Tuesday, May 23, 2017

what to wear on residency interviews


With the upcoming residency season starting in a few months, I've received quite a few requests to talk about dressing for residency interviews. I wish I had been thinking a bit more about actually writing this post when I was interviewing myself, but I kind of blanked on being a style blogger (haha) while I was driving 4000+ miles for the actual interviews. But I pulled a few older pictures from my camera, and will talk about what I did!

I will put a disclaimer out there that I interviewed at a mix of academic and community programs in ObGyn. What I did and my experiences were may differ from say, someone applying to neurosurgury at Ivy League programs. But I think the main take-aways are still pretty much universal!

Dinner the Night Before

All of my interviews had a dinner the night before. The majority were at local restaurants, with two of them being at someone's house. For these, I (and all the other applicants) basically wore the casual end of business casual outfits. For the boys, it was almost always khakis and a button up or polo shirt. I personally always wore my favorite black jeans with either a simple blouse (mine was very similar to this one from Ann Taylor) or a white blouse with my camel blazer over it. Because I was traveling so much, I just rotated those two outfits and kept both of them in my garment bag. This is a time to show a bit more of your personality than on interview day, so wear what makes you feel put together and comfortable! That can be dark jeans and a blouse like I did, or a dress, or a skirt with a top. As long as you look polished, you'll be pretty much set. For me, at least, the dinners were always pretty casual and just a way for you to meet the residents and for them to meet you. While I had certain questions I wanted answered at these dinners, I really tried to talk to the residents more about their lives in that city, how they got along, and so on - I wanted to get a feeling for the potential city I could live in as well as my future co-workers. Seeing some residents interact with both us and each other really makes or breaks interviews and your perception of the place - there were some where they seemed to genuinely enjoy each other's company and were so nice to us applicants (which meant I ended up ranking them highly) versus some where you could tell they did not even have each other's phone numbers and didn't know anything about each other, and actually shushed us (ranked way down on the list).

The Interview Suit

Last summer, I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what I was going to wear on the actual interviews. My post about it definitely had a lot of differing opinions about what is appropriate and not appropriate to wear on residency interviews, from "wear whatever you are comfortable in" to "don't wear black" to "definitely wear skirt because you aren't in a position of power". Needless to say, I was conflicted! So what I ended up doing is what I wanted to do all along - I wore a dark pant suit with wedges and a white blouse. Here's where experiences will differ based on speciality and hospitals, but at the places I interviewed, I paid close attention to what all of the other applicants wore. We all wore a dark suit of some sort, and that was about the only similarity. There were grey, black, and blue suits, as well as pants, skirts, or dresses with blazers. Some people wore heels, others wedges, and others flats. And you know what? I really don't think it matters what combination of those you wore. What does matter is that you feel comfortable in what you are wearing and that you are able to be a good interviewee - I promise, no one really cares if you wear wedges or heels or if you pants suit is blue or your skirt is black. They do care that you are passionate about the field, will make a good resident, and that you are someone they want to work with 80 hours a week for the next 3-7 years.

While I initially wanted to wear a black suit, I actually ended up with a grey one! This was not because of color but because of fit. I ended up with these pants and this blazer from Ann Taylor (that at the time was only available in grey, not black). I had ordered a black suit from Ann Taylor, as well as two from the Limited, and I hated all of them on me. So I went with the grey two button blazer with bootleg pants. I had the pants hemmed to hit properly with my wedges on. Underneath the blazer I wore a sleeveless blouse - I never once took my blazer off, and not having sleeves meant I didn't have a bunch of fabric bunched up under my jacket.  I wore my J.Crew Factory wedges, and carried my Mulberry bag (I think any darker bag is fine - no one will be looking at your purse anyway). I was comfortable and felt like myself (well, as much as you can feel like yourself in a suit!).

So my personal advice, and what I've read from other's experiences, is that you really just need to wear what makes you most comfortable within the confines of the definition of a suit. You won't not match because you wore a black suit instead of a navy one, and if someone doesn't want to rank you because you wore pants instead of a skirt, is that really somewhere you want to go anyway? I think we both know the answer.

