Week in My Life No. 8

When I got back from Honduras last Sunday our friend from college was visiting. It was so great to see him and I definitely wish he had stayed longer but Aiden was able to show him around while I was gone and we took him to Herm’s Inn, out favorite brunch place, for breakfast on Monday. He and his cousin were driving from Seattle to Dallas. They headed on to Moab Monday afternoon. Even though I was at a conference for grad school I have had lots of catch up to do with work over the week. I taught on Tuesday so I spent a lot of time getting ready for that and grading. I also created an end of semester survey for the class to take this Tuesday. I am all about improving this class and my teaching so I really wanted to have a survey that has direct feedback for the labs we did and the lectures (just the overall structure and assignments as well). I also spent some time finalizing plans for the holidays. We still need to book our tickets (ASAP) but we have a pretty solid plan that hopefully everyone is okay with. I definitely struggle with where to spend Christmas. For the first couple years of our relationship we just went to our own families which made sense since we were still in college and had not seen our families all year. Now we have been together for over four years and we are getting to the point were we would like to be together but also want to be with our families. Last year we were living apart so we really wanted to be together and we ended up traveling between our families on Christmas day (flying from Denver to Newark). My family was not too keen on that so we reevaluated this year. Jess Keys did a great post on splitting the holidays!

C5750845-70E5-4CCC-BC7E-7073090F20B0
Walking to my office! It was actually a beautiful week with highs in the 50’s.

The other big part of work right now is data analysis for several projects. It is kind of looming over me so Aiden helped me out with some coding this week that took a ton of stress off of me. I have also been organizing a speaker that is coming to the ecology center at USU in December. On Friday we ended the work week with tea at a campus coffee shop.

218A2448-A7AB-4EA0-88FE-AA9D79A802D4
Friday’s outfit. I was feeling the jumpsuit and blazer vibes.
8198DCD4-23CE-48E8-9AC8-7637347620C9
Tea, grading and reading at coffee shop. The best way to end the week.

This weekend has been really nice. We have been doing yoga at home to help Aiden with some of his pains so we did that on Saturday and had an overall chill day. I got lots of reading in! We went to a friends house in the evening to hang out and play Mario Kart (my fav). Today was mostly yard work (so many leaves to rake) but we also did some crossword puzzles and set up our Christmas tree. I know it is way to early but we are going to be gone through Thanksgiving and then also for actual Christmas so I figured we might as well enjoy it as long as possible. We also have some new ornaments that were my grandmother’s!

8F1D9A46-0557-4A64-9D8F-0C88D201ECF9
Tree decorating… we added the Nutcracker characters this year!

Interesting articles:

3 Ingredient Trader Joe’s meals. As a Trader Joe’s fan I just had to share this and will definitely be trying some of these.

Time’s 100 most influential people. Also here is a blurb on how they choose people for the list.

Watching Hallmark movies for money? This is kind of hilarious and amazing.

Finland’s stunning public library. This place is beautiful and I seriously hope to visit someday. I also so wish we had such emphasis on public libraries!

Julia’s holiday guide for her. This is dreamy. I mean everything is seriously beautiful!

Plastic waste in laboratories. I have a constant struggle with waste in our lab. I do think what we research is important for conservation and for science but the amount of waste generated can be really hard to stomach. I am always looking for ways to reduce but it is so hard in science because it is extremely difficult to have a sound experiment, with no contamination, without producing a lot of waste.

Best celebrity memoirs. Grace Atwood posted this in her Weekend Reading and I really liked this article since there are so many books out there and so many celebrity memoirs that it can be hard to know what is worth reading.

Reading: I started Turtles All the Way Down by John Green several months ago and for some reason did not keep reading. I decided to pick it up again and finish this time! I am really enjoying it and am not sure why I put it down before.

Watching: Parks and Recreation has been our go to right now. I am not sure why I haven’t watched it before but it is amazing. I love it and have a hard time stopping because all the characters are hilarious.

EE505426-095D-4764-8C61-734E8BBFA63B
It was just barely warm enough for no tights. As much as I love the holidays and the snow I am relishing in these last few days of warmth!

I hope you had a great week and thanks for reading!

Erin

Science Week in Review No. 2

I am excited to bring you my second Science Week in Review. I really enjoyed writing and researching the first one and so I was just as excited about this one. As much as I can I am trying to share stories and articles that don’t require lots of background information. I give some short explanations for any concept that I think might not be common knowledge. Please feel free to ask if you need any clarification!

