I think the most commonly asked question I receive is how I like my KeepCup. In short, I absolutely adore it and use it every day, but I thought I’d do a thorough review on my favorite coffee receptacle.Read More
If you’ve seen any of my videos, you know that I’m a bit of a coffee addict. Well, addict is a bit of an understatement. It’s kind of become my life force and the only reason why I get out of bed in the morning.
During my time at community college I worked as a barista at a global coffee chain (yes, That Global Coffee Chain) and developed a bit of an obsession for the bitter brew. Since then, I’ve upgraded from my every day cold brew to something a little bit more elaborate. No, it’s not necessarily the easiest or the most convenient medium for brewing coffee, but it’s something that I genuinely enjoy doing every morning. It’s a little bit of self care and slow living that I do every day.
Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
My coffee routine begins every morning with grinding fresh beans using a conical burr grinder. I use the Hario Skerton ceramic coffee mill. A conical burr grinder creates a uniform grind size and doesn’t heat your beans up, unlike a cheap electric grinder. This one’s compact and travel friendly as well.
I like a grind size that’s slightly coarser than what is typically used for an espresso maker for my moka pot.
Bialetti Moka Pot
If you like a strong cup of coffee, this stove-top coffee gadget is for you. It’s commonly known as a stove-top “espresso” maker - however this isn’t technically true. The moka pot only brews at around one bar of pressure, whereas true espresso (with body and crema) takes nine bars to create.
However, it doesn’t mean that a moka pot doesn’t make a strong cup of coffee. I use a three-cup size moka pot because it makes about three shots of espresso, and don’t exclusively use espresso beans when brewing. As long as it’s a medium-to-dark roast, I’m game.
I’ve been trying to reduce my use of single-use disposable items, like paper coffee cups and plastic straws. In order to incentivize myself to use a reusable cup, I purchased one that I actually enjoyed having around. The KeepCup is the perfect zero-waste companion to your morning cup of joe. All the parts are placeable, sustainably sourced, and incredibly durable. I’ve dropped mine down a set of concrete stairs (trust me, my heart dropped to), and it’s unscathed. The only draws are that the cup isn’t insulated, and the cork band can be rather small for hot beverages. However, as someone who drinks primarily iced coffees, I find that the lack of insulating and heat-protecting features don’t bother me. It’s also pretty leak-proof as well. Can you tell I’m a fan?
No more mindless consumption, impulse purchasing, and reckless spending.Read More
Although my vision for the future still isn’t crystal clear, I’ve learned a lot of lessons that have helped shed some light on the path I’m taking. Here are 12 lessons I’ve learned from the past year that I will definitely take with me for the rest of my life.Read More
A compilation of all the goodies I’ve been loving this month.Read More
I’ve been hopping on the eco train quite a bit lately. Between swearing off fast fashion, and reducing my participation in single-use plastic utensils, I like to fancy myself a bit of an environmental enthusiast. However, there’s one environmental impact that I haven’t discussed yet and that’s food supply - specifically animal agriculture.
The American animal agriculture industry has been under quite a bit of criticism since the release of Cowspiracy, especially for its inhumane treatment of animals. And not only is it inhumane, it’s detrimental to our environment. Animal agriculture produces an incredible volume of air pollutants, such as particulate matter, ozone precursors, and greenhouse gasses .
However, it’s difficult to associate adorable, fluffy little chicks we coo over, with the dino nuggets we chow down on at 2 am. It’s also hard to cut out animal products all together when they’re way more affordable due to government subsidies and more convenient. Between breakfast cereal and pre-prepared foods, it’s incredibly difficult to find plant-based substitutes at the same cost of their animal-based counterparts.
Vegetarianism has been around since Pythagoras (I kid you not), but was regarded as a relatively alternative lifestyle until the publication of Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet in 1971. However, the lifestyle change to a completely vegetarian or vegan diet is difficult when those dino nuggets taste so good. Also, it’s not feasible for everyone - especially those with health problems.
