Thursday, November 7, 2019

recent beauty faves

I'm so excited to talk a bit about a few recent beauty favorites from the last six months. I have lots of holy grail items I've been using for years (my eyeliner, powder foundation, and dry shampoo, which currently comes with an extra mini bottle fyi) but I do love playing around with new items and finding new favorites. With Sephora's holiday sale starting today, I thought it would be a good time to share a few of the items I've really grown to love!

Amika Purple Shampoo // As a life long (highlight getting) blond, I only started using purple shampoos like two years ago! They make SUCH a difference! My highlights/balayage stays brighter so much longer. I've tried several different brands at different price points, and this has been my favorite - the actual shampoo is thick and a deep purple, lathers nicely for a sulfate-free shampoo, and one bottle lasts me about six months. For $20, I can't really complain! If you want a drug store conditioner, I've been using L'Oreals Ever Pure conditioner for years and really like it!

Beauty Pie's Vitamin C capsules // I have plans to dedicate a whole blog post about my experience with Beauty Pie in the next month or so (I'm putting in an order for a few more products on Saturday when my monthly membership renews), but I've already found several items I absolutely love. I've been a long time fan of Vitamin C products - they have helped lighten up my acne scarring and keep my skin looking refreshed (here's a more in depth article about the benefits of Vitamin C). I've enjoyed the Paula's Choice serum as well as Kiehl's, but Vitamin C is fairly unstable and needs to be in sealed and dark containers, which is why these individual shells is the perfect storage for this serum! I use it every morning under my moisturizer. I've been using it for two months now, and am re-ordering another bottle this weekend. It's my favorite skincare product of the last year! If you want to try out Beauty Pie, you can use my referral to get your first month membership for free.

Hourglass's Ambient Light powder // I first heard about this on Jaclyn Hill's youtube, and finally broke down last year, and bought the mini version. I ended up using it every day, and a few months ago bought the full size version. I use this on light make up days (ie at work) as an eyeshadow base, and then lightly swiped across my cheeks and nose as a light highlight. It's just so pretty and the regular size is going to last forever (I wish I had just purchased the full size from the get go - a mini is 1.4 oz for $24, and for $48, you get 10 oz!). Love love love. This would also make a great present!

Beauty Pie's Sleep Oil // I have been using face oils on and off for years now...but it turns out, I was using it ALL WRONG all that time! I was putting it on over serums and under moisturizer, but actually face oils don't moisturize your face, they lock in the moisture. derp. Anyway, since realizing my mistake, I've been happily using Beauty Pie's sleep oil correctly, and it's becoming my favorite step in my night time routine. I pat on a few drops all over my face and wake up with soft and glowy skin every morning. If you're thinking about trying out Beauty Pie, I'd definitely recommend this as one of your first purchases! A bottle probably lasts close to a whole year - I've been using it since August, and have barely made a dent in the bottle.

Ole Henriksen's Scrub // as a girl who grew up with St. Ive's apricot scrub, but also someone who has read enough posts about skincare to know that we shouldn't use abrasive scrubs, I can't help but really enjoy this scrub. I stopped using my retinol cream during pregnancy, and since restarting it after delivering Penny, my skin is going back through a bit of a shedding period while my skin gets re-used to the retinol. I find using this scrub just once a week, using very light circular motions rather than hard scrubbing it into my skin, gets rid of all the dead skin without causing a bunch of trauma to my skin. This would especially be great for anyone dealing with a lot of flakiness during the colder months! Again this will probably last quite a long time since you only need a little bit once or twice a week.

Kat Von D's eyeshadow palette // I've enjoyed KvD's eyeshadow palettes for years now, but this one has become a true staple for me. I am definitely not a make-up guru, I do basically the same thing every day, and have for basically a decade now, but this palette gives me everything I need from lighter every day looks to having a few darker colors to play with. The middle of the palette is what I use the most, from the base color to the highlight to the black for "smudging" my liquid eyeliner. And it's currently on sale (on top of the sale!), so you can get it for a steal.

Tarte's mascara // I'm forever looking for my holy grail mascara - I tend to use one kind for a few tubes, and then move on to the next. I prefer the brush mascaras (versus the plastic wands), and have found what I now believe is my favorite mascara to date. It just elongates, thickens, and isn't clumpy -it's like the holy trinity of mascaras! I always wear an eyelash primer under my mascaras, which helps, but am just such a fan of this mascara that I purchased several more during a recent Tarte sale!

