Weekend Watchlist



Happy Friday! I woke today to a beautiful 1 inch or so of and, accordingly, the city of Charlotte is officially shut down. Coming from Washington, DC this never fails to make me laugh (especially since they and so much of the Northeast is in the midst of a blizzard–stay warm and safe everyone!), but Charlotte does not really have snow plows or salt, so it is actually much safer to stay home. I have no complaints and have enjoyed a wonderfully cozy morning working from home with Drew (who also was told to stay home today from his corporate job). That being said, it is lunch break time so I thought I would post some things that I came across this week which caught my attention.


1// Things That Only People Who Hate Talking on the Phone Will Understand

This post speaks to my soul! If you know me at all, you know I am terrible at talking on the phone, returning phone calls, listening to messages, aka basically any activity that involves picking up my phone and using it. I am notorious for being unreachable and, while this is something I am actively working to improve on this year, it is a daily struggle. This pretty much sums up my feelings toward the phone. 🙂


2// The Presidents of the United States: When They Were Young and Hunky

The comments beneath each picture make this. I laughed out loud so many times. So. Many. Times. I mean, just look at #6, #14, #38, & #42! I would love to know which captions are your favorites. Also, is it just me, or does a young James Polk seem vaguely reminiscent of a present day Tom Hiddleston??


3// Man Posing in Traditional Boudoir Poses

WARNING! CONTENT IN THIS POST MAY MAKE YOU SLIGHTLY UNCOMFORTABLE…however, you are almost guaranteed to laugh. This was the first post I opened this morning. It set the tone for a perfectly silly day. I still giggle like a little girl each time I open it!


4// How to Ask for a Raise

On a more serious note, I found this article on how to effectively ask for raise quite useful!


5// Sesame Street Moves to HBO

“Is Sesame Street the most important children’s television show of all time? Why else would there be such a vibrant, charged conversation around the biggest move the series has made in ages? I think it’s like asking, ‘Is George Washington the best president of all time?’” said Rich. “It defined children’s television. It basically created the field.”

I never really watched Sesame Street growing up (Mr. Rogers was more my thing) and was surprised to learn it has been on the air for over 46 seasons–close to half a century! This is a really interesting article about the upcoming move to HBO and what it might mean for the show. On a related note, this article claims that Elmo ruined Sesame Street…do you agree?


Weekend Watchlist

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has a great week. It seems that winter has finally arrived in Charlotte! One of the things I love about living here is while that we still get to experience each of the four seasons here, the extremes are nowhere near as intense as they were in DC. We were spoiled with 70 degree days through the end of December; however, it seems that now winter has arrived. I am crossing my fingers for snow!

I returned to work at Wake Forest this week. I always find it tricky to readjust following the holidays, and this week was no exception. I have been sick this week and, subsequently had extra time to surf the internet. Here follows several things which were on my radar.


1//  Motivational Quote

I came across the following quote which I plan to return to many times this year in order to motivate me. It is well said and very applicable to so many of us. Mallorie is a fellow clinical psych PhD student (!) and deserves a shout out for the inspiration. Here is what she has to say:

“Recently, I was reminded that everything I do is for me. I’m not sure if others will feel comfortable applying this to their own lives, but in mine, I am the driving force. The research, the clinical work, the writing and reading and teaching, has all been my choice. And for me, remembering that this is all my choice, and for my benefit (and no one else), has been freeing. Not because it means I can stop (because I can’t, really), but because it reminds me that I like this stuff, and I want to do it. And if I don’t, I’m the only one that I’ll be disappointing. Everything has felt incredibly forced for me, over the past few months. Remembering why I do it has been really, really useful.”


2// Making a Murderer

It seems like everyone we know was talking about this show. Similar to the podcast, Serial, which I have enjoyed listening to on my way to work, it is captivating. This blog post tells some fun facts about the show…but be careful because there are some spoilers down the page!


3// When Breath Becomes Air

Advance warning–this is a very heavy topic. This book is the final memoir of Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgery chief resident at Stanford who died of lung cancer at the age of 38. As one of the most anticipated releases of 2016, it has received rave reviews. If the writing is anything like Paul’s previous essays (see How Long Have I Got Left and Before I Go for more), the book will be fantastic. I have pre-ordered it and cannot wait to delve into it next week. I anticipate much laughter and tears.


