Thursday, August 25, 2016


Banana Republic - Merino Wool Wrap Cardigan
This is one of my favorite outfits I've worn in recent months - it's so simple, but I love every part of it, from the most comfortable flats I own (which are also the most inexpensive pair I own...) to my new wrap sweater to the uber-flattering blouse underneath. The cardigan is from Banana Republic, and while I've shied away from cardigans the past few years (I always find them to sit wrong on me for one reason or another), I think I may have to reconsider my stance. This one is definitely a unique take as it's not as versatile, but I just think it's so pretty. I really am considering getting the red version if it goes on even more sale - wouldn't it look great in the cooler months? Yep, I've basically convinced myself I need it now.

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Sweater: Banana Republic [exact]
Blouse: Anthropologie [exact]
Pants: The Limited [exact]
Bag: Mulberry [similar | exact]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
fall work out fit
Merino Wool Wrap Cardigan
Banana Republic currently has a "Now and Later" sale, for pieces you can wear now and later in the cooler weather. Below are my favorites - it's not secret that I already have the polka dot dress in my basket!
one | two | three | four

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

beauty tuesday: how too faced's better than sex compares to bobbi brown's eye opening mascara

bobbi brown eye opening mascara versus too faced better than sex

As a blondie with really light eyelashes, I've always been very self conscious about how different I look without mascara on. I have longer eyelashes, but without some product on there, you can't even tell I have any! I think if you polled all light eyelashed ladies, 95% of us would say that if we could only wear one type of make-up, we would choose mascara.

Therefore, for as long as I can remember I have had an obsession with eyelashes and mascara. My parents were slow to let me wear make-up (the agony of being the first born!), but I have very clear memories of being in seventh grade and sneakily wearing clear mascara, thinking it would help with those blond eyelashes. It obviously didn't do anything, but since I started wearing eye makeup in high school, I've been obsessed with making my eyelashes darker, longer, and as prominent as possible. I've done it all - eye lash tinting (did nothing), Latisse (lengthened but didn't darken), eye lash extensions (hated that you can't properly wash your face and the $$$), as well as try just about every mascara on the market. It wasn't until I tried the Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara that I was truly loyal to an eyelash product for almost three years. Then a couple of weeks ago, I heard about Bobbi Brown's Eye Opening Mascara, and was finally tempted enough away from my holy grail mascara to give it a try. Thanks to Sephora's amazing return policy, I really didn't have anything to lose. Now that I've sufficiently had time to give it a try, I wanted to show you guys how they compare.

bobbi brown eye opening mascara review
Brush & Formula: Both have fairly large brushes, but the Bobbi Brown wand is definitely bigger - the first time I used it, I was a bit overwhelmed just by how large it actually is! They do say that you should use a mascara brush that has the shape of the eyelashes you want. So for me, I want as thick and voluminous lashes as possible, so those are the kind of brushes I look for. The formula of the BTS mascara is definitely wetter, especially at first. I actually didn't really like the first week or two of use just because the formula was too wet, and not buildable enough for my liking. The nice thing is that one tube lasted me about 3-4 months. The BB mascara, on the other hand, definitely starts at that perfect buildable formulation, which I really like. I also think it takes fewer coats to really build up to the look I want - I could get away with even just one coat over a primer, but I prefer to do two, just because bigger is better in my book! Time will tell how long one tube lasts though, and at $7 more expensive, I hope it lasts just as long! 

Application & Wear: I've had several readers tell me this, so I know I'm not the only one, but I could never get the BTS mascara to not smudge along my lower lash line when I was applying it. I don't know if it's because of the hourglass shape of the wand or what, but it got to the point where I tested out a smaller wanded mascara from Clinique just to see if that helped (it did, but I hated having to add another step). Several people also said that the BTS mascara flaked off really bad for them. I personally never had that issue, but I also always used an eyelash primer first. Now with the Bobbi Brown mascara, I don't have that issue with lower lash smudging, so I really think it's the brush from the Too Faced Mascara that caused that problem. With the Bobbi Brown mascara, I'm still using the primer, so I haven't had any issues with flaking with that formulation either. Both are easily removed with my Glossier cleanser (it's too hot in the house to currently use my preferred method of make-up removal, coconut oil). 

bobbi brown eye opening mascara
Appearance: I think these pictures really do portray the brush = eyelashes theory - the Better Than Sex eyelashes are a bit sparser, thinner and fluttery, while the Eye Opening eyelashes are thicker, longer, and slightly crowded. For me, especially since I wear glasses daily, I really prefer it this way. Ideally, I want someone to think that my eyelashes are fake (is that such a small request or what). Up close, it looks a bit strange (kind of like spider legs...) but behind glasses that make my eyes appear smaller, I really like how the Bobbi Brown Eye Opening mascara looks. My eyelashes just appear longer, thicker, and darker, and really do open up my eyes. Am I completely converted from three years of loyalty for Too Faced's Better Than Sex? ...I think so. I'm definitely going to continue to use the Bobbi Brown Eye Opener mascara, and hope it holds up as well as it does now!

