Thursday, April 9, 2015

One Iced Mocha with Skimm, Please

Let me introduce you to your new best friend. Seriously.

Considering the amount of time spent juggling work, sleep, and a social life, you can guess that this college girl tends to struggle with staying up-to-date with the bulk of current events. (And not for lack of trying, mind you.)

This changed however, when two years ago I stumbled upon this little piece of genius.

The Skimm is a daily email newsletter that strives to summarize everything you should know about what went down the day before. Or at least enough to show you have some idea of what's happening right now.

Every morning I wake up to this nifty little email in my mailbox, that conveniently highlights the most prominent current events in a brief, easy-to-read, and witty fashion.  (And if you're interested in the minutia, they offer links in all of their reports.)

The founders, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, have single-handedly revolutionized modern news reporting.  Each newsfeed is short enough to read on the morning commute and tends to shy away from visible party bias. So you can let them do all the digging, make your own interpretations, and remain well-informed.  I honestly tend to read mine in the time it takes for me to order my morning coffee.

Even better? The newsletter is completely free.

So if you have the chance, take the minute (seriously just a minute) to sign up, and commit to spending the 2 minutes each morning to keep yourself informed.

I like to take my morning coffee iced with a hint of Skimm, and I think you should too.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Fiction Fridays: Girls in White Dresses

I actually loved this book.

This book initially caught my eye when I was roaming through the bookstore. (And I'll admit to picking up the book because of the cover, the dress is too cute!) The summary didn't seem so bad and I was in desperate need of a beach read for spring break.

As a senior in college I found the book incredibly relatable.  Close writes about a group of friends attempting to maneuver adult life after college.  While I still haven't entered the workforce, plenty of the characters thoughts and actions reminded me of some conversations with my friends and my own questions for the future.

Not to mention the book is pretty funny.

It takes a little while to follow, but Close has a wry sense of humor that compliments the realities of being an adult. She explores the frightening years where everyone seems to have their lives figured out... at least everyone except you.

Let me be clear: while this may be chick lit, not all the stories in the book have a happy ending.  So if you're someone that enjoys books about rainbows and butterflies this might not be the best read.

But if you're the person that likes a witty and relatable read about the adult world and real relationships, this is for you.

Pick it up if you're looking for a spring break read. Seriously, you won't be sorry.

Next Up: The City of Ember

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fiction Fridays: An Introduction

Photo via Pinterest

Since reading is one of my passions, I decided to dedicate a day each week to my favorite books.  Every weekend I try to set aside time to lay in the sun or snuggle under a blanket (depending on the weather) and read a good book.

Fiction Friday's are a blogging idea that came from the lovely Chloe Parr (a fellow avid reader and one of my favorite style inspirations), which will feature the latest book I've been coveting off my extensive reading list.

Currently my list is totaling around 470 books (and open to suggestions). 

This list is never-ending.  For each book I finish it seems that three more will take it's place.  But, so is the life of your typical book-lover.

Thinking about the reading ahead of me, I can't help but to mention this favorite little quote of mine from the much loved George R. R. Martin: "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.  The man who never reads lives only one."

Next Up: Girls in White Dresses


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology 2015, West Palm Beach FL

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to present my summer research at SICB.

SICB is the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.  The annual conference is one of the largest research conferences in the field.  My research supervisor had recommended that I attend and present a poster.

The conference started on Sunday, so I flew out early Saturday morning.  As a word of advice, once you commit to attending a conference immediately book your flights.  I had looked at some online but decided to wait and just two days later the cost went up by 40 dollars! Crazy.

Bright and early Saturday morning I flew to West Palm Beach and checked into my hotel around noon.  The conference had taken care of my lodging and I was able to stay at the most gorgeous Embassy Suites hotel.

There was complementary breakfast (and happy hour), and the rooms were huge!

Since the conference wasn't starting until the next day, I spent most of my time by the poolside.  Coming from the freezing cold in New England, the weather was absolutely perfect.

Later on I met up with some friends to explore the area.  There was a shopping center called City Place that was pretty close to our hotel, so we walked around and grabbed a nice dinner.

The next day (Sunday), I checked into the conference and printed my badge so I could attend some sessions.  There were constant presentations and talks occurring throughout the day, spanning a broad array of topics.

Luckily enough I downloaded an app for my phone that gave a list of all the abstracts and helped you create a daily schedule. It was a lifesaver!

Monday was when I was scheduled to present my poster.  I stood by my poster for a few hours and got to meet so many great people! I was able to talk about my research, speak to people conducting similar research, and even had time to explore other projects.

I promise there were plenty more people... I took this practicing before the session started.
The rest of the afternoon held more sessions and poster discussions.  That evening I met up with my research partners for dinner and drinks. It was a great group of people and we could have talked through the whole night.  It's weird to know we're all heading different ways, but I hope we'll have the chance to meet again at another conference in the future.

The next day (Tuesday) my research partners and I decided to explore the beaches and more tourist-y areas.  One of my partners lived near the area and drove us around to her favorite places.

It was so relaxing to just laze about together (and I definitely missed sticking my toes in the sand when I was home).  We had a great time roaming the beach and exploring some of the more ritzy neighborhoods. (Honestly, some houses looked straight out of Gossip Girl!)

Unfortunately Wednesday was my last day in West Palm Beach.  I packed up all my things and headed back to the airport fairly early that morning.

... but I managed to sneak one last visit to the beach!

All in all, SICB was a fantastic trip.  I am so incredibly grateful I was granted the opportunity to go and present my research.  It is so inspiring to meet everyone in the field and see the outstanding work people have done.

Oh, also - on my first day in Florida I found this little guy climbing a tree.  It's a curly tailed lizard! 

I think they're so cute.

If you have any questions about my research, or even about doing research as an undergraduate feel free to ask! It's one of my favorite things to talk about!

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