Friday, October 28, 2016

october budget

J.Crew blazer: originally $198, on sale for $150 [seen here]
Michael Kors shoes: originally $100, on sale for $75 [seen here]
Ann Taylor blouse: originally $80, on sale for $40 [reviewed here]

October budget: $310 - $100 birthday money = $210

Quarterly budget: $500 + $100 left over - $200 in August - $155 in September - $210 in October

Sometimes budgeting makes me think about the money I'm spending a bit too much. I very very rarely spend more than $100 on a single item, and most items I buy are under $50. The thing is though, when I do spend over $100 on something, it always becomes a favorite item in my closet. Maybe that's because I don't buy a lot of things that are that expensive, so therefore they become my favorites by default, or maybe it's because sometimes spending a bit more on something you think you'll really wear a lot pays off in the end. My J.Crew blazer is by far my favorite item in my closet right now - I look for any opportunity to wear it, so I'm glad I finally bought it (with a bit of help from the birthday money my parents sent me). It's already my pre-interview dinner staple, and I try to wear it every weekend. I just can't get enough of it! Paired with my Michael Kors shoes (that I ended up getting at a discount by asking Nordstrom for a price adjustment when they were temporarily on sale), and I'm all set for fall! In my last review post, I talked about the bell sleeve top from Pleione. As much as I love it on others (see it on Krista and Veronika), every time I wear it, it just doesn't feel like me! I'm going to give it one more shot this weekend, and if I take it off to wear something else, I'm sending it back. If I decide to keep it, I'll include it in next month's budget. 

As far as sponsorships go, this month I also was lucky enough to work with Kohl's on a fall fashion post, so I added quite a few items to my closet that way. Favorites include the work out leggings (I wore them running last night, and they didn't slip at all!) and the Lauren Conrad purse. I also received a pair of Stuart Weitzman boots as well as a pair of 7 for all Mankind jeans during the Shopbop sale. For those of you newer around here, I feel it's important that I include the items I receive through blogging in my budget to stay transparent about not only what I'm adding to my closet, but also just blogging in general. Some months, like this one, are a bit heavier in sponsored items (always items I pick out myself but are provided by the company), and other months there aren't any. If any of you feel strongly about these items not being included in my budget posts, please let me know. I really just want to be transparent about this whole crazy world of blogging, but I can understand if people don't think it's necessary to include it in my budget post. I personally really enjoy seeing what other bloggers get through their blog - it's a fun little peek into other people's blog!

So all in all, another successful budgeting quarter! In the next one, I'd really like to add a few sweaters to my collection. I've been wearing my Madewell sweater nonstop, so maybe a few more in that simple style will serve me well! I also put in an order last weekend with Ann Taylor during their 50% off sale, but won't see those items until I get home in a few weeks - they included a tweed skirt (the skirt version of the pants I bought last month), a blouse with a removable tie, and a gorgeous geo cardigan, so we will see which of those items I keep. I feel a review post coming on in the future! I kinda have to remind myself though that Thanksgiving is at the end of the month, so maybe I'll be a bit more conservative with my money until then!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

