Major Life Update

Clearly I have taken a major hiatus from blogging. I was starting to feel like I just did not have the time and was questioning why I was blogging in the first place. A big part of both being busy and questioning what I am doing began with a huge career step that I was not really expecting to happen right now. I will be attending Utah State University as a PhD student in a biology lab. My research focus will be looking at the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on the physiology of the Bahaman Rock Iguana. It is going to be a long but exciting journey that will likely take the next six years of my life. I will be moving up to Logan, Utah in early August. Working out the details for this has taken lots of time and thought which has led to some neglect in other areas of my life. I am very excited however and have begun to plan out and my lists of priorities for the coming year. I have the fall semester almost entirely figured out, including classes and research. The last piece that has caused some stress is housing in Utah. I did not realize just how hard it is to find housing when you don’t live in (or close to) that place. With most of the details fleshed out I have started to think about some other things, including my blog.

Over the past few days I sort of re-realized my reasons for blogging. I thought a lot about why I started this project in the first place. During my senior year of college I was feeling very burnt out and overwhelmed by work. I have always loved school but at this point it had begun to feel like work I had to do and not at all like what I wanted to be doing. I think there were many factors that contributed to this feeling that were both circumstantial and stemmed from my own mental state. As my future plans have solidified and I begin to prepare for the years to come I am realizing that I am jumping straight back into the world of biology and academia. I do love this world but I learned in college that I need to have a creative outlet that is not in that world in order to continue to be happy and productive. So in essence I am getting back into my blog but will be making some changes.

In 2016 I had started reading and exploring different blogs. I had started my own in December of 2016 but was really just experimenting. As the year progressed I realized how much I was in need of a creative outlet. There are a lot of things I wish I had done differently that year but now I am going to take this opportunity to change some things. While I very much want to continue blogging, I am going to change my posts a little bit. I want to put a lot more time and effort into single posts which is kind of tough considering I am about to be in graduate school. Because of that I will probably not be posting as much, but I will focus on quality. I also want to rethink my content a little bit, but I will do a bigger post on that in a few weeks.

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Erin

Casual Trail Walking

SO this post is going up much later than I expected. I had a whole bunch of posts planned and started for the end of April but the WiFi in Nebraska would not let me upload any pictures no matter what I tried. So I am just going to be releasing all those posts from April throughout the next week.

This is the perfect spring/summer casual outfit. I love it! It is so comfortable but also very cute and great for warmer weather. My mom and I headed out for a walk on Earth Day on Bobolink Trail in East Boulder. It is a great trail for mountain views and it follows a nice little creek. I haven’t had great internet here in Nebraska so finishing blog posts has been tough.

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Shirt similar, Shorts similar, Sunglasses Amazon, Shoes Keds, Hat similar

Erin

10 Favorite Outfits: August

What a crazy past month! There was so much travel I could barely keep track. It was so incredible though and I was able to see some really beautiful places and spend much needed time with family and friends. A lot has changed for me as well so I am planning on doing a life update post soon. I compiled my ten favorite outfits from this month so I hope you enjoy!

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Sunset at Gooseberry Point: Top similar, Shorts similar, Boat shoes L.L. Bean, Hat The Bayside merch

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Our day trip to Newport: Skirt H&M, Button down similar, Slides Sole Society, Bag Everly Oak, Hat vintage Nordstrom

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Westport lunch: Sweater Brooks Brothers, Skirt similar, Mules Nordstrom, Pearls vintage

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Brunch in Westport: Dress Free People, Jacket vintage, Heels similar, Sunglasses Ray Ban

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Hiking in Acadia National Park: Hat Patagonia, T-shirt Adidas, Shorts Nike, Sneakers Nike (this is my favorite hiking outfit by far!)

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Visiting tide pools at Mccellen State Park: T-shirt Nordstrom, Chino’s J. Crew, Belt similar, Sandals J. Crew Factory, Tote L.L. Bean, Sunglasses Ray Ban

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S’mores at the lake: Long sleeve Vineyard Vines, Skirt Madewell

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A misty Maine morning: Dress similar, Mules Nordstrom

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Watching the Eclipse: Dress Kiel James Patrick, Mules Nordstrom, Bracelet vintage

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Sweater men’s L.L. Bean, Jeans similar, Boat shoes L.L. Bean, Sunglasses J. Crew Factory

Erin

Westport Highlights

Our big family vacation this summer was a trip back to Rhode Island and Massachusetts. I love this area and have missed our yearly summers there so much. I was thrilled to hear we would be going back this summer. As always we had such a blast renting a cottage in Westport, which took up most of our vacation time. Here are my highlights from our time there.

