Day-to-Day: Emma Sawatzky

Day-to-Day is a series of interviews with women that I admire. I have found at this stage of life, friends are scattered around the province, country, and the world. It is so nice to use the power of the web to feel more connected to a group of women and create a sense of community. I love getting a better idea of what their day-to-day life looks like and what they are currently enjoying and doing.

I am so happy that the first Day-to-Day interview is with Emma! Emma is a law student from Canada currently living in the UK. She is a world traveller (follow her on instagram for some amazing travel photos), absolutely brilliant, and honestly one of the kindest humans I have ever met. She has an uncanny way of making you feel happy and special just by being around her and talking to her. Here is what her day-to-day looks like:

What does a typical weekday morning look like for you? Where are you off to?

I’m off to law school! I’m in my final year and will graduate this June. I absolutely love getting up early and having time to myself before the busy part of the day. I like to start my day with a hot shower, a big glass of cold water, and time in my fluffy robe and slippers. Then I’ll have breakfast (usually oatmeal or a smoothie) whilst perusing Instagram – for me, it feels like a personally curated magazine/lifestyle book/news source and I love having a “read” as my brain wakes up. I’ll often do a quick 5-minute tidy before I head off, because I love coming home to a clean room. Then, I’m off to my favourite café for what I call my ‘sacred time’ – time to make plans for the day, make a gratitude list, respond to emails/messages, do a bit of life admin, enjoy a hot cup of tea, and then get going with some work before lectures!

coffee shop with laptop
Here is the view from “my” table at Hot Numbers, my sacred coffee shop.

What do you wear to work or school? Any favourite outfits?

As a student I don’t have a huge variation in my work/weekend attire. Spending lots of time in the library, I’m all about comfort. Like Spencer, I’m a huge fan of Lululemon pants – my favourite are the On the Fly pant. They are so easy to dress up or down! I’ve had a black pair for ages but recently branched out with On the Fly Maroon joggers and am obsessed! I like to wear layers – usually a tank-top with a sweater. If I want to dress up a little, I have a go-to outfit: black high wasted skirt with a cropped sweater or a tank-top/sweater combination with tights and a pair of ankle boots.

moot court case
Arguing a moot case in the Supreme Court, very Elle Woods

What are the beauty products that you can’t live without and repurchase over and over?

Love this question! I currently have 4. 

  • My ‘dream team’ for makeup removal at night is a double cleanse. First I use the Caudalié Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil to dissolve all the makeup and grime.  Then I follow up with the Glossier Milky Jelly cleanser to really wash off the day. This combination completely gets rid of all the pesky eye-makeup and feels really gentle whilst getting a good clean!
  • IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40! I love this. It provides such great ‘natural’ coverage and works amazingly by itself or as a base for dolling myself up. I’ve tried other foundations and creams, but keep coming back to this – it is worth the splurge, and a little goes a long way so a tube lasts forever.
  • Kopari Natural Deodorant is the one natural deodorant I’ve found to work for me. It takes awhile for the body to adjust after switching from standard deodorant/antiperspirant to this, and you do have to apply more than you would with standard deodorants, but I love it!

Favourite weekend pieces? Favourite thing to do on a weekend?

I go very casual on weekends when I need to work in the library and on assignments! You’ll often find me in my On the Fly Pants, a sweatshirt with a messy bun and some sneakers. These sports bras are amazing for something comfortable to wear. If it’s date night, I love wearing rompers/jumpsuits – again, so easy to dress up and wear more casually!

I love adventuring on the weekends – that can be anything from trying a new restaurant or café, a new recipe or walking trail, exploring a new neighborhood in London or Cambridge, or going on a day trip/weekend getaway! I love getting to spend time catching up with family and friends both in the UK and back home in Canada. Weekends are also a time for me to hit ‘re-set’: getting laundry done, making a schedule for the week ahead, food prep, catching up on sleep and taking it easy.  

summer in london
Date night on the Hampstead Heath, summer in London

What makes you feel beautiful or confident?

Things that make me feel beautiful and confident include: having a great workout, being surrounded by people who love me and believe in me, days where I’m smiling and laughing a ton, and honest to goodness for some reason summer makes me feel beautiful and confident! It’s crazy how much the seasons affect my mood – a bit of a summer glow, some natural blonde highlights, more time spent outside and pretty summer dresses and sandals make a huge difference for me! Academically/professionally, getting good feedback always make me feel confident and capable (I definitely need to rely less on external validation as it relates to my confidence and self-worth, but that’s a story for another day!).

If you weren’t in your current profession, what would you do?

If I weren’t in my current profession and could literally choose anything, I would be a musical star on Broadway!