a weekend in the poconos

DSC05791 One of my favorite things about audition and interview season is that I get to travel all over the eastern and midwestern parts of the country. I get to see new places, explore different cities, and best of all, see some of my friends who are now closer to me! This past weekend, I met up with my bestie in the Poconos for a fall-filled day of brunching, walking, and hiking. 
LC Lauren Conrad Runway Collection Leather Saddle Bag
We started the day with brunch at Le Manhattan Bistro, a really cute French-themed restaurant in Wilkes-Barre. We both got the Kodiak Eggs Benedict, which was eggs benedict on top of crab cakes - they were amazing. Then we spent the next few hours just exploring the town and catching up on everything going on in our lives - we group text all the time, but it's so much better when you get to catch up in real life. For this part of the day, I wore this comfy cardigan from Kohl's - it was perfect for layering and kept me warm in the cooler temperatures. I also am in love with my new purse - it's from Lauren Conrad's LC Runway collection, and is made out of real leather. Her purse collection actually has some really beautiful pieces if you haven't checked it out yet (I currently have my eye on their larger leather tote). After our walk, we went and got our nails done - it's kind of our thing that we do every time we are together. I'm in the clinic for the rest of this rotation, so I'm able to finally wear nail polish again!
Women's Apt. 9® Shawl-Collar Open Cardigan
DSC05734LC Lauren Conrad Women's Slit Ankle Boots
Sweater: Apt. 9 c/o Kohl's [exact]
Blouse: Apt. 9 c/o Kohl's [exact]
Pants: LC Lauren Conrad c/o Kohl's [exact -fits TTS (I'm wearing a 12tall)]
Purse: LC Lauren Conrad c/o Kohl's [exact]
Booties: LC Lauren Conrad c/o Kohl's [exact]
After our manicures, we drove over to the Seven Tubs Nature Area for a little hike. It's about a 2 mile hike around a waterfall and "tubs" filled with water. The whole time we were there, we were wishing we had our puppies with us because they would have loved it. It was basically the perfect fall weather, and the leaves were just at the sweet spot of changing. It was just so nice to be outside and enjoying the fall with someone else! For this part of the day, I changed into some more hiking-appropriate clothes, including these amazing mesh paneled running leggings, Nike shoes, and utility jacket

uniors' Madden Girl Drawstring Zip-Up Utility Jacket
Women's FILA SPORT® Synergy Running Leggings
Jacket: Madden Girl c/o Kohl's [exact]
Pants: Fila Sport c/oKohl's [exact]
Shoes: Nike c/o Kohl's [exact]
Scarf: similar 
Watch: similar
Water bottle: Godinger c/o Kohl's [exact]

In the end, it was exactly what I needed to get over the occasional loneliness I've been experiencing periodically during this period in school. We enjoyed delicious food and the fall weather, and walked over 14,000 steps! Basically the perfect autumn day :)

