Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving Sales)

Happy Thanksgiving, America! I am back from my European vacation just in time for the holidays. Perfect planning, I know. My trip to Amsterdam and Bruges was amazing! Unfortunately, I got sick while I was there, and I am still recovering. Since we don't have any special plans for Turkey Day, I'm going to just veg out for the rest of the week. When I feel better, I'll put together a post about what we saw/did/ate!

Obviously, Thanksgiving is synonymous with eating too much food and shopping Black Friday sales, but it's also a reminder to count our blessings. I want to take a moment to talk about what I feel grateful for this year. These are things I normally take for granted, but not everyone is as fortunate, so I should appreciate what I have. First of all, I am grateful that I am in generally good health, as are J and my parents. One benefit of being sick is that it always reminds me of how important good health actually is. With all of the wildfires that have happened, I feel grateful that I have a roof over my head this Thanksgiving. Not everyone is as lucky. I appreciate that I have had the opportunity to pursue a PhD, which is a luxury not everyone can afford. Also, I feel enormously grateful for the progress I have made with my mental health. I honestly can't imagine taking the trip we just came back from a few years ago at the peak of my anxiety. Last but certainly not least, I am grateful for J, my friends, and my family.


On a lighter note, here are the Thanksgiving sales I am most excited about. I confess that I already ordered a bunch of stuff. Probably too much actually, but most likely not everything will work out. (By the way, if I find any other exciting deals, I'll come back and update this page, so check back.)

BACKCOUNTRY // Up to 40% off select styles (plus 10% cash back through eBates). Backcountry is one of my favorite stores for outdoor clothing and gear. I am currently eyeing a new pair of climbing shoes for myself, although I may wait to see if Santa brings me some for Christmas. My pick is this hooded Patagonia down jacket, which rarely goes on sale past 30% off. If you didn't already know, I kind of have a love affair with Patagonia. I'm a big fan of their products and their company mission. I own the non-hooded version of this jacket and wear it all the time. In fact, it was the only coat I brought with me to Europe, because it's warm, lightweight, and packable.

BANANA REPUBLIC // 50% off with no exclusions through 11/24/2018 (plus 8% cash back through eBates). I own this merino boyfriend cardigan in burgundy, which I really like. I just ordered this strappy ivory cami, which I hope works out. I also like this washable silk cami and this longer open cardigan.

GAP // 50% off with code BLKFRIDAY and an additional 10% off with code TREAT through 11/22/2018 (plus 10% cash back through eBates). I love buying sweaters and PJs from Gap. This year they have some really great offerings in my opinion. I own last year's version of this 100% cotton cable-knit sweater. I also like this turtleneck tunic sweater and this popcorn sweater. I ordered these flannel shorts and these soft joggers.

J.CREW // 40-50% off your purchase with code GOLDENDEAL through 11/22/2018 (plus 6% cash back through eBates) 50% off your purchase with code TGIF through 11/24/2018 (plus 10% cash back through eBates). I bought this faux-fur pom-pom hat right before my trip and ended up wearing it every single day. It's not the warmest, but it makes me feel cute and fits my head really well. I ordered this Christmas plaid scarf. On Black Friday morning, I also ordered this camel sweater-blazer, this fair isle sweater, these black jeans, this lace tank top, this ivory cami, and this striped tee. My other picks include my favorite coat (I own a previous year's version) and this longer camel cardigan.

MADEWELL // 25% off your purchase with code DEALWITHIT through 11/25/2018 (plus 5% cash back through eBates). Now is a great time to get their jeans or bags on sale. I bought the zip-top mini transport crossbody a while back, and I really like it. It was the only bag I brought on my Europe trip, because it's pretty lightweight and surprisingly spacious. I've been on a cognac leather kick recently, so I ordered this belt to match my bag.

NORDSTROM // New markdowns now through 11/26/2018. If it's more convenient for you, you can buy Madewell items through Nordstrom. They will price match as long as the same color/size is in stock. I love Nordstrom's return policy, so I buy through them whenever possible. I ordered this pearl-embellished tee, these glitter loafers (what can I say, I'm attracted to shiny things), and this faux shearling coat. I actually saw a ton of chic women in Europe wearing similar coats, and it makes me want one too.

