Saturday, August 31, 2013

see much, spend little

Labor Day weekend! Shop all the stores, buy all the things.

Or so was my plan. I haven't really done a big shopping trip in quite some time. You know, the kind where your arms hurt from carrying all of your fancy schmany bags around. I tend to buy one piece here and there, but never just in one big trip. With our trip down to a bigger mall, I was hoping to pick up a few exciting things. 

I actually did a little bit of pre-shopping on Friday. I went to our local mall to return the pants I had ordered online at The Limited. My friend Lizzi had found some cute maroon pants online for me to try on, and I ended up liking this pair (on the left) but loving this pair (on the right). The pair on the left are actually full length pants that I just tucked up, but I thought the color was just a little bit too dark, and I didn't want to deal with the alterations. The pair on the right were perfect, and thanks to the 40% off the entire store, were $40. I'm so glad that I didn't decide to keep the J.Crew Minnies, and instead looked for something that fit my body better, and something that I'm more comfortable in because it has normal features like a front zipper and pockets. While looking at pants, I fell in love with the idea of this shirt but I could not justify spending almost $40 (with the sale code) on a polyester shirt where the sleeves didn't stay rolled. The style is beautiful, but the shirt itself is lacking. I've wanted a wrap cardigan in this style for as long as I can remember, so I think that'll be something I really start looking for this fall.
So in the Pittsburg mall I returned the god awful minnie pants at J.Crew, and bought a cute new glitter case there for my phone instead (it was $8!). There wasn't anything in the sale section, or even really the entire store, that I liked. We stopped at Banana Republic since we don't have one at home, but there wasn't anything I really liked which is a bummer since they are having a 40% off sale right now. Everything in the sale section was the cast offs from summer (which is to be expected around this time of year) and everything full priced wasn't worth the full price. 

We also stopped at Gap because I had to return the not-even-going-to-try-it-on shirts in hopes of finding these flats (because I've wanted some just like these for so long, and Audrey just wrote about them), but they were no where to be found. For as much as I usually like the Gap, I am not really a fan of what's currently in store - everything is still bright and neons when I just want some more toned down looks. I have some rewards built up so I think I may just order the shoes during the next good online promotion. I think they'd look great with my new pants ;)

So then more stores were entered and left empty handed. We went to Loft since we thought the entire store was 50% off, but it really was only a select few times which is such a shopping trap. I did try on this shirt initially just to figure out sizing for the orange-red version, but I kind of fell in love with the pattern. Not enough to pay full price for it though, so I'm hoping that it either will go on sale eventually, or that they role it out in a few more colors (as Southern Ele said they may do according to a sales associate she talked to). I think it would be really pretty in an emerald or another jewel tone. I actually tried on a bunch of shirts at Loft and kind of hated all of them. The sleeves were too loose, or didn't roll, or were too flimsy. So that was another bust. 

And then we went to Nordstrom and that's when the shopping gods smiled down upon me and showed me the way to the most perfect pair of shoes ever invented. Or my roommate saw them first and showed them to me. Either or. 

Maroon suede Mary-Janes. 
I've had a Nordstrom gift card for a few weeks now after winning a Chippmunk contest - I was initially saving it to buy a watch but these shoes convinced me otherwise. Are they 100% the most practical, health care professional shoes out there? No. But I love them and will wear them anyway. They're Sole Society, which I didn't even realize were sold in stores, but they are leather, and very comfortable for 3 inch heels. love love love

So after five hours in that mall, we stopped at the outlet mall on the way home. Apparently it's one of the top 10 outlet malls in the country - it's huge, and completely packed with people looking for a good deal. We did the J.Crew Factory store first because we are suckers.

I really wanted to like this shirt. I wanted to step outside of my usually style a little bit, but it was just too much. I felt like a toddler. The shirt itself is great though - not as boxy as I would have thought, the fabric was very soft, and it didn't see uncomfortable like some shirts do so if it is your style, it may really work out for you! I just knew I wouldn't ever wear it. I also tried on this skirt (it was okay, wish it was more camel colored), and this sweater but meh. AND THEN MORE SHOES. I've wanted the black version of the Sylvia wedges since I've received my nude pair. They are just so comfortable, they require no breaking in, and I really just like them. All shoes at J.Crew Factory are currently 40% off, and with my student discount on top of that, I got them for $60. I swear, if they ever come out with new colors, I'll buy those too, that's how much I love these wedges.