The importance of understanding microplastics. This article reminded me of how important awareness of our use of plastic is. I feel like I sometimes become complacent and need a reminder of how every action counts and just how serious the situation is. There is also this article on plastics and fish. The issue of microplastics is an important one that I will definitely address in the future but in short microplastics are fragments of plastic less than 5mm that are polluting the environment. Plastics degrade into these tiny little pieces that are much harder account for and clean up.

Understanding Species Recovery (IUCN red list). If you are familiar with any part of conservation you have likely heard of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is basically the platform used to keep track of species status. It is basically a database of information on many species around the world. Each species is reevaluated every so often and that allows for numbers to be monitored especially for species that are listed in a threatened category. This article gives some insight into how species recovery works. Recently the Green List has been introduced as an add on to the Red List that will allow for monitoring of conservation efforts. We actually had a discussion about this at the conference I went to last week!

Algae species as a key to plant evolution. Plants are a crucial part of our ecosystem, our breathing depends on them! Studying plant evolution is difficult since we don’t have fossils like we do with animals. The important science here? Recently scientist published the genomes of two algae species that are evidence for plant evolution to land species. They appear to be the closest living relatives of land plants. This is definitely an important find for plant scientists and for evolutionary biologists.

A star flying out of a black hole. I do have a fascination with space so I always look to include an interesting article about it. Astromoners observed a “runaway star” that has come out of the black hole at the center of our galaxy. The speed at which it is going is absolutely crazy (4 million miles an hour)! I think this article was so interesting and understandable (for someone who has not much knowledge of astronomy).

Methane emissions in California. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect. This is the process of the warming of the atmosphere by radiation of greenhouse gases. The warming today is so extreme because we have drastically sped up natural processes. We are emitting greenhouse gases at an unprecedented rate. This article speaks to California’s monitoring of methane emissions. The relevance here is that the research done looked at spatial emissions of methane allowing the state to focus efforts on facilities with the largest emissions.

One last interesting article only because I found this to be a fun and interesting little piece of information. A fossil relative of the orangutan. Scientists used proteins from the jaw/tooth of a Gigantopithecus blacki fossil to link it to modern orangutans.

Please let me know if you have found any interesting science articles! Also I always appreciate feedback on posts, especially this series. I strive to bring science to everyone and in terms that are understandable for everyone. I also try to make sure I state the relevancy of each article I share. Thanks for reading!

Erin

Transition to Winter

I don’t know about you but the transition from fall to winter seems much more natural than from summer to fall. It is probably because it starts to get colder so I just naturally start wearing warmer winter clothing. Also I think the holidays play a big role in a smooth transition. Halloween ends October and Thanksgiving follows in November. After Thanksgiving the hype for Christmas really starts. I still wanted to share some outfits that have been great for transitioning into the colder weather. Here in Utah we have already had a couple of snow storms and lots of cold weather so I am really feeling the winter vibes.

Outfit #1: For all of these outfits I really embrace fall tones while wearing warmer things like thicker coats. For this first outfit I also wore brown plaid Sperry boots which are perfect for those fall snow storms. In general plaids are good options for fall to winter transitions plus its around the holidays so it fits well!

36ACB02D-D846-42A7-BDB1-8399293DAD58

Coat similar, scarf similar, fleece Dudley Stephens, boots old Sperry (similar)

Outfit #2: L.L. Bean has such great fall and winter options. I have several plaid shirts from them and recently got this amazing vest that is perfect for this time of year. Bean boots are also great for the wet snow! I have both the mocs and the 8″ boots.

2F51B962-4F84-4DC5-B589-F0DCFF6476BF

Shirt L.L. Bean, vest L.L. Bean, shoes L.L. Bean mocs, coat Mark & Graham

Outfit #3: This last outfit was an easy one for work and the plaid blazer and brown teddy coat bring more fall vibes. I am not at all opposed to black though and embraced a black scarf and pants. The sneakers also make it a little less wintery.

27306DB5-62CE-42B7-92D2-3237DF57517A

Blazer 1.STATE (similar), jacket last year Atlantic-Pacific (similar, another option), pants NYDJ (probably my favorite pants ever), sneakers Adidas, scarf similar

Let me know if you have any good ideas for transitioning outfits into winter. Thanks for reading!

Erin

October Books

This post is definitely a week late and I am so sorry about that. Honduras ended up being a little too busy to keep up with my posts. I also really have not been keeping up with my reading lately. Usually I listen to way more audiobooks so I am able to get more in during each month but for some reason I haven’t been listening to any lately. I only have three books to share from October!

