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. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

our save the dates!

I am so excited to finally share our Save the Dates! I am so so happy with how they turned out :)

Once we took our engagement pictures, we debated for a while about which picture to put on there. I wanted it to show us equally - there were lots of pictures where one of us was more prominent, but I really felt that it was important that we were both equally a part of the picture (rather than CR kissing me or me nuzzling his neck). I just love the picture of us that we chooose, plus the lilacs in the background are just so beautiful!

Once we choose the picture, I probably spent a good week looking at and comparing different options on the Minted website. There are just so many beautiful cards to choose from, but I eventually narrowed the options down to portrait cards with gold "save the date" with our information under it, and our favorite in the end was the Modern Script Save the Date. I love the crisp white edges and print, with the gold script across the whole card. One of the amazing things about Minted is that you can really customize the card, so if you don't like the font on the information part of the card, you can change it or move it! We ended up going with a different font than the original design had, just because I wanted a bit more juxtaposition between the gold script and the white lettering.

The next step after we finally finished designing the card was collected addresses. I love that Minted includes free recipient addressing. Instead of hand writing all the names and addresses, you collect that information in an excel spread sheet, and then your envelopes are printed...for free! It's seriously amazing. Luckily there have been several engagements/weddings in CR's family recently, so it was really easy to collect a large majority of those addresses since his cousin just sent out their Save the Dates! As far as the return address, you can pay a bit extra to either have it printed on the card or pay for stickers. Since we had just moved into our new house, I actually chose to do neither, and ordered this stamp from Etsy with our new address on it! I figured sending out 80 cards was the perfect excuse to finally get one!

My sister, in her first official duties as my maid of honor, came over to help me stuff and stamp the envelopes. For the actual stamps, I ordered these boutonniere stamps from They are pretty and fit the general theme of the Save the Dates/our wedding, but didn't cost as much as custom stamps would have. And then we just dropped them off at the post office, because it's more fun to put them in this than in your own boring mail box:

We got such great feedback from our friends, and I loved seeing all of their snaps that they sent us! I love seeing my friends' smiling faces on my own fridge, so I'm pretty honored to be on someone else's!

Overall, the process of picking out, customizing, and finishing our Save the Dates was a really fun and seamless process. I'm so thankful that we got to work with Minted on such a personal project, and that we ended up with such beautiful cards to share with our family and friends. A huge thanks to Minted for working with me on this project. I couldn't be more excited to work with one of my favorite paper brands on such a personal project!

In the next Wedding Wednesday post, we're going to discuss bridal parties, and bridesmaid dresses...something I may have been putting off for a while....

Friday, August 25, 2017

having a dog in medical school & residency

One of my biggest questions I've received is about having dogs while in medical school (and now residency). As we all know, having a dog is one of the best things in the whole world, but with the time consuming nature of medicine, sometimes it's a lot to try to handle at once.

My experience with having dogs is maybe slightly different because I've had both of mine since college - I got both Hans and Baer during my senior year, so we've been together for eight years now! When I started school, they were already four, so they weren't in that tough puppy phase. We had had several years together where I worked a full time job, so my dogs were used to not having me around all the time. But it really changed a lot when I started medical school.

Between long days at school and then long nights in the library during the first two years, the long clinical hours during the second part of medical, and now the hours of residency, there were really steps I had to take so that my dogs were taken care of. Having a dog (or two!) in medical school and residency is definitely possible. Here are some of the things that have really worked out well for me and my dogs over the past four years!

find other dog owners //

One of the best things I ever did for both myself and Hans & Baer at the beginning of medical school was reaching out to other dog owners. I posted on our class's facebook group asking if anyone had dogs and if they wanted to meet up for play dates. I met up with several classmates and their cute puppies, and it was such a great way to get out to meet people, and for my dogs to get out and play. Especially during anatomy (the first three months of first year), I was in lecture for 9 hours a day, so it was amazing to get outside, socialize with new people, and watch my dogs play.

