I haven’t done a life update since this, where I went into a lot of detail with my future graduate school plans in Australia.
So if you haven’t read that, or haven’t been keeping up with me over on my instagram, then head here to get more of a back story on what I’m about to get into.
Gold star to those who have been keeping up with me and my life.
Before we get into the exciting graduate school update,
What have I been up to the last month?
I live in New Jersey in the States and we have been one of the worst states with virus cases due to the close proximity to New York City. So I have been on lockdown since March 16th I think… super close to THREE MONTHS!
There have been some positives to all of this mess, I’ve gotten to spend a lot more time with my cat, my parents and my brother (I go into this a lot more here). I’ve also gotten the time to really reflect on myself and my values and how I want to be a better friend to myself. Increasing my self awareness has really helped with that!
Has quarantine given you a lot of time to self reflect?
Besides family time & self reflection I really haven’t done a terrible amount. I have been working on this blog a lot over on pinterest and also trying to keep up with all my content over on my instagram. There’s been some baking here and there, ooo and some Chloe Ting workouts!!!! fun stuff!!
Okay, now for the exciting part.
My Masters Degree Plan
As I’m sure so many of you can relate, the virus has altered my future and left a lot of unknowns.
Last I spoke to you guys over here I mentioned that the original plan (as of early March 2020) was to move to Tasmania, Australia this coming July to start my two years masters program by research. Of course with the current state of the world and the endless border closures/travel restrictions, there is a slight hold on all of it.
soooo how is the virus altering plans exciting you might ask?
Well, it’s not. The exciting part is that with all of the extra time I’ve had, I’ve been able to finalize my research proposal and officially SUBMIT IT to the university in Australia. This research proposal was the FINAL step to submitting my application.
This application process was super weird to me where I technically got accepted to the university in Australia last year where I was told I qualified for this degree program. But once you qualify, the next step is teaming up with a professor to be your research supervisor. Once doing that, the student (that’s me!) comes up with the research plan from scratch! My proposed supervisor, of course, helped me but it was all on me to decide what specifically I wanted to research.
If you’re familiar with the scientific research world at all, it is very rare for a student who is fresh out of their undergraduate to get to specifically propose the research they want to carry out. Typically, especially with masters programs here in the States, the student will just tag along with an already existing project that the supervisor has already planned out.
So, for example, my back up plan was to work with a professor out at a university out in California and create a masters thesis with a data set that was already predetermined. It would have been a great opportunity, and a full ride scholarship, but at the end of the day it wasn’t what I was specifically interested in researching. In Australia, and I’m almost positive New Zealand too (correct me if I’m wrong), I was told we get to choose what we want to research and from there determine if it’s feasible.
So last year I was asked:
what do YOU want to research? what are YOU interested in?
& immediately I was so overwhelmed, yet so grateful. So grateful to feel trusted and capable of creating a two year full funded research project from scratch.
Okay, okay, I’ve completed my application and I get to come up with my own project. What does that exactly entail?
To sum it up:
My plan is to research the baseline thermal physiology of Australian fur seals using infrared thermography. We will be using infrared thermography (heat cameras) to see how heat is transferred around their bodies in their natural habitat.
At the moment, there is barely anything known on how Australian fur seals react to thermal stress. This becomes increasingly important with the growing need of answers due to climate change. In order to predict how our ecosystems will be altered in the future, we need to first understand how it is in their natural environment.
The hope is that Australia will open their border to international students by September (as the Australian economy really depends on us for their economy) and go from there. Of course nothing is certain, but I’m hopeful that I will be able to move to Tasmania by September the latest. This could work out as the Australian fur seal breeding season (so when I will be collecting data in the field) wouldn’t be till October anyway. Even if I can’t get into Australia by then, we have multiple backup plans (which really helps with my anxiety).
I hope that made sense.
I have a couple more mini life updates, but I didn’t want this post to be 2098092 paragraphs long as I could really talk forever.
Thanks so much if you read all that, I know it was a lot of words. I’m sorry to anyone who has had their future altered due to this pandemic mess. It’s a hard one.
One thing that has stayed a constant in my life the last 59 days of quarantine is how important structure is. Whether it’s just having a small to-do list or actually having blocks of time set aside for tasks. I just find that I feel more validated and put together if I have some sort of task to check off the list; I’m sure a lot of you can agree!!
