Sunday, October 31, 2021

nordstrom trunk club: october 2021

I have been looking forward to my newest Trunk Club for weeks! First of all, I just love getting things in the mail, so that's always fun, but I love the combination of having someone pick some clothes out for me, letting me have a say in what I actually want, and then getting a few more surprises! I've been wearing my items from last month a ton, with the Barbour coat being worn almost daily. This month I asked for a few more cooler weather work tops, as well as some jeans. Here's what I got!


Saturday, October 16, 2021

review: *sweater weather*

If you've been following along on instagram and/or tiktok, you know that I've spent the last month slowly revamping my closet to get ready to start my first attending job. If you've been a long time follower, you know that I used to actually wear real clothes prior to residency...but then I didn't wear anything except scrubs (and yoga pants on the rare time off) for 4 years, so literally 95% of my closet consists of clothes from 2017 and earlier. So I've been trying to update my closet for the current styles, my current body, and the work I'm going in to. 

The big one I needed to work on was finding dress pants! The Limited used to be my go-to - I wore the hell out of those pants for 4 years, but sadly they closed so that's no longer an option. I had minimal luck finding long enough pants while at the mall - most stores don't have tall versions in stores, and some places, like Ann Taylor, don't even make dress pants in the tall option. Long story short, I had good luck with the J.Crew Cameron pants - they come in a tall option online, so I ended up ordering the black and navy version, and both are currently at the tailor to hem and take in the knee (I think this is such a game changer when it comes to making dress pants look sleeker!). 

I ended up trying so many things in the last few weeks that I'm going to break it up into a few posts, so here are the sweaters I've tried and/or purchased recently!


This Loft sweater vest is my new favorite item. I've seen several sweater vests over the last year and they gave me major 5th grade vibes, and I wanted nothing to do with them. But then I tried this one on, and fell in love. I think because it's a big longer, so it's the more updated cooler version. I did size down to a medium, which gives it a more fitted look - I'm wearing it with this Treasure & Bond top in the picture on the right. I also bought the blue grey version this week! It's a great layering piece going into the cooler weather. It's currently 30% off. 

I bought this short sleeved sweater during the same visit. In pictures they look so similar but I promise they are different! I love this top for the current weather - it's ideal for low 60 degrees! I also sized down to a medium on this top. Looks super cute tucked into jeans or even dress pants. 


This poncho though...not great. Too short on me, the pockets add too much fabric around my waist, and just made me feel very square. Reading the reviews, it looks like others felt the same way. It's a shame, because the pink color is so pretty!

gap boyfriend shaker-stitch cotton cardigan

Speaking of pink sweaters though, I'm all about this comfy oversized knit cardigan from Gap. I got it in a large tall - the length is great for covering your butt in leggings, or for just an oversized look. I've already received so many compliments on it! The reviews are also raving about it. I wish the cream color wasn't sold out in my size because it's that good. 

jcrew Relaxed turtleneck poncho

My favorite sweater of all time was lovingly washed and then subsequently dried by my dear husband, which was so nice...but because it was a cashmere, it shrunk to about children's size, so R.I.P. I've been trying to replace it for 4 years, but haven't found anything close. I tried this J.Crew sweater in hopes it would be closet...but this guy is ginormous. I am wearing the medium/large, and could size down I suppose, but I think the very oversized style of it is not going to be the ideal replacement for my old sweater. 

Banana Republic Duster Cardigan Sweater

I've wanted a long duster cardigan for some time now, so I was excited to see this beautiful version from Banana Republic. It's thicker so it's warm but not too thick that you lose your shape. It has hidden side pockets, so it's not adding extra material in the middle know, pockets <3. I'm wearing a size large here, and the reviews agree that it fits true to size. It is definitely on the more pricy side but it was 20% off in stores and I had a reward so it ended up costing me $50, which I was very excited about. I knew I had to get it when I kept trying it on and trying to convince myself I didn't need it. 

Universal Thread Women's Open-Front Cardigan - Universal Thread™
We had friends stay with us a few weeks ago, and both of the girls had this adorable Target I ordered it while we were all sitting around the fire. It's definitely oversized, so I would suggest sizing down - I'm wearing a medium here. I'm wearing it in the color rust, which keeps popping in out and of stock. The cream is also super pretty, and probably more versatile though, so that would be the one I would suggest getting if you are interested!