Hair & Make-up
Sorry for this huge picture of my face! But this is basically what I looked like at all my interviews. I always had my hair pulled back one way or another - either half pulled back, or in a low pony tail. You don't want to constantly play with your hair out of nervous habits while you are interviewing - I know I can easily not even notice that I'm doing that! For make-up, as someone who probably wears a little more make-up than the average person, I just basically went with a fresher face with a bit less eye make-up. I wore my lucky lipstick (lavalliere nude is the perfect pink nude!) and made sure there wasn't anything in my teeth after lunches. If you don't normally wear make-up, I'm not going to tell you that you have to wear make-up. If you wear a lot of make-up, and that's what makes you feel confident, then go with your polished make-up look instead of your partying look, and you'll be good to go! Again, be the best, more professional version of yourself. You want people to remember you for your shiny personality and stellar application, not because you wore bright red lipstick smeared all over your face or because you played with your hair the whole time you were having a conversation about why you want to go into that speciality.

Interview season is definitely one of the busiest of your life, but just try to keep a positive attitude and remind yourself how lucky you are to be at this point. It helps, I promise! Because there will be long nights and road construction and missed flights, and small talk after small talk...but we are lucky to be given the chance to pursue the career of our choice.

And as always, I have to give a shout out to all the ladies who came before me and whose advice I sought during the process. Check out the posts below about residency interviews from women who went into different specialities than my own, and what their opinions are!


Joyce (dermatology resident): residency interview suit
Laura (dermatology resident): pre-interview dinner + interview packing list
Elyse (dermatology resident): residency interview suit
Andrew (ophthalmology resident): top 10 tips for residency interviews




Monday, May 22, 2017

the numbers of medical school


2: the number of times I applied to medical school

1084: the number of miles I drove in 36 hours to interview at what is now my school

1: the number of medical school acceptances you need that will completely change your life

6: the number of weeks of funemployement I took before starting school

4: the number of times I cried when I drove from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania 

3: the number of boxes of items I had shipped to my new house in PA - I brought everything else with me in my car...including my dogs and a vacuum cleaner



3: the number of anatomy lab partners I had

1: the number of anatomy lab partners I ended up getting engaged to

1368: the number of pages of Robbins that I read

9: the number of pets we had between me and my 4 girlfriends (4 dogs, 2 horses, 2 guinea pigs, 1 cat)

3: the number of all nighters I pulled

3: the number of all nights that were unnecessary

6: the number of weeks I boiled and scrubbed a skull for my research project

36: the number of books I purchased on Amazon

147: the number of days I studied straight without a night or weekend off

1: the  number of abscesses I incised while the residents stood back to avoid the spray

2: the number of gallbladders I got to cut open to "play" with stones

3:15: the earliest I had to wake up to get to work

3055: the amount of dollars I spent on boarding exams (so far)

3: the number of pairs of shoes I went through before finding ones I really love (these ones, btw)

2: the amount of babies I completely delivered on my own, from pushing to baby

665: the amount of dollars I spent to apply to residency

50: the number of programs we applied to

16: the number of weeks I didn't live at home

7: the number of months CR and I lived apart

4739: the number of miles I drove for residency interviews

1311: the number of ObGyn spots there were in the country this year

9: the number of unfilled ObGyn spots this year

1: the number on our rank list that we matched to

102: the number of exams I have taken over the past four years

23: the number of months of clinical rotations I have been on

29,505: the amount of interest my debts have accrued

1399: the number of days between our first day and our last

1399: the number of days I've been thankful I was allowed to do this

Sunday, May 21, 2017

top three [05.21.2017]

a few updates from the new place!

medicine
  • Have you heard that scientists have created a 3D ovary? It's being made in hopes of some day being able to use them for women with infertility. So far it's only been proven to work in mice, but what an amazing concept! 
  • Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome is a condition characterized by shorter stature, moderate learning disabilities, and notably, broad thumbs and big toes
  • Darwin's tubercle is a thickening of the ear named by Darwin in his book The Descent of Man - CR has this and I always tease him about it ;)

on the internet

spotted
  • Although I don't own a single off-the-shoulder or one shoulder item, I kind of love this lace dress from Loft. If it came in navy, I'd immediately buy it and wear it to every event this summer. 
  • Speaking of off-the-shoulder....doesn't it feel like every other shirt made right now is that type of shirt?! It feels impossible to find something that just fits like a normal shirt! I'm going to order this Pleione half peplum top in hopes that it's a cute spring shirt...that doesn't expose my shoulders or require a strapless bra ;)
  • I love this minimalistic sandal from Sole Society - the extra strap means it's more likely to actually stay on your feet!