Sephora's sale is currently going on, and ends on 11/11. If you're doing some early holiday shopping, one of my favorite items to gift is this perfume set - it comes with nine deluxe samples of perfumes, as well as a gift card for the full size version of one of them. You get 9 cute little bottles plus the full size version, which is great for any fragrance lover (especially since they can pick out their favorite in the end - I find it so tricky to gift fragrances!).

Thursday, October 31, 2019

october 2019: top three

the kitten version of her bunny // my shirt // her unicorn sweater

medicine //
  • Tocophobia is the term for having a deep seeded fear of childbirth. 
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology actually has some of the coolest words in medicine.  Laminaria is  kelp, but it can be dried and made into a stick that when placed in the cervix, will slowly dilated over time, dilating the cervix for procedures like a D&C or IUD placement! 
  • The word botulinum comes from the Latin word for sausage,  after a botulism outbreak was associated with eating blood sausage! Thanks to @lifeasapa for that interesting piece of medical history!

on the internet //

spotted //
  • If you have a family holiday photo shoot coming up, I think you need to wear these amazing tartan pants - pair it with a white or black blouse, and black accessories! Now I kind of want to take family pictures...
  • I bought this guazy blouse this month and just love it so much - I get to wear dress clothes the next few months to work, so I've already worn it twice! It's perfect for laying a long cardigan or scarf over (or wear with those tartan pants above!). Size down if you're in between sizes, mine is a medium!
  • Obsessed with this herringbone scarf...and it's only $17!

  • Where did you buy the storage bins for baby clothing? I love the idea of sorting the different size baby clothes that way. I have a 3 month old baby boy and love seeing your recommendations.
    • Ours are from Target! They come in a pack of two, and are a good size for keeping clothes organized by age group - so far I've used 2 bins per age group we have. I figured it'll be great either for the next baby, or to loan to friends/family when they have babies!
  • I have a few friends graduating medical this year and am trying to come up with ideas for gifts for them. I remember somewhere you talking about the white engraved book you log your procedures in but I can't seem to find where it was that you talked about it. Do you know where it came from? Also do you have any other recommendations for good gifts for graduating medical students that would be more budget friendly (since I am still a medical student myself)?
  • Which brand of the rapid hard boiled egg cooker would you recommend? 

on franish //
  • On the blog: comparing my beloved LL Bean quarter zip to the Amazon dupe!
  • On instagram: all Penny, all the time
  • On twitter: more thoughts on Beauty Pie coming soon!

at home //
  • Hello! Welcome to the new monthly edition of the Top Three posts! I used to write these posts weekly (for years!) but they take sooooo much time, and between working some weekends, wanting to see my husband and baby, and just being tired, I figured a monthly edition would be a good compromise between wanting a space to share and balancing it with my life! If you have any specific requests for topics to cover, or if you have a question, I would love to hear from you!
  • Speaking of balance and life, for the next 9 weeks, I'm on what we call "off service" rotations, which basically means I'm not working on L&D or doing surgery daily, but spending time with various urogynecologists, doing some surgery, and spending time with the breast surgeons. It means later wake up times, earlier going home times, and just a small break from the grind! I'm already enjoying the fact that I get to see Penny more than an hour a day like I did last month when I was on MFM (which btw, day in the life post coming soon!). 
  • Hope you guys are having a great Halloween! Penny is going to be a baby cow today (fitting for the baby of a WI girl, right?!) and I'll be here faithful farmer. I was going to be cheese, but procrastinated on buying a cheesehead ;)

Sunday, October 27, 2019

LL Bean's Quilted Pullover vs the Amazon Dupe


Amazon dupe // LL Bean original

While Patagonia is the new official uniform of residents everywhere, I've actually become quite the LL Bean wearer while at work! I just love LL Bean and their warm and comfortable clothing - I bought my quarter zip quilted sweater almost two years ago, and have worn it just about every other day since receiving it (even during pregnancy, until one of my coworkers told me I had to stop once my belly was sticking out too much haha).

I ran across a very similar looking sweater on Amazon and had to see how it compared to the original! I shared my original find some weeks ago on instagram, and received tons of follow up questions, so I figured a quick blogpost would be the best way to address the similarities and differences!