Will be back next week with more reviews. My latest Trunk box also just shipped, so that will be up the following week. Have you purchased anything you're excited about lately? Would love to hear about it!

Monday, October 4, 2021

mama & me: summer 2021

Throughout the summer, I tried to remember to snap a few pictures of my outfits. I definitely don't have the time anymore to scout a location, set up a tripod, take a few hundred pictures, and edit quick snaps on my phone is as good as it's going to get currently ;). I also have a two year old who most of the time refused to take a picture with me! Doesn't she know we are trying to BLOG HERE. Luckily Theo was always willing (...against his will). 

Summer is my least favorite season to dress for, so the majority of the time I just wore my favorite old shorts with an easy top to nurse in. Transitioning out of 100% scrubs has been hard for several reasons - the nursing sports bras I used to wear don't work with real clothes. Luckily, these bras from Target have built in pads so I don't have to worry about putting nursing pads on all the time! I also don't really have any dedicated nursing tops, I just wear looser tops so it's easy to pull up. 

going to the children's museum

top: loft [exact]
shorts: gap [similar]
belt: gap [similar]
sandals: steve madden
headband: amazon [exact]

Penny's romper: target
Theo's overalls: H&M [exact]

going to the zoo

chambray: j.crew (comes in talls & on sale!) [exact]
shorts: target [exact]
tee: j.crew 
shoes: steve madden

Penny's big sis shirt: etsy [exact]

going to music class

tee: free people [exact]
shorts: gap

penny's watermelon romper: old navy [exact on sale]
theo's jumpsuit: H&M [exact]

going to the library

top: treasure & bond [exact on sale]
jeans: 7 for all mankind [similar]
headband: Amazon [exact]

Theo's pants + chambray

going to costco on the last day of summer

cardigan: target [exact, 20% off!]
jeans: uniqlo 
shoes: treasure & bond [exact]

Penny's fleece: gap [current style]

room details //
mirror: wayfair
theo's pack-n-play: guava 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

nordstrom trunk club: september 2021

Several of my girlfriends are in a similar position I am when it comes to work clothes - recently out of residency, having not really purchased new items in a while, and now needing a whole closet of work clothes. One of my friends mentioned that she was having a lot of luck with StitchFix and Nordstrom Trunk Club. I tried out StitchFix this spring but didn't end up loving anything, and then felt my $25 were kind of forcing me to keep items I wasn't 100% in love with. What drew me to ordering a Nordstrom Trunk though was that if you have a Nordstrom card, their $25 styling fee is waved! So I can order trunks and not feel like I have to keep anything just to not lose $25. I really love that a box full of clothes just shows up at my house, I get to try them on in the privacy of my own home with my own closet, keep what I want, and have FedEx pick up the box from my front door. It also helps to have a stylist give me new styles to try on, to see how they work with my body, life, and current wardrobe. I am fairly consistent about basically buying the same items just in different colors/patterns, so this kind of forces me to try new things that I may love.  

I signed up through the app, answered a few questions about what I was looking for, filled out my sizes, and the next day got an email saying my box was ready to be reviewed. I swapped out a few things I knew I wasn't going to like at all, and left a few spots open for my stylist's suggestions. A few days later, the box showed up at my house!

Here's what I got!

Saturday, September 4, 2021

penny's play kitchen

The room I am probably the most excited about, truly, in our new house is what is going to be the playroom. It was previously used as an office, but with its location directly off the living room, it's the perfect room for our children. In our last house, we did not have a separate space for Penny - her bedroom was very small, and only could hold her crib, small dresser, and rocking chair. We had a small cabinet in our living room that housed the majority of her toys, but as she and Theo grow up, the toys get bigger too, so I'm just so thrilled to make their own little space for them to play and explore and have fun!