I’m not always in the “mood” to be organized and all that jazz. Not gonna lie, quarantine has been hard for me. That’s why this external source of validation (oops I go more into validation here) helps my day to day life.
If I could recommend one product to help you get not only your work or school life organized, but your mental and emotional self too is the Savor Life Planner. I’ve actually done a whole post on this planner already and how much it really applies to my daily life.
I’m big into planning, what a surprise!!
Love the style of mine? The style I am currently using is their Executive Planner in black. ***not a sponsored post but these are affiliate links***
Love that cute little cup? Check that out here it’s by Honey & Roses Coffee.
Why having a planner can be beneficialto you
Complete tasks faster: Think about it, all of your tasks are written in one common spot. You’re more likely to see them and think about what you have to get done. As a result you’ll slowly do each task one by one and all of a sudden you’re done! woo!!
Set priorities: Visualizing your tasks also helps you prioritize tasks and see which ones are more important over others.
Lower stress: All of your important information is in a common spot. You will spend less time worrying about if you forgot something because it’s all its all written down together.
Increase self awareness: It’s no surprise that when you write things down it’s easier to organize your thoughts and piece things together. This planner has a section at the beginning of every week that I love called “Detox your brain”.
Delving more into self awareness for a bit, you will also learn more about your personal behavior and situational correlations (I love science). Being able to piece together how you’re emotions are in relation to your behavior can be super beneficial. Understanding why you’re acting a certain way can help you come to terms with it in the first place.
It’s also important to remember to not rely on planning and take things more so with a grain of salt. I struggle with this a lot. I get attached to what I think “should have” happened.
Planning is super important, but you should only be dedicating a fraction of your day to setting things up and checking things out. If you are spending hours upon hours building structure and you are frustrated, please stop!
One of my few quarantine goals is to try and let go of things more easily. I have a habit of getting attached.
I hope this was at least a bit helpful! It was kind of a mini rant but honestly planning has really helped me find a purpose during these last couple months. Hope all of you and your loved ones are safe 🙂
If you’re on the look-out for more content head over to my instagram or check out some similar posts I’ve done:
Let’s be real, making coffee at home can get intimidating. There’s so many different products and techniques to go about brewing at home. You could just go the simple route and use a keurig or another kind of machine that makes the coffee for you but where’s the fun in that?
I’m here to help make it simple.
My method of choice is pour over. It’s as simple as it sounds: you pour hot water over coffee grinds and that’s it for the most part. Of course there are actual techniques to do the pour over method properly (like wetting the filter before hand, letting the grinds bloom, etc). If you’re interested in a detailed post about pour over techniques let me know!!
First and foremost you’re going to need to choose if you want to tackle whole beans or already pre-ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee does really decrease the flavors and quality of the coffee (in my opinion). I chose to purchase whole beans and ground them by the cup before each use.
A battery-powered, lightweight scale that precisely weighs out my preferred coffee bean to water ratio. It is a bit pricier but after the amount of people who recommended this to me I couldn’t help but want to test it out. I didn’t use one for the longest time (as you can also weigh out your beans and water by volume) but this has been a GAME CHANGER in increasing my precision.
I felt that doing pour over by volume instead of weight was really just me eyeballing how much water to use and crossing my fingers hoping it turned out okay. Furthermore, measuring coffee by volume didn’t make much sense to me (here comes my science background) because different roasts and beans of different origins have different densities. Anyway, do what makes you happy!!! This is just my methodology of choice.
The perfect, balanced cup of coffee starts with accurate tools so I can definitely recommend this grinder for you to try. It’s the perfect durable and budget friendly grinder (its only $14 right now). With the adjustable grind settings it’s helped each bean grind consistently so the flavor gets captured evenly throughout. It’s also super quiet so it helps when I’m up early in the morning for my first cup of the day.
In the past I used a different grinder without anyway to adjust the settings so I was kinda just spitballing it. As you can guess, that didn’t turn out the greatest for me as each grind was a different size and shape…… so let’s stick to a grinder with settings shall we!!!!