throwback

on franish

at home
  • We have been busy worker bees over here at our new house! So far, we have painted the downstairs, painted the staircase and upstairs landing, painted all the downstairs trim, and installed our kitchen cabinets. Have you been following along on insta-stories? You guys are constantly giving the best suggestions, and it's just fun to share the progress we have made. 
  • A few of you have reached out about the lack of Healthyish posts the last couple weeks. To be honest, I've just been incredibly busy, and don't have the time right now to work out consistently or write about it (between everything going on right now, blogging took a bit of a backseat). My goal is to restart it in the middle of June, after we have moved in. I'm excited to find new work out classes and explore new grocery stores in my area! 
  • This is my last week of school....ever! Around this time next week, my dad will be hooding me and I'll officially be Dr. Hasselhof - crazy! To celebrate, this week's posts are all about medical school, from the numbers to how it's changed me to what shoes are the most comfortable. I can't wait to share them with you!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

packing for ireland (rain coat reviews & looking for any suggestions!)

With so many things happening in our lives right now (buying a house, planning a wedding, graduating next week), I have been so slacking on planning our trip to Ireland! We decided last fall that we were going to go to Ireland as our graduation present to ourselves, and honestly, I am so excited about this trip. I have never been to Ireland, and I think we are just going to fall in love with it. I really wanted to visit a new country, and CR really wanted to have something with a ton of nature, so Ireland seemed like the perfect fit for us!

It took a bit to get a bearing on where we were going to go while there. We are going for seven days, which everyone says is not enough time to see everything. I always prefer to explore a bit more and get a feeling for the place I'm visiting, rather than just running from one tourist spot to the next. I knew I wanted to see some of the major cities, but we also were interested in doing a Game of Throne tour (since much of the show is filmed there), but after a lot of researching and looking at suggested itineraries, we decided to save Northern Ireland for a future trip. So we narrowed our trip down to Dublin, Killarney, and Galway. I just booked all of our Air BnB's this week, and next on the to-do list is renting a car. If you have been to any of these locations, please send your recommendations your way. Shelter and transportation was #1 on my list, so now we need to figure out adventures, food, and castles! ;)

One of the things I've obviously also been thinking about is what I'm going to wear on this trip! I've read conflicting things - some people say don't wear a raincoat because you'll look like a tourist. Others say always have a raincoat on you. Other people swear they wore rainboots the whole time, others say it's a waste of space in your suitcase. In some parts, it can be 85 degrees all day, and in others it's 60 degree and windy. So I was a bit unsure about what that all means. Here's what I'm thinking, and if you are from Ireland or have been, please let me know if I'm thinking about this the wrong way. The weather really looks like there is a high of 65, with lots of rain in our future.

RAIN COAT: I don't own a raincoat anymore, so I think it's time to get a new one. I have always wanted a bright red raincoat, I just think it would be so fun and bright on dreary days. I looked around, and here are the three I found:

Barbour Trevose Waterproof Hooded Jacket
The first one I ordered just because I have always wanted to try a Barbour coat. I think they are just beautiful classic coats that I've long admired on others. This is their Trevose coat - it's a front zip + snap, polyester coat with removal hood. I think this is such a fun coat - the lining is adorable, it fit well, and I really liked the feeling of this coat. But I don't love the pockets (you can't comfortable put your hands in them, something that's important on a rainy day!) and it is so expensive. If I lived in a super rainy area and loved all aspects of this coat, I could maybe justify the price, but I know I won't wear this enough in Ohio the rest of the year (besides this trip) to feel comfortable spending that amount of money on a coat. I was impressed by the quality of Barbour though, so will definitely keep them in mind for future coats!
 Hooded Raincoat MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS
The second coat is from Michael Kors. It is an unlined, zip up, polyester jacket. I have several items from Michael Kors I really like (my watch, driving mocs, and bag for example), but this was not a winner for me. The sleeves are too short, the arms are too large, and it just was very thin and crinkly, and not worth the $130 it costs
Contrast Cuff Fishtail Anorak 1 MADISON
Okay, this last one, and my personal favorite, is from 1 Madison, a brand that is new to me. Unlike the other two, this is made with a polyurethane fabric instead of polyester. It is a lot less crinkly and smoother, which I love (down side is that it smells a little plasticy right out the box, so I'm hoping that airs out a bit). The reasons I really like this is because the fabric is softer, it's lined, it was cuffs in the sleeve so you are actually protected, it's a bit longer so your butt is covered, and the pockets are at an angle so you can actually put your hands in them. Overall, I like this one a lot, and think it's a winner! If you're interested, it also comes in bright yellow, blue, and olive, which I think are all great fun colors for a rain coat! For reference, I ordered a large in all three of these. 