The Royal Runaway (3/5 stars): I am a sucker for any book that revolves around royals so this one drew me in. Overall it was a fun story but for some reason it fell a little flat for me. I really don’t know why as I was really into it the whole time but I guess I wasn’t sure how I liked the ending. If you like books about royal romances I definitely still recommend it.

Upstairs at the White House (4/5 starts): This is the account of J.B. West who was the chief usher of the white house for decades. He went through many administrations and worked very closely with many first ladies. I found it so interesting and I learned a lot. Each lady was so different and had their own priorities as a first lady and as a person. This was the first book I finished on my kindle in a while and I did think it was a good one to read as an ebook. It is so fascinating!

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (4/5 stars): This is such a unique and interesting murder mystery. I gave it 4 stars as opposed to 5 because it took me at least 100 pages to get into and I still am not sure how I feel about the ending but overall I do highly recommend it. I have never read a murder mystery quite like it and I love mysteries. I don’t want to give to much away but this man has eight days to solve a murder and each day he wakes up as someone else.

Let me know what you have been reading recently!

Erin

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

Wow it is already mid November. I feel like this year is just flying by. Since Thanksgiving is coming up I wanted to share some of my favorite outfits for the holiday. I did also rounded up some dresses that I am loving that would be perfect for Thanksgiving. Also this navy jacket looks fun for the holiday!

Slide1

Bow dressvelvet dress, plaid dresspink dressknit dressblack dress (also this Reformation dress is beautiful!)

Outfit #1: The Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific collection has a great collection for holiday pieces. I love all the plaids, bows and fun prints.

14A8D727-375D-4A8D-A468-85CDBD22C5E0

Dress Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific (on sale right now), boots Tory Burch (similar, Tory Burch will release another similar style next year), sunglasses Karen Walker

Outfit #2: It is kind of hard to see but this navy plaid dress is a great thanksgiving option. I am really into belting dresses right now so I added one here and some fun tights and brown boots.

0B407CFF-6854-46CF-823D-7E80D27FF603

Dress last year Zara (similar), belt Madewell, blazer Leith, tights Commando, boots Sam Edelman, bag Kate Spade

Outfit #3: This was my Thanksgiving outfit last year and I still love it and would wear it again. Clearly plaid is a go-to for this time of year for me.

IMG_5460

Skirt J. Crew Factory, sweater last year Halogen x Atlantic Pacific (similar), scarf vintage Hermés, boots similar

Thanks for reading and have a great Tuesday!

Erin

Week in My Life No. 7

So as you can probably tell it has been a few days since I posted and I only got one post in last week. I have been in Roatan, Honduras for the last ten days at a conference. It was the Iguana Specialist Group meeting and ended up being such a blast. I was so busy before hand as well, getting my class ready for when I was going and prepping my presentation for the conference so I did not have nearly enough time to prep as I was hoping for. This is definitely more like a two week update than a week in my life.

F4334E51-235A-4D74-B0B0-C9A7D1E1FEB5
We had our first crazy snow storm! I was not expecting so much but the afternoon clear up!

I have been at this conference for most of the time but I am going to be doing a Honduras recap post so I won’t be focusing on the conference a ton. I will say that overall it has been amazing and I have learned so much and met so many amazing people doing really interesting research and conservation work. I also learned quite a about IUCN red-listing and about invasive species control.

8BCBC0E8-DBDF-4371-B3C8-70B67A55627A
Conference attire was difficult in a tropical climate. It has been in the 80’s but we were in an air conditioned conference room for most of the day.

First, wow way back to before Halloween! It was actually a really fun week. I did a lot of prepping for this trip and taught my class, as usual on Tuesday. We spent quite a bit of time also getting ready for Halloween. Also carpet cleaners came so that was a bit of a project since we had to move all of the furniture in carpeted areas. It is so nice to finally have it done though, we have been waiting for months to do it! We started carving pumpkins and I baked pumpkin seeds.

2FE7083E-29DD-4647-B880-D2C69595C42E
Sorry it is not a great photo but we did The Nightmare Before Christmas theme this year.
DE62FECE-3F55-4DEE-99FE-78960209ABDF
Sally was way harder than Jack Skellington but we did our best (more like Aiden did his best, he is way better than me at carving)!

Halloween itself was a blast. It was a really long work day so I was kind of rushing but still managed to baked some cookies and a pumpkin pie. We went to our friend’s house for another round of Over the Garden Wall, lots of drinks, costumes and pie. Later we went to a different department’s grad student Halloween party which was so much fun! I did call it early though since I needed to finish packing.

