Thursday, February 22, 2018

my current skincare routine

It's been a good year since I last talked about my full skincare routine, and a few things are the same while some things have changed. I'm constantly trying out new products - some end up becoming a real staple of my skincare routine, and others are exchanged for newer, shinier, more promising products. Thanks to four years of really focusing on improving my skin through products and procedures, I'm at one of the best places I have ever been with my skin!

As far as my current routine, I have a lot of old favorites that are a still a part of my routine, and a ton of new products I've fallen in love with. A few months ago, Drunk Elephant sent me a care package with all of their top products. The irony was that literally the week before,  I had purchased their babyfacial mask and oil, so I was already a purchasing customer! I've been using their products consistently for the past two months and am now a huge convert. This is not a sponsored post, I've just tested their products consistently and am very impressed with the results I've seen in my skin, which is why I keep using them!

in the morning //
  1. Drunk Elephant Day Serum: I've been using a Vitamin C serum for the past year, and after recently finishing Ole Henrikson's Truth Serum, I was excited to try a new Vitamin C serum! I would say that these two feel very similar when applied. Vitamin C has been clinically proven to even out skin tone and protect against pollution, which is why I've made it a daily part of my skincare routine!
  2. Paula's Choice Sunscreen: A few years ago, I was ready a Q&A somewhere about preventing wrinkles, and one question was about what people in their late twenties/early thirties should do to prevent wrinkles, and the easiest solution that we're all told to do anyway is wear sunscreen. Duh. I've tried several face sunscreens, and keep coming back to this one! It goes on so fluid, you never even know it's there, which is why I use it every day. Highly recommend if you are looking for an easy step to add to your skincare routine that prevents wrinkles, and most importantly, skin cancer! I know we all think we are untouchable when it comes to cancers, but we all know we're going to get wrinkles, so might as well protect against both!
  3. Drunk Elephant Hydration Gel: I've always had dry skin, which is why I've really been attracted to hydration gels (like the First Aid serum I used last year!). This DE gel has been a godsend for the past few months of harsh hospital environments and being in a constant state of dehydration haha. But really, my dry skin concerns have been greatly reduced by using this every morning. 
  4. Belif moisturizer: One of my holy grail items I buy over and over and over again! I just noticed last week they sell this in a huge economy size tub and I'm honestly debating buying it. 

at night //
  1. Glossier cleanser: I looooove this cleanser and buy it over. and over. and over again. I use it to remove my make-up - it's so effective at getting eye makeup off without rubbing and pulling on the delicate skin around eyes, doesn't hurt my eyes, and smells amazing. It's just my absolute favorite. 
  2. Tretinoin cream: I use a perscription tretinoin cream every other night. See my full review of how tretinoin majorly changed my skin!
  3. OR Drunk Elephant Night Serum: On the nights I don't use the tretinoin cream, I use this night serum. I've noticed a big change in the texture of my skin since I started using it - I used to have a lot more flaking and dry patches, and used to have to do a lot more scrubs than I do now! I think this is one of the biggest additions to my skincare routine that has made my skin really glow. 
  4. Drunk Elephant Marula oil: About nine months ago, I really started falling in love with using face oils. Remember like ten-fifteen years ago when we thought oil in skincare products was the devil - everything said it was oil-free! And now I'm constantly smearing oil all over my face, and it's never felt better. I had just finished my third bottle of The Ordinary's Rose Hip Seed oil when I received the DE Marula Oil. I think The Ordinary's oil felt super smooth and calming when applied, while I think the Drunk Elephant Marula oil leaves my skin softer the next day - they are two different types of oil, so it's not a direct comparison, but just between two types of oils I've used over the past year. The Ordinary does also sell a Marula oil that I may order the next time I put in an order just so I can compare the two. But I'm so happy with the Drunk Elephant oil that I'm more than willing to buy another bottle with my own money. 
  5. Nivea cream: I grew up using Nivea cream - we used to bring huge tubs over from Germany! A few months ago, I randomly read about how the original Nivea cream from Germany is very very similar to La Mer. I have never actually tried La Mer, but I've read enough celebrity interviews over the years to know that people are obsessed with it. The last time my mom went to Germany, I asked her to bring me a tub back, and have been using it ever since. Is it identical to La Mer? No idea. But my skin is soooo soft after I use it that I just keep using it! I think the American version is actually very similar, if you are interested in trying it out for yourself (especially if you've used La Mer, I'd love to hear your opinion!). 

