Gift Guide: what to get your mom, best friend, wife, sister, or any other woman in your life

Everything is under $25!

Can you believe Christmas is only a month away? I took inspiration from my favorite blog, Cup of Jo and decided to make a gift guide for the holiday season. Thanks for the idea, Joanna! (Please note: my formatting is the same as hers, but all of the gifts I share below are different from those on her site). Sometimes, I feel like a lot of the gift ideas she shares are a little over-priced for my budget. Paying $55 for a coffee mug or $75 for a sweater seems pretty unnecessary to me! Below I’ve shared seven gift ideas that are big enough to be actual gifts (and not just stocking stuffers), but don’t break the bank. I hope you enjoy them!

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in which i pretend to be a poet

What do you do to help yourself unwind? I have recently been really enjoying both reading and writing free verse poetry (no rules! a concept). It’s nice to be able to write something that isn’t going to be graded. I used to journal, but I find that writing poems can be equally therapeutic. Sometimes I will write about what is happening in my life, but most often I like to use poetry as a form of what poet Kate Baer has called a “mini novel.” I usually think of a word, a feeling, a character, or a scene and try to describe it in vivid detail. If you’re interested, I have (nervously) shared some of my scribbles below … (tw: miscarriage)

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10 Female YouTubers to Binge Immediately

Who rules the internet? WOMEN.

Like many people, YouTube has been a lifeline for me during quarantine. Comedy channels especially (I am looking at you, Cody Ko) have been such a great distraction from everything going on since March. Sometimes though, I feel like it can be hard to discover new creators. I thought it might be fun to share a list of some of my favorite YouTubers and ask you all to comment below to share yours as well. Without further ado, here are ten female YouTubers who are funny, smart, and just downright entertaining. Enjoy!

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Week in Review #12

It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball.

Yay! It’s the weekend. Did you all have a good week? It’s been getting colder here (it actually snowed briefly on Monday), so I am glad that my new winter coat is scheduled to arrive soon. I got all my grading done late on Thursday night so I haven’t had too much to do this weekend except for a little bit of reading. Here’s a quick review of our week in photo form …

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New Grad Student Guide: What to Wear to an Academic Conference

Plus tips on networking for introverts.


Given the state of the world right now, it doesn’t seem like we’ll all be reconvening at academic conferences anytime soon. But when we do, dear reader, you will be prepared. Here are my best tips on what to wear to present at an academic conference… Continue reading “New Grad Student Guide: What to Wear to an Academic Conference”

Week in Review #11

It’s never too cold for iced coffee.

It’s starting to get cold here in Milwaukee. We had a pretty low-key week and are trying to enjoy the last few sunny days of fall before the snow hits. This weekend we are planning on watching this movie and heading to church a little early for a breakfast meeting with the rest of the welcome team. I hope you are having an equally relaxing weekend. I’ve included some pictures of our Saturday morning walk today, if you want to see …

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Do you have a go-to potluck dish?

Bring on the brownies


Remember in Saving Private Ryan when Tom Hanks, with his last dying breath, clutches at a young, dashing Matt Damon, imploring him to “earn this”? Such bursts of pithy advice, usually bestowed at deathbeds or buried deep in hyperbole and Emerson quotes at commencement addresses, can radically alter the way you see the world and your place in it. On a balmy summer day in middle school my grandma passed on such a nugget of wisdom to me … Continue reading “Do you have a go-to potluck dish?”

Week in Review #10

this will be a short one

Hi everyone! Did you all have a good week and weekend? I wasn’t feeling too well yesterday (no, I don’t have COVID). It was just a really long week and I needed some extra rest and a lot of soda crackers and soup. I am thankfully feeling so much better today. The house is now clean, I am done grading midterms, and we are relaxing the rest of the day. Great British Baking Show + cheesy popcorn HERE WE COME. What are you up to this evening? If you’re starting to feel those Sunday Blues, here’s a quick read that you might find helpful. (YES to doing Sunday on Saturday!!).

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First-time Cat Owner Tips


I never really thought that I was a cat person. I grew up having dogs and Robbie grew up pet-less. I had absolutely no idea how much joy would fill my heart and home when we adopted this beautiful tabby cat just over a year ago. Honestly, neither of us have any idea how we ever lived without her! The gorgeous gal featured above is named Walnut (affectionately called Wallie, Nutter Butter, Wallipop, and Wallis Simpson when she’s misbehaving) and she is the light of our lives. Thinking of becoming a pet parent? Here’s everything I wish I had known before Walnut joined our little family. Please bear in mind that my experience is limited and all advice is based solely on my own experiences. Continue reading “First-time Cat Owner Tips”

Week in Review #9

So. Much. CHEESE.

Happy Friday!! Did you all have a good week? I ate half my weight in cheese and got to hang out with my brother (!!!) so, my week was pretty darn great. Also, the weather in Milwaukee has been BEAUTIFUL lately. The temperatures are perfect, the trees are changing colors, and the lake looks like a postcard. Perfection. I can’t believe I get to live here. I like this place a lot. Now I just need to force myself back indoors to get caught up on homework.

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