Masters school update + other life updates

I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting you! It wasn’t intentional I promise.

If you know me, I “love” to keep busy so I’ve been up to a lot. I just got back from a three week vacation in Alaska and those vlogs will all be up soon on my youtube. The first Alaska vlog is actually already up here.

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My first semester of graduate school ended back in mid May and it was a hard one. I don’t even know how to describe it briefly, but it was a lot mentally and emotionally. The Australian time difference was taxing, but even more so, doing it all virtual was so isolating. It was just me in my room on zoom late at night in class all alone. It made me really miss the experience of being surrounded by other people in the same boat as me as well as being able to ask the professor questions in real time (not wait for them to check the chat minutes later).

My second semester starts tomorrow actually (I’m terrified) so that shall be interesting. Since Australian semesters go 1 & 2, instead of spring & fall, I only had about a month off as a “winter break” in semesters. I even took an accelerated course on the statistical program “R” which ended the other day. So that’s been OH so much fun.

I got a new part time job, which if you’ve keeping up with my youtube vlogs, or instagram, that would be no surprise. I hit a breaking point with my job at Lululemon and decided it was my time to move on. For shts and giggles, before leaving Lululemon, I looked into other jobs. I came across this whale watching naturalist position and though it was cool but didn’t think much past that. I briefly mentioned the job listing to family and friends and they strongly encouraged me to apply, so I did. I applied on a Saturday, got reached out for an interview that Tuesday, got hired Thursday and left Lululemon on Friday (a crazy week for sure). So I am a whale watching naturalist on a whale watching boat!

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Oh, wait, did I mention on here I got published finally? I think I did cause that seems like forever ago. But my undergraduate thesis got published alongside a professor I worked with in New Zealand earlier this year. Crazy enough, the first time my article was cited (in May) was by HARVARD!!!!!! super insane.

Anyway, I think that’s enough rambling for now.


Hope you all have been well!

As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read this!

Lots of love,

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someone close to me tested positive. mental health updates

I’ve been a bit behind the Christmas content because of some family things. Everyone is safe! We are all quarantining for two weeks. Here is a vlog where I go into everything.

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ALSO DON’T FORGET I have a giveaway going on in this post

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As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read this!

Lots of love,

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My New Vlogging Camera For Youtube! The Canon EOS M50

So excited that even after a few bumps in the road I FINALLY got my new camera in the mail. A couple people I follow recommended this camera and I was instantly pretty sold on it.

I sat down and did an unboxing and initial thoughts here! woo!

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I am so impressed with the video and audio quality of my new camera! I can’t wait to really start using it.

Lots of love,

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I’M SO EXCITED TO TELL YOU…..

BIG things are coming! I’m so excited to talk to you about this life update!

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Check that out here!!

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Lots of love,

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WATCH THIS to get in the mood for fall

Wrapping up the week with a little Fall-themed vlog: more Target trips, Trader Joes pumpkin taste test & apple picking!

Check it out here

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Thanks so much!! Enjoy the last bits of your weekend.

Lots of love,

foot

I started a Youtube Channel

I took the next step.

Check me out on youtube

Join me on my journey!!

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Thanks so much for all your support. Lots more to come.

xx

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I got rejected by the research degree of my dreams

I first want to disclaim that I am not writing this for pity, I am writing this as the honest truth. I’ve been updating all of you on my masters research process over the last 6 months and this just happens to be the next update.

You can find my last update here.

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I submitted my final masters by research proposal & application back in early June. Since then, it was radio silent until a couple weeks ago; I received a very vague email from the University saying my application was “unsuccessful”.

My initial reaction was that I was rejected, but then as the hours went on I was more confused by the wording and vagueness of their email. It made it seem like something within my application got lost in translation.

The last three and a half weeks since receiving the email, I have never felt so lost. More than anything, the scientist in me, just wanted to know more information – anything at this point. I wanted to know what my options were moving forward. Over the last three weeks I have sent out countless emails to different points of contact at the University (including my proposed professor) …. and all I had was radio silence.

The inner turmoil of grievance and confusion has been the most exhausting part.

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So, let’s go to today. Today is Wednesday August 26th, 2020.

This afternoon I was near the beach while on the phone with my life coach (kind of like therapy but not). We were chatting about where I’ve been mentally and I mentioned “I’m about to hit my breaking point.”

And just as the “t” rolled off my tongue in “breaking point” I look up and see the tallest blowhole spout from a whale – not a coincidence.

So the day went on and yes that was weird and all but I do believe in signs.

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Tonight, after coming to the realization that sending emails isn’t enough to get answers, I made the decision to bite my tongue on the international call fees and call the University over in Australia. I finally was able to get more answers and closure regarding the inner turmoil I’ve been in the last three weeks.

Essentially, yes I was rejected. Science is expensive – so there’s limited funding and I didn’t make the cut. Of course I wish the email was a bit more descriptive than three vague sentences but… you can’t win them all I guess!


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That’s today’s update: The application I have been working on since February 2019 (yes I’m serious) has been rejected and I am still caught in this state of limbo where I have no clue when I’ll be able to move!

I hope once I hear back from my professor I’ll be able to get a better sense of my next step & hopefully move forward with reapplying in October.

Thank you so much for reading this far. This helped to ground me and piece together my thoughts regarding everything.

I hope to do a whole post on grievance and the pandemic soon because I have a lot to say.

Thanks

Ashleigh

simple and delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe (dairy and gluten free)

I’m so excited to share my gooey, chewy toll house inspired chocolate chip cookie recipe!! This is such an easy chocolate chip cookie recipe.

