I try to do a little get-to-know me post every six months for new comers and faithful followers itching to know more. But after two volumes (you can read Vol. I here and Vol. II here) of making up my own fact, this time, I let the Internet do it for me by going on a random question generator.

  1. What do you wear to sleep? Usually just underwear. If it’s cold, then some pajama pants and a loose thermal shirt or jumper.
  2. If you knew that you only had a year left to live, what would you do? The anxiety alone of knowing I only had a year to live would probably eat me alive. But what anyone else would do: travel, spend time with loved ones and go out in a blaze of glory in an awesome paragliding incident.
  3. Would you rather age from the neck up only or the neck down only? Neck up, I would rather feel good than look good.
  4. What is your least favorite chore? Washing up. Always.
  5. What is the last dream that you remember? You know those dreams where you dream you’re trying to take a massive shite but it just won’t come out and you wake up thinking you’ve pooped the bed? Yeah… I usually have 2/3 dreams a night and remember them all but they get pretty odd.
  6. What is the best thing about living in your city? The best thing about Brighton is living close to the beach and town center that’s always teeming with life, but also so close to large, quiet parks. I also love living close to London (but not in it) and close to Gatwick Airport, makes for really awesome travel.
  7. How long does it take for you to get ready in the morning? Depends, ideally about an hour and a half if I take my time, eat a good breakfast and leave the house with my hair totally dry, but if I rush and have a smaller breakfast I can be ready in 30 minutes.
  8. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Depends on the place. Recently discovered chili dark chocolate from a gelato place in London. I love chocolate peanut butter from Baskin Robbins (that is probably my all-time favorite). Finally, bubblegum flavor from Frost back home in Tucson gets a shout.
  9. What is one thing you would change about your home? My current house has kind of gone to shit, but the one that really gets me about it is the garden: overgrown with bits of trash from the street we haven’t gotten around to cleaning. I can’t wait to move out at the end of the month.
  10. What did you do last weekend? I work weekends, usually 800-900, 1300-1500, 1530-1630 and 2030-2130 both Saturday and Sunday and 1000-1100 on Sundays as well. I have Tuesdays and Wednesdays after 1100 off, which I currently spend doing dissertation work.
  11. What’s one of your worst habits? Nail biting and skin picking.
  12. What is your favorite cereal? I don’t think I have one. I’ll usually go for a crunchy cereal with nuts and granola or chocolate hoops, there’s no in between.
  13. What are your favorite hot dog toppings? The works. My favorite hot dog is with  mushrooms, cheese and grilled onions (all vegetarian, of course).
  14. What’s one place you’ve travelled that you never want to go back to? I didn’t hate it, but I don’t feel I need to go back to Cairo. Just feel like it’s one of those places you only have to do once.
  15. What’s your favorite piece of clothing you own? Probably my most recent Rise Against tee. It’s very underspoken, all black with just the band name on the left breast, but so comfortable. My go-to travel outfit.
  16. Do you believe in luck? Yeah, why not.
  17. What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen? I wouldn’t say it’s the worst movie out there, but I was most disappointed by Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. It’s grossly overrated. Also I couldn’t even finish The Fault in Our Stars (which I was watching ironically) it was so bad and Percy Jackson films were a massive let-down as well.
  18. What’s the story behind one of your scars? My biggest one is on my left hand by my thumb: I got bit by a cat at my grandparent’s house when I was about 12.
  19. How many pillows do you sleep with? Two if I’m alone: one behind my head and one on my right side for no particular reason.
  20. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Since I’m eating this for the rest of my life, it’s going to have to be variable: to drink, I would have Symond’s cider, for a starter, I would have the spinach dip with pita bread from Mellow Mushroom (Arizona), korma with rice and naan from Dhaba (Arizona) and Baskin Robbin’s peanut butter chocolate ice cream sundae for dessert.

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This week, I surprised my boyfriend Diego at home in Madrid, Spain with the help of his mom and brother.

First, I contacted his older brother Ignacio as I was too intimidated to speak to his mom. After a few exchanges, he thought it would be better if I coordinated with her as he lives in Majorca. I contacted his mom so she would know to expect me and let me into their flat when I arrived.

I left from Gatwick on Monday and promptly arrived at their house in the early evening as they live close to the airport. I met Diego’s mom in the street and she buzzed me into the building where I knocked on the door for Diego to answer. He looked somewhere between confused and disappointed and I asked, “Aren’t you happy to see me?!” and once he came to we shared a few smooches. Here’s the video his mom took:

We caught up and spent some time at the pool in his flat complex before initiating phase two of the surprise…

His brother, who works in hotel business, got us into a hotel for Monday night, but wouldn’t tell me where. Once I arrived, he told Diego to take me to Hotel Puerta America, where Ignacio used to work and got us a screaming deal. Once we arrived, we got to choose our room amongst several uniquely designed floors.

We went to an Italian restaurant for dinner and enjoyed free welcome drinks on the hotel’s terrace once the sun went down.

The next day, we regrouped at Diego’s house before hitting the city. We walked around the city to Palacia de Madird, Gran Via, Plaza Mayor, Mercado San Miguel, Retiro Park and most everything in between.