4// Flying Squid Tutorial

On a much lighter note, this tutorial guides you through how to make flying squid out of felt! My family and I had a blast playing with a similar toy (small flying rubber chickens) over the holidays and I was excited to see that we can also make our own 🙂


5// Squam by the Sea 2016

My amazing mother alerted me to this. The Squam community is comprised of amazing and creative individuals who gather several times each year to immersing themselves in yoga, art, good food, and connection. Most of the retreats are held at a beautiful location by  Squam Lake in New Hampshire. I have wanted to attend a gathering since 2012, when I discovered the community, but have never been able to make it….but now they are bringing the community to North Carolina for an extended weekend in Nags Head! My mother and I are trying to see if we can make it as a post-graduation (masters degree) celebreation. I really hope we can swing it!


6// Emma Watson’s Bookclub

I love Emma Watson. She is intelligent, outspoken, a wonderful actress, and seems both refined and genuine. She recently announced that she is starting a Goodreads bookclub for fans and feminists alike! First up is Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road. You can find the link to the bookclub here.


What is on your radar this week?




100 in 1001, Uncategorized

101 in 1001

100 things

Inspired by Mackenzie Horan’s original idea I have decided to give the 101 in 1001 challenge a go for myself. Here is how it works:

I am keeping a list of 101 things I would like to accomplish in the next 1001 days. 1001 days (2.75 years) is thought to be a happy medium between writing a to-do list and keeping a bucket list. It is a way to dream big and make regular progress toward meeting longer term goals. I will do my best to update my progress monthly, and hope you enjoy following along. Here goes!

{1 COMPLETE, 100 TO GO!}

1) Come up with 101 things

2) Put $27.50 in savings for every goal accomplished (1/101)


3) Pay off all credit cards (0/5)

4) Do not shop/make personal purchases for 1 month

5) Complete the 52-week money challenge (0/52)


6) Do not drink alcohol for the year 2016

7) Do not eat sugar for one month

8) Exercise at least 3 times/week for two months

9) Meditate daily for one month

10) Attend weekly meditation meetups for 1 month

11) Get that heart in shape aka reach healthy BMI

12) Drink at least 64 ounces of water/day

13) Run a 5k

14) Go to bed by 10 PM every night for a week

15) Wake up at 6am every morning for a week

16) Try stand-up paddle boarding or paddle board yoga

17) Finish BBG round 1

18) Hike five different mountains (3/5) (Crowders Mountain, 01.2016; Mt. Lemmon, 08.2016; Clingmans Dome, 06.2016)

19) Take a self defense class

20) Take a barre class

21) Take a dance class (other than ballet)


22) Design and create business cards for my blog/artwork

23) Write at least 1 blog post/ month

24) Publish three “how-to” posts (0/3)

25) Publish a guide to Charlotte, NC

26) Publish a guide to Washington, DC

27) Publish a guide to Lewes, DE

28) Start a series on the blog (in the works!)


29) Complete and defend master’s thesis (11.2016)

30) Publish resolution and PTG research paper

31) Publish self-compassion and PTG research paper

32) Publish LGCM paper with Anne Marie and Sara

33) Publish religiousness and inflammation paper

34) Attend the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute (06.2016)

35) Complete and defend research comps

36) Complete and defend clinical comps (06.2016)

37) Propose dissertation

38) Apply for internship

39) Complete coursework


40) Call family once/week for at least 2 months

41) Visit family at least once outside of the holiday season (10.2016)

42) Send unexpected care packages to siblings

43) Go on a trip with my entire family

44) Send flowers to my grandmother, mother, and mother-in-law one day, out of the blue


45) Respond to text messages and voice mails my friends leave

46) Call good friends at least 1 time per season (4x per year)

47) Host ornament/cookie exchange holiday party (12.2016)

48) Host craft party

49) Send birthday cards

Charlotte, NC

50) Spend a day at the Mint Art Museum Uptown

51) Spend a day at the Bechler Museum of Modern Art

52) Check out the Body Exhibit at Discovery Place (03.2016)