When I first started really caring about the quality of my coffee at home, I got a much cheaper pour over maker to start. But once the day came where my brother accidentally shattered it, I knew it was a sign to drop a bit more money to get the one that was better quality. My thought process in choosing a Chemex is that I always saw them for sale at my local coffee shops, so I guess that planted the seed.
Nonetheless, I have only good things to say about it. Chemex does sell smaller ones (like 3-cup) and also larger ones (like 8-cup). They are made of a super sturdy glass. I’ve had mine for months now and I never ran into any issues with scratches or cracks or anything. It’s just a great classic coffee maker.
5.Pour Over Filters
After trial & error, I can whole-heartedly recommend purchasing the paper filters made, in fact, for the Chemex.
Unfortunately it seems they are sold out on amazon but I get mine at my local whole foods! These filters are super sturdy and I’ve never had them fall through or break in the middle of a pour (which has happened to me with other filters).
Also there is a much more sustainable route with reusable filters but I have yet to find one of those I like using. So any recommendations let me know in the comments!!
There you have it! My 5 must haves to make the perfect cup of coffee at home (besides the coffee)!
*NOTE* the amazon links are affiliate links! So using them does support me and my coffee addiciton.
Let me know if you’d be interested in a detailed post of my favorite roasters and blends to enjoy at home! I did a mini one over on my instagram.
This is part two of this post about finding validation within yourself. The first post focused mostly on the first step I took on my journey for self validation: self-awareness. As you can guess, becoming aware of your thought processes and emotional reactions to things is the first step to grow beyond them.
Last night I found myself researching more into the mechanisms of why I could rely so heavily on external validation. So let’s call part two….
Research: The Why
Why do I need other people’s approval to feel whole?
Why do I chase after acceptance & validation?
Why does it all define me so much?
A lot of the articles I came across started with this need for external validation stems from your childhood/early years. I am no expert (as I study marine organisms for a living, not people) but I can totally see this being correct as our early years really shape our brain’s functions and thought processes.
When you are a small child whose whole existence and well-being depends on others, rejection actually equals existential death. And since we are constantly hurt, invalidated, and rejected in many overt and highly subtle ways as children, a lot of us grow up into wounded and self-less adults whose self-perception is skewed or blurry.
Now I can’t really pin point this to coincide with my childhood but I do remember getting hurt very easily by rejection, or by being an outcast.
A very personal life example: my work life
At first I didn’t think I ever wanted to get into this, but I feel this example genuinely encompasses how my need for approval has shaped parts of my personal life. Also, maybe some other people out there can relate to this.
I kind of mentioned the back story to this job I had earlier this year here, but I’ll give a quick run down. Basically, I had a job where I dug my self perception down a dark path. I fully let the opinions & possible thoughts of my coworkers control the thoughts and views I had of myself. Whatever opinion I thought they could’ve felt towards me, was what I felt I actually was. If I felt that they thought I was too loud that day, then I was too loud & I had to then adjust my personality to be more quiet. If I felt that they thought I was too opinionated towards something, then I would shut my mouth for the rest of that shift & the next couple shifts to come. I outcasted myself when instead I thought I was adjusting my personality to fit in.
One, they constantly need other people’s approval and validation to feel that they are a good person, to feel pleasant emotions, or to even feel alive. And two, they feel shame or guilt or anger or loneliness or anxiety or confusion or other painful emotions when someone disapproves of and invalidates them, which then often leads to dysfunctional behavior to manage all of it.
By the end of my time with this company, I lost sight of what core values I believed in. I lost sight of who I knew I was. Since I knew I didn’t complete fit in with my coworkers, it ate away at me for months & spilled over into my life outside of work too; I was an anxious mess. In order to get through each shift I would have to read a list of mantras on my phone to remind myself to keep quiet, to not be too opinionated, & to not act too overbearing.
Because of my reliance on others’ approval, I let that shape who I actually was in those four walls. Of course it is no one’s fault but my own.
It usually starts out as a logical tactic. We gain others’ approval, make them happy for a moment, and feel pretty good about ourselves. It seems like the perfect path to take—and it’s one we can continue on for many years, believing it’s reducing our anxiety about disapproval in our daily lives.