So I didn't get a bunch of things like I had "hoped". I didn't really want to have giant bags full of clothing, but sometimes it's not as much fun to be logical and smart about shopping. Sometimes I just want all of the clothes to look good on me so I can buy all of the shiny and pretty things. But as an adult (living off of student loan money), I just can't do that. I don't want to add in random things to my closet just for those few hours of shopping euphoria. I want my closet to just have pieces in it that I love, and want to wear. Like my new pants, and shoes. And my future perfect stripped shirt, future perfect black gingham button up, and future perfect wrap sweater.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

j.crew minnie pants review

When I realized a few weeks ago that more dress pants would be needed in my closet, I kind of did a run down of all the stores I'm familiar with. I ordered a bunch of pants from the Gap (which didn't work out), found a two pairs I liked from the Limited, and did a bit of research on the Minnie pants from J.Crew. I found several reviews on them (see this, this, and this), most saying how they are the go-to pants for work, they look so great, basically BUY THESE YOU WON'T REGRET IT. And I thought they did look really nice on those ladies, so I did go order two sizes during a recent 25% off site-wide sale.

Now, this may come as a shock to you, but I am not a size 0. I am no where near that size, so things look a lot different on me than they do on thinner women. I have a lot more to "contain" and worry about, so even though these pictures are fairly (...very) unflattering, I hope they help someone out so you don't think that it's all you, but it may just be the pants.

First off, I'm so glad I left my dark bedroom to take these pictures because I was half way convinced that these looked fine on me. I really like the color of them, the tall length that I ordered meant that they were long enough to not look like cropped pants (a big no-no for the dress code), and they were honestly very comfortable to wear. Seeing these pictures made me have one of these moments:

Not good. The material is too thin, so every single line, tucked in shirt, and pocket material shows through. The wrinkling around the thighs and knees look very unprofessional and sloppy (on me! I want to emphasize that since they look nice on others), and I just can't get past the whole not having a zipper or pockets in the front since there is nothing to break up the hip region. 

So I've decided to keep them.

Kidding! These are going back this weekend during our trip to the Pittsburg mall. I also received my pencil pants today, and am disappointed to say that the navy pair is going back as well. The color is a very dark navy, and I wanted the color to be a bit lighter so you could tell they were actually blue instead of just a faded black. So the budget from August is now ~$130, which means more money for this weekend! I may try on these pants from Loft while I'm looking for this tee since they are having a pants sale for Labor Day weekend. I'll probably look for these pants while we're at the outlet mall even though they have that damn side zipper. The pair I'm most excited to try on is this pair that my friend Lizzi found online for me (I kind of love both the maroon and the grey printed ones....).

Edit: After a bit of shopping around, these pants are my new favorite dress ankle pants. They have everything I wanted (zipper, pockets, maroon, not legging like), and for less than the Minnies. I highly suggest giving them a try!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

august budget

1. Gap Fine Gauge Cardigan [seen here] - originally $60, with discount code $36

2. The Limited Slim Bootcut Pantsoriginally $70, on special sale for $40

3. Hawthorne Necklace via Groopdealz [seen here] - $10

4. The Limited Pencil Pants [seen here] - originally $65, with discount code $33

5. J.Crew Minnie Pants - originally $80, with discount code for $66


6. The Limited Pencil Pants - originally $65, with discount code $33

+ $15 in alterations

= $167 or $200

Remaining Quarter Budget: $500 - $200 at most = $300+ left until the end of October

So this month apparently was the month for dress pants! I knew that was going to be the case after realizing that I really do prefer pants over skirts, at least on days I don't want to put as much effort in, so it was necessary that I bought a few. The black pencil pants and slim boot cuts are for sure staying in my closet - both have already been worn and I really like them. You may remember that I bought the pencil pants for full price in store. I was watching the online sales, and got lucky when they were having a 50% off sale online. I ended up ordering the black again (now at half price) and the navy pair as well. I will be doing a switch around of receipts/returns so that I keep the pair I already have worn but for the price that I paid for the online order. I had also ordered the J.Crew Minnie pants, and they came yesterday. This is the first time I've tried on the Minnies, and I'm so torn about them. I love the color, they are so comfortable (stretchy!), and I think they'd be perfect for fall. The only thing I don't like is that the zipper is on the side instead of the front, and there aren't any front pockets, which I think makes them look a little bit like looser leggings. They do have belt loops, so they look like actual pants once you put a belt on. The blue pencil pants from The Limited haven't arrived yet, but I've decided I'm only going to keep one pair of colored pants. I think the maroon pants will be more versatile for my closet, but I like the fit of the pencil pants so much already that I'm unsure which pair I'll end up keeping. The blue ones are supposed to arrive on Thursday so I'll have to decide then after a bit of playing around in my closet.

