Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Good news! I think I might have finally worked out why I'm so tired! This morning the boyfriend told me that I'd woken him up numerous times during the night trying to get him to scoot over in bed. I realised at the beginning of this semester that I sleep much much better when I'm sleeping with him. But...for some unknown reason recently the bed keeps sliding away from the wall, so I've basically ended up sleeping in a crack, not super comfy! Anyway, we're going to see what we can do to keep the bed next to the wall/me not sleeping in a crack.

I also spent a bunch of time in lab today, which was somewhat productive. I'm getting nervous about getting my thesis done on time, so I'm going to set a goal of getting a first draft of my "Background and Significance" section done by the end of this week (Sunday). According to the guide we've been given, the background and significance section needs to include:

"Why is your work important? Briefly sketch the background to your thesis work; critically evaluate relevant existing knowledge; explain the problems and challenges in the field; and identify gaps in our present understanding that can be addressed by the thesis work. Conclude with a statement of what the thesis is about and why you believe it represents an advancement of the field. This exposition is intended to place your work into a broader scientific context, and to provide clear and logical motivation for both the general approach and the specific aims (below) of the thesis. This section may need to occupy as much as 5-6 pages, but not significantly more. "

It's going to be super general and I'm going to discuss some of the basics of magnetism.

My second goal for this week is to read at least 30 pages on the topic from the textbooks I've borrowed.

In other (food) news I found a place in town that sells bitter lemon! It's a lemonade-like drink but more bitter. I love it and they sell it at home, but I haven't managed to find any in the US.

Tonight for dinner the boyfriend and I made prawns sauteed in white wine and garlic on pasta.

It was delicious (I tried to take pictures but my camera was out of battery)!

I'm headed off to Connecticut tomorrow to visit my grandmother which I can't wait for. I should have lots of great food when I'm visiting her!

(Also, I have no idea what's happening to the font here).

Monday, January 30, 2012

Good Start to the Week

Today was a fun and somewhat productive day. I slept until 10:30 (so hard to get up when the boyfriend is still asleep!). I'm still finding that I'm oddly tired during the day, especially given how much I've been sleeping (maybe I'm sleeping too much?).

I went to lab for most of the day. I'm still stressed about the lab bench situation, but I'm just trying to make the most of it. I also started working on my thesis properly today - I realised that I'm going to have to average a page a day for the next 90ish days (until it's due - April 23rd!).

For lunch I had hummus on rye bread with sprouts (which was surprisingly good).

I've also watched loads of Friends today...I only started watching it at the beginning of January and I'm already half way through season 5 (argh! Talk about too much TV!). We also went out for chinese for dinner - not the healthiest, but it tasted good!

I also got one other piece of good news...my art grade: I got an A-!! (Which I really wasn't expecting, so I'm really pleased with that!). I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, but if I get an A in Econ (fingers crossed crossed crossed) I'll be at my year goal of getting my GPA up to 3.4. If I get an A-, I'll be at 3.39, which I will still be happy with. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, especially as I'm not sure how well the final went. An A- would also mean that I'd have one semester where I got all A's and A-'s. Anyway, that's enough on grades, I'm sure I'll be happy with whatever I get.

I'm going to spend the rest of the evening...
watching Friends
doing a few small tasks (getting off some emails mostly)
going back to lab and setting up a reaction that needs to run over night (not looking forward to that one so much!)

Anyway, that's all from me!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Last three weeks!

So, the last three weeks have been incredibly busy for me (which is also why my blog has been so neglected :( ). My college has exams after Christmas, which is a bit unusual. At first I wasn't sure about it, but it's (mostly) grown on me. It still feels a bit tough coming back from Christmas and feeling like you've forgotten everything, but I also think it's worth it not to have exams before Christmas!

Anyway, my first week and a half back was studying/writing my one super short (1000 word) optional paper. After that I had exams - I had two take homes (for psych and politics) and two in class exams (art and econ). I used to really like take homes, but now I just find them annoying (Professors really only assign a take home final if they want you to spend more than three hours on it). Regardless, my two take homes went fine and my two in class ones went okay, but not great.

I've also gotten back two of my grades (in psych and politics) and I'm really pleased with them: I got 2 A's :D. My first two years were academically and socially challenging, so my GPA hasn't been too happy since then. I'd love to graduate with a 3.4, which means that I need a 3.7 average this year, so I'm now well on my way to that!

In other grade news, the boyfriend got an A- in politics (his major!). He's struggled much much more than I have with grades, and has only ever got 1 A and 1A-, so this is a big deal for him! I'm so proud :D.