OTHER COATS: For times that it's not super rainy, or when we aren't out exploring and are just going to dinner or whatever, I'm going to bring along my J.Crew Field jacket. Mine is black, so it goes with everything, and protects you from the elements without being a rain coat. 

TOPS & SWEATERS: When I travel, I really like to bring a lot of my closet staples with me - I know they always work, and they all mix well with one another. My plan is to bring a few short sleeved t-shirts, several long sleeved t-shirts (debating trying out Everlane's newer striped tees), my chambray shirt obviously, my favorite Everlane sweater, a few dressier tops, and my beloved Patagonia fleece. This way I can mix and match depending on the weather and situation! 

PANTS: Black jeans are going to be pretty much all I bring - again, they are so versatile, they go with everything, and I find they hide stains a bit better too (which is important if you can't wash your clothes). My favorites are my ripped version from 7 for all Mankind, and the non-ripped version from Paige

BAGS: I'm excited I get to use my suitcase again - I haven't used it since we went to Santorini 18 months ago! I just love this suitcase, and have actually been using the smaller version of it basically weekly since I bought it in September. The larger one is actually currently super on sale, if you are looking for a new suitcase! My Madewell Transport tote is my carryon bag, which is great because it holds a lot, but also is such a classic bag that I can use it while we travel too. I'll bring along my vintage Coach cross body bag for when we are doing a lot of walking - I love that it has a flap, and holds my camera, and wallet and still has room for more!

SHOES: This is something that I wasn't sure about. I love my Hunter rainboots, but they are pretty big, and I don't like wearing them all day long because my legs get sweaty from having plastic on them. I ran across these Chelsea rain boots the other day, and thought they'd be the perfect compromise for keeping my feet dry but also not taking up a bunch of space in my suitcase or being on my legs the whole day. I'll also bring along my MK driving loafers for dryer terrain, and my Tory Burch tortoise flats for dinners. 

And that's it!! If you've been to Ireland, please send me all of your suggestions. If you are familiar with the weather in Ireland in early June, and I'm thinking about this the wrong way, please let me know!! I can't wait for this vacation - with all the craziness going on in our lives, it'll be nice to escape for a week!




Monday, May 15, 2017

we bought a house!


When we were going on our interviews, we always asked residents about their housing situation. CR and I had discussed our future house situation a ton, and had come to the conclusion that ideally we would like to purchase a house when we started our residencies. A big reason for that was because finding a house to rent with two dogs and a cat is pretty difficult, but also because we felt we were ready to take on the responsibilities of finally being home owners. We asked residents about their housing situations since it gave us an idea of the area we could potentially be moving to. We didn't apply to any programs in major cities, so we were often in more suburban areas where I'd say about half of the residents owned homes. Knowing that, I was so excited about the home buying process, and was eager to get started once we found out where we were going to officially live for at least the next four years.

Once we officially matched, we knew we would be buying a house - since it was our number one choice, we had done the unadvisable, and had already researched real estate in that area. Obviously when you think about buying a house, there's a ton of weighing the pros versus the cons. The biggest factor was the money. I have always felt like I'm "throwing away" money by paying someone else's mortgage for them (our current rent is double the mortgage payment on the house we live in). I really was drawn to putting that money towards something that is our own, rather than just paying for someone else's house. Being that we were going to live in that area for at least four years, but probably six years, we used a rent versus buy calculator to see how the finances really work out. Since the area we are moving to has a pretty low cost of living, and houses are very quite affordable (at least when you compare it to cities even just an hour away), the calculator really pointed to how much more financial sense it would be to buy.