Quilted Quarter-Zip Pullover
First up is the original, the LL Bean quilted quarter zip. I have it in a large in the color olive. The material is nice and thick, I'd say the thickness is similar to that of a Patagonia fleece. The front and back are quilted, has a kangaroo pocket, and a quarter zip front with a leather accent. The fit is slightly on the boxier side - for reference, I'm 5'9'', so most regular sized items tend to be a bit boxier on me. It does come in petites and plus size, but unfortunately not in talls (come on, LL Bean! Help a taller girl out). Like I said, I've owned this for almost two years with weekly laundering, and it has held up super well. Occasionally a little bit of the quilting pops out, but very rarely, and it's easily fixed with a quick snip of scissors. Here's a quick snap of it over scrubs. 

The original price of almost $70 is pretty steep for a sweater, not going to lie. My cost per wear is pretty minimal at this point, and will continue to drop as I continue to religiously wear it. There is a sale currently for 20% off using the code BIG20 though, bringing the cost lower to $50! They also have a great funnel neck version of this same style that would be great outside of work that I'd love to try. 

BTFBM Women Fashion Quilted Pattern Lightweight Zipper Long Sleeve Plain
I ran across this dupe version on Amazon when I was looking at an Abercrombie fleece dupe (I really want the camel!!!), and since I've wanted the grey version of the LL Bean sweater, I figured this was the perfect $25 compromise. 

Of course, I don't expect a sweater 1/3 of the cost of the original to be as nice in quality, and it's not, but that doesn't mean I don't like it. It's a much thinner material than the LL Bean one - it's almost like a very thick t-shirt material rather than a sweatshirt material. Only the front is quilted, as opposed to both sides like the LL bean one (you can see the back of it here). I think where the Amazon sweater wins is in length - it has a good 1.5 inches in length on the other sweater, which I really appreciate. It just sits a little nicer, especially when I'm wearing it with jeans/leggings as opposed to with scrubs. 


I've been thinking about how I can say which one of these two is better, and it all depends on what you are looking for. If you want a thicker sweater that holds up well, comes in six great colors, and comes with the backing of the name LL Bean, then obviously the LL Bean sweater is the way to go - it really is the nicer of the two options.  If you live in a warmer climate, are taller, or just want a $25 sweater instead of a $70 one, then Amazon has a great dupe, knowing that the quality isn't as nice.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

baby favorites: months 0-3 months


















































Penny turns 4 months old next week and I am not emotionally prepared for my little girl growing up so quickly! It feels like her newborn stage and my maternity leave were ions ago! She's becoming such a smily little girl and it's been the biggest blessing to have her in our life.

I wanted to share a few of the items that we loved using during the first three months of her life. Of course there are so many other baby things we use, but these are purchases or gifts we are so happy with, and would definitely purchase again! Some of these items are ones we will use for months to come, and some are limited to the newborn stage.

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Halo Bassinest: The AAP recommends room sharing (NOT bed sharing) for at least six months, and ideally up to one year, to help prevent SIDS. I looked at a bunch of different bassinets and loved the mobility of the Halo bassinest. It not only moves side to side so it's easier to get out of bed, but the front also bends down, so it's easier to pick the baby up in the middle of the night (I've read that lots of c-section mamas love it for this reason!). The one thing I wish I had known though is that you aren't supposed to use it when babies start rolling over, and as Penny is just on the verge of completely rolling back to front, we are going to be done using it soon. Part of me wishes we had gone with the combined bassinet/pack'n'play option so we wouldn't now have to also buy a pack'n'play for the rest of the year before we transition her to her crib (I think we are going to go with the Lotus travel crib as it doesn't have a weight limit and will be great for all the travel for the next few years!)

Tummy Time Book: This has been one of Penny's favorite things! It's great for a baby who isn't the biggest fan of tummy time because it keeps them entertained while they use their little muscles. It comes with a mirror (P's favorite!), black/white images on one side, colored imaged with tabs on the other, and the whole thing is of that crinkle material babies seem to love. I also think it's the cutest! We have an adorable play gym from Pottery Barn that we use for tummy time as well.

Portable Changing Station: newborn babies, and especially breastfed babies, don't need a lot when you're out and about - really you only need a few diapers, wipes, an outfit change, and a place to change your baby. Our little portable changing pack is the most used item we have! I love that I could just throw it in my regular tote bag, have everything I need in one spot, and not feel like I had to take our giant diaper bag everywhere. It's also great because it has a changing pad built in, which is handy for changing the baby in the car or a coffee shop without a changing table.

Diaper Backpack: okay, I don't think there is a ton of difference between all of the different diaper bags out there, but I really like ours! The backpack makes it easier to carry in and out of daycare, it looks nice and holds its shape well, has enough pockets to be able to organize everything nicely, and is large enough to hold 3-4 days worth of baby things for a longer weekend trip.