as needed //
  1. Drunk Elephant Babyfacial Mask: My friend Tierney told me about how much she loved this face mask, so last fall during a Sephora sale, I ordered it. Babyfacial is a perfect name for it as it leaves you skin looking brand new - just glowy and smooth. I'm a big fan!
  2. Ren Glycolic Mask: I continue to use the same bottle of this I had last year - you don't need a huge amount when you apply it. I also love the smell and it really does leave your skin more radiant. 
  3. The Ordinary Peeling Solution: I ordered this a few months ago, and have used it a few times now, and really enjoy it! It goes on bright red so don't be scared by that. Leave it on for 10 minutes (no longer!), and have brighter skin after! I wouldn't say that this is my favorite mask I've ever used, but I like it enough to keep using it!
  4. Clinique Night Lip Mask: Ohhh, this is a new addition for my night time routine. I almost always have this Clinique balm in my scrub pocket, but saw the night lip mask and instantly wanted to try it. If you also have dry lips, this is a great little product to put on before going to bed (especially if you're a mouth breather like me.....). 
  5. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion: As much as I try to prevent acne, it still shows up once in a while (come onnnnnnn). I use the drying lotion on it as soon as it shows up - it doesn't make it disappear completely, but I generally think the zits are smaller overall. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

top three [2.18.18]

my new favorite part of our house...that didn't exist before!

medical tidbits //
  • January was cervical cancer awareness month and to celebrate, I got my pap smear as I was due! Now that I'm 30, I get co-testing done every five years. Co-testing tests for both changes in the cervical cells (the pap smear part) and tests for HPV (the virus that is largely responsible for those cell changes). Curious to know what you're due for? Check out this page for more information! Share with your girlfriends, sisters, mothers. Cervical cancer is preventable and there's no reason we should still be dying of a disease we have screening tools and vaccines for. 
  • Couvelaire uterus is a life threatening condition that may happen after placental abruption, where the blood infiltrates the myometrium (the muscle of the uterus), causing the uterus to look blue
  • One in 1000 babies are born with a tooth. I have yet to see that! ;)

I've got my eye on ... //
  • A soft Free People sweater that would get me through the rest of this weird winter (it's currently 40% off!). 
  • The answer to all my transport tote dreams - I'm obsessed with this medium sized tote. I love that it comes with a strap, so it's perfect for lugging around everything to work! I think after six years, it's finally time for an upgrade from my original. 
  • The cutest little faux moss bunny. I know this is supposed to be a spring/easter decoration, but would it be weird to have it on my shelf all year long? 

on the internet //

sales this weekend //

this week I... //
  • Delivered my first baby where I did the mother's initial Ob visit! I can't believe we are at that point now where I've been with patient's through their whole pregnancy!
  • Got in four work outs, three on my spin bike, and one Orange Theory class. I <3 off service blocks!
  • Missed CR terribly - he's on Ob nights the month after I was on Ob nights, so we only see each other on weekends, and then I happen to work most weekends this month! We just keep telling each other it's all temporary...because it is. Eventually we will both be on a normal schedule again!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

house update: the kitchen and dining room

I'm so excited to finally share our updated kitchen! It's been a long seven months of slowly piecing it together (and we aren't really done yet). The kitchen was a real sticking point when we were debating buying our house as it was just not a functional kitchen. At a quick glance it was great - new appliances, a granite countertop, and white cabinets. But then you look closely and actually think about a full functional kitchen and you realize a few that the current set up only has ONE drawer, three cabinets, and minimal countertop space. We don't own a ton of kitchen things, but enough that we need more than that! But with some convincing CR of the vision, and now nine months later, I think we are both so happy with our decision to buy this home and make it our own!