53) Discover ten new restaurants (5/10) Cowfish, 06.2016; Futo Buta, 07.2016; Copper, 08.2016; Boiling Pot, 11.2016; Fern Flavors from the Earth, 01.2017

54) Spend a day with Drew at the Whitewater Center

55) Go to the farmers market at least 5 times in one summer

56) Attend an off-Broadway performance in Charlotte

57) Attend three plays at the Actors Theater (2/3) Toxic Avenger 11.2016; Great American Trailer Park Christmas, 12.2016

58) Go to a Panthers game (NFL)

59) Go to a Knights game (baseball)


60) Visit Claire in Providence, RI

61) Travel to a new state Two new states- CO and AZ, 08.2016

62) Visit Caleb

63) Visit five new cities (3/5) Denver, CO, 08.2016;  Tucson, AZ, 08.2016; Williamsburg, VA, 10.2016

64) Take a trip to Los Angeles to see Christina

65) Go on a roadtrip


66) Buy a meal for a stranger

67) Pay it forward to an unsuspecting recipient

68) Donate to a Kickstarter/Go Fund Me campaign I believe in

69) Find a charity to donate monthly

70) Leave a 100% tip for excellent service

71) Buy a table of strangers dinner anonymously

72) Pay a strangers Lay-Away balance


73) Create a photobook from 2015, 2016, 2017

74) Send homemade/hand-designed Christmas cards

75) Host a small gallery show displaying my paintings

76) Re-vamp Etsy site with paper and chalkboard goods

77) Participate in a local craft show/holiday popup market

Around the House/ Organization

78) Throw away/donate at least 20 things

79) Keep my room clean/clutter free for one month

80) Clean my car and keep it tidy for one month

81) Spiff up the living room and our bedroom

82) Organize Gmail and unsubscribe from unwanted mailing lists

Personal & Just for Fun

83) Spend at least 45 min with Drew each evening eating dinner

84) Spend at least one day with Drew/week (no work/no electronics)

85) Read at least 100 non-school books (0/100)

86) Celebrate 6 year anniversary with Drew doing something fabulous

87) Watch twenty documentaries (0/20)

88) Invest in a DSLR-camera

89) Go through one calendar month without biting/picking nails

90) Watch Seasons 1-9 of Dr. Who from the recent release (0/9)

91) Attend a classical music concert

92) Read five classic novels (0/5)

93) Write in my “One Line a Day book” every night for at least three months

94) Pick apples at an apple orchard

95) Carve a pumpkin (and roast the seeds)

96) Buy a house

97) Have a picnic

98) Learn to drive a manual car

99) Learn to play five songs on my Ukulele (0/5)

100) Go one month without checking social media or phone upon waking

101)  Go one week without complaining


Weekend Watchlist

naughty list

I hope you all had an amazing week! Mine was quite good. I worked through the think of “finals season”, finishing up two term papers and two large presentations and was officially published for the first time (YAY!). I still have an online final and a large paper due on Wednesday, but it feels good to begin looking back at all of the work I have put in with satisfaction. This semester was particularly stressful from a personal standpoint and had drastic ups and downs. It feels so so nice to be nearing the end of this chapter. I have learned much with regards to school and myself, and have grown in many ways; however, this semester is one chapter which I am pleased to move on from. I am beginning to prep for a party I am hosting tomorrow and our holiday visit home to see our families next week and am growing excited!

Here what caught my eye this week:

1// Pretty Holiday Gift Tags

Ona Befort is a wonderfully generous artist and frequently shares free printables of her amazing work. These gift tags are adorable and sure to make any wrapped gift extra special.


2// Extra Large Prize Ribbons

Oh Happy Day is a pretty famous blog among the DIYers and crafty folk. I love these prize ribbons. What a neat way to celebrate an accomplishment. My grad program used to create small posters for each student when they completed their milestones (i.e., thesis proposal/defense, dissertation proposal/defense, etc) but has fallen away from the practice. I am thinking that making a special XL prize ribbon to commemorate these occasions could be a nice way to bring the tradition back!


3// Jeff Goldbloom Gives Some Pointers on Receiving Gifts

This video is great. My cousin, Millie, shared it with me when she came to visit a few weeks ago. I love Jeff Goldbloom. I love this video. It makes me laugh every time.