So this was the first month of graduate school student loan budgeting and I think it went pretty well! As for the next month, I have an eye out for a few things. This weekend a few girlfriends and I are driving a few hours away to go to a bigger mall (ours here doesn't have some of the staples, like BR, Ann Taylor/Loft, J.Crew, Sephora...) and then stopping at the huge outlet mall on the way back. I'm hoping there will be some pretty good sales going on since it is Labor Day weekend. I really want to try on this shirt at J.Crew Factory (as seen on Lauren) - it's a little different than what I have in my closet, but I think that's why I like it so much. I'd also like to try this shirt from Loft on - I don't usually shop at Loft, but I think a dressier "tee" would be nice for a quick put together outfit for school. Throughout the closet weeding down and moving, I realized that I don't have a black and white striped long sleeve tee. I have the glittery one, but I just don't have "the standard" shirt and it's something I'm constantly wanting to reach for, but don't own. I want one that looks like this one (but for not pregnant women...obviously) - not fully striped, thinner stripes, and preferably long sleeved as that makes it the most versatile. I had a difficult time finding an example of this (hence the maternity example) so apparently finding the perfect striped shirt is going to be harder than expected. 

September is my birthday month (THE WHOLE MONTH), so there mayyyyyy be a few items purchased that won't be included in the budget as they'll technically be presents. I love birthdays :)

OK, enough about me, more about you. How'd everything work out for your this month? I'd love for you to join the other budgeting bloggers and myself by including your link below. Please make sure you link back to this post so your readers can discover other budgeting bloggers!

P.S. It's the last day to enter the Danskos Giveaway!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

what's in her bag?

A few weeks ago, Jessica from Bedknobs & Baubles approached me to participate in a "What's in her Bag" feature along with three other bloggers with bags from Hobo Bags. I love these kind of posts - getting to see what people carry around with them in their various lives. As a medical student, my daily life involves a lot of books, lectures, and hours of studying. I need to be able to carry a lot with me, and the Hobo Morena really allows that while keeping everything neatly separated. Here are all of the things that are carried around with me on a daily basis.


The Morena is divided into three big compartments. The largest is in the middle, which I appreciate because usually the middle section is the flimsiest. I keep my iPod and notebooks in this section. One outside compartment is for my books, and the other is for personal/smaller items. This bag was really designed with the working woman (or in my situation, graduate student) in mind - there are convenient little details like a small slot for a pen/stylus, easily accessible side pockets, and a special compartment for a tablet.

from left to right:

Notebook/Books: In school we generally have about 3-4 hours of lecture, 1-2 hours of lab, and a few hours of free time in between. These "free" hours are actually study hours, so having a few materials, such as the review book for anatomy, is crucial. I try to take the smaller books with me on a daily basis and save the 1200 pager for study time at home ;)

Pencil Case: I love love love office supplies, so a pencil case is necessary. This little guy is from Target and holds all of my essentials - pencils (for test taking, which seems to happen at least once a day), pens (for notes), and highlighter (for being obsessive).

Personal Items: Rose Balm for the lips/cuticles, Friction Stick for when shoes are pinching (this is actually mostly used by my classmates than myself but hey, just helping a girl out!), Too Faced Lipstick in So Berry Sexy, and L'Occitane hand cream for after anatomy lab hand scrubbing.

iPad: I received this for my college graduation two years ago, and have rarely used it...until I started medical school. Now I can't live without it - I take all of my notes using Notability because you can write right onto the lecture slides, and you can record the lecture at the same time so I can always go back and listen to a section if I didn't understand it. I use this stylus as it has a fine tip point - I love it so much more than the thicker chubby styluses (I used this trick to make it even better). The iPad case is a few years old, but originally made by Jessica Simpson. I think I'd like to get a new one that is a bit more functional, so please let me know if you have any suggestions!

iPhone and headphones: I need music when I study, especially if I'm in a louder area. Lately I've been listening to The Piano Guys on repeat - they're so good! I'd love to see them live.

Wallet & Planner: I got this Kate Spade wallet on eBay months ago and I don't really see myself getting a new wallet any time soon. It's large, but I'm in love with it. The planner is from Target and I really like using it, even if it's just to keep track of my testing schedule.