So above is what our kitchen looked like on the day of closing. When you walk in through the side door of the house, the top left picture is what you saw. If you turned right, you saw what is on the top right picture. To the right and behind of the kitchen entrance is that empty space in the bottom left picture. And then straight ahead to the left was the empty wall you see in the bottom right picture. 

So our plan was to add cabinets against the wall. We initially debated doing a center island instead, but we wanted to have a pantry area, so cabinets against the wall made more sense. A coffee station was to be added to the little space between the kitchen entrance and the bathroom door.

During the first weeks of owning our house, we spent painted the whole house Gliddean's Universal Grey. We replaced all of the hardware with matte black ones. Some people have that knack for mixing metals and colors and so on, but...I'm not one of them. So having a matte black everywhere just made so many things easier!

So here are the before and afters!

Friday, February 9, 2018


Hello everyone!'s been a hot second, huh?

To cut to the chase, I really just needed to step back from blogging for a while. We have had so much going on for the past six months, that the easiest thing to drop was the blog. It was honestly so nice to not worry about it, and just live my life and work and figure out this new life as a doctor, daughter, future bride, new homeowner, and person. Blogger just didn't feel to fit into that for a while.

But this past weekend, CR sent this blog post I wrote about couples matching to a current third year medical student, and I went back to read that post, and I remembered how much I loved writing those posts and being connected with you guys. It was nice to have a space just my own, and while I needed to step away from "my space", I think I'm ready to get back to it.

Things are going to be different, but I think it only makes sense that my blog grows and changes as my life does. I wear scrubs every. single. day. New clothing and outfits just doesn't make sense to the be center focus of my blog because it's not a part of my life at all. I definitely plan on sharing things once in a while when I find something new and worthy of sharing (hello, my new favorite piece of clothing I wear whenever I get the chance), but just as I've never lived my life for the blog, it doesn't make sense to buy clothes just to blog about them.

So what are we going to talk about?

Skincare (hellllo, baby facial!)

Makeup (I'm obsessed with this under eye brightner!)

Hair care (always chasing that perfect blond and trying new products - like L'oreal's new hair mask!)

House updates & how-tos (a post about how we built our "built-ins" and a room by room update)

Travel posts (mostly about our recent trip to Arizona!)

Top three posts occasionally

And whatever else comes up!

There will be occasional posts about residency, but as I'm sure you can understand, I won't be sharing a ton of my day to day life or about patient care. Things you can expect though are topics I wrote about before - great presents for new residents, how meal prepping in residency helps me stay away from the daily treats, and the best shoes for long days on the floor (spoiler: still loving my danksos, but considering a pair of klogs!). You can always follow along on instastories, where I definitely share a bit more of the day-to-day life!

So hello, and welcome back! I missed you!

p.s. got any other requests for posts? would love to hear from you!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

how to: peloton bike for less (or how to make your own at home spin studio)

Back in the good ol' days of fourth year, I managed to work out 3-6 days a week. I fell in love with spin classes, and went every opportunity I could. I went to our local study religiously, and any time I was in a bigger city for interviews or fun, I would go to Soul Cycle or Fly Wheel, from studios in San Diego, NYC, Philadelphia, and Miami.  I've done all sorts of exercises over the years, from running to weights to yoga to circuit training, and nothing kept my attention like spinning did. I looked forward to that hour where I could just disappear - in a dark room where no one could see me, with music blasting, and my legs just going. It got me through the early phases of my parents separation - no one can see you cry while you're climbing up a hill listening to Adele. It helped me lose weight without feeling like I was hating my life doing it. Basically: I loved spin class.

And then we moved to a city that didn't have a spin studio. And I started working 80 hours a week, getting up at 3:30 AM and not getting home until 7 PM. And while I started going to Orange Theory, and liking it (and knowing that those weights were good for me), I just never looked forward to them. I remember reading AJ's post about her Pelaton bike, and the more I looked into it, the more I wanted it. But the cost ($1995, or $97 a month for 39 months) is pretty steep, especially on a resident's budget. The appealing thing about the bike is having a bike that is all connected, from the actual bike to the class you're taking to the numbers you're creating. I figured that those parts could be put together separately, while still getting the same experience.  So here's what I did!