Have you used either of these great mascaras? Do you have your own holy grail mascara you want to share?! While I really like the ones I've found, I'm definitely opening to trying others. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

top three [08.21.2016]

my favorite summer shoes for.sure.

  • Hemochromatosis is a disease where too much iron accumulates in the body, leading to organ toxicity. Symptoms include liver disease, diabetes, and the skin actually turning a bronze color. The treatment? Regular phlebotomy sessions! 
  • Blackwater fever is an old term for malaria, as the rapid hemolysis (breaking up of red blood cells)  can lead to such a high amount of hemoglobin in the blood that the urine turns black (after being filtered by the kidney). 
  • One of the harder things about transitioning from book learning years to the clinical years is learning the brand names for medications. I love learning the background for brand names though. For example, Xarelto is an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that is a factor Xa inhibitor (Xa is a factor in the coagulation cascade that helps your blood to clot). Xarelto = Xa inhibitor. 

on the internet

  • My go-to work outfit is always black ankle pants and a simple top, so I'm constantly looking for work-appropriate tops to throw on and go. ASOS's grey ruffled top is so darn cute and versatile (and I love that they have free returns if it doesn't work out!). 
  • In the fall, I am all about the utility jackets (I may have two in my closet currently...), but I'd love to add a new color to the rotation. Gap has a really cute version that also comes in red and a cream caramel that looks so pretty! Plus it comes in petites and talls, which is key.
  • After convincing myself I do not need $400+ Chloe scalloped flats, I purchased the Sam Edelman version...and you guys, I have never worn such comfortable shoes in my entire life. I have the pink suede version, but am pretty sure the black leather version is going to happen too. Highly recommend!

ask my anything
  • I am fascinated with everything you share about being in medical school. I always wonder who coordinates all of the schooling? For example how do you know you will be working at X hospital for X amount of days for rotations etc. It seems like a lot to keep organized!
    • It is actually organized from two different sides. On the school side of things we have coordinators who keep track of what rotations we are supposed to be on, making sure we fulfill all of requirements, and so on. Then on the hospital side, there are clinical coordinators who work with the school to make sure we are on the rotation we are supposed to be on. I don't know how they keep it all straight! We actually do very little when it comes to our schedules, except for the few months where we get to go elsewhere. 
  • I'm getting married next year, and I have a year full of showers and get togethers and dinners to look forward to. Instead of buying a bunch of separate outfits/dresses I really want to find a perfect white skirt and pair it with different tops for versatility. Any suggestions?
  • I am preparing for my first year of premed and figuring out my path I have always wondered if you have part time jobs while in medical school or if you work through the school/hospital? Did you work while in college? 
    • Most people do not have jobs while in medical school just because our schedules are so inconsistent from week to week, month to month. We take out loans to pay for all of our expenses. I'm in a bit unique situation in the sense that I have an income from blogging, but I have not had a "real" job since starting medical school. In college, I had several jobs though. I worked in a microbiology lab for three years, I worked as the business manager for the UW Marching Band, I worked in a ticket office for three spring semesters, and I did a ton of nannying. 

on franish
  • on the blog: the real concrete things I've done to improve my blog over the years
  • on the instagram: all the feels after another great rotation 
  • on the twitter: but like, is it worth moving to SF for? maybe...

notable sales

at home
  • You guys know I'm obsessed with sheet masks, and after falling down a reddit rabbit hole about k-beauty, I just ordered a ton from Memebox. If you haven't purchased from them before, you can sign up here and receive 20% off your entire order if you spend more than $25. Do I have at least 20 masks headed my way? ....maybe. 
  • Yesterday we spent the day at a state park with our favorite couple (hey girl heyyy). It was so nice to just be out near the water, eating lots of delicious food, and catching up! We are all so far from our families that we really hold on to each other tight!
  • I have finished my first month of family medicine, and am starting a new one next month with another doctor. I'm interested to see how different the two practices are, and the differences between a younger attending and a family medicine program director. It should be a good month!

