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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 Screening, Target 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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
Happy Wednesday! Its time for some books. I am enthralled in The Royal Runaway right now. It is has totally sucked me in and I will be sharing all my thoughts next Wednesday when I round up October’s reads. For today I am going to be sharing some books on my to read list right now. In general my to-read list is very very long and continuously growing but there are some that top my list right now. I did a post like this back in July and actually really liked writing it since it made me take a closer look at my Goodreads and my bookshelves. I also think it is fun to hear what books other people have been intrigued by lately.
I will go ahead and start off with the two non-fiction books I am dying to read. The first is The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte. Despite being a scientist I was kind of surprised to be so interested in this one. This follows the evolution of the dinosaurs (yep talk about nerdy). I have heard good things about it and since I am really hoping to read a couple of science books per year I think it would be a good read. The other non-fiction book at the top of my list right now is Quiet by Susan Cain. I actually started it over a year ago and for some reason did not really get into it. Lately I have been thinking a lot about how people interact with each other and I think this would be something I should read. I have several friends who are very introverted and I think it always helps relationships to understand where other people are coming from.
On to fiction. The first is My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. So far I have only heard good things about this one and it has been on my shelf for a few months now so putting it at the top of my list. It is the first of four books of two girls growing up in Italy. Next is The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. It is the current Life’s Library book and since they just announced the next one I am really needing to start this one! I probably know the least about this one, only that it is about a young girl and her grandmother. Lastly is Finale by Stephanie Garber. My friend and I are trying to read together since we have similar taste and this is suppose to be our October book. Yep I am behind on the reading for sure but am going to try to read it on the plane on Friday. It is the third installment in the Caraval series (which I have raved about before).
I would love to hear of any books that you are dying to read!
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.
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.
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).
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a nice weekend and are rested up for the week. It snowed yesterday. We woke up to the ground covered in snow and it was beautiful. About a year and a half ago I did a post on my favorite podcasts. I just reread my choices and definitely still stand by those. Such great podcasts with amazing hosts! Today I am doing a little bit of an update on that by sharing the podcasts I have been listening to recently. While I do still listen to those on my previous list I have some new ones that I have become a part of my routine.
Bad on Paper: This is definitely the one podcast that is a weekly routine. They have the best guests and and they read the greatest books. I read The Idea of You and American Royals thanks to them. I have mentioned it before but since I do make it part of my week I had to include it. Also Becca and Grace are just in general so fun and relatable!
Up First: I listen to this every morning on my way to work. It is a great way to get a quick news update. It is a great option if you don’t have that much time to catch up on what is going on in the world.
Armchair Expert: Dax Shepard interviews some big name celebrities and it is fantastic. They are all hilarious and have some great stories. Episodes are really long though (about 2 hours) so it is a good one for long car rides.
American Girls: Allison and Mary take you on adventure throughout the American Girl books. For someone who grew up with American Girl and loved it, this has been so fun and nostalgic to listen to. They also talk about a ton of 90’s and early 2000’s pop culture.
Others that I have been looking forward to: Drilled, Ologies (a science one!)
I have been so work focused this week that I honestly can’t really think of what I have been up to on specific days. That is definitely not a good thing and is reminding me to balance more. I basically went to work around 8:00am everyday, came home around 4:00pm and worked from home until I needed to sleep. Yeah it seems a little crazy and it was but I have a bunch going on right now and am definitely feeling the pressure. Oh yeah I also have not fully recovered from being sick so when I was not working I have just felt so tired and have needed to sleep way more than usual.
On Thursday evening we did go to a pumpkin patch to find pumpkins to carve today. It was a big bummer though because there was basically nothing good left so we ended up getting a couple from Walmart.
We did make Trader Joe’s mushroom ravioli for dinner last night and it was amazing. I love all their ravioli but this might be my favorite. It is in the frozen section and you heat it up in a saucepan. I am also 100% obsessed with their Harvest pasta sauce.
Kate’s Style Guide. Just love this. Kate Middleton is definitely a style icon of mine and I love that Lauren is sharing her best looks and giving similar options for all price ranges.
Fashion industry climate report. This is a great article bringing light to how companies are actually reaching goals and committing to change. It did make me really sad that Nordstrom is so low. They have great features on their website that allow you to shop sustainably but if they aren’t trying to change things it makes me disappointed.
Watching: I have been a little all over the place with show and have not been watching very much. Yesterday I did start re-watching The 100. It is a classic apocalyptic show and I love it. We also did watch all the Halloweentown movies last weekend. They are a definitely must every October. Totally nostalgic and perfect for Halloween (plus they are kid friendly!).
Instagram: Rachel Martino is absolutely killing it on the Halloween Instagram game. Her costumes and recreations are so amazing and have been even more excited for Halloween.