One of the first projects I knew I was going to do was make her a little play kitchen. I've seen so many "Ikea hacks" for the Ikea play kitchen, and so I spent hours looking at different ones on pinterest. The one that spoke to me the most was one I found on the blog Katie Lamb. I love the gender neutral colors, and her step by step instructions made it pretty easy to follow. The only difference is that I used a latex brush on paint rather than a spray paint! Basically the steps to making this little play kitchen your own: 

Figure out parts //

Take out all parts from the box, and figure out which pieces you will paint what color. I made 3 piles - the blue pile, the white pile, and the don't touch it pile. 

Things I should have done here: sanded and primed. Things I didn't do: sand and prime. Instead I just taped off the pieces I needed to tape off, and started the painting process. 

Paint // 

Each piece got 2 coats of paint. I then let them cure for a few days before starting the assembly process. For the metal pieces, I used Katie's trick of using a box to peg all the metal parts up to paint easier, then they got 3-4 coats of spray paint. I let these sit for a few days before attaching to the kitchen. 

Countertop //  

I used this butcher block contact paper to make over the countertop. I used a credit card to apply it tightly across the top, and then cut out the holes for the sink and stove top. I also applied a little super glue on each of the corners to really secure it where it would likely peel off first. 

Backsplash //  

I bought a thick plastic board from Michael's. I got one pack of these stick & peel hexagon "tiles" on Amazon that I just love so much. They are a great neutral with some variation in color that adds a nice texture to the backsplash. I measured the size of board I needed for the back splash, cut it to that size, and then attached the tile. It was super easy, and a lot cheaper than some of the $40 options I saw on Etsy!

Assemble // 

After everything had a few days to cure, I followed the instructions to put everything together - honestly, probably the most annoying part, but also so fun to see it all come together! Then during nap time, I brought it inside from the garage and got to set it up with all the little accessories I had found. I was so excited to show Penny!

There are so many adorable play food items out there, that it was hard to stick with just a few items! We have a little wood toaster that has a little lever that lifts the toast, and comes with butter! That, and our little espresso machine are the biggest hits. We have a little set of fruit and vegetables that are connected by magnets, which is so nice since they can't wear out like velcro could. Although we do have a little egg set that is probably the most played with item, and it's held up very well so far. She was gifted this little apron that we had personalized with her name, and I can't wait to eventually get one for Theo as well. I think for Christmas we are going to get her a set of little oven mitts!

I loved making this little kitchen for my babies, and am excited to get started in converting the office into their playroom. Next up on my projects for the room is this magnet wall!

Kitchen: Ikea
Blue pain: Behr Adirondack Blue
Metal color: Rustoleum Champagne Mist
Countertop: Amazon
Backsplash: Amazon
Espresso machine: Hape
Toaster: Hape
Pots & spatula: Pottery Barn Kids
Play eggs: PB Kids
Magnetic fruits/veggies: Amazon

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

clothing review: that postpartum life.

Oh man. Postpartum clothing shopping....not exactly super fun. 

I feel in such a weird clothing funk right now. I almost feel like I went into a coma and came out four years later with a new body and not understanding current styles. I really only purchased a handful of non-maternity items over the past four years, and so now I feel like I'm kind of starting over, with a different body than before. Just to kind of let you in on where my head space is currently at. I may have left the mall crying yesterday. So if you've been're definitely not alone. 
Smocked ruffle gauze top

Okay, first up is this beautiful top from J.Crew. I've had my eye on it forever, and finally ordered it during a sale. I'm wearing a size large here. Initially when I put it on, I liked it. Then I looked at it from all angles and decided I didn't like it. Because the fabric is thinner, it kind of puffs up from the chest down, so from the side it looks a bit sack like. And then now looking at it again, I like it! Isn't this a fun process? 

But seriously...I think I like it. It's cute both for work under a blazer or white coat, and then for a more casual night out. I think this lighter blue isn't the one for me though, and I think I'm going to order it again in the light mint. Or white, because I'm predictable. 
Are popovers back in? I've been seeing them all over the place, and I, for one, am here for it. I love this style shirt! This one isn't the one for me though. I'm wearing a 12 tall here - I do like the length on me, and am thankful it comes in the tall option. I just don't love the fabric - it felt very stiff and as you can see, see-through. I wish it was just a bit more opaque so you can't see my nursing bra! As I do like this style of shirt, I'm hoping they'll come out with a different fabric or color this fall.
Smocked-Waist Button-Front Midi Skirt

I had seen this Madewell skirt in instagram ads a few times, but it wasn't until I saw Merrick's instagram post with a very similar skirt (or maybe the same one?) that I had to order it. I don't have any midi skirts but I have wanted a cute item for my closet to wear for date nights! This is just such a comfortable, light, and flowy skirt. It fits true to size, I'm wearing a large here - the waistline is very stretchy, so you could consider sizing down. Now I would really like a white bodysuit to wear with it to help streamline the area around my waist. Any suggestions? All the ones I'm seeing out there are like $80!

