Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Barbour for Life

I have officially joined the ranks of the preppiest of the preppy; I now own a Barbour coat.  This was a completely unexpected purchase for me, but my mom helped me out with an early 21st birthday present (and their student discount helped a ton!)
I got the Vintage Beadnell jacket.  I always try to buy whatever is the "classic" of whatever I'm getting.  I'm a fan of the tried and true style that I can wear for years without "still wearing that old jacket".  So of course, when dropping the cash for a Barbour, I went immediately for the Vintage Beadnell.  I did make one leap of faith for something different; I got it in Terracotta instead of Olive.  Don't make fun, that's a big deal for me.  I was very worried that because it was so colorful that in 3 years people would be like "there's Catherine in her orange jacket." I needed something different though, something new and out of the box.  Tough decision for me, but I went for it.

I have been so impressed with the jacket!  I swear, if you're even thinking about getting one, do it!!  It is more windproof than my Northface shell, really warm and is so comfortable.  I'm ok with wearing it inside even, and the lining is so soft.  It's a great casual jacket for 40-60deg weather, but it's also stylish enough to be good for work meetings.
I am absolutely in love and have no regrets at all about getting my new Barbour jacket.  I even registered it with the company, so if anything happens to it, they can help me fix it easily.  The cotton only needs to be rewaxed every 2 years, and to clean it you just wipe it off with a wet cloth.  It's so low maintenance!  Have I mentioned it's comfortable?
Overall, WORTH THE MONEY omg I wear this jacket every chance I get.  I feel like this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship ;)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A love story

I'd like to tell you all a love story.  
Ten years ago there was a nerdy girl who met a nerdy boy in the 6th grade.  He was a dork, both his parents were professors, and the only thing the poor kid had to stand out was to show off his brains.  She was a smart shy kid, and at that point so done with public middle school that she rarely talked.  They hated each other.  When other kids would joke that they should go out, they would reaffirm their hatred to everyone who would listen.
As thew grew up they grew into their nerdy skins.  High school with its AP classes was kind to them, and they eventually both joined the science team.  It was there that they finally started talking and soon they found they had a lot in common.  They would stay up all night talking about the bands they like, movies they'd seen and the classes they were both in.  At 15 and 16 they weren't quick to admit anything they did together was a date until the day they went to the movies alone followed by snickers from their parents.  Of course, as they "weren't dating", they never saw a date movie, instead opting for James Bond and various war movies.  They were both so shy, they weren't even Facebook official until a girl in their history class told the whole school they were dating.
They went through everything together. Prom, science competitions, and then graduation.  Graduation was scariest of all when he had to move to Cornell and she moved to M.I.T.
Somehow by luck and through tears and hard work, they managed to make it through school 300 miles apart.
And last week, Doug asked me to marry him.
If I told 12 year old me that one day I would marry "egg-head Douglas" as I used to call him, I would slap me and cry.  If I told 15 year old me I was marrying Doug, I'd say fat chance I'd marry my first boyfriend.  If I told 18 year old me, I'd be amazed we made it long distance and finally, 20 year old me is ecstatic.
Doug is the love of my life, and truly my other half.  I can't imagine my life without him.  The past six years have been amazing, and I know the rest of our lives will be even better.
Us at 16 and 17 at prom

Our engagement photo :)

Monday, February 3, 2014


So part of my 101 in 1001 list was to get a subscription to something.  For me this was a huge step because I really hate committing to give money to something, especially something so frivolous.  I decided since I have a semi-stable job that pays over minimum wage, it was time to settle down to consistency.  Hopefully a constant stream of "presents" would help curb my impulse spending.
After much research, I decided to go with Birchbox.  A few factors went into this. First, at $10 a month Birchbox was one of the most reasonably priced subscription boxes considering you get six decent sized samples.  Second, the products matched really well with what I was looking for.  I was tired of getting mini perfume samples and tiny makeups.  Birchbox offers more versatile beauty supplies and sometimes even tools and accessories.  They cater to your style, ability, and habits through a personalization quiz, which seemed to actually get what I wanted.  They also send snack and tea samples, which I really like.  Finally, Birchbox is the original.  They pretty much pioneered the beauty subscription box, so much so that boxes for other industries are called "the Birchbox for___".  Their long term success assured me that what I was getting was worth the money.
My first box came last week and I was very pleased.
Not sure why, but I really liked the simple design of the box
It came packed up like a little present!
I haven't had a chance to try all of the products yet, so I'll have to be back with that later.  In total I got 5 things.
I got dry conditioner (I had never seen that before), lip balm, mascara, nail polish, and tea samples

I was really pleased with the samples as they're all things I could see myself using.  I couldn't believe that their boxes were personalized so well, and I'm really looking forward to my next box!

If you're interested in getting a Birchbox, check it out here.  Or wait and see what I think in the coming months.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


FOMO is a phrase that has been kicking around, especially around college campuses.  It stands for "fear of missing out" and is something I rarely understand.  As you may have guessed, I am an introvert.  This seems pretty normal to me, I'm an engineer and a blogger,  you would guess I like to spend a lot of time alone.  This is how it's always been for me.  I remember even as a young child I would sit in my room alone playing with my American Girl doll.  This never bothered me.  I liked the quiet, and it was a nice change from being downstairs with my 2 siblings and a dog.
15 years later not much has changed.  Given a choice I'd rather be in my room than at a party, or out wandering around.  I like the quiet.  I am not anti-social.  That label drives me crazy.  I love company and I love my friends, I just love when we stay in.  For some reason this label has such negative stigma attached to it.  Why?  
For years I have felt like a weirdo and a hermit for declining invitations to go to large frat parties and all night ragers.  I'd get calls at 8 when I was already in my pajamas with a book from people wanting to go out.  How could I be in bed when the night was just starting?  Do I have some sort of anxiety problem?  Am I abnormal?  What was wrong with me that only a couple semesters in I was already bored with college parties.  I felt like the odd one out not caring if I ran around at night.
 I wasn't lonely or bored, I've just always liked the quiet.  Unfortunately, I've always felt like a weirdo because of it.  Back in highschool I used to fake answers to personality tests to get an extrovert score because I thought it made me "better".
But it doesn't.  It took me 20 years to realise that there are a lot of people like me, we're just pretty quiet about it.  It's not a disease to sit inside on a Friday night,  it's actually quite common.  After I started making friends at MIT I met a lot of people that would sit in at night together and hang out.  Awesome for me right?  Yeah I was in heaven.  No FOMO, no parties, just TV, food, and friends.
The more I read the more I found a community of introverts.  We are bloggers, scientists, CEO's, writers, athletes, pretty much anything.  We keep things running in the background and do what we need to do without disturbing our rhythm or other people.  Introverts help support the backbone of humanity, balancing the extroverts.  Neither is more important because both are needed.
I'm feeling more comfortable in my skin now, and hopefully my fellow introverts, you will too.

Inspired by this TED Talk: