Friday, April 29, 2016

Work Week Outfits

The goal of this series is to document my outfits that week. But it's more than just telling you where my top is from. My hope is that this series brings inspiration to other women whether they're chemists, teachers, stay-at-home moms, or something in between! You can dress nice even if you're working with nasty, acidic samples. That may mean opting for the $6 Target shirt over the $30 J.Crew top, but it's still doable! Are there going to be days I'm tired and lazy and I throw on Nike shorts and a t-shirt? Yep. But that's life. I just don't want those days to become commonplace and stop me from expressing my femininity and fashion sense in the lab.

Sandals: TJ Maxx

Shoes: TOMS

Shoes: Target

Top: IU
Shoes: Converse

Top: Old Navy
Shoes: TOMS
Necklaces: Local boutique (similar here and here)

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

50 Things That Bring Me Joy


In case you missed it, I finished my ORP and I'm officially a PhD candidate! My soul was completely drained during that entire process. I lost a lot of my love for chemistry during it and a lot of my joy too. So to come back from that awful time, here are 50 things that bring my joy!

1. My family, especially my mom. She was a constant support through my ORP and is always a huge encourager.
2. My cat. She's hilarious and is always up for cuddles whenever I need them.
3. The smell of fresh cut grass
4. Wine
5. Freshly washed sheets
6. Sunny days
7. Farmer's market flowers
8. Tanned skin, using my favorite tanning mousse and not the sun!
9. Bright and light colors
10. The smell of banana bread in the oven
11. Camp fires
12. Freshly manicured nails, bonus if it's a gel polish
13. Road trips
14. Driving through southern Indiana when the leaves are changing in the fall
15. Spending time with my nieces. They're 5, 3, and 1 so there's always stuff to do with them. I love that I'm always viewed as a big princess in their eyes.
16. Real Housewives of any city. My favorites are Beverly Hills, New York, and New Jersey. I've now seen almost every episode and I'm not the least bit ashamed. RHONY may or may not be on the TV as I write this.
17. Sitting by a fire watching it snow
18. Reading a good book
19. Speaking of good books, Harry Potter.
20. Disney movies
21. Refinishing furniture. I've redid my coffee table and I'm in the process of redoing by bedroom suite furniture.
22. HGTV. Seriously the whole channel is inspiring.
23. Indianapolis. It's the capital of my home state and where many of my close friends live. It will always be my favorite city.
24. Sleep.
25. Tending to my garden
26. Spending time alone. Introversion for the win!
27. Sweet tea
28. Ice cream
29. Boating on the lake
30. Chemistry. Nerdy to say but I do love it!
31. Spending time with friends
32. Pensacola, FL. It's like my second home and I can't wait to go back.
33. Chips and salsa
34. Going for a stroll
35. Jumping in a pile of leaves
36. Singing at church
37. Laughing. I'm talking the deep belly laughing that gives you major abs.
38. The smell of home. My parent's house always smells the same no matter what time of year it is.
39. Coffee
40. Blogging
41. Hiking
42. Canoeing/cabrewing
43. Baking homemade cookies
44. Journaling
45. A fresh haircut
46. Looking at pictures from my childhood
47. Playing softball
48. My dogs at home
49. Peaches from the farmer's market. This family at our market has the best peaches ever!
50. Jesus. Had to say it even if it's the typical Christian thing to say!

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Monday, April 25, 2016

April Birchbox: Unboxed

Did you see my previous post? All about my good news? If not go check it out here!


Another month, another Birchbox! Let me start by saying I loved this box! It was so good! Not only because I got a bonus sample but because these samples were just that great. Read on to see why.


1. amika Un.Done Texture Spray ($24) // Y'all know I love this brand. This stuff was great! It texturized my hair without making it feel like straw. I've been using Oribe Texturizing Spray but it has a tendency to make my hair feel super gross. It definitely does its job don't get me wrong! But this spray from amika is wonderful!!

2. (MALIN+GOETZ) vitamin e face moisturizer ($46) // This stuff made my skin feel so soft! And not oily! I have super oily skin so it's kinda sorta really picky about lotion and this stuff was amazing! I'm not sure I'd pay $46 for it, but if I had more money I would seriously consider it.

3. (MALIN+GOETZ) grapefruit face cleanser ($32) // I love my Mary Kay face wash but this stuff did a pretty amazing job! For being a cleanser it really got all the dirt and makeup off my face. Plus I didn't break out! I used it a couple days in a row and I started to notice that my face wasn't getting as oily. I would seriously consider buying this stuff and adding it to my routine!

4. rms beauty the ultimate makeup remover wipes ($16) // I'll admit I was super skeptical at first. These are wipes that are basically soaked in coconut oil. I know I know that stuff is a miracle product, but I have oily skin. The last thing I need is to put more oil on my face. And yeah I know that's supposed to help but my skin freaks out. So not so much. But wow these were wonderful! I just took my eye makeup off and everything came off so easily and quickly. I'm not sure I would spent $16 for a single wipe (I'm sorry what?!) but I would definitely consider incorporating more coconut oil!