Friday, August 19, 2016

real tips & tricks for growing and improving your blog

I think the most common question bloggers receive is "how do I grow my own blog?", and to be honest, that's a really difficult question to answer just because there isn't any one thing that bloggers are doing to grow their "brand" (don't you hate that phrase? me too). You'll get answers like "be consistent", "connect with your audience",  or "improve your site", but those are fairly vague and hard to implement. I've been blogging for over four years now, and while I never had a time where my blog really blew up, I've been growing very steadily over these years. I make more than a full time salary by blogging on the side, and have found certain things that have really improved my blog all around. Here are the things I've learned and implemented along the way.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

make it work

casual white dress A couple of months ago, I did a mini review on snapchat about a dress I bought from Loft. There are certain things I loved about it - the color, the lace, the front of the dress. But there were things I didn't like - the elastic waist band hit me at a weird spot, and then weird mini sleeves were not my favorite. So I decided I was going to return it.

Well, a few days after I that, we left for Philadelphia to take our board exam, and while we were there, a friend went through some personal things and needed a place to stay, so we offered her our "spare" bedroom, which is really just a tiny room that only fits a bed, and it's also the room that has the closet with my clothes in. So when we returned from Philly that Sunday, I had 45 minutes to both clean up the room enough for our friend to stay in, and for me to pack to move away for a month. So I did what any adult would do, and stuffed everything, including the Loft bag with that dress in it, under the bed. And then I promptly forgot about it.

Well, last week when I started do a bit of cleaning, I found that bag again, with the dress in it, along with a receipt saying that the return by day had passed. So since I could no longer return the dress, I just made it work for me! I took out the elastic waist band, cut off the mini sleeves, and sewed a pleat in the back to bring the fabric together. And you know what? I really really like the dress now - it still has all the parts I loved about it without the things I didn't like. Now it's just a pretty summer dress, customized to me ;)

loft pueblo dress
Jack Rogers 'Lauren' Sandal
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Dress: Loft [similar below]
Belt: Gap [similar]
Shoes: Jack Rogers [exact]
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My little DIY dress is obviously no longer available, so below are four options that are (and they're all under $100)! And while I was looking for white dresses, I ran across this beautiful wrap dress from June & Hudson - I have literally no where to wear this, but isn't it so darn pretty?

beauty tuesday: empties review (to repurchase or not to repurchase?)

I love beauty and skincare review posts, but I love "empties" review posts even more because I think to fully judge if a product is good or not, you really need to use the product for some time. I also think the sign of a product being good or not is 1. getting through the whole tube and 2. if you are willing to repurchase it. So therefore, I'm hoping to do one of these posts every few months so please let me know what you think!

Living Proof's Dry Shampoo: This is actually my second bottle of this dry shampoo. My initial impression when I purchased this a few months ago was that it was good, but I didn't really notice much of a difference between it and other dry shampoos I've used (...and I've used a ton!). I slowly noticed that my hair was staying grease-free longer and that I could go longer between shampoos, so when my first bottle was empty, I repurchased a second. Now that my second bottle is empty, I already have the third waiting. The Living Proof dry shampoo is on the more expensive side for sure, but I have found it to be very much worth it. I plan on doing a more thorough review in the next few weeks. Highly recommend!

Vanicream: I mentioned this cream a few months ago in my post about my experiences with tretinoin cream. The Vanicream was recommended to me by my dermatologist for the period of time where my skin was super  dry from the tretinoin cream. I found this moisturizer to be helpful - it's very thick, it's specifically made for senstive skin, and free of dyes, lanolin, fragrance, parabens, and formaldehyde - so at its core, it is just a really simple thick moisturizer. Now that my skin is pretty much used to the tretinoin cream, I won't be repurchasing the moisturizer just because I don't really need it anymore! I do recommend it for those of you with very dry and sensitive skin, and can see myself repurchasing this in the winter if my skin acts up again. At around $8 for 4 oz, it's not a huge commitment.

Kiehl's Heat Protection Smoothing Cream: If you've read any of my hair posts, you know that I'm obsessed with this cream. I've been using it for years and years (at least five), and have gone through probably more than a dozen bottles. I love it for several reasons: it protects your hair from styling tool's heat, it's almost like a leave in conditioner in the sense that it detangles your hair, and it definitely helps with the frizziness. The $17 tube lasts me about 5-6 months... I already have my next one waiting.

Belif's Moisturizing Bomb: When I was in NYC last October, I stopped by Grace's apartment, and she sent me home with a ton of PR products she's received but hadn't used. One of them was Belif's moisturizer, and as soon as I finished that jar, I purchased my own. I very rarely repurchase moisturizers because I'm always looking for a better one, but I've been so pleased with this product that this is another one I already have the next jar waiting. It's made for drier skin, and it definitely delivers on the moisturizing side without leaving you greasy or sticky. I haven't had any issues with dryness since I started using this moisturizer, so if you've been looking for something for your dry skin, I highly recommend this one as well!