Classic Straight Jeans
The last item I had ordered online from Madewell are these classic straight jeans. From the front, these are so flattering - almost tummy controlling, looser than skinny jeans but not too baggy that your shape gets lost. But these were SO tight on my belly - I could hardly squat down! I ordered what I think is my normal size 31, but these were just so tight and frankly, not flattering from the side. I did really love the color and overall style though, so during the next sale I plan on ordering them a size up to see if that makes them feel and look better. 

Of course, I had to take advantage of a day when Penny went to hang out with family for part of the day, so Theo and I went to the mall to return the items above...and try a few things on. It's been years since I've actually been in a mall and tried things on there! The only item I ended up taking home is this Hayden top in a black/white pattern that isn't even online yet. They only had mediums left in store, but it actually made the fit more flattering. I find the majority of Madewell tops to not fit me well, as they are shorter and boxier on me than I prefer for myself. This has just a little more length than other shirts I've tried, and sizing down to medium means I don't totally get lost in the shirt. Plus the fabric is soooo soft! They previously had this style in a white, which I'm so sad is no longer available in my size. Again a great top for hanging out with the babies, but can be dressed up with black (or mustard!) pants for work. 
Floral Jacquard Puff-Sleeve Tee
This floral puff sleeve not for me. I tried it on because the non-boxy, longer length drew me in, and because I saw Shea McGee looking super cute in puffy sleeved shirts and I basically want to be her...but this is not for me. Maybe styled correctly, with my hair done and in the right light...but I know that that is rarely the situation, so I didn't want to buy a shirt that I would actually never wear. If it does seem like your style though, I am wearing a large here, and the fabric is nice and thick. Cute, but not for me. 
Grandover Bobble Pullover Sweater
While it is currently 86 (!) degrees out, I did just move to one of the snowiest cities in the country, so I'm starting to think about what I'm supposed to wear during the many months of winter coming my way. I was drawn to the colors and texture of this sweater, but kind of feel like a frumpy grandpa in it. I can see why the cool kids would love this, but as a 33 year old mom of two who is currently working through some postpartum body issues, this was not the one for me. 
Y'all know I love a good plaid blazer, but I've wanted an updated, more casual version. I saw this oversized blazer on a TikTok some weeks ago, and wanted to try it. This was such a comfortable blazer, and really I could tell the difference between a $30 H&M blazer and a $170 blazer, but this wasn't the one for me either. My H&M blazer is a very similar color, so I feel I don't want to repeat it. I also found it too boxy on me, so I'll keep an eye out for something that works better for me. I've been eyeing this Vince Camuto version - I could definitely see myself wearing it to work this fall!

So here is where we are at. I'm still trying to figure myself out. I'm trying to work with my newer, different body. I'm trying to understand what the current styles are, while also knowing that I already know what I like, and trying to blend those together. I'm trying to figure out my current stay at home mom life, while knowing that I'm stepping into an attending ObGyn life in 2 months, where I will spend the majority of my time in an outpatient clinic. Thank you for following along with me while I figure it out!

p.s. below are my working conditions when trying to take pictures. he thinks he's sooo funny. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

fran's fbmp find: drexel pine dresser (and a little bedroom sneak peak)

I am so excited to talk about our new home! This spring, we sold our first home. We had loved making that home our own. It was the perfect house for us, but we were slowly outgrowing we were moving two states away, so we got lucky in a sellers market, and sold it in days. Finding a house, on the other hand, was tough. We lost several houses, but then got the luckiest when a younger couple was selling their beautiful home, and chose us to buy their house, even though we had competition with an all cash, no cap offer. I believe it's because they had young children and the house was made to raise kids in. We are just so thrilled to have gotten a house in this market. 