4// NPR Best Books 2015

If you know me, it is no surprise that reading is probably my favorite hobby. I am always down for a great book, especially to bide the time while I wait for the final installment in the Passage trilogy. I was driving home this week and heard a bit about the NPR book concierge matrix. It is amazing. You can search by favorite genre or interest, combine genres and interests (i.e., SciFi/Fantasy with Eye-Opening with Seriously Great Writing) to find titles that are perfect for you. I picked up and finished Uprooted by Naomi Novic per their recommendation yesterday. It was a super fast read (I obsessively read it cover to cover in an evening) and reminded me vaguely of Beauty and the Beast (with lots of magic thrown in and set in Russia). I hope she writes a squeal!


5// Serial Returns

I have heard so much hype around this podcast. I have not checked it out myself, but have received at least 10 different recommendations to check it out. Since my drive to the hospital 2x/week is over an hour each way, I am always looking for good audio-books or podcasts. I am looking forward to checking this out soon!


What have you been into this week?




A Week in Brief Review…and guess what?! I AM PUBLISHED!!!

This week has been a blur. I am in the thick of finals–three extra long term papers and two extra important presentations due withing the next four days as well as an exam to prep for. This is all in addition to working at the Cancer Center 20 hours a week and doing my combined research/assessment assistanceship for 20 hours. On the not so positive side, I have had to deal with a patriarchal and egotistical supervisor who seems bent on making me (and every other woman he works with) feel belittled and disempowered (I am going to write a post on this and being a woman in higher education in the near future).

On a more positive note, Drew and I were able to spend Thursday evening enjoying the company of the Charlotte Culture and Couth Club. We LOVE this group. We meet every other month of so for dinner at a new local restaurant followed by the newest play at Charlotte’s Actors Theater. Dinner this time was at 300 East in Dilworth. I love this part of town and the restaurant was so cute! It is in an old home and has been in operation for over 25 years–which is saying something in the every changing up-town area of Charlotte! I had the Salmon Croquettes which were absolutely delicious and Drew had the Hanger Steak which he loved. All of the meats, cheeses, and vegetables are seasonal and locally sourced. The decor was cute and cozy as well. I violated the cardinal rule of bloggers near and far and FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES,  so this little gem is taken from the website.

300 east exterior

I hear their Sunday brunch is amazing….we are already planning our next trip there.


The Actor’s Theater is one of my favorite places in Charlotte. They are known for pushing the boundaries in terms of content/topics and for stellar performances. This month’s production was “The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical”. I almost just want to let the show poster speak for itself….

the great american trailer park christmas musical

The show was HILARIOUS. I think Drew and I were practically in tears at several points. The cast did a phenomenal job and I was so impressed with the entire production–from the set, to the singing, to the (totally moderately inappropriate songs)! We had such a fun time and if you are in the Charlotte, NC area this month and want an untraditionally good time, I highly recommend trying to make a show. The theater is currently running a holiday special as well. For a limited time, you can purchase a package of 2 tickets to each of the  three remaining shows this season (the season runs until May 2016) for a discounted rate. The best part is….the package comes with THIS little gem:

the actors theater ornament

Yes, you are seeing this correctly. You, too, can be the proud owner of your very own Great American Trailer Park Christmas Ornament! Drew and I try to get a new ornament every year and this is ours for 2015. I added the 2015 to the front so we can remember what a great time we had at the show for years to come.

Finally–the most exciting news of all–I AM PUBLISHED! My advisor is pretty much the best and has been so wonderful in giving me the freedom to pursue research that both speaks to me and that I am passionate about. It has made grad school bearable and even FUN at times (I plan to return to this tomorrow after I have been writing constantly for 24+ hours and cramming for exams). He has supported my varied interests and usually lets me go do my own things, only stepping in occasionally to redirect or refocus me (or advise me to stop taking on so many projects). This past summer, he offered me the opportunity to respond to a target article which has been released in the latest issue of Psychological Inquiry in which Eric Garland and colleagues propose a mechanistic model of mindfulness and meaning-making processes. I have been intrigued by the concept of mindfulness for years (I used to meditate before softball games when I was young to help focus and prepare myself). I was so excited to a) get an opportunity to read an advance release of Garland et al.’s model (really cool things are on the academic horizon) and b) to get to begin to try and integrate our work on posttraumatic growth (PTG) with the work on mindfulness. You can check out the article here on my academic website.