Half way through first year, my best friend got a puppy. So it's definitely possible to get a puppy in school, it just takes work! For us, it was awesome because we had puppy play dates most days of the week, either at each other's houses, or at the dog park. Our dogs had such a great time playing, and we were thankful to spend a bit of time together that didn't revolve around studying. We would also go on hikes with our other girlfriends early weekend mornings, so we were being active, the dogs were getting to stretch their legs, and then we had all day to study! It really was a win for everyone.

have roommates that love dogs as much as you do //

When I found out I was moving to Pennsylvania, my first thought was ....but who do I live with? Again I got on our facebook page, asked if anyone was looking for a roommate and also loved dogs. I got the best roommate out of that - my roommate Sarah loved my dogs as much as if they were her own. She would take them out on hikes when she wanted to spend a few hours in nature,  she would cuddle them on the couch during her lunch break, would take them on potty breaks if I was at the library, and would put them to bed if I was spending the night at CR's. Having a roommate is great for lots of reasons, but if you have a pet, it's especially nice to have an extra set of hands for when you are in a crunch.

During my third and fourth year, CR and I moved in together. It's a bit different having dogs during the clinical years because you have less control over your schedule. Some rotations are more time consuming than others - on rotations like surgery, where I would leave my house at 3:45 AM and not get home until 6 PM, there was no way I could have done it without CR being there. We got really lucky that our schedules were kind of opposites - when I was on difficult rotations, he was on easier ones, and vice versa. This worked out for us, even without having any other help nearby. We only had each other, but we made it work!

My friends who have dogs all have roommates or live with their significant others. I got extremely lucky with having the people I lived with, and while it's definitely possible to have a dog without a roommate, it definitely helps having someone nearby who can help!

take them to doggy day care // 

When I was working full time and Hans & Baer were younger, my dogs went to a dog day care about once a week. It was such a great way for them to socialize and for me to not feel guilty about them being locked up in the house. Since my dogs were a bit older when I started school, and I had found great alternatives for their play times, I didn't re-enroll them in a doggy day care. But I wanted to mention this as a great option, especially for younger dogs, because my best friend took her puppy to doggy day care several times every week, and it was a wonderful way to get that puppy energy out, get the puppy the socialization it needs, and to not feel guilty if you were stuck in the library preparing for a big exam. Having a dog is definitely an expense, and while doggy day care is definitely not cheap, it's one of the best things you can do for a young playful dog!

get a dog walker // 

Now that we are in residency, our hours are even more inflexible and longer than they were in medical school. We, for the first time in the eight years I've had my dogs, had to hire real outside help. I spent a lot of time researching dog walkers in the area, and finally found a great woman to come help us with the dogs. She comes to our house every day around noon to take care of the dogs. She was walking them initially, but now that our back yard is completely fenced in, she lets them out and plays with them. She sends us texts daily of what the dogs are up to, and I just have no guilt now about being at work all day long. I love knowing that they get to play outside, that someone is giving them attention, and when I get stuck at work later than I thought, I know it's only been about 6 hours since they last went outside, not 14 hours. Again, hiring help is not cheap. But when you get a dog, you're committing to taking care of them, and that means more than just feeding them every day.

find good toys & pet supplies

This is somewhat of a no brainer, but we have found several items over the years that have made our pet owning days a bit easier. Since we have two dogs and a cat, there's a lot of water that they drink, so instead of always worrying about their one small bowl not having water in it, especially when we are running out the door at 4:30 AM, we have one of these water stations for them, and it's been such a life saver. That means they have fresh water available to them at all times, and we don't have to worry about filling it up daily. I like to keep the boys entertained, so Hans will sometimes get his breakfast in one of the dispensing toys, or they will get a Kong with peanut butter before we leave. None of this is rocket science, but just little things that have helped over the years!

Overall, my dogs are one of the best things in my life. They are such good dogs (even when they are being a bit naughty), and I just couldn't imagine my life without them.