Thank you to Kohl's and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

my clinical rotation essentials

medical school essentials

One of the most asked questions on here is one that is hard to answer: what kind of shoes are most comfortable to wear on rotations? Over the past few years, I've figured that out for myself, but it's definitely something where no one answers fits all because all of our feet are different! The topic did get me thinking about what my essentials are for clinical rotations - things I use every day and would be very upset if I didn't have with me. So here are the eleven items I consider my rotation essentials!
  1. A fleece. Wearing a fleece versus white coat versus no coat will depend heavily on what rotation you are on and where you rotate. On every rotation where I wear scrubs, my Patagonia fleece is my best friend. It gives you the extra warmth like a white coat does, but is a lot more comfortable than that scratchy material white coats are made of. It has almost as many pockets to keep snacks in, and washes easily to keep the germs away. Some hospitals don't allow personal jackets, so unfortunately this may not work for everyone at every hospital.
  2. Pocket clipboard. CR got me this last year as a present, and I've used it countless times over the past year and a half. I use it most on rotations where I do a lot of writing while standing - so rotations like Internal Medicine, where you spend a lot of time rounding. It fits perfectly into the white coat pockets, has stickers on it with a bunch of high yield information, and you can even get your name engraved on it. 
  3. Apple watch: I've only had my apple watch for a month now, and am obsessed with it. It's not always possible to pull out your phone every time it buzzes, and during a time like residency interview season, it's very hard not to pull it out every time! I love that with a quick flick of my wrist, I can see if the email or phone call is important or not. I also love that I can see what is on our collective google calendar - especially with EM shifts, it's hard to always know what we are doing each day. It has motivated me to get out and walk more because it measures my steps, and I can even use it to pay for my food at the cafeteria. This is a very pricey item, and definitely not something you need, but it has been essential for me so far. CR got it for me for my birthday, and was able to get a good deal on it at Target, so keep an eye out if interested!
  4. Wallet/Phone case: I think almost all of my friends have now switched over to having some kind of wallet/case combo. Carrying around a wallet in the hospital is annoying, and you are away from your purse most of the day. You could be on one side of the hospital when your team decides it's time for lunch, so this way you always have your credit card with you. 
  5. Foam roller. This one may seem a bit strange, as it's not something you are taking with you to the hospital. But if you are on a very physical rotation, like emergency medicine or any type of surgery, you will be using your muscles a ton. I've retracted enough in six hour surgeries to know that my arms, back, and thighs are going to ache that night. A quick rolling on the foam roller not only hurts so good, but will make you less sore in the morning. 
  6. Insoles. Here is my answer for everyone who is looking for comfortable shoes for when you wear dress clothes and not scrubs: get insoles for your flats. If you have a pair of flats that don't rub your feet the wrong way, put a pair of insoles in them, and you'll be good all day long. If you don't have a pair of shoes that don't rub your toes or heels the wrong way, I suggest getting a pair with elastic around the top, like these from Bandolino that come in several colors. They typically require less breaking in, and have more room for the insole. 
  7. Portable phone charger. Some days you are at the mercy of the residents to be there for as long as possible, and sometimes that means being on your phone a lot while they work. I did a lot of UWorld questions during down time, and that sucks up battery power fast. I love my little Anker version as it charges itself quickly, charges my phone quickly, and takes up little space. These are essential on night float as well!
  8. Pens: I keep two types of pens in my pocket. One that I love - my favorite is the fine Tul pens. But those puppies aren't cheap, and people will borrow them and you'll never see them again. I keep a second cheap pen I can loan out to residents and attendings, and don't awkwardly have to ask for my pen back at the end of the day. 
  9. Compression socks. I like to joke that I'm an old lady because my legs swell, but after standing for 14 hours every day during my first week of Ob last rotation, my legs felt heavy and swollen. I owned a couple pairs of compression socks, but that weekend ordered three more. The following week, I stood just as long, but my legs didn't swell, and I was overall a lot more comfortable. If you are on a rotation where you will be standing a lot, these are one of the best things you can do for yourself. They are pricey, so maybe throw them on your Christmas wish list as well - that's my plan this year!
  10. Pocket snacks. Vital. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ON HERE. I'm kidding...but really I'm not. Again, you will not always be near your bag, and there will be times where you just need to stuff something in your mouth while you're in the bathroom before your next six hour surgery. Do I say this from experience? Maybe. My favorites are Kind bars and peanut butter packets. Protein to keep you full, a bit of sweetness to make you happy. 
  11. Comfortable scrub shoes. This is one of those things you just have to figure out for yourself about what you like. I have two pairs of Danskos, and while I actually think they are pretty cute, the versions I have are too high for me. I just feel really unstable in them, and my feet always hurt. My dad wears Birkenstock clogs to work, and loves them, so I ordered my own pair, and they are amazing (although kind of ugly...). I'm not going to lie, my feet still hurt a bit after a long shift, but these definitely help. I've seen all types of shoes in the hospital and OR - tennis shoes, Danskos, Birks, other clogs. You may have to try a few things before you find what you're most comfortable in because again, there is no one size fits all here, but it is worth figuring it out for yourself. If you don't see yourself working in an OR in the future, you will be fine wearing tennis shoes, and just wearing those booties over your shoes. If you think you'll be doing something bloody in the future, it may be a good time to invest in shoes where you can easily clean that blood off of them. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

top three [10.23.2016]

love me a great blazer :)

  • Beeturia is a term I learned on Grey's Anatomy this week. It's when someone eats a lot of beets, and then has pink or red urine! Who says you can't learn from tv? 
  • Radiation recall is an interesting (and uncommon) phenomenon that occurs in the treatment of cancer. It's an inflammation response to chemotherapy, but only in an area that had previously received radiation. 
  • Pelvic exenteration is a surgery that removes all organs from the pelvis. It's used as a last line of therapy for patients who have recurring pelvic cancer that hasn't responded to chemo or radiation. I have never seen this surgery, but one of my close friends participated in one this week. 

on the internet

  • I usually stick with flat boots, but this pair from Hinge makes me reconsider my stance. The reviews on there can't stop raving about them!
  • This weekend, I saw this beautiful silk blouse at J.Crew - they only had 00 left in store, so fingers crossed it works out when it arrives in a few days!
  • From far away, this looks like any other cream dress, but the details are what it makes it so special. 