the necessities
There are four main components to making your own Peloton:
  • The bike: there are a ton of different spin bikes out there, with all sorts of designs and extras. I ended up choosing this bike - it had most of the things I was looking for, and had great reviews. It has most of the standard features of a regular spin bike - the only thing this one doesn't have is a computer sensor, which is something most bikes at this price range don't have either. It showed up at my house within 3 days, and took CR about 30 minutes to put together. 
  • Sensor: to make up for the bike not having a computer, you can buy a sensor for $40 that attaches to the pedal to keep track of your cadence (how fast you are spinning). It attaches to an app that goes on your phone, so you can match the cadence that the instructors say. The only down side to not having a computer attached to the bike is that you can't measure resistance, which I never had at my regular spin class any way, but for those of you who are used to Fly Wheel and having a set resistance number, that may bother you. I personally don't care, so this was the perfect alternative. 
  • Peloton app: The app itself is of course free, but the subscription costs $12.99 a month for unlimited amount of classes. There are up to 14 live rides a day, and over 4000 saved rides. You can filter by time length of classes, type of classes, and instructors. The instructors are very similar to the ones you see at Soul Cycle or Fly Wheel - high energy, fit, enthusiastic instructors. 
  • Monitor holder: The Peloton app works on both iPhones and iPads, so if you don't have an iPad, you can use your phone. I personally like having a slightly larger screen, so I use my iPad mini. I use this tablet holder, which works great for holding the screen in front of you. It's no 21.5 inch screen like the Peloton bike has, but I personally don't think you need that huge of a screen to have someone tell you how fast to spin your bike ;)

Of course, there are some items that enhance the experience. Here are the things that are bonuses, but aren't necessary:
  • Floor mats: our bike is in the basement, which has a concrete floor. While the bike is pretty sturdy, there is definitely a bit of rocking when you're standing up, so I recommend that if you're bike is going to be on a hard surface, having some kind of padding underneath is a good idea. This pack comes with 6 pieces, which is the perfect size to put under the bike. Another option could be an older yoga mat that you're no longer using. 
  • Bike shoes: I've had this pair from Shimano for the past nine months, and love them. While you can ride the bike with just normal tennis shoes, having spin shoes makes it easier - you have better control over the wheel, and because you don't have to point your toes as much to keep your feet in the baskets, your feet/calves won't hurt. I highly highly recommend getting spin shoes if you are going to spin even semi-regularly. Both the bike and the shoes have the SPD clip, which is the standard clips most spin studios use. 

And then there are things that are absolutely not necessary, but are fun anyways:
  • A fitness watch: I've had my Apple Watch for over a year, and it is such a great motivator for any type of work out. You can read my review of my watch here. Definitely not a necessity, and you burn calories even if you don't have a watch that tells you how many you burned, but it somehow feels like an accomplishment to see the number at the end. 
  • Cute work out clothes: you guys know I'm all about Old Navy's work out clothes - they are inexpensive, and hold up well. Have you guys seen their newest pair of cropped leggings? I love. I also own several pairs of their sports bras - they are definitely more of a compression sports bra than a shaping one, but that's the style I prefer. I have and love the floral version. 

Here's my screenshot from this morning's ride - I'm honestly considering going on another ride tonight just because it was so much fun!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

hello! and a few items for review


Needless to say, I've been a bit MIA on here for the past month. It was unintentional, but to be honest, it was a needed break. The beginning of residency has been a big adjustment period for my life, and it was actually freeing just to let the blog go for a bit. Not feeling pressured to buy something just to review it, or spend my free time on the weekends taking pictures for beauty posts, or spending the one weekend night that CR and I both have off on my computer putting together a post of links. So blogging went by the wayside for a bit while we've been busy doing all sorts of things - going to family weddings, planning our own wedding, adjusting to being on Labor & Delivery (honestly my favorite part of residency so far!), and continuing to work on the house, while also celebrating both mine and CR's birthdays, and spending time with our families. It's a lot! 