Saturday, the day after Match Day, we started our official Zillow searches. Since we were moving to an area where we didn't know anyone, and also because we were brand spanking new to buying a house, I really had no idea about finding a realtor and looking at houses. Basically, I just found a few cute houses on Zillow and contacted the agent listed. Within ten minutes, three of them had called me back. You really have to hustle as a realtor! One buyer's agent spent some time on the phone with us, set up a MLS search for us (I hadn't even heard of such a website before that), and scheduled a morning that following week to look at whatever houses we wanted.

We met up with our buyer's agent the Tuesday after Match Day to look at houses. She was a brand new agent - she had yet to sell her first home. But you know, she was so energetic and really hustling to get us places to look at, emailing us at like 11 PM with new listings, that I knew she would do everything to do right by us. It sounds silly, but I have always appreciated when patients trusted me to learn from their care, so I felt like we owed it to someone else to be their first too. Anyway, we met up on a Tuesday morning at this old, recently somewhat flipped, home in the country. We knew immediately that this was not the house for us, but we did the walk through anyway. Driving away from that first house, I was uncertain about how this process was going to go down. As we drove away, I told CR about how nervous I was that we weren't going to find what we were looking for, especially because we didn't have months and months to get this figured out.

And what exactly what were were looking for? I wasn't even sure. I had like three non-negotiables - it needed a fenceable back yard, I did not want to drive more than 25 minutes to work, and it needed to have central air. In the seven years I have had my dogs, they have never had a completely fenced in yard. All I want is to open a door, and let them play outside for hours without being on a lead. I also didn't want to drive a half an hour every morning at 4 AM, and after having spent most of my adult life without AC, it was time to be comfortable in the summer. Everything else I could work with, but wish list items included a newer bright kitchen, at least three bedrooms, bigger closets, wood floors, and something with character.

Well, after the first house didn't fit basically any of the things we were looking for, I wasn't too hopeful. We drove up to the next house though, and it was like...wow! This is basically exactly what I was looking for. Less than a ten minute drive to my hospital, it was a cute two story brick house with wood floors throughout, a new kitchen, a fireplace, and a huge back yard (without a fence). As I walked through the house, I was like YES YES YES, you are going to be mine. CR was not as convinced as I was - I saw the charm and potential, and he saw the big yard that needed to be fenced in, the busier street it sat on, and the kitchen that actually needed more work than I first noticed. Big bonus though was that it was at the lower end of our desired price range.

We had already agreed that we were not going to put an offer on a house that day - we had started the process of figuring out which bank we wanted to get our mortgage with, so we were still waiting on our work contracts and so on to be able to get anything concretely signed with a bank. We looked at six more homes that day - some were gorgeous, but at the very top of our price range and 35 minutes away from my work, while others were ones we knew we weren't going to buy from the moment we drove up to it (like lego colored rooms or falling down garages).

We went on another full day of house hunting the following week. We had asked that we stop by the cute brick house we saw previously at the end of the day to see if we still felt the same way. We saw a bunch of houses again - some that we could have maybe been okay with buying, but nothing where I was actually excited about the house. Our final stop of the day was at the brick house, where we spent a lot more time actually looking closely at the details. The charm was definitely there - they had recently re-done a lot to the house to get it ready to sell. The floors were all recently refinished - wood floors! No carpets! All windows had recently been replaced. The trim was all white. There was a fireplace!! With a mantle! The kitchen was brand new - new cupboards, appliances, and floors. But there were issues too. While the kitchen was new, the storage was seriously lacking - all the things were on one side of the kitchen, and the other wall was completely bare. We would have to put in a whole row of cupboards - not a huge deal, but also not "move in ready", and still a task for two people who have never done that. The backyard was big, but there were fallen trees and garbage, and it wasn't fenced in. Again, something that can be fixed, but something that would take time and money to fix. The closets weren't the big closets I had imagined having - the house was built in the 1950s, not exactly a time of huge walk in closets. The full bath was smaller, has absolutely zero storage, and is floor to ceiling tile.

