Showing posts from October, 2011

Climate Change - Halloween Edition

Four years ago, this is what I wore on Halloween: I was able to walk around outside in this admittedly skimpy outfit because it was nice and warm. Not like 70 degrees warm, but nice enough that I didn't freeze my ass off at night. This year, it snowed in Massachusetts the weekend before Halloween. And the snow stuck. The area where we live got off easy, most of the snow melted in the next couple of days. But a lot of people in the neighboring towns lost power. A town in Western MA got 32 inches of snow fall. That's almost three feet of snow in October! In the first snow fall of the year! If anyone is still doubting that climate change is real and is happening fast, then this is just one piece of empirical data that should really help sway those doubting minds. I suspect that what is throwing some people off is the unfortunate phrase "global warming". Although it is not a misnomer, as global temperatures are indeed rising, it's hard to see a snowstorm in Oct

Flower Inspiration

Now that the wedding dress has been purchased, I am moving on to other pretty (and less stressful) things - flowers! A florist wasn't in our budget, so I decided to DIY the flowers, hopefully with some help from my family (are you reading this, Mom?). The first step, of course, is to look for some inspiration. And what better place to do that than Pinterest ? I've started pinning photos of centerpieces and bouquets that appealed to me, in the hopes of finding some pattern and figuring out what I like . Here are some examples of centerpieces: Found here . This one would work well with the colors we've picked out so far. Found here . I like the cluster, various height bottles, simple flowers. Found here . Another cluster, summery and loose. Found here . Camelias in low glasses. Simple yet beautiful. Found here . Very simple, but these orchids make quite a color statement. Found here . Simple centerpiece in a blue mason jar. Small candles balance the arra

Wedding Dress Saga Concludes

In my search for the wedding dress, I tried on many dresses and looked at many, many more online. In the beginning, I considered some actual (though hardly traditional) wedding dresses . But once I realized that even short wedding dresses cost a small fortune, my search shifted to more affordable options. I knew that bridesmaid dresses come in almost any color, and they are generally within a more affordable price range. The problem (and I was aware of this from the beginning but pressed on anyway) is that in my opinion, bridesmaid dresses are designed to be unflattering. It seems that the wedding industry has designated the bride to be the star of the show wedding, at the expense of her closest friends, who are often forced to wear matching dresses in unflattering fit and color. I'm not saying that this is universally true, but that's what I have noticed often happens at weddings. Still, I had to wear something to my wedding (although I did threaten to show up in a white bi

Labcoat Fridays: Sustainable Plastics

I am starting a new feature on the blog called Labcoat Fridays , where I will talk about some exciting developments happening in various areas of science. It probably won't be a weekly feature, as these posts would require a lot of prep work, but we'll see what happens. Here is the first Labcoat Fridays post! As a materials scientist, I have a membership with the Materials Research Society, also known as MRS. As part of that membership, I receive a monthly publication called MRS Bulletin . The September issue was of particular interest to me, as it focused on sustainability and biopolymers, two topics that I am very excited about. Biopolymers are simply plastics that are derived from nature rather than fossil fuels (aka oil). On a very basic level, the concept of sustainability means living in a responsible manner. And as we are all aware, some of the current practices involving plastics can hardly be called sustainable. For example, those plastic bags that we get in the st

Ok, I admit it

This is why my showers take so long... Found on Pinterest Hey, those hard life decisions have to be contemplated at some point during the day!

Save-the-Dates, the DIY way

Early on in the wedding planning process, I decided to DIY our Save-the-Dates . Generally, I think that STDs (as I lovingly call them) are not necessary. But we do have some out-of-town guests that have trouble remembering dates that far in advance, and I also thought it would be a nice opportunity for me to get a bit creative without putting too much pressure on myself, so I decided to make the STDs for the guests. While browsing on Pinterest for inspiration, I came across an idea that I really liked - a personalized bookmark as a Save-the-Date. D and I are book lovers, and lots of our friends and family are, too, so I thought that a bookmark would not only serve as a reminder of our wedding date, but it would also be potentially useful to our guests long after the wedding is over. And, it is subtly representative of our mutual bookworminess. Here is the design that served as my inspiration: Before diving into this DIY project, I wanted to make sure that I was prepared and knew

Wedding Stress is "Normal"

This weekend, I had my first breakdown over the wedding. After I finished crying, I thought to myself that it's ok, it is perfectly normal to cry over wedding planning related stuff. Everyone does it. Or, I should say, every bride does it. I have yet to see a man go into a hissy fit over the color of the napkins, for example. Even my favorite sane wedding blog tells me how ubiquitous wedding stress is. But it was exactly this line of thought that made me stop and question the validity of this assumption. Why IS it expected that a bride will stress and cry at some point in the wedding planning process? Why is it NOT expected that the groom will do the same? It's a wedding for two, after all. (Yes, I am aware that my statements apply to heterosexual weddings only. But that's only because I don't really know what the society expects in terms of wedding breakdowns when it comes to same-sex couples.) My own tears were spilled over nothing particularly important. In retr

Explosive Save-the-Dates?