I'd like to thank Hobo Bags for providing me with this beautiful purse that will get a lot of love over the next few years. Please go check out the following blogs to see what these women carry with them on a daily basis in their Hobo Bags! Huge shout-out to Jessica for putting all of this together!

Jessica at Bedknobs & Baubles

Monday, August 26, 2013

neutrals like whoa

Last week during a particular weak moment of anatomy sadness, I ordered a few things from Gap during one of their 40% off sales. I originally just planned on ordering this polka dot button up, but then this cardigan caught my eye. A tan cardigan has been on my "holes in my closet" list for so long, that I figured I had nothing to lose since I would have to return at least part of the order in store anyway (I was ordering the button up in two sizes). When the package arrived a few days later, I didn't even take the button ups out of the package - the polka dots were neon, and I knew there was no way I was going to ever wear the shirt. 

The cardigan, on the other hand, is a keeper. I've felt myself pulled towards more neutrals lately anyway- I think they are not only super versatile, but I feel there's just something so pulled together about a neutral outfit/closet. With my cognac shoes, belt, and bag (which is now available online!), I felt like it just all fell together so easily. My girl Lauren has talked at length about how she's transitioning towards an all neutral closet (also see this and this post!) and I'm so inspired by that. Neutrals don't have to be boring as long as you keep it interesting with texture and accessories. I don't see myself getting rid of the color in my closet, but I would like to make my closet as versatile as possible, piece by piece.

Pants: The Limited [exact]
Tee: Everlane
Belt: Gap [same style]
Bag: Target [exact]
Watch: Target
Shoes: Banana Republic c/o Chippmunk [exact]

Friday, August 23, 2013

short & not so sweet

Today's our first anatomy practical - we have learned just about everything you need to know about the entire back, upper extremity, and lower extremity in three weeks. I wish I could say that we're done after this, but we have the written clinical test on Monday. I will have had 10 tests in 7 days. 

Only a few more days until I feel I can breathe again. 
Shirt: Gap 
Pants: Banana Republic [exact]
Necklace: Hawthorne Collection via Groopdealz [exact]
Shoes: Missoni for Target
Belt: H&M

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

pick your perfect dansko!

As the daughter of a physician, as a former lab worker, and as a current medical student, I've had a lifetime of exposure to Dansko clogs - I think my mom owns like four pair just for around the house! I have a second hand pair I got via eBay a few years ago for working in the pharmaceutical lab, but I accidentally left them back in Madison when I moved. I was actually really upset when Chris told me that he found them because I wanted them for anatomy lab! As luck will have it, Dansko reached out to me and offered to send me a pair from either their stapled clog or Professional XP lines.

I love blogging.

And my new Danskos.

We still have to be in professional dress for lab which is actually pretty disgusting, so we all have a designated lab outfit that we plan on tossing at the end of anatomy lab (only eight short weeks away - send help and care packages. I wear my older pair of these pants as they were getting a bit worn). I decided to go with the patent black XP clogs because 1. It's nice to have at least one pretty shiny thing to look at while dissecting the foot and 2. I think they'll be so versatile in the future while still being dress code appropriate now. I've been wearing them for the last week in lab, and everyone has been so jealous - I told them how once we are done with lab I can just wipe them out and the smell (of formaldehyde and dissected feet) and bits and pieces of human flesh will be gone. So while everyone has to throw their shoes away, I get to keep mine because they didn't absorb any of the juices or smells. And not only do they not absorb cadaver smell, but they feel great on - great arch support*, and my back hasn't hurt since I started wearing them (bending over a cadaver for two hours gets on the back). 

SO, needless to say, I'm pumped about my new Danskos and you should be pumped too because you have the chance to win your choice of a Stapled Professional or Pro XP clog - just enter the rafflecopter below! If you win, please promise me you'll get these :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*If you have higher arched feet as I do, these may not be supportive enough. After wearing them on clinical rotations, I have switched to a different form of Dansko clogs that have more arch support!