I hope you have a great weekend! I am sure I will find another time to post this weekend in an attempt to procrastinate, so be sure to keep an eye out 🙂




Summer Reading

Summer is here!

I have been loving having a brief break before returning to work next week. Drew and I spent some time in Orlando with two friends gallivanting around Harry Potter World at Universal Studios which was an absolute blast. Traveling is one of our favorite ways to celebrate things and taking a yearly trip at the end of the school year is becoming a much loved tradition. I will post pictures from that adventure soon.

In the meantime, I have been enjoying my summer break by immersing myself in reading. Growing up I was one of the “weird” ones (and now I note that “weird” was code for “awesome”). When the rest of my classmates would look at our summer reading lists with disgust and disdain, I would become extremely excited at the prospect of having the opportunity to discover new books, new authors, be introduced to new characters and worlds, and immerse myself in new stories.

Things haven’t changed much. Ask me how I like to spend my evenings and I will tell you I prefer to be curled up with a book, on the couch, traveling to distant lands in my imagination. While we may no longer be assigned formal summer reading lists, I thought I would put together a little list of my own. Here are some of the books I am looking forward to reading this summer. Good Omens is the read for our June book club.

What are you looking forward to reading this summer?


Outliers//The Last Lecture//Ishmael

Good Omens//Hallucinations//The House of Mirth

Quiet//The Silkworm//My Stroke of Insight


Weekend Watchlist

I am in the processing of packing to go home for the holidays and wanted to post a quick update before leaving. I am happy to report that I successfully finished the semester of school! Since coming to grad school, I have really tried to reframe the way I think, not aiming as much for “A’s” (though they are nice to receive) but rather focusing on learning. Basically, this means if I end the semester with a B, but really took alot away from the course and feel I will be able to integrate it into my professional life, I am OK with it. This mentality took awhile to adopt (and honestly, sometimes I feel like I am still working on it), but it has really helped me to let go of the stress and competitive spirit that can accompany grad school and has helped me to enjoy the ride more 🙂 That being said, I haven’t even looked at all my grades yet (GASP), but I know I passed the semester, I have learned quite alot, and I feel I have continued to grow as a student, future professional, and spouse. All in all, I would say it was a success 🙂 More on all of this later, but in the meantime….

Here is what has been on my radar recently….

ONE// Two words…BABY SLOTHS!

This has to be one of the cutest videos ever. I love animals, especially baby animals. I also love sloths. This video just might take the cake for one of the most adorable animal videos of the year. Just try and watch it without saying or thinking “Aww” at least once…..

TWO// UPS Driver for a Day

This is so sweet. This little boy is adorable and his earnest excitement and love for Mr. Ernie the delivery man are just precious. And when he throws his hands onto his face in shock? I just about lost it. This will make you feel so warm and happy. What a brilliant campaign by UPS.

THREE// Happy Chanukah!

The holiday season is usually inundated with Christmas carols, but, as Adam Sandler so eloquently pointed out in the classic “Eight Crazy Nights”, songs celebrating Chanukah are lacking in the popular media. Well, Six13 is aiming to change that this year with their amazing parody of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” all about the festival of lights. This is amazing and has to be the BEST cover of the year of Ms Swift’s song. Enjoy!

FOUR// Charlotte’s Edible Walkway

I saved the best for last. In local news, the historic Wilmore neighborhood marks the first in Charlotte to plant an entirely edible walkway, filled with fruit and nut trees, for people to enjoy. The idea stemmed from noticing local children walking up the street to get “food”, only to see them returning from a grocery store with processed and sugar-laden food. The hope is that this path will provide a natural and sustainable source of food for all people to enjoy. Kudos to you, Charlotte. This is an AMAZING idea and one that I hope catches fire. We have access to so many wonderful natural food sources and this is a small step in working to help reconnect people with nature and where their food comes from. It is also a really promising step in working to create a sustainable future for our children. I hope your local communities are able to adopt similar ideas.