Evenflo Pacifer:  Penny would not take a pacifer for the first 10 weeks of her life. I tried all of them. Pacifers are another item recommend to help decrease the risk of SIDS, and it would be nice to have a method of calming an upset baby, which is why I kept trying different binkies. Evenflo actually sent me one to try out, and after Penny took right to it, I ordered several more. We have several adorable pacifer clips (this is my favorite one from Etsy) to keep them off the ground. She's not super attached to them still, which I'm actually totally okay with, but she will take them when she's upset and that's all I can ask for! If your baby is being fussy about taking a pacifier, I highly recommend trying these!

Sleep Swaddles: Silly first time mom here who thought I'd bring my baby home and swaddle her in her muslim clothes and everything would go great! But even though I'm a great swaddler, baby girl just wiggled her way out of all of them. I looked into a bunch of different swaddles but also didn't want to spend $50 on one swaddle, especially because she was occasionally having blow outs at night. I found this great pack on Amazon and we loved them for her for the first 8 weeks of life! They have velcro, so the swaddle stays super secure. We did start slowly transitioning her out of arms-in swaddling around 8 weeks, first by having one arm out for about 10 days, and then using the swaddle around her waist so she still had that pressure, to now being in an arms-out sleep sac (that while this is also $50, it actually can be used for up to 6 months, so I feel we are getting a bit more use out of it). From what I've read, you want to transition out of the arms-in swaddling before they start rolling over, but for the first eight weeks of life, this swaddle set was a life (and sleep!) saver.

Evenflo Travel System: Oh man...I put buying a carseat off for so long. There are just so many choices! From car seats that have a stroller with it to car seats that fit into different strollers with adaptors to travel systems to buying separate pieces and fitting them together, and all price points, I had no idea where to even start. I eventually decided that I wanted a travel system that didn't involve buying a bunch of different parts with adaptors and all of that. Next, I really wanted one that comes with a bassinet. Of course the biggest suggestion for a travel system with a bassnett is the UppaBaby...but we are residents and also felt uncomfortable registering for something so expensive, so I was thrilled when I came across the Evenflo travel system. It comes with a car seat, bassinett (that converts to a toddler seat), and stroller bottom. It comes in like 6 or 7 different colors (we went with Aspen Skies version which apparently is no longer available). We are so happy with it! I love the bassinet for going on walks, and used it for sleep for Penny when we traveled. It snaps into the carseat base it comes with in literally 1 second - we did buy two additional bases, one for my husband's car and one for my mom's. Of course it meets all safety requirements, but it looks nice, and is at a great price point. I'm definitely very happy with our decision in buying this system.

Solly wrap: being able to wrap my newborn up close to my body, especially while I was on maternity leave, was just my absolute favorite thing to do (and it was Penny's favorite too!). I had registered for a Solly wrap because I had read that the fabric was lighter and better suited for summer babies. I used it literally every day for Penny's first 7 weeks of life. We went on our daily walks with it, I wore her when I cooked and cleaned, wore her when we went to Target...all the things. The material is just so nice and soft, and babies seem to love being snuggled up tight against their parents. Highly highly recommend!

Noise machine: We read this book about having happy babies, and one of the things it talks about is using a sound machine for sleeping time. I already use a sound machine to sleep (especially when I'm sleeping during the day after call or when I'm on night float) so I already appreciate a good sound machine, but we got a travel one as well, which has been so helpful! It holds a charge all night, has several sound options, and is cute and small.

I'm going to cover nursing and bottle supplies in a later post, which is why I didn't cover any feeding items this time around!
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We officially hit 4 months this coming week, so if you have a 4+ month old, I would love to hear about what items you love for this stage! She's starting to grab at things, so we are looking at a few more toys for her to interact with and would love any suggestions you have.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

i'm back!




Hi guys!

It's been a hot second...or 14 months.

It's been a fun-filled, love filled, work filled, and surprising few years around here. I'm now a third year resident! I know. And I'm a mother...I KNOW. I was already a wife, but I feel I barely talked about that since I basically fell off the blogging planet shortly after our wedding.

So I'm basically the same but also so different.

Over the past year, I've dedicated all of myself to other things - my job, my family, my baby. I have found no greater joy in life than raising my sweet child, but you guys...it's a lot. From carrying her for 38.5 weeks to pushing for 2.5 hours to nursing her around the clock, to now just running around so I can spend the absolute most time with her, I feel guilty for the small things I do for myself...washing my hair, occasionally getting my nails done, eating dinner with my husband while not holding her because I just want her to feel so much love. Between that, and all of the emotions that come with my job (which deserves more than half a sentence throw away but also not a lot I can talk about) I feel like I've lost a bit of myself in everything else.