ask me anything

  • I'm your age but a 1st year medical student. My live-in relationship of 3.5 years just abruptly ended when he realized he apparently isn't as committed as he said he was. I know from reading your blog that something similar happened to you during your first semester. How on earth did you handle it?! Obviously there's no good time for a long-term relationship to end, but with the pressures of school, being far from home, feeling isolated, and now losing my partner, main supporter and best friend... it makes even a strong, stable, goal-oriented person like me feel incredibly daunted. Knowing that others have successfully made it through something like this helps, though, so I thought perhaps you had some thoughts you could share that you feel may have helped you when you were freshly single again unexpectedly, and in an intense environment like first semester of med school?
    • First of all, I am so sorry this happened. You're right, a very similar thing happened to me when during the middle of first semester of first year, my then boyfriend of almost six years decided he would rather pursue someone else than stay with me. It was a pretty awful time for me, and there's no easy way to fix what has happened to you now. My biggest pieces of advice? This is a time to focus solely on you. Do the things you may have not done before, and focus on what is important in your life. School is obviously near the top - throw yourself into studying. Don't listen to sad music (I learned that the hard way - my roommate eventually banned me from listening to Mumford and Sons), join a study group, and study in public (less likely to be distracted or tempted to sit and have a cry session every 5 minutes). You worked too hard to get to this point to fall behind. You may not do great for a bit (I did the worst I've ever done in school the three weeks after the breakup happened) but you can't fail out now. Get to the gym to take out some aggression and clear your mind. And here's a big one - say yes to everything! Go to as many school events, ice cream invitations, and parties as you can. Finding a new support system, and new best friends takes effort and time, both which aren't easy, but both things you need now. You'll never know who you will meet and how they will influence your life, but you won't find them if you are sitting at home. Chin up - I promise it gets better, and eventually you will find that person who supports you 100%, and this will all be a distant memory. 
  • What tattoo are you getting removed?
    • I have a small star tattoo on my left inner wrist that I got when I was 18 and feeling rebellious. Now I'm just feeling foolish, so I've been getting laser treatments at my dermatologist's office. I have one more session, and then I plan on writing a whole post about it!
  • How do you wear your dresses in winter? Dark tights? Fleece tights?

on franish

notable sales

at home

  • Did you guys hear about who the next designer collab is with Target?! It's Victoria Beckham! I'm beyond excited as I've always loved her aesthetic, and while I haven't been super excited about collaborations in the past few years, this is one I can't wait to see! 
  • I tried to go shopping yesterday and as you may have seen, I was not successful. I went to the King of Prussia mall, which is huge and beautiful, but I just don't think I'm in in store shopper anymore. I did get my steps in that day though!
  • I'm off to the Poconos today to meet up with my best friend - we are having brunch, getting our nails done, and hiking, and I can.not.wait! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

the best purchase of the year


Ohhhh you guys, my new J.Crew blazer is probably one of my favorite purchases of the entire year. I haven't been this excited about a purchase in a looooong time, and I've been making any excuse to wear it! I wore it this way with my new shoes out to dinner with CR two weeks ago, paired it with black jeans and a camisole for my interview dinner last week, and plan on wearing it with stripes this weekend too (it's actually one of the few things I brought with me for the month!). I mentioned before that I felt like I wasn't wearing any of my dark blazers anymore, but I've always loved the structure that blazers have (I feel cardigans always look really frumpy on me), so I am very excited to wear this as much as possible this fall and winter. 

J.Crew REGENT BLAZER Skinny Roman Empress Bangle - Gold
warm camel REGENT BLAZER
Jeans: 7 for all Mankind c/o Fitcode [exact]
Tee: Everlane [exact]
Blazer: J.Crew [exact & 25% off - review here]
Shoes: Michael Kors [exact]
Bag: J.Crew [similar]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
Bracelet: c/o Peach Box [exact]
MICHAEL Michael Kors 'Daisy' Loafer
MICHAEL Michael Kors 'Daisy' Loafer review
Everlane - The Luxe Drape Deep V Tee

J.Crew currently has a bunch of their closet must haves on sale, which obviously includes this blazer. Below are a few more of my favorites, currently on sale. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

some of my absolute clinique favorites ( + a bomb gift with purchase!)