Up until this year, I didn’t realize that I was caught in a feedback loop leaning on others for their opinions and thoughts of me; I have been conditioned to aim for that validation. Each time I felt validated by my coworkers’ opinions and thoughts of me, my brain released dopamine of some sort. It felt good and rewarding so I kept going back to it and aimed for that specific feeling. I was comfortable with that feedback loop because that’s what I was used to; that was all I knew.
But there will come a time when the constant seeking of approval—the very solution to our problems—will run its course. And that very behavior that brought us so many feelings of accomplishment will become the problem itself.
Being able to pin point my need for external validation on my more recent life experiences, makes it feel so much more real. It becomes more apparent how vital it is that I come to terms with it all now. Only from there can I grow and reshape my thought processes surrounding approval and validation.
I’m still becoming more aware of the times in my daily life, or past life, that I’ve fallen into this feedback loop. Only now am I coming to terms with how much of this can shape my day-to-day life. I’m still figuring all this out.
So thank you for taking the time to read this. It will not be the easiest for me to open up about this.
Join me on my journey by hitting that follow button. We’re in this together.
I’m sure I’m not alone in losing a job during this time. I don’t exactly have a direction for this but here I go.
The other day I had a call with my manager at Lululemon (if you saw this post, I go more into my work life and such). I started out as a seasonal hire and then they asked to extend my contract till May (yayyy!!). Before the pandemic, it was spoken about that depending on when I was leaving for grad school in Tasmania (more on that here), my contract would extend even further. But at that time I didn’t know exactly when my research would start over in Australia.
It didn’t even cross my mind that there was a possibility that my contract would not get extended. Pretty naive of me, especially with everything going on, but it didn’t cross my mind that I would lose that part-time job of mine. But of course, as the title of this states, I did lose the job. It’s of course sad that I will not get to actually work at that store again with the closures being maybe till June/July. The hope was for me to transfer from my current store to one in Tasmania if they are hiring.
Anyway, I found some articles that might give you hope if you are going through a similar situation. Sending you a massive hug.
“It’s easy to get stuck in the past and what shoulda-woulda-coulda happened, but didn’t. Doing so only perpetuates destructive emotions that fuel anger, self-pity and a sense of powerlessness. Focus on the future, and on what you need to do to set yourself up as well as possible on the job front, in how you are budgeting your money, and in your relationship with those who can help you find a new job. What you focus on expands, so focus on what you want, not on what you don’t”
Don’t let your job status define you
“Sure, losing your job is a very personal experience, but don’t take it too personally. Who you are is not what you do. Never was. Never will be. Research by psychologist Marty Seligman found that the biggest determinant between those who succeed after setbacks of any kind is how they interpret them. People who interpret losing their job as a sign of personal inadequacy or failure are less likely to ‘get back on the horse’ in their job hunt than those who interpret it as an unfortunate circumstance that provided a valuable opportunity to grow in self-awareness, re-evaluate priorities and build resilience. You define who you are, not your job or a company’s decision whether or not to employ you. Don’t take it as a personal rejection against you”
Especially with the economy right now, as hard as it can be, it’s important to step back and remember that you are most definitely not the only one.
More posts coming soon. Just needed to get this off my chest. Comment anything below if you actually read this. Thanks.
At the beginning of this year I really struggled to find a planner that I liked. So many of the ones I saw in the store were either academic (so I would’ve already missed a chunk of it) or filled with a lot of space I would never use. Not only a waste money wise, but also time.
I do really enjoy planning my days and getting a better outlook on what’s coming ahead. Even if planning normally isn’t your favorite thing, right now some sort of structure can ease your mind. I find that the weeks I do choose to use my planner I feel more secure (crazy how that’s a thing?). Especially right now, with the ample amount of time just sitting home, it gives me a sense a purpose.
Now, something I want to manifest right here, especially to my future self, is don’t rely on the aspect of planning. It’s awesome to look ahead and see what virtual workouts you’re going to do and all that but I need to remember to not get attached. I have a tendency to get my hopes up pretty easily and then get butt hurt that everything doesn’t completely go to plan.
okay back to the planner thing
My planner of choice is the Savor Life 90 Day Planner. I have thought about trying the Passion Planner as well, but this one has a lot of room for mental reflection.
There is something comforting about only having to commit to it for 90 days. You have about three months to try it out, reflect and grow. The planner starts with a couple pages to set your 90-day vision: “Create 90-day goals for a fresh start four times a year”.
