Wednesday, August 26, 2015

From My Phone Recently

I was scrolling through the pictures on my phone and realized I've actually captured a few outfits recently (this is surprising because I've been in workout clothes 95% of the summer). Here's a round-up of what's been on my phone recently:

Old Navy top // AE jeggings // Goody's shoes - similar here // Kate Spade crossbody - similar here and here


Wal-Mart top - similar here // AE jeggings // Converse shoes // Charming Charlie watch


Old Navy top - similar here // Old Navy chambray shirt // AE jeggings // Target sandals - similar here // Benrus watch - similar here, here, and here 


Old Navy top - similar here // Cato's cardigan - similar here // AE jeggings // Tommy Hilfiger sandals - similar here // Benrus watch - similar herehere, and here

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Minimalism Challenge: Recap

The 30-Day Minimalism Challenge ended yesterday.

I will go ahead and tell you that I am imperfect. I forgot about it multiple times. 

But, I was still able to come away from it realizing how not minimal my life is. Especially my mornings/evenings. I'm a very habitual person. I have a hard time breaking routine. That's helpful most of the time - except when my habits aren't good for me. I have a tendency to immediately check Facebook/Instagram/e-mail as soon as I get to work at 8 or 8:30. While checking it super quick isn't a bad thing, I end up getting consumed by it and before I know it I look at the time and it's nearly 9:30! I just lost an hour of work! Not okay!! I need to make the most out of my work day.

My favorite part of the challenge was turning off notifications. I did this for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I love this because until I actually open the app, I have no idea what's going on. It was stressful for the first 3 hours. After that I felt so free. Like I wasn't chained to my phone for information in my social media world. Funny how quickly knowing how many likes my most recent Instagram picture got becomes so unimportant.

I totally plan on incorporating pieces of this challenge into my life. Specifically these:

1. Practice gratitude. Anyone else get bogged down with the hard parts of life? I need to take time to love life more.
2. Follow a morning ritual. This includes journaling. I want to make quiet time part of my morning routine. My quiet time jumps around every day to the point of I can go a week without spending time with the Lord because it's not part of any routine I have.
3. Define goals/Identify 3-6 priorities. In my crazy grad school life, it's easy to let everything feel like it's the most important thing. Meaning it's super easy to become overwhelmed with things I need to do.
Other things I plan to do maybe once a week or once a month include unfollow/unfriend, evaluate my last 5 purchases, streamline my reading list, and declutter my digital life. 

Overall, I loved the idea of this challenge. I plan to continue striving to live a more minimal life.

Did anyone else participate in this challenge? (No judgment if you got two days into it and then forgot!)

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Favorite Podcasts


I've never been a huge podcast fan. I tend to get lost in books or TV shows so I always feared that the same thing would happen with podcasts. Thanks to some suggestions from my friend Kelli, I'm happy to say I've found a few that I really enjoy. Here's a list:
The Happy Hour // This is a podcast from Jamie Ivey (check her website out here). She has a friend on every episode and they talk like they're hanging out at happy hour (do you get the name now?). It's encouraging, funny, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. This is my favorite podcast!
The Simple Show // This podcast is from Tsh Oxenreider (no her name is not a typo...also here's a link to her website). The name of the podcast is exactly what it's about: living simply. So good.
The Lively Show // This podcast is from Jess Lively (her website is here). This podcast covers a wide variety of topics. Jess is all about "living from values-based intentions." If you're a blogger, there's quite a few episodes dedicated to blogging!
I've started listening to them while I'm making dinner, cleaning my apartment, or just mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest. I can't multi-task well enough to listen to a podcast while doing something that requires real brain power, but mindless tasks are a perfect time to listen to an episode!
Do y'all have any podcasts you listen to regularly?
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Friday, August 14, 2015

Fall Outfit Dreaming

Y'all. School is starting so soon! I personally love when school starts because that means I have a more structured schedule and routine to stick to (nerd alert). But what I love most is that it means fall is coming! My favorite season is fall. I love the colors, the smells, the weather, and the fashion.

This is always the time of year I start obsessing over fall outfits on Pinterest. I have a whole board dedicated to fall/winter outfits you can check out here. Here's a few of my favorite that I can't wait to recreate:


Flannel is always a go-to in the fall. Flannel Friday is one of my favorite days!