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Sunsets at Gooseberry Point: Almost every evening we went out to Gooseberry point. It is a small peninsula that jets out into the Atlantic allowing for views of the Vineyard and some incredible sunsets. It was so beautiful. We would swim, fish and hang out on the beach for a little while and then walk over to the rocky coast to watch the sun drop below the horizon. This is definitely a must if you are ever in the area. It also is a good idea to go late in the day because the beach is much less crowded.

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Quahogging in the Westport River: We dug for quahogs in the the river several days and found lots of them. We made some delicious clams casino and a great pasta sauce. We also found mussels in the smaller channels in the marshes at high tide. You do need a permit but it is really worth it and fairly easy to get enough for a delicious meal. We even found some oysters and scallops.

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Fun in the sand at Horseneck beach: We had a couple incredible days at the beach building epic drip castles, surfing and creating our clam shell mermaid. Low tide is definitely the best time to walk the beach finding shells and sea glass and provides for lots of space for castles!

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Farm stands on the back rounds: There are some really beautiful backroads between Westport, MA and Little Compton, RI that are home to some really great farm stands and unique little shops. Farm fresh food is available and it is so much cheaper directly from the sources than at the grocery store. The local grocery store, Lee’s, has pretty much everything but it is super expensive since it is a vacation town on the beach.

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Jumping off the dock: This is definitely a tradition every time we come. We have so much family there and several have houses right on the Westport River so we always jump off the dock with the cousins.

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Coastal walks: Just walking along the coast both at the beach and the more rocky shores was a major highlight for me. We had pretty good weather the whole time so we were able to make lots of adventures out of the coastal landscape.

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Seafood at the best restaurants: This place has some of the best seafood restaurants I have ever been to. Its great because there are different price points as well. Handyhill Creamery is along the highway just as you are getting to the river and it is really cheap and absolutely delicious. There ice cream is amazing as well!!! The Bayside is our go to dinner place and they have a wide variety of options with yummy local seafood. There drinks were so good this time as well. I had got the goat cheese salad with scallops every time we went because it is the best salad I have ever had. The Bayside also sits right across from the ocean with a great ocean walk in between which allows for the most beautiful table wait. The Back Eddy is also pretty great with a nice view of the river. I highly recommend reservations here (also at The Bayside) because it gets really crowded. There is a lobster place across the river which has great lobster rolls for lunch and you sit right along the river.

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Other activities included some bird watching on the wildlife preservation, our day trip up to Newport and another to Worcester as well as some much needed time with the family. It was an incredible trip with many gorgeous location and fun activities.

Erin

Beach Romper

Those final summer days are really starting to sink in. There is still a few great beach weeks left and I have been enjoying those days in this incredibly comfortable gingham romper. I mentioned that I ordered it in a previous post I did on gingham as a trend and it has really lived up. It is really the most comfortable romper I own. It is so thin which is perfect for the summer weather and sandy beach days. It works so well as either a beach cover up or a great outfit! All of the following pictures were taken at either Horseback Beach in Massachusetts or Barrington Beach in Rhode Island.

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Beach Towel Amazon, Romper J. Crew Factory, Hat Tuckernuck, Sunglasses J. Crew Factory

Erin

A Day in Newport

Newport is one of the most picturesque and classic towns in all of Rhode Island. I mention in an earlier post our day trip to Newport’s Bowen’s Warf but I wanted to dedicate a whole post to what we did and what there is to do in Newport since it is such an amazing place that often finds its way onto many travel bucket lists. I have been multiple times before, mostly to visit the mansions and enjoy the beautiful flower shows. This time my sister and I left in the morning and shopped the boutique’s on the warf. We stopped for lunch at Gary’s Handy Lunch which was is cheap and quick diner food that was great for us since we had to meet our cousin shortly after. However, the dining opportunities are definitely ones to take advantage of here. The seafood is incredible and there are so many seaside views, it can definitely get expensive though. I would save for a few really nice delicious meals and find the cheaper places or grocery shop for the rest.