Monday, August 19, 2013

the limited pencil pants...FTW

I've gotten through the better half of the last 25 years without having to wear dress pants. I had to wear them here and there for interviews or important occasions (...?), but in both college and working in a lab, I could wear jeans all day every day. I feel that dress pants don't look that good on me, and I've just never felt that comfortable in them. Trying on those from the Gap was really frustrating because I just wanted it to be easy - here's some black pants, look - they fit! wear them all the time. But it wasn't, and they all looked terrible. I did mention a few weeks ago that I was interested in the Gap True Straight pants, and then Laura suggested that I try these from The Limited. I think because I got to wear casual clothing in the past that I've always somewhat shied away from that store, but I figured it was worth trying out while I was already at the mall returning all of those other pants.

The first pair I tried on were the pencil pants recommended by Laura. I LOVE THEM. While they also have angled pockets like the Gap pair do, these didn't jut out. The knee area doesn't have too much extra fabric, and they are really comfortable. My school states that technically "cropped" pants aren't allowed, and these may be just on the edge of that, so I think I'm going to have the hem taken down maybe 3/4 of an inch (but at the same time, they also say you have to wear pantyhose and no one seems to follow that rule!). I really like ankle pants as I have this weird thing about not liking things to cover my ankles, so I'm thrilled that I now have these. I did buy them full priced, but I'm going to keep my eye on the sales, and then maybe do a switch with receipts so I can "get them" at a lower price. If there's ever a really good sale going on, I think I'll get the blue pair as well. I think they would look really nice with my nude wedges!

As much as I really like the pencil pants, I knew that I needed a full length pair as well. Luckily, they were having a sale on all regular pants and I ended up really liking this pair. They aren't nearly as baggy as the ones from the Gap were, and they created that streamlined look I wanted. I'm too tall for the regular length, so I purchased them in the tall length (for reference, I'm between 5'9'' and 5'10''). They are currently at the tailors to be hemmed to the appropriate length to wear them with flats. 

I'm happy that I feel content with the current staples in my closet, and that I have pants to reach for now on days where I need to be thinking about what innervates the muscles of the forearm instead of how I'm going to accessorize a dress.

Shirt: J.Crew
Pants: The Limited [exact]
Belt: thrifted
Watch: Fossil
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs [save | splurge]
Please think good thoughts for me this week! We have an exam every day, including our first anatomy practical and oral exam on Friday!  eck! 

P.S. it's the last day for 40% off at Banana Republic - a great time to buy my new favorite skirt if you've had your eye on it! Same goes for at the Gap - this shirt may be on its way to me. 

And this.

Shopping makes me feel better.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

twofer: stripes & geometric

For Bri's last Thursday Threads, I was so excited about the "challenge" - hello, stripes, they only take up half of my closet. Well, turns out I was a terrible blogger during that move (in my defense, all my clothes were packed), so I combined this month's challenge with last month's - geometric AND stripes. 

and it has been really chilly here...and I'm not saying it as "OMG FALL, LAYER ALL THE THINGS" - it's been in the 50's when I leave for school every morning, and that means it's finally time for scarves again. YAYAYAYAY!

Shirt: Banana Republic
Skirt: thrifted
Scarf: White Plum Boutique via Groopdealz
Belt: H&M
Shoes: Tory Burch [exact]
Purse: Kate Spade [save | similar]

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

roller coaster

Dress: Target
Cardigan: Target, thrifted
Belt: The Limited
Shoes: J.Crew Factory [exact]

Yesterday was somewhat of a roller coaster of emotions - it started off with an exam. Not the greatest start to a Monday. I left it feeling uncertain, but my mood greatly increased when I found out how well it actually went. Then I received my student loan refund, and then found out I had a 4.5 hour window of time in the middle of the day - so much money and so much time!!

Then things went downhill fast when I went to anatomy lab - I'm still pretty cautious and weary around the cadavers. I try really hard not to think of things like "oh, this is the hand that held his probably wife's hand for 50 years" and "here is that part of surgery he had to suffer through" but I still think about it every time I first enter the lab...and then we just probe around in their body. It's the strangest thing. Once we are digging around trying to find certain nerves in the arm I tend to forget those things, but it ends up being so emotionally draining** that all night I'm exhausted, but still somehow need to get caught up. gahhhhh.

at least I liked my outfit today.

P.S. Please tell me this defined 1998 for you as much as it did for me.

** Doesn't that sound ridiculous to all of you who are working with patients? I know I'll be wishing for cadavers instead of "real" lives in a few years! :(

linking up with wiww.

Monday, August 12, 2013

clothing budget for graduate students: where's the money go?