5. Benefit Dew the Hoola Matte Liquid Bronzer ($28) // I. Love. Bronzer. I couldn't live without it. But my biggest issue is that so many bronzers are shimmery. I know I've said it a couple times before, but I have oily skin so shimmer doesn't always work well. This liquid bronzer was phenomenal though. It genuinely gave the look of just spending a few hours at the beach without looking shimmery (aka I definitely have makeup on). I would love to have a full sized bottle of this...even if it's $28.

6. The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick ($14.95) // This is possibly my favorite lipstick I've ever received in a Birchbox. This stuff goes on so smoothly and lasts so long! When I'm nervous I rub my lips together which makes my lipstick fade quickly. I wore this during my ORP and my nerves have never been more fried. But this stuff looked so great even after my exam! It also smells sweet, like a smoothie. And the color? Fabulous. It's bold enough that I can wear it out, but still subtle enough that I can wear it every day. It's perfect. Even though I got a really large sample, I will probably buy another one when I run out.

That's that! I really loved this box. This is why I love Birchbox though! Yes you get samples that fall flat or make you break out, but then you get a box like this where every sample was amazing. I just wish I had the money to buy every sample I love!

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Back At It Again!


I have the best news.

Are you ready?

I'm officially a PhD candidate. Yep. I passed my ORP. Even as I write that it still doesn't feel real. I've spent the last four months reading articles upon articles and researching my butt off on topics I've never really been exposed to. Then I had to write and write until I didn't think I could form another sentence. Once that was done, I had to practice in front of peers. That's terrifying! Grad students are harsh on each other. We definitely hold each other to a seriously high standard. But that was good and so helpful because I finally presented my proposal to my committee (all professors with years of PhD experience behind them) and defended it. Also I should mention that the last two weeks I've been battling the worst flu I've ever had. #flubrain

Now I'm done. I can breathe. I can relax.

That is until I remember that I still have a whole lot of research and dissertation writing to do! But that can wait until Monday.

So what does this all mean for you? I'll be blogging again! I'm going to take some time and make a plan/get my stuff together before I jump back in, but I'll be back at it again soon! Chemistry is awesome and I love that it's my job, but I'm in desperate need of a creative outlet. Also I just can't with coffee for a while. Caffeine is good but I depended on it like none other and I just need a break.

It feels good to have my life back. Real good.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

March Birchbox: Unboxed


Hey y'all! I realized a couple days ago I never posted my March Birchbox review! And I'm so sorry! Life has been incredibly busy lately. I turned in my abstract for my ORP (oral exam that's required to get a PhD but not my defense) one month ago. They were pretty slow to tell me it was accepted (the chair of my committee admitted she flat out forgot to e-mail me) so I'm still writing the proposal. I'm scheduled to defend on April 21 so if you want to send up a prayer or 50 I would appreciate it!

Anyway, onto my Birchbox!

1. Pinrose Pillowtalk Poet + Moonlight Gypsy - Petal Pack Duo (Full-size, each $55) // I've actually tried Pinrose before. Their petal packs are little wipes that are soaked in the perfume. When I purchased some I ended up storing mine in a ziplock baggie and using them twice. I love the idea of these because I never use an entire bottle of perfume. But about these two scents: Pillowtalk Poet wasn't too bad (it actually reminded me of my friend Alyssa) - the longer it was on the more I liked it. It's described as fresh powder and musk so I thought I'd hate it. I probably wouldn't pay full price but I wouldn't say no to a sample. Now for Moonlight Gypsy. It's enchanting cardamom and orange blossom. Just the opposite happened. I thought I'd love it but I hated it. Too musky and just awful.

2. PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Volumizing & Texturizing Shampoo ($22) // I also got the conditioner in my box (not pictured) which was helpful. It was supposed to boost body and texture but honestly I didn't notice a difference. My hair is so picky though. I can use my dandruff shampoo and TRESemme conditioner and get tons of volume which is weird to me. The plus side was this stuff smelled amazing!! I wouldn't buy it though because it didn't seem to anything more than what my current stuff does.

3. Cargo Land Down Under Eye Shadow Palette ($34) // The two colors in here were a light and a dark brown. The light was almost gold. I was kind of excited to get this because I found of thing of Cargo blush I had gotten in a Birchbox a long time ago and started using it (and loving it). I have the same colors from other brands, but these stayed on well throughout the day. The entire palette comes with 12 colors so that might be worth it, but maybe not $34 worth it.

4. NER:D Skincase Miraculous Brightening Clarifying Face Cleanser ($20) // This stuff is soap-free and is supposed to purify pores and soothe acne scars. I threw this in the trash as soon as I used it because it made my chin break out. I don't break out very often so when something makes me break out I get rid of it faster than a bolt of lightening.

5. Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm ($16.50) // Holy cow this stuff is thick! But it is wonderful! It's super hydrating and kept my lips soft all day. I wore it over a matte stain and it was perfect. It says it also soothes sunburns so I'll be keeping this around for summer!

This box was probably more of a miss for me. But that's okay! I still love trying new things, even if I hate them. I figure the more I try, the closer I am to finding something I truly can't live without.

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On that note, I probably won't be posting again until either I get my April Birchbox (and try everything) or I finish my ORP. Hopefully once April is over I'll be on a much more regular schedule! 

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