But you know what - I loved that about that house. It needed a bit of work, but nothing that we couldn't either figure out ourselves, or hire someone to fix. It had charm - it felt like a real home to me, rather than just a house we would temporarily live in. It had things I had always wanted - wood floors, a semi-open floor plan, natural light, and a place for my dogs to stretch their legs. I could see our lives in there now, and in five years with a baby or two.

The next day, we put in our offer. I was so so so nervous, checking my phone every two minutes. Within twelve hours, they accepted! We had figured out everything with the banks, so we started down the path of getting all of that paperwork done and signed and faxed and emailed. I spent a whole day just trying to email forms and IDs and contracts to get everything done as quickly as possible. Long story short though, when our bank went to go appraise the house, they said it was worth $5000 less than we offered. We went back and forth on what to do - in the end, we asked to go down to the appraisal value with less back at closing. I think the owners were just ready to sell their house, because they accepted our offer. The following week, we had our inspection where everything went really well except that the radon levels were higher than our offer agreement allowed, so the home owners had to pay another $1000 to have a mitigation system installed. We were just happy we were getting the house for even less, and that they had to put that system in! It wasn't until that was all done though that I could finally really believe the house was going to be ours - I was afraid the seller was going to get annoyed with us and just pull out of the deal, even though we weren't trying to play them at all (after all, we did  offer their asking price and they knew that the mitigation system might be a possibility, which is why it was in the initial offer).

Anyway! There was a lot more paperwork, time on the phone, and internet education that happened during that time. I really have to credit CR with all the work he put into this process - he spent so much educating himself on the process of home buying, and doing the majority of the banking paperwork. If it wasn't for him, this process would never have gone as smoothly as it did. He kept me grounded and reminded me of what were looking for him our future home. I can easily be swayed by pretty floors and a nice kitchen, but he reminded me that we needed something practical and that fit our needs. I think we found a perfect mix in this house - a house with character but with a few things that need to be fixed, one that we can grow into a bit, and a place where we can spend the first few years of our marriage. I am so happy that she's finally all ours! Below is a little tour of the place - be on the look out hopefully later this week where I share details of the things we are changing and potential ideas for furnishing this place!





Sunday, May 14, 2017

top three [05.14.2017]

sharing my Kleinfelds experience
medicine
  • The cause of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is unknown, but it's thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. One of those external factors is associated with where you live. There's a higher chance of having MS if you live in the northern part of the US. Interestingly, people who migrate from a high risk area to a low risk area after puberty will still have the same high risk of getting MS. If someone moves before puberty though, their risk is associated with the area to which they migrated. 
  • It has been shown that men are more likely to get skin cancer on their left side of the body, because statistically, they drive the car. 
  • The fern test is used to distinguish amniotic fluid from other fluids. I think it's one of the prettiest things in medicine (...visually anyway. Sometimes it's not a good thing to see it). 

on the internet

spotted

throwback

ask me anything
  • My husband recently got into Medical School and I want to get him a congratulatory gift. I ordered the MedInfo clipboard I have seen you recommend many times, but do you have any other recommendations? Thanks!
    • I think a fleece or zip up from this new medical school would make for a great present! Something a bit special, and something he'll wear for years and years, both while at school and after he's done! Another idea is to get him an iPad if he doesn't already have one. I used mine constantly during both didactics and clinical years - you can even get it engraved to make it a little bit more special. Congrats to you both! 
  • Any recommendations for getting healthy again post-baby? I'm breastfeeding, so can't really diet. I love going to the gym, but it's so hard to go without someone to watch my little one! Any eating tips or workouts I can do at home that you've enjoyed?
    • Congrats on your baby!! First and foremost, enjoy your time with you little one - I've been told they grow up so fast ;) But I completely understand the desire to get moving again, especially now that you don't have a baby belly in the way. I have not had a baby, so it's hard for me to give you personal advice as I haven't been there, but here are a couple of ideas. Since it's spring, and hopefully the weather is nice, going on long walks with your baby is a great place to start. Don't push yourself too hard though - enjoy the time you're outside of the house! Maybe there's another mom you can meet up with so you guys can have girl time, exercise time, and still have your babies with you. I follow several girls on instagram who recently had babies, and a lot of them have posted about doing work outs like these once they feel they can do lighter exercises again. I hope that helps a little, but like I said, I haven't been there yet so my advice may not be the most helpful!
  • I love your wedding posts because I am getting married as well! Our wedding will take place in early fall, so it will still be warm but not totally summery. In accordance with the "something old, new, borrowed, blue" tradition, I really want to wear a shade of blue shoes! I am a fellow tall girl, so I want some small heels, but nothing taller than 2ish inches. Additionally, I want something in which I will feel comfortable dancing the night away! Finally, I'm hoping not to break the bank on my shoes (weddings are so expensive!) Any suggestions?
    • Yay, congrats on your upcoming wedding! I too will be wearing flatter shoes at my wedding - I couldn't imagine trying to wear heels all day! I did find two options that I think are really great. Both are just a little bit more pricey than I was hoping to share, but I hope you think they could be your shoes (be sure to send me a picture in the fall either way!). The first pair is a wedged pair in dark blue with a peep toe. I think the wedge would make it super easy to walk around on, and sticks with your something blue theme! The other pair is my personal favorite - this Badgley Mischka shoe is just so darn pretty, and would be what I would go with!