It was so flipping hot. I haven’t felt that kind of heat since living in Arizona and I don’t miss it at all.

On Wednesday, we took it easy for the final half day I was there and hung out by the pool and played video games.

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Although not the most responsible thing I’ve done, it was so good to see Diego again and put my dissertation truly out of my mind if only for a few days. I can’t wait until he’s back in Brighton!

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If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been largely absent on here because I’ve been very busy with my dissertation, work, family and friends visiting… you get the idea. But, I just defended my dissertation yesterday and am enjoying a weekend off before I finish writing my paper, due in at the end of the month! I use a journal to stay organized with my content and on track.

First off, a little disclaimer: what I have isn’t really a bullet journal. I tried to bullet journal once and my perfectionism was having none of it. I was never satisfied with my layouts and content and was constantly tearing pages out, it was a real source of anxiety for me. However, it does somewhat resemble one and these ideas might fit nicely into bullet journal layout for the organized student.

Without further ado, here are page types I have:

Contact information: Because I would be kind of in the shitter if I lost it. For obvious reasons, I’m not including a photo.

Table of contents

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Timesheet: So I can see how much I actually work on my dissertation so I know whether to celebrate or pick up the pace over the weekends.

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“Braindump”: Basically just my ideas pages.

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Dates to remember: An overview of when deadlines, meetings and my holidays are until my final report is due in.

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To do list: This is the biggest one… small tasks to be done to chip away at my monster of a paper. My tasks will often fill two pages every week!

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Meetings and workshops: Notes from my meetings with my supervisor and any other useful information I gather from workshops that can help me with my dissertation.

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Tables and graphs: I like to print out up-to-date tables and graphs as it helps me visualize my data and keeps me from going from document to document and sheet to sheet looking for one particular set.

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Back-up log: An addition that should have come much earlier… I keep track of the date and where I’ve most recently backed up all my work if, God forbid, my laptop craps out on me.

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Photo by Jess Watters.

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I have never meant this more than I do now: this month was hectic.

I’ve been under quite a bit of stress. With my dissertation presentation on Friday and my paper due at the end of the month and working 25+ hours a week, there’s no time for much else, especially since my correspondence with the local fisheries authority has been slow for data I need.

However, I did get some time to cut loose when my friend Lisa visited from Salt Lake City! I showed her around Brighton, hit London to see Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Abbey Road studios, Trafalgar Square and more before seeing The Gaslight Anthem in concert, visited Beachy Head and Stonehenge, and spent a few evenings just relaxing with a few drinks.

Now, I present on my dissertation tomorrow and will work hard through the rest of the month to get the paper done. I can’t believe I’ll be free in just four weeks. See you on the other side!

What I’m watching: A Quiet Place, Love Island (season 2), The Silence of the Lambs, Snowpiercer, Million Dollar Baby, Get Out, Queer Eye (season 1)

What I’m reading: The Shining by Stephen King

What I’m listening to: Happiness in Self-Destruction by The Plot in You, Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae, High as Hope Florence and the Machine, Hoizer by Hoizer, Prequelle by Ghost, Losers/Lovers by Orchards, Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey

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Better late than never, hey? As usual, I’ve been super busy with dissertation stuff, work and friends. However, in a bit over a month, whether I’m ready for it or not, all this craziness will die down once my dissertation is handed in and I can breathe and get back into my blogging game.

But without further ado, meet the lovely Alicia from Live Pulchritudinously. No idea what that means? You’re not alone).

Tell us a bit about yourself.

thumbnail_IMG_3705I’m 21 years old, studying international business + Spanish at Ohio University. I live with my mom, dad, sister, bird and dog (who is the LOVE of my life). I’m from the Chicago suburbs and have lived there my whole life. I’m also vegan and love traveling!

How did you get into blogging?

I started my first blog when I was 14. I love writing but struggle to find motivation to do so. With a blog, my readers are my motivation.Seeing people comment saying they enjoyed my post or related to it is all the motivation I need to keep writing. I started writing this blog my freshman year of college to document my college experiences and my transition into veganism!

Tell us about your favorite blog post.

I think I have 2 favorite blog posts. One of mine was commemorating World Mental Health Day. I loved it because I got soo much off my chest and a lot of friends and family resonated with it and enjoyed reading about my mental health journey. One of my other favorites was about the Women’s March in Chicago, he day after Donald Trump was inaugurated. I loved this post because I felt proud to have participated in history and made my voice heard despite feeling so helpless just months prior when he was elected.

What are you doing when you’re not blogging?

I love cooking, baking, anything with food. I’m also a student so I’m trying to figure out the rest of my life. Finally I love fitness, so I spend a lot of time working out and planning for my student org CHAARG that I am the Treasurer of.

What’s the hardest part about being vegan?

Probably nonvegans ignorance and judgement or having to cook for myself most days (unless I want fries for dinner if we take out)

If you weren’t in your current major, what would you be studying?

This really hit home as I just had a sort of mental breakdown the other day from wondering if I was doing what I really wanted to be doing. I would be studying English or Math (complete opposites I know) but even if I wanted to change there are far too many classes for me to take in order to graduate at a decent time…

Where else can we find you?

Twitter || Instagram || Bloglovin’

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