But I do miss you guys! I ordered a few things some weeks ago, and have been sitting on these pictures for weeks now. Some are in preparation for my upcoming bridal shower, and some are just because I really love fall ;)
 WAYF Blouson Midi Dress
My amazing future mother-in-law and sisters-in-law are throwing me a bridal shower next weekend. I've never even been to a bridal shower, so it'll be interesting to have my first experience be at my own! I know traditionally the bride to be wears white, and even though I've been waiting basically my whole life to finally have an excuse to wear all the white dresses, I couldn't find any recently that I really loved. But then I ran agross this WAYF dress, in our wedding color, and felt that was appropriate too. At the time, I was going to order it in my regular large, but it sold out while I was going to check out. So I ordered a medium, and hoped for the best. I think besides a tiny bit of pulling right at the bust, the medium works just fine! I love the color, the full short sleeves, and the v-neck. It's just such a simple, pretty dress, and isn't super over the top. I'm still trying to figure out accessories, whether it's my possible wedding shoes, or just simple cognac heeled sandals with a coordinating belt. Now it just needs a good steaming haha. 

The next item is this Levi's jacket that was a flop for me. It really was my own fault - the description says Parachute IN the name, but I was still surprised when it was really large and baggy on me. I'm wearing a size large in the grey color here. I wanted it to be a true grey, but it's kind of a green-grey color. So combined with it just being too large and unflattering on me (the sleeves were so big!), and it not being the color I wanted, it was an easy no. Which is fine, because I already own too many coats...doesn't stop me from always wanting more, which is probably a problem ;)

 Women's Bp. Geo Colorblock Scarf
Is it fall where you guys are? It's finally getting there here in Ohio. During our move, I donated a ton of old scarves I hadn't worn in years. I allow myself like one or two new scarves a season, and this year I wanted a darker thicker scarf. I ran across this dark orange, blue, and green scarf, and fell in love with it. It's a thicker blanket scarf material and size, but manageable. I personally wish it was like 3 inches longer, but especially for you more normal heighted women, it would be perfect! And for like $25, it's a pretty nice scarf. 

The last time is a blush scarf from Treasure & Bond. How long have been looking for a blush scarf, like three years?! I don't know why it's so hard to find one. I thought this one was promising, and for $35, not terribly expensive, but I just didn't love it. The tassles are cute, but I find them a bit distracting. I kind of wanted a softer, flowy but still thick scarf - is that too much to ask?! Apparently ;)

Okay, that's it for me. Promise I'll try to find some balance in my life and post more...when I have things to tell you about!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

top three [09.10.17]

looking for bouquet inspiration <3

  • A heterotopic pregnancy is when there is both a pregnancy in the uterus, and one outside of the uterus. 
  • The average lifespan after starting to abuse IV drugs is 7 years. 
  • About 20% of the population has aniscoria, aka unequal pupil sizes. Are you one of them?

  • In preparation for my bridal shower next month, I've been scouring the internet looking for a pretty, casual dress to wear to the occasion. Since our wedding colors are blush and navy, I'm thinking of maybe wearing this simple midi dress. It's soft and flowy, super important for a bridal brunch ;)
  • The temperatures dropped over the past week, and fall is here in full force! I'm thinking this textured sweater will be a mainstay for me this season. I love the look of it paired with a simple tee and distressed denim!
  • I've owned four different olive jackets over the years, but I think this year is the year I go with a grey version - it's a bit more unique, and would go with literally everything. 

on the internet

on franish

at home
  • Hiiiiiiii! Finally back with a top three post. These posts normally take about 3-4 hours to write, and honestly, I don't always feel super motivated to write them. So I think my new plan is to kind of work on them throughout the week, and if it doesn't get posted, just keep it and save it for the next week! I hope that's okay with you guys - I still love sharing what I've finding out there, but with less time actually spent on the internet, I'm hoping to find a good middle ground!
  • This week I started Gyn Onc - it's the service that takes care of the patients with endometrial, ovarian, and cervical cancer. It's going to be a really great month - you work one and one with your chief and the attending, so I know I'm going to learn a lot, improve my surgical skills, and work on my post-op management. Here's your monthly reminder that if you are due for your pap smear, go see your friendly local Gyn :)
  • My mom is officially moved into her new house, and we are really enjoying having family so close again. It's so nice to just go over, help with a few things that need to be done, and have dinner with.