SAM_2480picture 2 I very specifically remember buying my first Clinique moisturizer, because it was the first high end beauty product I ever purchased for myself. It was basically love at first sight with that moisturizer, which is why I've owned at least ten bottles of it over the years. I eventually branched out in the brand, trying everything from other skin care products to make-up to fragrances. When Macy's reached out to ask if I wanted to share my experiences about my favorite Clinique items, I was definitely more than happy to since I've been such a fan of the brand for the better part of the last decade. One of my favorite things about purchasing Clinique from Macy's is that they have so many great "Gift with Purchases" items that come along with you order. When I put in my recent order, I receive the bag about (full of make up remover, eye shadow, mascara, perfume, lipstick, and moisturizer) AND a body moisturizer and a full lip gloss... for free. You can receive the same if you order by the end of today (10/17!). 

SAM_2482picture 2
Like I mentioned above, I was a very loyal Dramatically Different moisturizer user for years. Then in recent years, my skin became even drier, so I switched to using the Moisture Surge moisturizer. Instead of a cream, it's a gel - I use it mostly at night, and it definitely has helped combat the dryness that my tretinoin cream causes. The scrub cream is a new purchase for me, but one that has quickly become a big part of my daily skin care routine - it's a gentle exfoliator that I use as an evening scrub. It's definitely one of those scrubs that you can use every day because of how gentle is, but at the same time, it really does get the job done. A little also goes a long way - I use less than a dime sized amount, and it removes all the little flakies. Definitely one of my favorite daily exfoliators I've found!

SAM_2487picture 2

Over the years, I've used a bunch of different Clinique make-up products - I love them because they just give you a really natural look while still looking like you...just better, you know? Their Even Better foundation is amazing - it's a medium coverage that feels like a BB or CC cream, but helps cover up your blemishes and discoloration. I had them match me the last time I was in Macy's, and switched from the ivory to the cream chamois color. You guys know I'm all about eyelash primer right now - it really helps build up your eyelashes, and it keeps the mascara on your eyes (I know some of you have problems with mascara flaking, and trust me, an eyelash primer will solve all of your problems). The other item is one I've been using for months now - it's the Lash Power mascara, which I use on my bottom lashes. I always smudge my mascara if I use a bigger brush on my lower lashes, and the smaller brush on this mascara prevents that. 

SAM_2507picture 2

Clinique's lip products are ones I've mentioned over and over again - I felt like for a while there, I had a new favorite lip product from them every month! The thing I love about their products is that they cover all bases - from the moisturizing lip balm to an every day color to the more pigmented colors for nights out. On the moisturizing side is the Superbalm Lip Treatment - I keep this little guy in my fleece I wear at work, and it is a life saver since hospital air totally dries out my lips. The Almost Lipstick is exactly what it sounds like - it's basically your lips, but with a bit more color and shine. I have it in the dark honey color and am obsessed. The next two are variations from the same Pop Lip Color- you may remember my video from a few months ago where I struggled just a little with that name (go to 7:24 to watch it in all its glory)! Anyway, I have been using the Fab Pop Color lipsticks for months now, and recently added Sweet Pop to the collection as well. These lipsticks go on so smooth, actually feel like they are moisturizing your lips, and have a great color pay off. The last lipstick is definitely a new one for me, and something I've wanted to try for a long time - red lipstick. I've mentioned before that I'm still slowly getting into the whole lipstick thing, so this was a big move for me! I went with the Long Last Soft Matte version in Crimson. I love that this isn't a shiny red lipstick but it doesn't have the drying effect that a liquid lipstick has - it's just a matte lipstick that goes on, stays on, and really has amazing color pay off. This is one I'll definitely be playing around more in the future - not for every day, that's for sure, but something I hope to grab for more often.

As I mentioned above, I'm a huge Clinique fan, and am so excited to collaborate with Macy's to tell you more about my favorite products from their line. Don't forget that if you want to try out any of these items, if you spend $27, you'll get $70 worth of product for free. Half the products are ones that are already my favorites, so I definitely think it's an amazing gift with purchase. 