This house is twice the size of our last one. It has one more bedroom, it's own dining room, an office, and a formal living room...all things we did not have in our first home. We brought all of our furniture with us, but the majority of it doesn't really fit into the space - it's either the wrong shape or too small for the space. But furniture is expensive, so we are buying it in stages. We started with our bedroom!

I had saved up for the last month so we could furnish part of our bedroom when we moved in. We wanted our room to be calm and bright, and my husband requested to have shades of green in it. We painted one of the walls a really pretty green (Behr Eucalyptus Wreath), and the rest a bright white. When it came to furnishing it, I've always wanted a king sized bed. After months of debating which one to get, we went with the West Elm MidCentury Frame - it's so so pretty in real life and looks great with the green wall and hardwood floors! We went with a Saatva mattress, which is described as "hotel like", and as a belly sleeper, I've really really liked it. I had had my eye on this Crate and Barrel duvet, and I love the texture that it adds to the bed without it being an overwhelming pattern. 

As a side story, prior to medical school, I was really into thrifting. That's how I spent my evenings and weekends when I was working full time - finding goodies at Goodwill and garage sales. Now that I have my life back, and 3 months off before starting my first attending job, as well as a house to furnish, I've really rediscovered that thrifting bug. But with having two small children and a husband who works out of the house, spending hours at the thrift stores isn't really a possibility right now, so I've become a hardcore Facebook Marketplace fiend! In the 6 weeks we have lived here, I've already found several amazing pieces for our house. A few needed a little love, some needed nothing, and I can't wait to see how they tell their story in our house. The overall "look" for our house is transitional - filling our bright and airy spaces with a mix of old school charm with modern touches. That's the great thing about finding furniture and decor that's pre-loved - it doesn't need to fall into one design style, it just needs to fit the space. 

So, we had the bed, the bedding, and the rug, but needed a few other items for our bedroom. Top of the list were a dresser, and bedside tables, and then also a big mirror, lamps, and art. I spent several weeks looking at different dressers on FBMP when I ran across a beautiful 9 drawer pine dresser that was selling for $120. I reached out to the seller immediately, and went to see it that afternoon. It turns out it had been a part of an estate sale but no one bought it, so the price was decreased and put on FBMP...where it promptly became mine! 

As far as I can tell, the dresser is from sometime between the mid 20th century. It's made of pine, with dovetail construction on the drawers. The hardware is brass, but we will get to that in a second! When we got the dresser to our house, I noticed the smell immediately. It smelled like someone's very nice grandmother. The dressers had a paper lining, which was easily removed. I then wiped out each drawer with a 50/50 vinegar/water mixture, which apparently neutralizes perfumes. I then put some baking powder on paper plates, and put them in each drawer, and then put the drawers back in the dresser. We didn't put any clothes in the dresser for a week, and by the end of the week, all the former scents were gone! 

Now that it smelled new, it was time to update the hardware. Because of the very unique drawer pulls, it wasn't really an option to replace them because the stain behind the pulls was different than the rest of the drawer. So I removed all the pulls, soaked them for a few minutes in Dove power wash, and then used this magic powder to remove all the tarnish. It was amazing how a few minutes of scrubbing could complete remove the tarnish! 

Now she's sitting in our bedroom, and is mostly used as a baby changing table. I'm debating what to do above the dresser though. Across from it, above our bed, we already have a large piece of art (see below). Our big mirror is going on the third wall of the room, and the fourth wall currently just has two windows (...that still need curtains). I initially thought another mirror, but we don't really need it since we have the big one on the wall. Then I was thinking maybe a gallery wall? Several pieces of art? I don't know, I feel torn. 

I also bought two bedside tables on FBMP that need to be sanded and painted - they aren't a real wood so painting makes the most sense. I'm thinking maybe black paint and then gold hardware? We also need lamps for the bedside tables, I'd like two additional pillows in a green to go with the wall color, and this blanket for the edge of the bed. Once Theo's pack n play is moved out, we also would like to add a chair and small table in the corner. 

So while I'm excited about where we currently are, there's so much left to do!
paint: Behr Eucalyptus Wreath