I had another topic in mind for tonight's post, but after a day like today, I have to write about what happened. On Monday, I finally finished making the Save-the-Dates (also known as STDs). Last night, D and I addressed, stamped, and stuffed the envelopes, and our STDs were ready to be mailed off to our guests. I was so excited that I did a happy dance around the apartment. They were finally done! Our friends and family will finally get to see the fruit of our labor! Yay! After spending half an hour standing in line at the post office yesterday to buy the stamps, I decided that it's not worth dropping our STDs off at the post office. USPS conveniently picks up mail from work every weekday, so I figured I would just drop them off today. And so around ten a.m., I did just that, with happy thoughts about finally getting these STDs out the door still floating around in my head. At around 11:30 a.m., something exploded in one of the labs. And the entire building was evacuated

Blog updates

Just a short post to let you know about some minor updates that have been happening over here on the blog. First of all, I finally got around to updating the header. Yay for pretty pictures! When I started this blog, I was hesitant to share it with people because it was so "un-designed". But at the time, it was more important for me to start writing than to spend time on prettifying the blog, so that's what I did. I also noticed that other people's blogs evolve and change over time, both in appearances and functionalities. So, I figured it was ok. But the blog finally feels more personalized, now that it has a brand new header. In the side bar, I've now included an option to follow the blog by email, for those of you who prefer that option. I also added a search bar that allows you to search the contents of this blog. Finally, I've updated the Link Love page to include some more awesome people whose blogs I've recently started following. So go check

Figuring out my taste

Three years ago, I moved in to my first solo apartment. It was a studio apartment, and I was in a rush to furnish it. The rush was mostly due to the fact that I was starting a new full-time job four days after I moved in, and I didn't think I'd have much time to furnish and decorate my place after I started working. That's because I was not familiar with the concept of decorating things slowly. This impatience gene I have is expressed quite dominantly... Unfortunately, as it sometimes (often) happens when you try to decorate your place quickly, you end up buying the first thing that seems to work, without giving much thought about whether it will go with the rest of the furniture/decor, or whether you ACTUALLY like it. Sure, it will be functional, but will you want to look at it every day? Most of the major pieces of furniture that I had bought during those four days have been sold or donated since then. I learned my lesson about figuring out what I like first, and thin

Brimfield Antique Show

About a month ago, D and I attended the Brimfield Antique Show for the first time. The Brimfield Antique Show is the largest antiques show in this country, and conveniently enough, it happens to be in Massachusetts. It happens three times a year (May, July, and September), and goes on for about a week at a time. This is about all we knew when D decided to book a nice weekend trip to the show, complete with a stay at a bed and breakfast. This trip was his birthday present to me, and I was very excited to go, given my recently developed interest in antiques and flea markets (and long-time love of bargain hunting). The B&B that we stayed in was charming, exactly how I would picture one of these cozy places should be. We stayed in Tolland Inn in CT, which was the closest B&B to the show we could find that was still vacant by the time we started looking. The owner, Steve, was super nice and helpful, and he made the most kick-ass breakfasts. One morning, we had a fruit bowl, foll

A Day in a Life of a Scientist (welcome to real life)

As I mentioned in my previous post , my naive vision of what a day in a life of a scientist might look like didn't quite correspond with reality. Here is a more realistic description of my average day. You get in to work late because you stayed up way too late last night, contemplating your life, the universe, and everything, and then you got stuck in traffic on your normally forty minute drive to work. You open your email and discover that your boss had sent you a VERY IMPORTANT EMAIL last night at seven pm. Something about a report that was due yesterday that you had never heard about until now, but it's all of a sudden your responsibility to write it and get it sent out, and of course this takes priority over everything else in your life. You sigh, realizing that your plans of going to lab early and getting something productive done on your own program have now officially been shot to hell. You stop by your boss's office, still have asleep because that morning cup of