Thank you to Clinique at Macy's and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post! 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

top three [10.16.2016]

just a few favorites from my recent review post

  • An endometrioma is an ovarian cyst that is caused by endometriosis. It is also called a chocolate cyst because when it looks like chocolate syrup. I saw one this week and it totally did look like that!
  • A heterotopic pregnancy is one where there is an ectopic pregnancy at the same time as an intrauterine pregnancy. It's very rare, but it does happen!
  • The leading cause of blindness in the US is due to diabetes. 

on the internet

  • I have always wanted a leather jacket, but have never found one I liked. I'm tempted to try this (faux!) version from Topshop - I hope it feels as soft in real life as it does online!
  • Ohhhhh, I am allllll about this blush cocoon sweater. Combined with distressed denim and a white tee, and you're set for the winter. love
  • I'm always looking for versatile tops and Vince Camuto's high low blouse is a perfect example of that - the colors in it mean you can mix it with a bunch of different colors (maroon pants? blush shoes? all black? it all works!) and the style means it works both with pants and tucked into skirts. Oh, and it's on sale ;)

ask me anything
  • You mentioned buying a Soma bra a few months ago. Do you still like it? would you recommend it? Frustrated with bra shopping and looking to try something new/not VS. 
    • You know, I do really still like it. The version I have has a bit more structure and padding that I'm used to with the Victoria's Secret version I've been wearing for years, which makes it ideal of times when the blouse I'm wearing needs a bit more structure. But, I think my VS bra is a bit more comfortable, so I'm still switching between wearing the two. Still on the lookout for that absolute perfect bra!
  • What advice do you have for someone who can't spend a lot on clothes now, or in the foreseeable future, but is used to having nice clothes but currently has nothing to wear that fits my (fatter size)! What staples do I buy to get through fall and winter?
    • I think this is one of those situations where buying a few inexpensive staples, and then supplementing with second hand items would really be a good way to approach this. One of my biggest staples that is really great when you're a big bitter than you feel comfortable with is really stretchy pants. I absolutely live in my ponte pants in the winter, and they are so stretchy, versatile, and comfy (and currently under $30!). Sites like ThreadUp or Poshmark are awesome places to find great deals on items on gentle used items, like sweaters and blouses. The best thing about ThreadUp is that you can also recommend other people to the site, and earn $10 in credit, so you can basically get free clothes if a few people sign up! eBay is another great option - if there are specific items you want, you can set it up so it emails you when that item is up for sale! 
  • Shoes on surgical or obs/gyn rorations.... Danskos? Birks clogs? I'm not sure how to save my feet without looking too much like a gunner so that everybody doesn't just roll their eyes when I show up in neon doctor clogs or something. Thanks!
    • Well first of all, I promise no one is really looking at your shoes, so don't worry about looking strange! I've seen all types of shoes on people - danskos, birks, other clogs, tennis shoes. You really just have to find what you are most comfortable wearing - I do have to warn you, it's basically impossible to find shoes where your feet won't hurt after standing for 12 hours, but you can definitely make it easier on yourself. I personally prefer the Birkenstock clogs, but others love Danskos - you just have to find what you like best. My secret tip is compression socks - they make a HUGE difference (and they come in some pretty fun patterns too). Expensive, so maybe also add a few to your Christmas wish list ;)

on franish
  • on the blog: lots of things to love, and lots of things to return
  • on the insta: my little man
  • what you missed on snapchat (@fhasselhof): my hits and misses from the shopbop sale (I'm keeping the jeans and the boots!)  

notable sales
at home
  • On Wednesday, I drove up to Cleveland to go to a beauty event at Nordstrom with Katy. Katy and I have "known" each other for over four years (ever since I started blogging!) so it was so great to finally meet in real life. It's truly the best part about blogging!
  • I had my first interview this week! It was at the program I was at for the last month, so it was more fun than scary since I knew everyone and how much I love the program. It's nice to get at least one under the belt!
  • This upcoming month I think is going to be the hardest month of this year - I'm going to be away from home for four weeks without seeing my boys. In addition, CR has interviews all the time, and when he isn't interviewing, he's working second shift in the ER, so we won't have as much time to talk either. I'm super excited for this rotation for sure, but it will also be a difficult month. After I come home, he goes there, and then he has one final audition, and then we are done with this - we are so ready for it to be January!