Enter: gradually introducing plant-based diets.
Instead of trying to switch over to the green side in one fell swoop that inevitable ends in failure, making a gradual lifestyle change incorporating more meatless Mondays, and eating lower of the food chain is a much more sustainable way to go over to the green side. It’s all about the little changes, like ordering a tofu stir-fry, rather than the chicken one.
I don’t live a completely plant-based lifestyle, nor do I ever truly think I will make the transition to live one. The food I’ve known to grow and love, and is a part of my identity and culture, is meat-based. However, I don’t think that it’s necessarily a bad thing. Just staying mindful of what we put into our bodies and how it got onto our plates is important.
Going green doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. Any effort, big or small, is better than none at all.
Some Advice On eating Green
If you’re hungry, eat more.
Plants-based meals generally have fewer calories than animal-based ones do. So if you’re hungry, just eat more! If your plate is full of vibrant produce, eating that second serving won’t hurt.
Bloating is real
The fiber content in vegetables and fruit is unreal, so let this be a warning to you now. You will bloat. A lot. I sure as heck did. Be sure to drink a lot of water to allow things to, uh, pass through a little easier.
Take a b12 supplement
Especially if you’re going all day without eating any animal products. B12 is a vitamin essential for red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis . It’s commonly found in animal products, but is harder to find in plant-based ones. Either a b12 supplement or some nutritional yeast can help combat a b12 deficiency.
If you want to get started with creating a budget for yourself, and don’t know where to start, here’s a quick-start guide.Read More
All the good things I’ve been indulging in for the past 30 days.Read More
In order to prevent the quarterly existential crisis in the middle of finals week (for the third year in a row), I’ve decided to be proactive this school year and implement a little bit of self care every single day.Read More
Got irritated skin? Love skincare? Need something to read to avoid talking to your uber? This one’s for you.Read More
Save the planet and your wallet.Read More
All the good things I’ve been indulging in for the past 31 days.Read More
Recently, I announced that I would be posting six pieces of content every single week until further notice: three videos on my YouTube channel and three blog posts right here. Currently feeling a mixture of excitement and fear that I'll fall short whilst I move up north for school. Eek!
Although I'm not out of ideas yet (it's only been a week since the announcement), I posted a question on Instagram Stories asking what content you would be interested in consuming and by far the most requested post was my favorite school supplies!
Currently, I am studying Applied Physics at UC Davis, so my stationery needs are very minimal, but here's what I love using nonetheless.
bullet journaling is the most integral piece of my productivity. from planning youtube videos to keeping track of the never ending list of things to study, bullet journaling is by far my favorite form of planning. my spreads tend to be incredibly minimal and simplistic, taking only a few minutes to set up every quarter.
my favorite notebooks:
leuchtturm 1917 b5 dot grid notebook
leuchtturm 1917 a5 dot grid notebook
muji a5 dot grid notebook
your girl loves a good color coding system. whether it's on google calendar or in my notes, i have a color coding system for everything. my favorite color coding supply is the zebra mildliner. i used to purchase them from jetpens; however target now has them available in an 18 pack, which i impulsively purchased, of course. they're like a less opaque version of your classic marker and come in pastel-muted colors.
practice, practice, practice
studying physics comes with a lot of studying involved. i mean a lot of studying. from practice problems to my own personal memos, i've found the best place to keep all of my notes to myself is a notebook. my favorite notebook by far is the muji b5 notebooks. although its size is a little strange by american standards, its slim profile and compact-yet-roomy page size is perfect for studying anywhere - from small coffee shop tables to secluded library desks.
muji b5 notebooks:
paper free, baby
although i'm not 100% paper free (obviously), i do carry around an ipad pro and apple pencil to take notes during lecture. ive tried every free and paid option on the market for digital note taking and my favorite app by far is goodnotes 4. i will be doing a video on how i use my ipad for school when the quarter starts for the most authentic experience possible.