NORDSTROM RACK // Extra 30% off clearance items and free shipping sitewide through 11/26/2018. I've been shopping at Nordstrom Rack a lot, because I frequently find really awesome deals. I prefer shopping in store for the best selection, but I realize your mileage may vary depending on your local store's selection. My favorite things to buy here are jeans, bags, shoes, and bras.

SOKO GLAM // 30% off sitewide with code SGBF18 (plus 6% cash back through eBates). Now is a great time to restock your favorite Asian skincare products or to try out a new one. I own and recommend the CosRX low-pH good morning cleanser, the Missha time revolution first treatment essence, and the CosRX oil-free ultra moisturizing lotion. I am thinking about ordering ordered the CosRX advanced snail 96 mucin power essence, the Etude House moistfull collagen emulsion, the Acwell licorice pH balancing cleansing toner, and the Dr. G brightening peeling gel set. If you decide to order, I'd really appreciate if you would use my referral link!

What do you feel grateful for this Thanksgiving? And what sales are you shopping?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Life Lately

It's been a while since I posted about general life stuff! I find that I need to be in a certain mood to write this kind of post, and lately I've just been too busy/distracted to really sit down and collect my thoughts. The biggest thing going on in my life right now is wrapping up the PhD. This past month I have been working on a research paper that is based on part of my dissertation work, which I am submitting soon to the top conference in my field. The decision doesn't come out until next March, but I hope it gets accepted! Now that I'm done with the paper, I can finally start working again on the last section of my dissertation. I would love to wrap that up soon, so I can submit a draft to my committee before everyone leaves for the holidays.

Also, I started casually looking for jobs again, and by casually, I mean, I'll-apply-if-I-happen-to-come-across-an-interesting-job-and-if-it's-in-a-city-I-want-to-move-to,-but-I'm-not-really-looking-that-hard-right-now. I initially started the process last fall, but I decided to put it on hold, because it was taking up too much time and preventing me from actually finishing the PhD. I got 3 offers at the time, but I felt like I could do better and turned them all down. Hopefully, I don't come to regret that decision, haha. Then again, I'm not sure I want to start working right away anyway. Since I still have some savings from before, I wouldn't mind taking time off after graduation to be a bum, travel, and detox from the whole PhD experience.

You never know how things will go though. So I applied for a position about a month ago, and things are moving faster than I expected. I already did two interviews with the company, and they want to fly me out for a third in-person interview. I would still like to explore my other options, so I've been trying to put the brakes on. We'll see how that goes. Also, my job search is complicated by my relationship with J. Right now he and I live together in the same city. However, there just aren't a lot of good opportunities for me here, and I don't want to stay in the area long term. Ultimately I want to move to the West Coast, ideally California or Washington. We've discussed the possibility of moving there together, which he is open to, but I understand that it's not a good time in his career right now to make a move. So there's a lot of uncertainty. I worry about what's going to happen to us in the future if/when I move, and the whole situation is stressing me out. I want to trust that things will ultimately work out, but I really struggle with it since I have generalized anxiety. Anyway, thanks for listening (reading?), and sorry if all this is kind of a downer.

On a lighter note, I am going to the Netherlands and Belgium next week! J has to go to Amsterdam for work, and we decided to turn the trip into an extended vacation. Honestly, I could use the break, and I'm looking forward to checking out the museums, the canals, and the local architecture in and around Amsterdam. I'm also looking forward to eating some Indonesian food (Indonesia was a Dutch colony) and going to Belgium for Belgian chocolates, waffles, and beer! (Yes, I travel to eat.) I expect we'll be doing lots of walking in chilly weather, so I'm prepared to bring warm clothes and comfortable walking shoes. Still need to plan our exact itinerary and what to pack!

How do you deal with the stress of uncertainty when you're faced with circumstances that are beyond your control? And do you have any recommendations for what to see/do/eat in the Netherlands or Belgium?

Monday, November 5, 2018

Your Vote Matters

Tomorrow (November 6th) is Election Day here in America. I hope those of you who are eligible will go out to the polls and exercise your right as American citizens. As an immigrant from a country without democracy, I cherish the privilege we have in this country, and I cast my ballot last week. Every single vote matters right now. Many congressional, governor, and local races all over the country are very close, and the effects of these elections could have a lasting impact on our society for years to come. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to make sure that your beliefs are being represented and that your voice is being heard. Please go out there and vote. Let's  create a brighter future for ourselves, our families, our friends, our country, and our world.