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i n g r e d i e n t s :

2 1/4 cup king arthur gluten free flour mix

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks butter) – I use earth balance vegan buttery sticks

1/2 coconut sugar or granulated sugar 

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon butter flavor *optional, but it’s a nice touch when not using real butter*

2 eggs 

2 to 2 1/2 cups of chocolate chips – I use enjoy life chocolate chunks 

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What’s great about recipes is there’s so many opportunities for substitution here. This is my take on the classic Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe – but dairy & gluten free & also lower on refined sugar 🙂

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Some substitutions that I think would work perfect: 

✨ subbing gluten free flour mix with regular all purpose flour

✨ subbing vegan butter for dairy butter 

✨ subbing eggs for flax eggs 

✨ subbing dairy free chocolate to any kind!

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d i r e c t i o n s :

  1. preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a bowl & mix till combined (no fancy way of going about it here).
  3. fold in chocolate chips.
  4. let dough chill in the fridge for about 30 min (or until it isn’t as sticky to touch) – this ensures a nicer rise in the cookie when baking.
  5. line a cookie sheet with parchment paper & spoon out dough in teaspoon sized balls (keeping only an inch or so in between each should work fine).
  6. *optional* I recommend putting the cookie sheet in the bottom 2/3 of the oven if that makes sense – so with my oven I can move the oven racks around. I’ve found that this performs a better overall bake.
  7. set timer for 6ish minutes. the baking time will vary based on many factors. 
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the 𝑁𝑈𝑀𝐵𝐸𝑅 𝑂𝑁𝐸 physical cue to use to see if the cookies are done:

✨ grab a fork and slide it flat under one of the cookies and try to lift the cookie up a bit with the fork. if the cookie is sturdy enough to be lifted slightly without anything transferring to the fork – they are ready – TRUST ME!

𝑑𝑜 𝑛𝑜𝑡 wait for the edges to turn a darker color – then I can almost guarantee you that you over-baked your cookies!!!

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If you are unsure after taking them out of the oven if they are fully baked then don’t take them off the tray immediately. Cookies will still bake a bit when out of the oven if left on the tray – BUT after a couple minutes slide the sheet of parchment with the cookies on top off the tray regardless!

 & enjoy!!!

If you don’t get it perfect on the first try with this recipe don’t sweat it! I’m sure they’ll still be delicious!!

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Tag me on Instagram if you test it out!

Lots of love,

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it’s been a bit

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Hello! Happy Thursday. It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted so I wanted to give a mini life update.

But before I get into it all – I do keep up with posting over on my Instagram the most!

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  1. I am anxiously awaiting my certificate of enrollment from the University of Tasmania (background to that aspect of my life here).
  2. I was graciously able to get both of my “pre-pandemic” jobs back (background to that here) and it sure has been an adjustment.
  3. Taylor Swift’s new, surprise album has been my saving grace.
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I’ve been wanting to post on here but haven’t felt like anything going on in my life has been “worth” posting about. I obviously haven’y been able to travel much at all due to the pandemic but I have been able to check out some new, more local coffee spots near me.

Maybe my next post will be about that, or even a monthly favorites – I still have to figure out where to go from here.

The possibilities are endless.

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I’ve been overthinking so much – as typically, I like to keep my Instagram more coffee/day-to-day based and this blog more educational & travel-based. This whole pandemic thing is clearly still a thing so I’m in the process of determining where to take this from here.

New content will be coming soon. As I’ve talked about over on my Instagram stories, the last week or so I’ve been overwhelmed with the kinds of content I could post & which ones are my priority.

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I hope all of you are safe & well!

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HOW THE LADYBOSSBLOGGER INCREASED MY BLOG TRAFFIC

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These past couple weeks I’ve been taking the LadyBossBlogger “How to Make Money as an Influencer” course. At first, I was a bit skeptical, as this course comes at a big cost. But quickly I realized how much valuable information was jam-packed into its seven sections!

You can find the first part of my review of this course here, but keep reading to get my final thoughts on it.

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Get The LadyBossBlogger Course For 40% Off

If you’re ready to start a course, I’d love for you to use the code ASHLEIGHFAY to get 40% off your purchase of any course by LadyBossBlogger! There are multiple payment plans available to split the cost up; this promo code works with any of the payment plans as well!

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My final thoughts on the course:

The course contains everything you need to start your blog, market your blog with Pinterest, increase your Instagram engagement and how to professionally do sponsored posts in all forms. I was really impressed with how the course broke it all down for me starting with the very basics.

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What the “How to make money as an influencer” course taught me:

  1. Heavily research the brands you want to partner with: it’s so important to ensure that a brand or company aligns with your personal brand and core values. Also, the more research you do before contacting them first place, the better you can express why you are perfect to partner with them.
  2. Pinterest really is the perfect marketing tool: Before this course, I had some knowledge on pinterest but nothing near what I know now. If you research keywords and use templates to create stunning photos for your pins, it can really bring traffic to your website! Also, consistency is key!
  3. The legal sides of social media are super important to pay attention to: Previously, I had no clue how important it is to have proper disclaimers, terms & conditions, etc. Even more so, I didn’t even think about having some sort of document to keep track of any earnings for tax purposes. Any sort of self employment is a whole new world for me.

I could list so much more but that would ruin all the fun wouldn’t it?

If you’re ready to start a course, I’d love for you to use the code ASHLEIGHFAY to get 40% off your purchase of any course at LadyBossBlogger!


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Links contain affiliate links. Big thanks again to LadyBossBlogger and Elaine Rau for teaming up with me and sponsoring this post.

Lots of Love,

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