C5E387D7-1DA6-43D5-9953-2ACCE47C0DA0

I spent that Friday morning frantically finishing up some errands that I had hoped to get done earlier in the week. It ended up being crazy with some unexpected things happening so I had way more to do than I anticipated. I was on campus for an hour or two and then headed back to eat lunch. We left for the airport around 1:30pm.

AC8AB841-F902-4564-9E55-91827FFEA86A
Last minute errand attire.

As I mentioned I have been here in Roatan ever since. I presented some of my research on Monday and listened to lots of other interesting talks. We explored a little as well but almost our whole group got sick so that was a bit of a bummer. I did have to miss out on a fun field trip because of that!

Some interesting articles/videos:

An interview with Emma Watson. Of course this is amazing and very insightful. I was also just inspired to think about what I am doing and how I am effecting other people!

The Every Girl J. Crew Round Up. I am so loving these pieces and the winter essentials are extra tempting (the tissue turtlenecks and the puffer are at the top of my list).

National Geographic’s new book on women photographers. So excited about this. Such beautiful photography by amazing women!

Some current fashion trends. I am totally into most of these and they just about all can work in cold weather.

On being a woman in a male dominated field. Definitely worth a read.

Reading: I started listening to How Could She by Lauren Mechling on the plane to Honduras. I am not very far so I can’t say much yet but I will definitely keep you updated.

Podcast: So I know I just did a recent podcast post but I listened to Bad on Paper Podcast’s interview with Carly Heitlinger and it was amazing. She was so real and honest. More than I have every heard any blogger be. It was very impressive and insightful. I highly recommend the episode!

Watching: So I have two things right now. I was sick for a couple of days so I have been re-watching The Walking Dead. It is kind of a long story but I stopped because I certain character dies at the beginning of season six. For some reason I got the urge to watch again from the beginning. I also have been watching SNL skits both new and old… they are so funny. Here are some ones I watched today: Film ScreeningTarget Lady

Instagram: Caitlin from Lemonade Press Blog had such an amazing caption on her Instagram post from Saturday. It is about school and just learning in general and it resonated with me.

340FF552-220C-40C2-ADF7-709AC9B95946
Fire on the beach in Honduras!

Erin

Sustainable Brand Highlight: The Girlfriend Collective

Today I am sharing my second sustainable brand post. The Girlfriend Collective is an activewear company that recycles by taking back any old Girlfriend Collective wear. You get some store credit for recycling plus you can feel better about your environmental impact! The paloma sports bra is by far my favorite product of theirs but everything I have tried on has been super comfortable and flattering.

gc

Windbreakerpaloma bra (my absolute favorite sports bra), running shortpink t-shirtleggingsbodysuit

I got the sports bra and leggings in rose quarts and absolutely love them! I seriously wear sports bra every other day. Also that pink tie dye t-shirt looks so comfy plus proceeds are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

3AEB7E73-F447-4041-913E-BCD4482F53BD757221A1-43C7-45BC-B58E-E412817F816E

They also offer a microfiber filter that allows you to catch microplastics that come off of your clothing in the wash. This is actually an issue that I was not aware of so researching the company shed some needed light on yet another plastic problem. Overall I think they are a great company and definitely worth checking out if you need any workout clothing (or just comfy, durable clothing).

Erin

Why I Committed to Posting Every Day for a Month

The month of October was incredibly hectic but I managed to post every single day. This has been a goal of mine and once I got started I was determined to do the whole month. The primary reason for this goals is that I have so many different things I want to write about and share but often don’t make the time to do it. By posting every day I forced myself to spend time creating posts about things I have really been wanting to talk about.

I love fashion, books, adventure, plus I enjoy sharing random lifestyle posts. Something that has really frustrated me in the blogger world is that everyone talks about “finding your niche.” I know that in order to be successful in anything you need to think about your audience and what they want to hear. When I listen to podcasts or read posts about how to be successful in blogging it seems to be a mix of talking to your audience and being authentic, but most importantly, finding your niche. You aren’t supposed to really focus about more than one or two things if you want to be successful. I really struggle with this because I love so many things and since I love them I want to share them with others. I don’t want to put myself in a box. I don’t want to just share my outfits or just share books. I love these things but can’t help but love other things just as much. This is part of the reason I struggled with making a decision about graduate school I felt like it would put me in a specific box and I would not be able to stray from that. I want to live a life full of many things, not just a few. I am not going to talk about my decision-making process for grad school in this post but it does give some insight into why I felt the need to post every day.