Whats on your radar this week?


Weekend Watchlist


Wow, what a busy week and great weekend! I worked all week, trying to complete grant and fellowship applications while working on presentations, homework, seeing clients, trying to cook dinners for Drew, and find time to spend with him each day. I have been trying to get back into painting and, after submitting a grant to a student research competition Friday afternoon, decided to take the evening off and paint. I was able to complete a new painting Friday, which is currently hanging on our wall (and featured above). I think it might need a little more work but I am generally pleased with it. Later that evening, Drew and I had some friends over for brie and boardgames, both of which we have decided we must make a regular thing. We were invited for an amazing dinner and fantastic conversation at a friend’s house on Saturday and then we watched Maleficient, which I had been dying to see and absolutely loved. We had a generally lazy but productive Sunday, and I was able to teach a Restorative Yoga class complete with a lovely guided yoga nidra practice to finish off the weekend in a fabulous way. We are looking forward to this upcoming week, which promises to be very busy, but until then here is what has been on my radar recently…

ONE// How Much Do You Know About Your Food?


This article might blow your mind, and not in a good way. It is so important to know about and understand what we are putting into our bodies. I did not know that most shredded cheese had wood pulp in it and this post has me rethinking foods which I thought were “healthy”.

TWO// 16 Habits of Highly Sensitive People

This article is an oldie but a goodie. My mother bought me Elaine Aron’s book The Highly Sensitive Person years ago, when I was struggling with the transition from adolescence to young-adulthood. I remember resonating with so many of the points brought up in the book. It was refreshing to hear of my quirks and idiosyncrasies referred to as “sensitive” rather than “weird”, and of this term “sensitive” being presented as an inherent character strength rather than weakness.  Anyone who knows me knows that most of these points apply.

THREE// Sounds of Space


Prepare to have your mind blown. I am simultaneously fascinated and terrified of outer space. It is beautiful, incomprehensible, and humbling. I had heard of space sounds before,  and this post, shared by my friend Erin, is pretty astounding. Enjoy.

What is on your radar this week?


On My Radar

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! Around here, we don’t get many trick-or-treaters given the layout of our apartment, so we spent the evening eating yummy Mexican food and watching scary movies. The next day, we took an impromptu trip to Cherokee, NC and drove right into the middle of a fluke snow storm! It was a really fun trip which I plan to post more on later this week. In the mean time, here is what has been on my radar recently.

ONE// Anahata Katkin

anahata katkin 148

I am a huge fan of Anahata Katkin‘s artwork. The founder of Papaya!, her paintings are strikingly lovely. I recently was looking over her website and saw she had pictures of her home posted. Oh. My. Word. This is exactly what I hope my home can look like someday. Wow. Check it out-all the paintings on the walls are hers as well. It is truly a special home.

TWO// Things only people from Northern Virginia will understand

This post is so true. I laughed out-loud when I read the Tyson’s Corner at Christmas bit and can attest that yes, Silver Diner has everything. True Northern Virginian’s  know that Amphora’s is also superior to Silver Diner 😉 Enjoy, my NOVA friends.

THREE// Adilyn Malcom

You need to check this out. This girl is amazing. I wish I could dance like that. I look forward to seeing where this little lady ends up…maybe with Cirque du Soleil.

FOUR// New Efforts to Expand Options for Terminally Ill Patients

I am sure many of you have already heard of Brittany Maynard and her decision, after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, to take her life on November, 1, 2014. Diane Rehm hosted a very interesting show last week on the topic, inviting bioethics expert Dr. Ira Byock and Compassion and Choices author Barbara Coombs Lee to debate on the topic of assisted suicide. This controversial topic has always fascinated me and my heart goes out to any and all individuals/families who are ever confronted with this difficult decision. This show is well-done and worth listening to.

What is on your radar this week?


Happy Halloween!


Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Probably because it marks, at least for me, the beginning of the holiday season. The air is crisp and as the day turns dark the magic begins. It is a night to believe in treats and tricks and conjure up the inner child that lives within us. I am looking forward to a night filled with scary movies, apple cider, cinnamon spiced candles, and magic. Stay safe and have a wonderful Halloween!