We found some great shops including the KJP store on Bowen’s Warf, Island Outfitters, Coast to Country and Vintage to Vogue. There are so many other great shops and prices definitely vary so check it out if you see something you like (you never know). Some shops like KJP have such beautiful decorations that it is fun to just have a look around and get some inspiration.

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In the later afternoon we met up with Aiden and his family to do the Cliff Walk along the coast. It is beautiful because you get the amazing ocean views with gorgeous mansions on the other side. I highly recommend this and other than parking it is completely free (parking isn’t too bad). Along those same lines, visiting any of the mansions is a great experience. The Breakers is the most famous and has a great walk through tour available. I have done several in the past and I learned some interesting history for sure.

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There are definitely many other things to do if you are doing a longer stay (which I highly recommend). There are sailing tours and boat rides along with many other fun water activities. Hitting the beach is also a must if you are there for a few days, it is beautiful!

Erin

Pink Stripes

New England is truly a beautiful place. I love it all and have thoroughly enjoyed surfing the waves, walking the shores and inhaling the salty air. Stripes are undoubtably my favorite thing to wear during the summer. During our trip to Newport I stopped at the Kiel James Patrick flagship store on Bowen’s Warf. The shop was absolutely beautiful and gave me so much inspiration. I tried on this pink and white striped ‘In Edgartown’ dress and fell in love with it! It is so comfortable and falls perfectly. It is the greatest summer dress, perfect for the beach, clam bakes and walking the town.

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Dress Kiel James Patrick, Sunglasses J. Crew Factory

Erin

All the Pretty Houses

First of all this has is one of the best finds! Seriously it is so worth checking out those vintage/thrift shops in small towns, there are some real hidden gems. This hat is vintage Nordstrom and I absolutely love it. It will be a perfect derby hat and it is great for just hanging out in the sun. My goal has definitely been to visit all the thrift shops and find those great items.

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Erin

Blue and White Stripes

I found this boatneck top at J. Crew earlier this summer and it is the best! It is so comfortable and perfect for days at the beach. I wore it to dinner at the Bayside the other night because it got a little chilly but it is a great weight for wearing during the day as well. Also this Tuckernuck bow hat is so adorable and perfect for laying on the beach for hours.

Everything is full of sand at this point so I have given up trying to get it off. That sandy feel is definitely a defining feature of New England summers and I have come to appreciate it. My goals for this vacation have included eating lots of seafood, taking a multitude of pictures, cohogging and hanging out with family and friends. So far I have accomplished all of them and can’t wait to find some more adventures. My dad and I went out in the canoe on the Wesport River yesterday and did some fishing. It was so calming and beautiful!

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Shirt J. Crew, Pants similar, Hat Tuckernuck, Basket bag Everly Oak, Flip flops J. Crew Factory

Erin

Milkshakes in Spring Lake

Last week we drove to the coast for a day to grab our favorite milkshakes at Hoffman’s and walk the boardwalk in Spring Lake for Aiden’s birthday. We got down just in time to enjoy the ocean and eat sandwiches at Tom Bailey’s Market (seriously an amazing deli). The rain started just as a were leaving, making our timing impeccable because it didn’t just rain, it was a torrential downpour. Spring Lake is such a cute little town with some huge beautiful houses. I love just walking the streets and looking at the architecture and gorgeous gardens.

Spring Lake is a great alternative to the popular Ocean City on the New Jersey coast. There are great shops, rental houses and a beautiful beach. I have only ever eaten at Tom Bailey’s but I have heard great things about the pizza place and other restaurants in the town. Hoffman’s milkshakes are amazing but it does get so crowded. Try to go earlier, like take a break from the beach, because it is insane and very difficult to park starting around 3:00pm.

I seem to be drawn to blue and white right now. Almost all of my outfits have been some variant of blue with white. It is definitely a great combination for beach towns though! This dress is pretty old but so comfortable and great for almost any activity.

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Dress old (I’ve been looking for the vendor and will update), Basket bag Longaberger, Sandals American Eagle

Erin