Since I did not want to write about just one thing, I needed to produce more of all the things I wanted to share. It does seem like talking about something different every week or month would not be as relatable to readers. People tend to look for specific advice from different people and if they don’t know what they will find from your site, why spend the time? My thought was that if I post consistently every week in each category that I am interesting in writing about maybe I can work around this. If your job is to blog this is feasible but as a grad student just the thought has been a little terrifying. I started posting every day at the end of September just to challenge myself and as we got through the first few weeks of October I decided to stick with it through the month. It felt good to be accomplishing a goal and I enjoyed dedicating some time every week to thinking about my blog.

Going forward I want to continue this as best I can but I do think I will be taking Saturday’s off. It is just a little too much to be focusing on both my blog and grad school every single day. I love them both but my health and relationships are definitely falling to the way side. I have been continuously sick since I left for Vermont (October 1st)… so the entire month. So I definitely admit that I am in serious need of some focus on my mental and physical health. Since I have been really liking the routine of posting everyday I am not totally giving that up right now, just giving myself one day to not think about posting. This may change in the future but I will probably do another check in around the holidays. I would love to hear any thoughts you have on the blogging world and how you have felt in response to the idea of committing to one or two things (in the blogging community and in life in general).

B059F96C-051E-44FD-8238-C504931029E3

Thanks for following along!

Erin

Shopbop Sale: Sustainable Edition

I just wanted to start by saying this post was way harder to put together than I was expecting. I thought Shopbop would have a decent amount of sustainable clothing options (they do have some) since they carry so many different brands and I thought that I would be able to find some of those in the sale. Overall I did not find that much and very few sustainable companies had items on sale. It made me so sad and it really made me realize that we have such a long way to go as far as pushing this industry to being as environmentally friendly as possible.

A part of pushing the industry toward sustainability is sharing brands and clothing that are already working to achieve this mission. I am a big fan of Shopbop and have shopped their sales in the past but since I am really trying to change my shopping habits, to better impact the environment, I decided I need to start sharing more from brands that are actively working toward sustainability. I am doing brand highlights but I have started to do my best to share sustainable options in round ups. Todays Shopbop sale round up is focused entirely on brands working toward sustainability.

Slide1

Cropped jeans, wood earringspink skirtblack t-shirt dresspink dress, white rompergingham swimsuitjeans, yellow dress, denim shortpink and white striped dress

Happy Halloween!

Erin

 

Sabrina Outfit Inspiration

In lieu of Halloween I went with Sabrina Spellman for my October outfit inspiration post. Because it is kind of Halloween themed I took much more from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina since I think it brings way more Halloween vibes. Traditionally Sabrina Spellman is a witch living a normal teenage life and all the adventures the ensure with those worlds colliding. The Chilling Adventures definitely takes a darker spin and focuses much more on good vs. evil.

So I wanted to give a little history of Sabrina the Teenage Witch since I did not read a book to go with it. I found out that the TV series was based on a 1962 Archie comic series of the same name. It was released even before the TV show “Bewitched”. I am not a big comic person but I did check it out and you can read excerpts on amazon which was fun!

I chose outfits inspired mostly by The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina but I did watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch to get inspired. I might do a second post that focuses a little more on here but I had a harder time pulling inspiration since it is from a different decade (it would be fun though!).

Outfit #1: Headbands are a great Sabrina choice! I really love how much The Chilling Adventures brought the headbands.

2E74B540-1318-4BEC-A0D6-2047AFE1C6E3782B79C9-30BD-4BDE-8D8E-145FB0FAF361

Headband Nordstrom, turtleneck similar, skirt similar, boots similar (another option)

Outfit #2: This is by far my favorite outfit and I think it is the closest to Sabrina Spellman from the Chilling Adventures. She emphasizes the red and black bringing the witch vibes to a tee. I definitely would not have chosen it without the Sabrina inspiration and I absolutely love it.

FC320CDA-F048-48A3-8493-0D097EF40A3EA7C04D37-CC9B-4316-BA9F-CAF93F6EE1D8

Blazer Leith, tights commando (these are amazing), headband Nordstrom, boots similar (vintage), dress similar, belt Madewell

Outfit #3: Throughout these inspiration posts I try to mix my own style with the inspiration. I think this final outfit blends my personal style the best with hints of both Sabrinas (from the Teenage Witch and from the Chilling Adventures).

54DE3941-95EB-4291-9446-2BA90DAB87A6A52D977C-AEDD-4BD4-B154-B70A7B638D7E

Turtle neck similar, belt Madewell, pants similar (vintage), booties similar, necklace Madewell, jacket BLANKNYC (one of my fav jackets ever), hair bow Nordstrom (similar)

I hope you are getting into the Halloween spirit!

Erin