Given my current skill set, a more realistic choice would be working in international relations, specifically peacebuilding and conflict resolution. I’m actually hoping to re-enter this field one day, but via the legal profession once I qualify and gain some experience. I would also have loved to work in the travel industry as a travel consultant/blogger, given that travel is one of my greatest passions! I love to help family and friends plan incredible trips.

hiking in petra jordan
Hiking in Petra, Jordan with my own Indiana Jones. The ancient city of Petra is one of the most incredible places I have ever been to!

What have you been enjoying watching/reading/doing lately?

Watching: Jane the Virgin, Grace & Frankie

Reading: A Guidebook on Sicily – I am planning a trip there for my family after my graduation in July!

I read these books over the Christmas/New Year period and would highly recommend them:

  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
  • Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
  • The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
  • The Ensemble by Aja Gabel
  • American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
  • Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza
  • The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Huang
  • The UnHoneymooners by Christina Lauren

** editor’s note: although not mentioned above as an alternate career path, this impressive holiday reading list makes us think Emma could review books for a living? Anyone else have a “damnnnn, you go girl” moment while reading this list , because we sure did! * *

Doing: I love trying new recipes and baking! A go-to treat is definitely these Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars from What’s Gaby Cooking (Note: the recipe says to press ½ of the cookie dough mixture into the bottom of the pan, I would highly recommend doing 2/3). My current favourite sources of new recipes are:

Pinch of Yum

Half-Baked Harvest

Iowa Girl Eats

Cookie and Kate

Serena Wolf

Do you have a go-to meal that you are making a lot lately?

 I love big ‘meal’ salads. I have two go-tos:

Oven-roasted salmon on romaine lettuce topped with avocado, cucumber, and crumbled feta, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

Halloumi Greek Salad: Israeli couscous, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, grilled Halloumi, and either a dollop of hummus or chickpeas. Lightly dressed with olive oil, fresh lemon, oregano salt and pepper. (Recipe inspired by How Sweet Eats Hummus Halloumi Bowls)

Italian dinner
Living La Dolce Vita in Puglia, Italy (my favourite Italian region…so far!)

What are the most important things to you right now?

My family, my friends, my health, and searching out/dreaming about travel opportunities!  

How do you take care of yourself?

Making sure I have time in my day/week for some alone time. I love being social, but as an introvert that social time is always enhanced if I prioritize breaks of alone time for me to recharge my batteries! This can be anything from having a solo cup of tea at a café, to watching a TV show or reading a travel magazine, to getting into my pajamas and going to bed early, or spending a whole afternoon by myself. Connecting with friends and family is another way I take care of myself – reaching out to others, especially when the going gets tough at school, takes me out of my anxious ‘bubble’ and always makes me feel better.  I also like having fun plans on the horizon to look forward to! All these things give me the space to reflect on how wonderful my life is and that I have so much for which to be grateful.

family portrait
My people

What is stressing you out at the moment and how are you managing it?

I’m currently stressed about my upcoming end of year exams. At the University of Cambridge, you have no graded assessments during the year – your entire mark is determined by 5 three-hour exams that take place over the course of 10 days in May! I’m currently struggling balancing long-term strategic awareness with short-term practical to-do lists. Sometimes when I think of the future and that week of exams, it all feels so overwhelming and frankly, scary! I often get “analysis paralysis”: I get so worked up about a seemingly endless to do-list that I don’t end up doing anything and then just end up frustrated! To manage this feeling, I’m trying as hard as I can to focus on the step and not the staircase.

I’m also working to build in fun study breaks and prioritizing good exercise, eating, and sleep. For me, actually enjoying the study breaks is something I need to work on – I sometimes feel “guilty” for taking a break, when really breaks are some of the best things I can do for myself during the stressful period.

Post-Interview Note: A huge source of anxiety for me right now is the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is hitting all of my anxiety triggers – fear of the unknown, having things out of my control, and worrying about my loved ones and their health. I’m working on staying calm, following official government and medical advice, and taking the appropriate social precautions and preparations.

I really want to thank people like Spencer and her entire family, who have dedicated their lives to being at the front line and working to promote public health and community safety! They are true heroes in this period of uncertainty and will continue to be in the coming weeks ahead.

What is something you are looking forward to in the coming months?

I’m really looking forward to my birthday in April – I’m going for dinner and a musical (Dear Evan Hansen!) with my sister and boyfriend in London! I’m also looking forward to trying a new recipe and baking something delicious for Easter. Longer term, I can’t wait for my law school graduation and the celebrations that surround that, and the trip to Sicily with my family in July!

Thank you so much Emma, you are brilliant and beautiful on the inside and out! Thank you so much for sharing.

A lifestyle blog inspired by all of the things I share with my twin sister. Skincare and style finds, food ideas, health and advice.

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