays this week. Also I do want to say that I actually bought this on Poshmark a few weeks ago (first Poshmark purchase!).

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This was the coat repeat offender this week. It was the perfect weight for the cold mornings we have had.

Reading: I am attempting to finish Thunderhead (the second book in the Scythe series). I loved the first one and still like this one but I am just having a hard time to get into it.

Podcast: I mentioned last week that I was looking forward to Bad on Politics with Grace and Becca and it did not disappoint. I can’t recommend it enough. They had Alyssa Mastromonaco on and she had amazing information to share about how the primaries work and about how to get involved in politics. I also tried hard to keep up with current events this week via NPR’s Up First.

I also can’t finish this post without mentioning some of my Trader Joe’s favorites. I am a huge fan and kind of go crazy every time we go since the closest one is in Salt Lake.

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Above are some of the things from the Trader Joe’s trip… the Black Pepper Tuscano Cheese is my #1 favorite ever. I am excited to try the tempura cauliflower, pumpkin bisque, fall zuchette pasta and the halloween cookies. I also love their pumpkin butter, veggie gyoza and hash brown patties. Also the tea is new to me but I love it so much already, delicious and perfect for fall.

Things I am looking forward to next week:

I am not sure if any more info will be out this week but the next Atlantic-Pacific x Halogen collection is suppose to come out in October and I am beyond excited. Blair is one of my style icons and I have loved her collections so far.

Going to Vermont this week is definitely my number one. I can’t wait to see my family and I just found out that I get to see one of my best friends from college as well. I also am hoping for some gorgeous colors.

My friend from Seattle is actually visiting to defend her dissertation and I am so excited for her. Her presentation is Monday morning and we are going to celebrate afterwards, I can’t wait for both!

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Campus life gave out pumpkin donuts this week and I could not resist. It didn’t help that Trader Joe’s had apple cider donuts which are my favorite. I have not seen them in Utah yet so I could not resist that either.

I hope you had a great week! Thanks for reading.

Erin

Best Recent YA Reads

Happy Wednesday! Today I am excited to share my favorite YA (young adult) reads from the last couple of months. I am a big YA fan so I am hoping to get around to an all time favorites post. For now though, here are the best YA novels that I read in the past six or so months.

The Hate U Give: I am convinced that this book should be required reading in high schools right now. There is so much to learn from this account of a black teenager’s experience watching her friend get shot by the police. It is a perspective that is hard for me, as a privileged white-girl, to fully grasp and this book really helped. It is heart-braking, eye-opening and incredibly well written. If you read anything on this list, this book is definitely the one.

American Royals: On an entirely different note this is a very light hearted novel about the romances of American royalty. It spins the current state of our government in that instead making George Washington a president he was made king and the United States became a monarchy. The historical changes are fascinating and I highly enjoyed both the setting and the story lines. It centers around the royal children coming of age and their experiences with love. I was absolutely sucked into this one from the very beginning. If you want an easy but fun read, this is a great pick!

Scythe: So the Scythe trilogy has quickly become a favorite of mine as well. I found it when Aiden took me to Barnes and Noble for my birthday and I am a huge dystopian fiction fan so this series quickly caught my eye. It is set in a future where the government is largely artificial intelligence. The only thing humans still really control is who dies since the population is still out of control. Scythe’s choose who die and are the ones to kill them. This story follows Citra and Rowen through their journey as scythe’s apprentices. I am currently in the middle of the second book, Thunderhead and am still loving it.

Caraval: The other series that I have been very into in the last few months is the Caraval series. It is so magical and the author does an incredible job bringing the characters to life. I find myself so able to see and feel what the characters experience. I listened to both the first and second books as audiobooks and really enjoyed it. The series centers around two sisters and their relationship with a fantastical performance/game called Caraval. It is a fascinating story that had me hooked from the beginning.

As a kind of bonus I wanted to include some YA that I am excited to read in the next few months. I chose the top three on my list and tried to mix up genres a bit.

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First is Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I have always been a John Green fan and was just excited for this one when it was released. I am honestly not sure when I have not finished it yet. I got about 50 pages in a few months ago and then had to leave for fieldwork so it just kind of fell to the wayside. I am still psyched about it and hope to finish soon.

Next is The Royal Runaway by Lindsey Emory. After reading American Royals I really was feeling something similar so I took a deep dive into books (specifically romance) that center around royalty. I am also really wanting to read Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. Yep anything with royals and a forbidden romance.

Last on todays list of to read YA is Endgame by James Frey. I am not sure I would have picked this out myself but I found it in my grandmother’s books and was intrigued. I read the back cover and am now dying for some time to read it!

That is all for today! I hope that you are having a great week and that you enjoyed today’s book list.

Erin

August Books

Wow another month has already come and gone. Its already almost fall! That is just crazy to me. This year has been flying by. For books in August I definitely did not read nearly as much as I wanted to but the ones I did read were definitely stand outs for this year.

Three Women (5/5 stars): I think this is the first book that I have rated 5/5 for all of 2019. I did look at some other reviews of this book and it is very mixed. It kind of seems like a love or hate it type. I really loved it and it made me think and feel so much. It is a nonfiction book about the sexual lives of three women from different places in the U.S. Their stories are just incredibly raw and real and very emotional. I have been trying to figure out why I loved it so much and can’t really figure it out except that the women seem like just normal people (like a neighbor or friend) and the things they experience and go through are so interesting and heartbreaking. For a nonfiction book it is also very easy to read because the stories almost feel like a novel (in the way it is written) and Lisa Taddeo switches between each character through out telling individual stories while also painting a picture of sexuality for women in the modern world.

Scythe (5/5 stars): Yep, another 5 star rating for this one. This is my perfect book as far as genre and story goes. It is a YA dystopian novel with a fascinating take on a future government and the future direction humanity takes. I don’t want to spoil anything so all I will say is that it is about the journey of two people to becomes ‘scythes’ (whose jobs are to kill people in order to keep population growth in check). There is a whole explanation for how and why things are the way the are in the story and I just loved every minute of it. I bought the second book (Thunderhead) before I even finished the first since I just couldn’t get enough.

Legendary (4.5/5 stars): As I mention, this was a month for great books. Legendary is the second book in the Caraval series.  It follows Donatella Dragna (the first book follows the story of her sister, Scarlett) through her journey to win the Caraval game and find her mother. I actually think I liked this one even more than the first. It is just such a riveting story of girl in a magical world, playing by rules others have created. It is so hard to explain but I highly recommend the series as a whole!

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I am so sorry this post is so short! I am bummed I wasn’t able to read more in August and I really am hoping to get some more reading time in during September. I hope you were able to find some good reads as well! I would love to hear any stand out books you have for 2019 so far!

Erin