Monday, August 21, 2017

i'm back! (a quick life update)

hi y'all!!

long time no talk...really, it's been three weeks. on one hand, it's been weird having not blogged in that long - it's the longest i've gone in five years! on the other hand, it was really freeing to step away for a bit. i felt this annoying pressure to post all the time, and when i was working as much as i was, it just didn't happen, and then i felt bad, and then i continued to not post, and it was just a cycle of feeling bad about not posting.

so i need to find a different method to blogging. i won't be as consistent as i once was, i just don't have the time. i have two more weeks of being on the ultrasound service, and then i start a really busy five months, so we will see what happens. i am not ready to give up this space, it just has to come after all the other important things in my life.

so what's been going on in my life? here are some updates!

work // 

so step three is officially done (yay!), i finished my month of gyn surgery, and am currently on ultrasound. on this rotation, i spend most of my time with our obstetric sonographers, watching and learning how to do ultrasounds. i also learn a lot from our genetic counselor, and spend one day a week with the breast center. it's definitely different than being on service, as you have a lot less responsibility, but it's a different type of learning, and it's nice having a pretty regular schedule! since i was spending most of my free time before this week studying, i am excited to get a bit more ob reading done now that i have a bit more time. coming up in two weeks is my month of gyn/onc, so i'm excited to back to being on a team and being in the OR! it also looks like i am scheduling my first surgery, which i am really excited about (when we schedule our clinic patients for a surgery they need, you become the surgeon on the case. it's one of the things that really attracted me to my program, the fact that you get so much surgical experience so early on).

i'm also really loving my co-residents, especially my co-interns. the people i work with are some of the funniest, and hard working people, i've ever been around, and i have learned so much from them. my co-interns are amazing, and i am so thankful for them - i know that they have my back, and you know you found a good group of people when you spend all weekend together after seeing each other all week.

family update // 

well. this is actually really hard to write, and something i have been thinking about writing for the past eight months. but i'm sad to say that my parents have decided to separate, and will being divorcing in a few months. this was a big shock to many people, and it's been a very difficult time for my family. i will not discuss details, obviously, that's not really something that belongs on the internet. the blessing is that my mom is moving to ohio at the end of the week - she found a beautiful home 11 minutes from mine, and me, my sister, and CR are so excited to have her here. we are looking forward to moving forward as this new version of our family, and while this is not how we saw it all working out at this point in our lives, we are all trying to see the positive. i really wanted to mention it now because i am so excited to have my mom close by and i'm sure it'll be something i mention a ton in the future, and felt it's best to just address it head on.

coffee stand // coffee machine // nespresso pod holder // the nespresso machine we got!
house // 

you guys! we have done so much around the house since we last posted on the house. our backyard now has a fence, and is growing grass! we have a dining room table, and chairs to sit on! our kitchen now has a coffee cart, and an amazing pinboard over it.  our couch arrived, and are anxiously waiting on our rug and coffee table to show up. i finally ordered frames for our bedroom (6 are going above the bed), and need to figure out which pictures i want in them. so lots of things have happened, and once we get a few more things on the walls, i'll write a more detailed post about updates. every day i am so happy when i walk through my house, and am so happy with how it's turning out. it's been a slooooowwwww process, and it'll be a work in progress for a few more years, but for now, it's been nice to be in a liveable house!

closet updates // 
when i'm on service, scrubs are all i wear, so i have been doing very little shopping. i ordered a ton of things during the nordstrom sale a month ago, and the only thing i ended up keeping was a cashmere cardigan (it really needs to cool down so i can finally wear it!). i ended up ordering the black pair of my favorite michael kors shoes - they are my favorite shoes to wear, so getting them in black just made sense. last item is this amazing karen kane top - it was on sale for $40 a few weeks ago (it's currently back to full price?), that is just a little different enough to be special.

alright, so that's what's been going on here for the past three weeks! i'm excited to spend a bit more time with you guys on here, while also using the next two weeks to get more done around the house, and getting some things checked off on the wedding list (like hair dressers and florists and i should probably start thinking about a baker, huh?).

Sunday, July 30, 2017

be right back!

hey guys!

Intern year has been a whirlwind so far, in really great,  and also in hard ways. Because I am taking Step 3 (our third and final board exam before our ObGyn boards at the end of residency) in 2.5 weeks, I'm going to take a little break from blogging until then. I really need to focus on studying in the evenings, and as much as I'm excited to share things on here with you when it comes to clothes and makeup and hair products, I need to really buckle down for a few more weeks! When I come back, I'll be on my ultrasound month, and have a bit more time to spend with y'all :)

I'll talk to you soon!! xoxo