We have a week off between semesters, but I'm staying at school to work on my thesis (as is the boyfriend, which is nice). I went into lab yesterday and apparently my lab bench is no longer mine. In my lab there are good benches and bad benches, and after having a bad one for 6 months I got a good one over the summer, which I've had since then. However, we have a new grad student in lab ( who is technically senior to me) and apparently my boss (Professor) just decided to move all my stuff and give him my bench. It does sort of make sense (he is more senior than me, and I'll only be in lab for another 3 months), but still! I was really hurt that no-one told me and it made me feel very undervalued. After talking to my best friend about it yesterday I've decided that I'm just going to work really really hard on the thesis and hope it all turns out okay.

In better news, having a week with the boyfriend is bliss! For the last two evenings we've cooked - we made chili con carne and rice on Friday and a asian chicken stir fry last night, both of which have been very yummy! We also made it to the gym yesterday, and I did his biceps/triceps workout with him, which was seriously tough! (And I'm feeling it today!). Anyway, hopefully the rest of the week will be filled with those kinds of things instead of lab bench stealing type things!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Part 2: More on New Years Resolutions


My skin has been (what I consider to be) terrible since August. I have no idea what caused it (though I suspect a mix of sunscreen and stopping the nuvaring temporarily), but it's been driving me insane. I've been to see the dermatologist twice (once so she could give me a regime and once so she could tweak it). She's put me on two prescription medications (duac which is a topical antibiotic and atralin which is a retin-A) and wanted to put me on a third (oral antibiotics) which I refused to take. Anyway, it's still not looking great.

Originally I had lots of little white bumps under my skin, and those do seem to be clearing. (I think the basic idea is to get all the junk under my skin out so that my skin looks healthier, but it makes it look terrible in the meantime). I also now have scars that aren't actually scars on one side of my chin and they look terrible (they're actually just spots of damaged pigmentation which should go away in, according to the internet, 6-12 months). I also purchased a new coverstick today, so at least I can cover it up fairly effectively now if I want to!

I'm going to be seeing her again at the end of January/beginning of Feb, so I'll see what she has to say. I'm going to do whatever I can to make my skin look great by graduation though.

It's a bit hard to see in the photos, but parts of my skin have a pink-y purple-y tinge to them, which looks like scar tissue (it's not though, luckily!). Can't wait for the skin to fully heal so I don't have those patches!

My new cover stick! I haven't had one for ages (I just used foundation), but this one works really well to cover up the pigmentation strangeness on my chin!

Hair (not the kind on my head)

I have this weird itchy leg problem, which I think is caused by stubble (from shaving) irritating my legs. Putting on lotion after shaving helps, but it doesn't solve the problem completely. My UK best friend recommended that I try epilating, so I've bought one of them online and I'm going to try it as soon as it arrives! (Does anyone have any tips for that by the way?). If I don't like epilating I might try laser, although I'm still up in the air about that one (see below).

My mum also purchased (at my sister's request) a series of bikini line laser treatments last year. It's a series of six and I think I've had three or four of them, but I'd like to finish them off this year. So far, I don't think I've had great results - I have reddish hair naturally, at least on my head, not really down there, but apparently it doesn't always work so well on hair with any red pigment in it. Also, the treatments are in the UK and I'm not back here to do them every 4 weeks like they recommend. I'd like to finish up that set of treatments this year (if possible) and also to consider alternative options if I'm still not happy with the results.

Because I know that everyone wants to hear about my adventures in permanent hair removal I have one more, that occured yesterday and that I'm particularly pleased with. I currently have more hair on my upper lip than I'd like. (Urgh, I hate admitting that). It's by no means terrible and the hair is fairly fine and blonde, but the boyfriend commented on it once and I've been self-conscious about it ever since. I've tried a bunch of different things (creams, bleaching, plucking), but I'd be quite happy with almost no hair there forever. So...today I tried (proper) electrolysis. I have a small self-electrolysis machine (sounds weird) at school, which I barely ever use (it's so time consuming), but I'd never try it on my face because I'm too worried about scarring and it's too difficult to get the right angle etc. Proper electrolysis hurt, but not nearly as much as I thought it would. Margaret (the electrologist) seemed to think that even with just one treatment I might see an improvement, and that with a few more I'd pretty much get to where I want to be, which is great. I'm definitely going to try to see her a few more times this year and get rid of some of that hair. I'm also feeling more enthused about the self electrolysis machine, so might try that out again when I get back to school on my ankles/bikini line. (I'm really really bad at shaving my ankles).


This one's a bit of a cheat because I already did it, but I have slightly mottled teeth (probably from too much fluoride as a child). It's always annoyed me a bit, so when I went for my yearly checkup at the dentist (in December) I discussed tooth whitening with him. I ended up using gentle whitening strips, and I'm really pleased with the result!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Part 1: More on New Years Resolutions

This week I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I achieved last year and what I want to achieve next year. I realised that (to me, probably not the rest of the world but w/e) I spent a lot of last year focussing on more "mental" things - amongst others, I spent time trying to tackle my anxiety (including my dislike of public speaking), time meditating/EmWave-ing and time practicing mindfulness. I still think that those things are all super important, and I definitely want to continue with them (and will) into the new year.