Confession time: I didn't care about the environment until very recently. Like really recently. Because the harmful affects of human consumption had no direct, negative impact on the lifestyle I was living, I didn't think anything of it. Until I started working at a certain global coffeehouse/fast food chain. Yes, I'm talking about that one.
Every day, the average American produces 4.40 pounds of trash each day (Municipal Solid Waste, EPA). That's 132 pounds over the course of a month and 1,584 pounds over the course of a year, just from one person alone. Multiply that over the entire population and factor in the waste produced by businesses. It's a lot of waste. We've sacrificed our environment for the sake of convenience. From the thousands of disposable plastic cups and straws consumed daily to purchasing pre-packaged groceries, it seems nearly impossible to escape waste. Or is it?
After devouring many videos by Jenny Mustard (particularly this one), I've found myself inspired by the low-waste lifestyle. It aligns with my minimalist philosophy and is even more cost effective than the traditional lifestyle.
Note that it's a low-waste lifestyle, not zero waste. I'm not becoming a vegan fitness crystal warrior - that's just not who I am. I just want to make thoughtful choices about what I bring into my home and what I put out.
Because of my current academic endeavors and place in life, I can't eliminate all of my trash like Lauren Singer has. I still need (and quite frankly enjoy) analog stationery for school, enjoy indulging in beauty products, and occasionally need to purchase new things. However, my newfound low-waste credo is to use what I currently own, instead of tossing it and letting it sit in a landfill or purchasing new products and increasing the demand, and make conscious choices in the future. It's not perfect, but it fits the lifestyle I want to create for myself.
Although I'm not an outdoors-person or environmentalist by any means, I've always appreciated the sentiment of leaving nothing but footprints, taking nothing but photos, and killing nothing but time. Changing my lifestyle alone won't help solve the global trash problem, but it's better than nothing, right? Anyways, I digress; here's what's inside my zero waste kit and a few tips on how to get started living a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
This adorable tote was complementary with my purchase at Glossier's LA store. Although it's not the world's highest quality (The New Yorker's complementary totes are quite possibly the nicest canvas bags I've ever owned), it's cute, lightweight, compactable, and most importantly has a large capacity
steel straw & utensils
We've all seen that video of the turtle with a plastic straw up its nose. Do the ocean critters (and yourself) a favor and use a reusable straw. Plastic utensils are also so incredibly flimsy, and practically useless when it comes to spooning as much food as possible into your mouth. Upgrade to a real utensil set to use on the go; literally just steal a set from your kitchen drawer!
A mason jar seems to be every zero-waster's kit and it's easy to see why. It's durable, cost effective, and can hold everything from your morning coffee to your afternoon snack. If you don't have a mason jar, you can use any spare jar! Just make sure to give it a good wash before you use it. Also plenty of coffee shops offer reusable cup discounts to their patrons if you bring one in!
This utensil wrap is made from 100% cotton that I made myself! Sure it's a little dorky but I don't sweat over it knowing that my planet is a little happier and cleaner.
There's no point paying for water when it's free.
Three Ways To Reduce Waste
- Replace paper towels with reusable rags! You can either purchase shop towels or make them from old towels and t-shirts. Just cut them up into appropriately sized squares, hem them if you're feeling fancy, and you're good to go.
- Purchase natural surface cleaning refills or use castile soap instead. Naturally derived cleaners and castile soap are both biodegradable so they won't be tainting your water supply for years to come. Not only will you be reducing your landfill contribution, you'll be saving a heck of a ton of money too. Castile soap can be diluted to be used for anything from washing your hair to your dishes.
- Make conscious fashion choices. I love Urban Outfitters and Zara as much as your fellow college-aged fashion enthusiast but their labor and environmental practices are less than squeaky clean. Opt for (more) sustainable and cautious choices instead, such as thrift shopping, Everlane, or Girlfriend Collective.
Mother Nature, human nature, and our resources are not single use and disposable.Read More
Is it just me, or did July feel impossibly long?Read More
Because I'm a freak for stationery.Read More