You can start this planner at any time. Yes, I mean any time. You fill in the start date, the dates of each week and what day you want to start each week with. This is the ultimate customization factor.
At the beginning and end of each week there is a space to reflect on your current state of mind and how you could flip that around to doing better next week.
There is an ample amount of room to literally dump your thoughts.
The planner highlights self care: not only mentally but physically too. There is weekly and daily spots to delve into that. The planner mentions how prioritizing self-care can “help you function at your highest level, boosting happiness, well being, balance and success”. It is the ultimate investment into yourself!
The “Pull Weeds Plant Seeds”: This part I really really love. The “Pull Weeds” as in the unsavory tasks that we have no want to do and the “Plant Seeds’ are those savory tasks that are more proactive and can grow into something much greater (a new opportunity, a job interview, or for me: working on my coffee instagram ha) I find it more worthwhile for myself to categorize my tasks into one of these two categories.
I mentioned the other day in my first post in two years… oops… that I was going to put together some sort of life update. So, here is that.
I graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Marine Biology back in May 2019 (can i just say I’m so sorry for all the seniors this year, I can’t even imagine). I plan to go to the University of Tasmania this coming July for research in Marine and Antarctic Science.
After I graduated, I moved back home to NJ from Maine to live with my parents. Long story short, I have been in NJ ever since.
I started at a new full time job very shortly after moving back home at a coffee shop. I worked there full-time from May 2019-January of this year. To say the least, I started out lovinggg the job. It was not my first “barista-type” position. But over time, I out grew the position and the company and we parted ways early this year (if anyone is interested in a post on overcoming the loss of a job, or something like that let me know)!
Simultaneously, while working at that coffee job, for the holiday season I picked up a second job at Lululemon. I adore my job and currently still work there part time. The best way I can compare the two jobs is night and day. The coffee job felt like high school and at Lululemon everyone handles things so much more maturely. My team at Lulu really supports me and the company is built off of connection and feedback (which I love!).
But I knew I couldn’t live off a part time job so I went on the search for a second job. Not long after (about February) I got a position at my local indoor cycling studio (which I already go to a lot anyway) to work front desk. Thankfully, the two jobs pair really well together and up until this pandemic it was going swimmingly.
I really wanted to use the word “swimmingly”.
Also in my free time I have really been enjoying upping my instagram game here! Some brands have reached out and some people actually care about what I post, which is really humbling. I’m really grateful.
So Tasmania, why there? How did that come about?
I’m thinking of doing a post similar to this one where I talked about why I chose New Zealand as a place to study abroad. I’m really open to suggestions as I’m just getting back into this so pleas reach out and let me know!!!
I am switching up my content a little bit (trying to get creative with being home). also i’ve been testing out my new Iphone tripod to delve into the whole flatlay world!! first try not terrible?
my next 90 days planner: @savorlifeplanner acts not only as a planner but a place organize my goals, self reflect and have fun with washi tape. the “90 days” is a less intimidating length of time to achieve goals
a journal: i’m still trying my best to get into the habit of journaling!! it’s taking a while but progress is being made (this one is from urban outfitters, not sure if it is still available cause I got it as a gift)
airpods duhhh: my method of choice to keep up with my fave podcasts and multitask. Some of my favorite podcasts have been Gals on the Go, Happy Hour with Gretchen and Pretty Basic.
nintendo ds: everyone talking about all the animal crossing they’ve been doing has gotten me to miss the simpler times of just chilling home on my ds. as much as i adore all my pokémon games, recently nintendogs has been my shit
pinch me: i got this for christmas and with my spiked anxiety at the moment this “therapy dough” is a great tool for me. i’m a big nail biter when it comes to being anxious and nerves and also i can never just do one thing at once. so this has been perfect to keep one of my hands busy (while driving, watching youtube, etc.) and feel 7 again playing with dough
COFFEE: genuinely the real star of my entire life but this coffee SLAPS ok. My current favorite is this “Toro” roast by Devocion in Brooklyn.
—–—> (for all the coffee content check out my instagram) <———
i hope you enjoyed this mini favorites. i’d love to hear some of yours below or dm me!! we’re all in this together ☽