But...I also realised that there's a lot that I could do to improve my physical appearance, and I want to spend time this year focussing on that.


Posture has been a bit of an issue for me for a while. I've seen physios and doctors over the years, but have never really been able to stick to anything for long enough to noticeably improve my posture. I (apparently) have slight kyphosis and lordosis (excessive curvature of the spine), which doesn't help but should be fairly easily correctable.

From: http://tle.tafevc.com.au/toolbox/file/c53ab17c-6542-4c66-f587-3e2858a9d41f/1/805_009_2.zip/fit009_2_lr11/fit009_2_lr11_1a.htm

There are gazillions of studies showing how important good posture is for self-confidence, health, impression you make on other people etc etc, so I do think that this is an important thing to work on. In order to do that I'm going to do two things. Firstly, strengthening my abs should help - if my abs are stronger they'll be better able to support my spine, reducing the lordosis. Secondly, I have a rather strange contraption called "Shoulders Back". It's basically an elastic/mesh combo that you put around your back and shoulders and tighten slightly so that it holds your shoulders back therefore improving your posture. I'd like to try to wear it for 1-2 hours per day (although sometimes it starts to drive me insane because it kinda rubs under the arms).

This photo makes me look a bit deformed, but I was trying to take a picture of myself in the mirror reflected in another mirror, so it all got a bit confusing! Also, the "brace" has a bunch of velcro on it, so I don't like it wear it with tops that I really like in case it snags them!


I've talked about this a lot before, but at the moment I probably weigh about 133lbs (I'm five five). When I met my boyfriend (at the beginning of college) I was 122 lbs (but that was also because I hadn't eaten properly in about a month because I was worried about starting college). At the end of freshman year I was about 137 (eek!) and since then I've hovered around 130ish. Previously, my goal was to stay under 130, and I'd still like to achieve that (I'd like to be 124-125). That might end up changing throughout the year (I think I have a lot more muscle now, I'm not even sure if I could get down to 124, but we'll see). My main "problem area" is my stomach (which you can see in the picture). It used to be my legs, but running's sorted that out for me :D.


I have a lot of clothes and shoes, a lot of them randomly acquired from my mum/grandmother when they decided they didn't like them/they didn't fit them (we're all roughly the same size). I've realised that I'm not really growing out of things any more, so at some point (soon) I'm going to have to chuck some of the things I've had for 7+ years that sort of fit and have holes that are sort of not noticeable! I also have a lot of great clothes and shoes that I don't wear much because my wardrobe is so cluttered with all the other things. It's also so easy to just throw on sweatpants at college, but this year I'm going to make an effort to plan clothes and outfits better. I've got some awesome new clothes this Christmas, so I want to make the most of them!

Yay! Three new tops (brown, orange and purple), a new jacket (bright pink!!), two new pairs of trousers (orange and pink - I like bright colours!), London pjs, leopard boot liners, new orange leggings and brown bear socks! :)

[More on this to follow tomorrow...]

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Resolutions

So...it's 2012. It still hasn't quite sunk in.

2012 is going to be a big year for me with a lot of important changes, most notably that I'm graduating from college and starting law school. There are going to be lots more changes associated with those things:

  • Not having the boyfriend around 24/7 (I'm going to law school, he's going...somewhere else, as of yet undecided, but almost certainly not the sleepy little town I'm going to be living in).
  • Having to live in my own apartment (it's just not going to be the same as living in a dorm room).
  • Cooking for myself (I can't wait to do this, but it's also going to be a big job!)
  • And tonnes more things that I just haven't though of yet I'm sure!

Anyway, as always I've made a bunch of resolutions for this year (but, also as always I'm going to keep changing them around and being undecided and adding things for about a week):

  • Blog resolutions:
  • Blog three times a week and actually use my twitter account! (I just got it and it's all shiny and new - http://twitter.com/#!/jinxsjourney!)
  • Post more pictures on my blog (at least once a week!)
  • Personal Goals
  • Learn the location of a new country every day (I already missed this one yesterday, but I'll do 2 today!). I know this is really weird, but I'm pretty terrible at knowing where countries are in the world (I realised yesterday I'm not even sure if I could point out some big/important counties like Japan...not good!).
  • Write 52 letters/postcards.
  • Run 6 "official" 5Ks
  • Not failing at life resolutions (ie things I need to do to graduate from college)
  • Find a summer internship
  • Finish my thesis (actually do stuff in lab)
  • Graduate with closer to a 3.4 than a 3.3 (I'm at 3.33 at the moment, so this will hopefully work out!)
  • Couple Resolutions (with the boyfriend, obviously)
  • Try to reduce sugar intake - only eat dessert at one meal/day
  • Work out a minimum of 3 times a week
  • Go out for a meal together at least once every three weeks
  • Sleep together twice a week (sorry, I know that's TMI)
  • One self-improvement type thing each month (chosen by the other person)