Blogging was always a thing that was just mine. I could talk about whatever superficial or deep stuff I wanted, it was something that no one told me what to do or how to do it, and it was a way to stay connected with all of you girls, who have been such a source of friendship, guidance, and encouragement for the past seven years.
my top // Penny's swaddle

So I'm going to get back into it. It won't and can't be how it used to be. Full outfit posts several times a week will probably likely never happen again. I wear scrubs all day (almost) every day, so those will be a once in a while thing. It'll more likely be some mirror pics or quick snaps I force my husband take on our way to Target to pick up dog food. Review posts will continue - I really enjoy learning about myself and my style through taking pictures and writing, and from all of your feedback, it sounds like you guys like them too. I love sharing what I've found online - I'm currently waiting for this quarter zip from Amazon to show up to see how it compares to my favorite LL Bean zip up (look at me, planning posts ahead!). Weekly Top Three posts, which were my favorite to write, are also the most time consuming, so those will likely become maybe a monthly post - a way to share what I've found and learned and read about it, without the pressure of spending 4 hours on a Saturday writing them. Makeup and skin posts will definitely be included, as those topics have always interested me! And posts about motherhood will definitely be included, as so much of my life revolves around my little squish.
I'm excited to be back, and see where this new season in life takes us!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

recent beauty empties

Over the past few months, I've used up quite a few products, and wanted to share  my thoughts on them! I firmly believe that initial impressions aren't sharing the full story, but continued use lets me give a more thorough and honest review of the product. There were several items, including my beloved eyeliner and mascara primer, that I've already reviewed so many times that it wasn't worth mentioning again, but there are quite a few new products I've used up and wanted to share my thoughts! I also wanted to mention that Sephora's semi-annual VIB sale is coming up, so I shared my purchased at the bottom of the post!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

a favorite, and a few things going back

top // madewell
jeans // articles of society [distressed version on sale]
sandals // steve madden [very similar]

Wanting to get back into blogging for me means it may be more about sharing (wrinkly) mirror pics once in a while rather than never sharing photo shoots with my good camera, so here we are ;)

Last night, CR and I joined my co-resident and his girlfriend for a night in Cleveland. We went to my favorite taco place (Barrio for all of you 'landers, but you already knew that) for make-your-own tacos and margs, and then went to the zoo to see the Asian light festival. So thankful we have such fun people in our lives and interesting things to eat and see! Also thankful to wear real clothes once in a while. I bought this Madewell tunic a few months ago and you guys...I am obsessed with it. Remember last year when I really wanted to try that Madewell central shirt but was all "I don't know if it's flattering, oh god, what a crisis" and then I bought the shirt and the world didn't burn down, and I ended up wearing it all summer? Well, it's that same style shirt, but as a tunic, which I just looooove. I'm wearing a size medium here. I've worn it with shorts, and black jeans, but this time paired it with an old pair of white jeans and cognac accessories. Easy breezy for a fun night out!
I had mentioned in my Nordstrom review post that I was going to try the Spanx faux leather leggings after that other pair was atrocious. I ordered them in a large as I was told they fit true to size. First things first, these definitely don't look like leather at all. They are more of a textured pair of leggings, which I'm down for, but I definitely wouldn't say "faux leather" for the finish on these. Second, they are made by Spanx, so obviously they do an amazing job sucking everything in. My hips looked smoother and my butt was lifted, but along with that, I feel it does restrict your motion a little bit, especially if you feel like you're putting on yoga pants but then you can't move as well in them. I still really looked the look of them, and was about ready to keep them, but then I sat down in a chair to respond to an email, and the waist rolled down. They almost go too high, so they roll down to your actual waist when moving. All in all, these were nice, but I knew that I just wouldn't reach for them often enough to make it worth it, even with the great Anniversary sale price.

Today is the last day of the Anniversary sale. I ended up keeping three items from the sale, and all are still available. These olive jeans are amazing, and I've worn them three separate times already. They fit true to size, and are perfect for adding a bit of interest while remaining in the neutral territory that my closet is in. The polka dot dress of my dreams has popped back in a few sizes - I'm wearing it to the all the weddings I'm going to this fall ;) And of course, the cami I've been raving about also has a few colors/sizes back. Mine is a medium!