Stripes are having a huge moment in my life right now. Tossing on a vest adds some extra warmth needed as the temperature drops.


Stripes again? Always. Vest again? Always. But this utility vest could easily be switched a utility jacket (y'all know how much I love mine!).


Apart from stripes, this is my other go-to outfit. Sweater, scarf, skinny jeans, and boots. It never fails me!


I've been seeing booties popping up more and more lately and I'm a fan! Sometimes boots that come up to my knee make me overheat quicker so booties are a great alternative.


Yes, stripes again. But take a peek at the out-of-focus shoes. For some reason I usually only wear leopard in the fall/winter. Throwing on jeans, sweater, scarf, and leopard flats was one of my favorite teaching outfits.

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Pretty sure this fall will be covered in striped and vests. And I cannot wait!

What's your favorite fall outfit?

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Grad School Beginnings


It's that time again. Time for school to start back up after a long summer break. The new first years started yesterday. Which means I started my first day of grad school two years ago! So crazy. There are many things I wish I knew before starting this crazy journey. So if you're a new grad student (or will be one day) and you've happened upon this blog, today is the day for you! (Or if you're never going to be a grad student, thanks for stopping by!)

Here's a few things I wish I knew before grad school:
1. Being alone sucks. But it gets better. // I had never lived alone until I moved to Ohio (except one summer in college but I had an abundance of friends in the same city with me). Boy was I not prepared for that. I'd classify myself as an extroverted introvert (this article explains me perfectly) so I figured living alone would be wonderful! Nope. I was wrong. The first month was the hardest. I was overwhelmed because I was in a new city and state, I didn't know anyone, and my apartment didn't feel like home. I was a mess. But thankfully I stuck it out. Now I can't see myself having roommates ever again (unless I get married). 
Take Away: As much as being alone may suck at first, remember that it will get better. Write that down. It will get better. Stick it on your mirror, in your planner, put it as your phone lock screen. Anything to do that will remind you that it will get better!

2. Don't be shy. // Chances are most people in your incoming class are alone as well. Make friends! These are the people you'll take classes with, exams with, study with, and graduate with. They will be your support system. Everything you're going through, they're going through it right beside you. But don't stop with people in your year. Make friends with older students. These people will become your mentors. Yes you'll have an advisor. But the people in my lab know more about my life and research and everything going on than my boss. Don't get me wrong - he's a wonderful boss, but he's also not interacting with me every day like my labmates. Older grad students have been through what you're going through so they'll have wise words that are great to let sink in. 
Take Away: The people you're in grad school with will likely become your closest friends (you know because you'll live at school). They're the people who truly understand the stress you're under and will be there to eat ice cream and drink wine with. But older grad students can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel!

3. Your performance in school does not define you. // If you've only skimmed this post until now, please pay attention!! As a student, you're judged based on your performance in class...to a point. Yes you need to do well in classes and on your cumulative (or qualifying) exams. That's super important. But if you're not the smartest person, don't stress about it! I am the first to tell you that I'm a B-student. I haven't gotten straight A's since high school. It took me a while to be okay with that, but I'm so glad I finally accepted it. I have to study harder than some people for my cumulative exams, but that's okay! I know (and my boss knows) that my strength lies with my hands. I'm great at taking apart an instrument and putting it back together. I can troubleshoot instruments and make them work again. Lab work is the work I'm good at. So what if I'm a B-student? My job will require me to be able to do lab work more than it will require me to get A's in classes.
Take Away: Do your best in class (don't slack off!), but remember that when you get a job you'll be expected to have the lab abilities necessary to perform work, not take tests. Don't beat yourself up if you fail a cumulative exam. You got into this program. There are people who believe you can do it.

Grad school can be a scary thing. But something to remember is that any professor you've had went through grad school themselves. You aren't the first to go through this. And you won't be the last. Remember that the suckiness of moving alone to some place new is that it won't suck forever. You can always call on your friends or family when things get rough too! But if you put yourself out there and meet new people, hopefully you'll start to feel at home!

Quick shoutout:

These two hold a very special place in my heart. They were my first friends in Ohio. We don't always see eye-to-eye, but I wouldn't have been able to survive two years in grad school without them. I can't stress the importance of friends in grad school! I'm so blessed to have two great ones!

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