on franish

notable sales

at home
  • We were up in Rochester, NY this weekend to take our engagement pictures. Rochester has a park with tons of beautiful lilacs, so we got super lucky that the weekend we planned to take pictures was the weekend the lilacs were in full bloom. It was a bit misty throughout our session, but from the one preview we saw, I can't wait to see the final results! I'll be sure to share as soon as they are ready (in about a week or so! Eek!)
  • Tomorrow is the day we close on our house!! Check by here tomorrow afternoon to hear about how we went about the process, the full tour, and our plans! Can't wait to finally share with everyone!
  • Happy Mother's Day! All moms and mother figures are great, but my mother is particularly amazing. Couldn't be more thankful to have such a strong, courageous, and kind woman as my own mother. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

wedding wednesday: saying yes to the dress!

I was debating if I should write this post now, or later but because the dress that I ended up with is actually quite a bit different than the ones I shared here, I wanted to share the post now! I'm so excited about the dress I found, I really wish I could share it with you all right now! But it's my little secret for the next year - I can't wait to show you next June! After the wedding I'll share the other dresses that were top contenders :)



I've always loved weddings. While I didn't even go to a wedding as guest until I was like 22 years old, I've always had really strong feelings about weddings. Obviously Say Yes to the Dress is something I've watched for years and years because there is nothing more fun than judging people trying on wedding dresses.

So as you can imagine, I had pretty clear idea of what I wanted in my own wedding dress when I started really thinking about it. My taste has definitely changed from the time when I first started a wedding pinterest board (yep...like five years before I was ever engaged), so I had a lot of fun looking through hundreds of pictures online for the past few months to come up with what 2017 Fran likes versus what 2012 Fran liked. Since we are having an outdoor wedding and are doing the whole barn wedding thing, I definitely wanted something soft and flowy and appropriate for the venue. I started gravitating towards dresses with lace, sleeves/straps, and chiffon skirts - basically, this was my ideal dress based on pictures I found online. 

We have decided we aren't doing a lot of traditional pre-wedding events for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is that both our families and our wedding parties are spread all over the country. I just don't feel like I can ask members of my bridal party and close friends, many who are about to start residency or work really demanding jobs, to travel to Rochester, NY or Ohio for engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and so on. So once I really started coming up with a general timeline of when things needed to be done for the wedding, I asked my mom if she would come to New York with me to go wedding dress shopping. I actually got the idea from Jessica, who went to NYC to go wedding dress shopping when she was planning her wedding. I loved the idea of having a weekend where I spent time with my mom finding my dress, especially because we aren't doing many other wedding related things. 

Before our scheduled weekend in New York, I wanted to get a sense of what wedding dress shopping is like. I ask my friend Amy to come with me to go try on dresses at the Nordstrom in Cleveland. I had found this Monique Lhuillier Bliss dress online that I wanted to try, and I found that the closest Nordstrom to me has a bridal boutique, so I made an appointment. It was very easy to do - you just choose your location, pick a date, and then tell them if there is a specific style you are looking for. I understand why they do that, because the wedding suite itself is not very big, and does not have a ton of dresses, so they have other Nordstrom wedding suites ship specific dresses that clients are looking for. They also have a small selection of other dresses - I think we had maybe around 40 dresses to look through in the show room and back rooms.