Too Faced's Better Than Sex Mascara: I've been using this product for years now - my mom gave me a tube for my birthday three years ago, and I haven't used a different mascara since! Once I started using it with the Urban Decay primer, I was pretty much hooked...until now. I wish I could remember which blogger recommended trying out this Bobbi Brown mascara (to give them credit), but either way, when my last tube of the BTS mascara was getting to the end, I ordered both the Too Faced mascara and the Bobbi Brown mascara - worst thing that happens is that I hated the Bobbi Brown mascara and just returned it. Turns out, I really really like it. One of my biggest issues with the BTS mascara is that it was always just a bit too wet for the first few weeks of use. The Bobbi Brown mascara is a bit on the drier side (not dry, just drier than the BTS mascara), so it looks good from the first use, and builds up the eyelashes beautifully. Overall, while I am still a fan of the Better than Sex mascara, I'm going to take a break from it and use the Bobbi Brown mascara for a while. I also plan on doing a more thorough comparison in a few weeks!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

top three [08.14.2016]

oh that baby white coat life (all via instagram)

  • Patella alta is the term for an abnormally high riding patella (or knee cap). The clinical sign for this is called a camel's sign, because it can look like two humps on the leg
  • Phagophagia: a form of the disorder pica where there is a compulsive consumption of ice or iced beverages. This can sometimes be a sign of iron deficiency anemia.
  • Amyloid deposition in the tongue can cause the tongue to become so big it becomes scalloped because it grows against the ridges of teeth. 

on the internet

  • Gap currently has the cutest blouses and tops. My favorite is their eyelet tank - wear it now alone with denim jeans (or a cute skirt), and then layer in under a cardigan or blazer in the fall. 
  • If I did more traveling, I would be all about Kate Spade's newest cross body bag. That blush color is so freaking pretty. 
  • I've seen this swing top from Old Navy on three separate bloggers recently, so I finally ordered one for myself as well (it comes in tall, so I hope it won't be too boxy on me!). 

ask me anything

  • I'm getting ready to apply for residency this fall and was wondering if you have any suggestions for interview bags that are good quality but affordable. I'm hoping to spend less than $150 and I'd prefer a black or tan tote-size bag. Something cute but not too flashy for interviews. 
    • First of all, best of luck these next few months - I'm already ready for it all to be over! Okay, so for totes, here are a few I've found. Express has a pretty great option that I think is cool because of the separate compartments. Aldo also has a classic tote that comes in both tan and black, depending on which way you are leaning. If there's a more expensive style of bag you are looking for, I really have had amazing luck with eBay in the past. That's how I got my Mulberry bag for 1/5 of the original price (that's the bag I'll be using for interviews). 
  • What camera & camera settings do you use for your OOTD photos?
  • I recently got my first big girl job (WHOOP!!) and now get paid monthly. I have never been paid this way and am having some issues adjusting to this schedule. Any budgeting tips/resources for monthly paychecks?
    • This is somewhat similar to how my finances work now, except I get all of my money in a large chunks twice a year. The biggest thing I've found to work for me is having a bunch of different savings accounts (my bank lets me have as many as I want), somewhat like the "envelope method". So what I do is calculate what my monthly bills will be (rent, car payment, phone payment, insurance, and a rough estimate for utilities), and put that money into my "bills" account. This is always the first step, which ensures you don't run out of money to pay your bills. The second account is the flexible savings account. From this, I automatically transfer $150 every two weeks into my checking account. This money covers all my non-bills expenses, so my groceries, my gas, and any money I need throughout the week. The rest of the money goes into a "do not touch" savings account, which is really in cases of emergency. I also have several other long term savings accounts, but those don't really apply to this situation. I hope that helps a little bit!

on franish

notable sales

at home

  • I've been receiving the Popsugar Must Have box for a few months now to try out, and it's been so fun to receive a box of presents every month. This month's box featured the cutest little swan coozie holder, which we put into good use this weekend! If you'd like to try a box for yourself, you can use the code SHOP5 to receive $5 off the first one!
  • We are in Rochester this weekend for CR's brother's wedding. They are getting married today, and we are all so excited! It's going to be gorgeous (and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate, thankfully!).
  • I would normally have something to say here, but it's 1:30 AM as I'm finishing this post, so....goodnight!