Today is Student Loan Monday! It's officially been 2 months since I've had any real money coming in, and boy can I (and my poor credit cards) feel it. I am luckily enough that up to this point to never have dealt with student loans, so this is a whole new thing for me. When I was working, I had a paycheck come in every two weeks, so even if things got tight, I knew an influx of money was just around the corner. Now with student loans, I only receive money twice a year - equal amounts at the beginning of each semester. That means the money has to last me all the way until next August, so some of the money I receive now is actually going to be used next semester. This means a tighter budget, smarter checking account behaviors, and a new clothing budget.

While I was working, I had a $150 a month clothing budget - a little more than 10% of after tax income. I know this number may seem high to some, but I was a non-married, no children working girl who doesn't have any expensive hobbies and someone who doesn't spend a lot on expensive food or drinks. I like to shop, and the money I spent fit into my lifestyle and budget. My job gave me the flexibility to play around with my wardrobe, so I could wear jeans whenever I wanted, or try out different styles. I had time to go thrifting, and to sell no longer worn items on eBay. It worked out pretty well, and I'm proud of how quickly I learned to work with this budget in the span of a year.

Life is a bit different now - less time to shop, and with a whole different set of clothing rules. The dress code means I need nicer items - I feel it's been pretty difficult for me to find dress clothes that fit correctly at reduced prices (I've tried both consignment and thrifting and nothing has worked so far), and so my new budget will reflect that.

My new budget will be $500 every 3 months, or roughly $500 a season. It's really only about $15 a month more than my budget before was. I choose to do it in larger sections than by individual months mostly because of school - my needs change per season now, and so I have the flexibility to buy more at the change of seasons, and then be a bit more frugal in the middle. This budget will of course also include the costs of tailoring - the most important aspect of business clothing is that they fit well, so I feel that many items (at least pants) will have to be tailored to sit correctly and at the right length. I will have a separate savings account with this money in it, and so every time I purchase something, that money has to be removed from the account (just like I did when I was doing my initial school clothing prep). I feel this system worked out really well, and so it will keep me on track again with my new budgeting system.

We're almost half way through August, and I haven't used much of the money yet. I purchased a top at a consignment store for $10, and I ordered these pants in hopes that they work out for school. I ordered this skirt and this skirt, but both will be returned as I don't think they'll be that versatile. I do have plans though, I just have to wait for sales! As soon as J.Crew Factory has another 40% or 50% off the entire store sale, I'm going to order these in black as my nude ones are working out really well. I also am going to order these in the tall size (the maroon color for now) once another sale pops up- if they fit well, I think they'll be a great way to mix it up from black pants. People seem to really love them, so I'm hopefully that they'll work out for me as well! Other than that, I'm probably going to sit tight until the weather cools down a little bit, but I do want to add those three items to my small rotation of school shoes and bottoms soon as I feel a little constricted with my few skirts and dresses.

I will of course still update every month on where I stand, and so that I can see where all of you are at!

Friday, August 9, 2013


Shirt: Tahari via TJ Maxx
Skirt: thrifted
Necklace: c/o White Bear Accessories [exact]
Shoes: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Bag: Target

So medical school is nothing like the blogging world - people aren't around to help you decide which pants to buy and they don't tell you on a daily basis that they like your outfit (I KNOW, SO RUDE), but today I had three people tell me that they really liked my necklace...and two were boys! 

When Lindsay from White Bear Accessories offered to send any piece in her store to me, I was unsure which piece to choose because you guys know I really only do smaller, simpler jewelry, but this pretty thing caught my eye. Now that I have it, I can think of many different ways to wear it - with a simple dress, with my polka dot blazer, casual with jeans and a cardigan - I don't know what I was ever afraid of! Thank you to White Bear Accessories for getting me to step out of my comfort zone...and for providing me with this beautiful necklace. Use the code fran20 to receive 20% off your own order!

P.S. I apologize for the blurry picture :(  I hope we can still be friends ;)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

wearing the pants

Blouse: Everlane
Pants: The Limited
Bag: Kate Spade [save | splurge]
Shoes: Tory Birch [exact]

When I was planning what clothes I needed to buy for school, I think I got a little bit too excited about the fact that I got to wear dresses and skirts that I completely neglected pants. As much as I like wearing those dresses and skirts, some days I just want to not wear pantyhose and worry about if my skirt is on straight, ya know? I realized that I only have two pairs of appropriate pants for flats (this pair and my black pair from a few days ago) and one for heels that are still at the tailor. I know I initially wanted to buy a DvF dress (via eBay of course) this month, but I think I need pants more. With the last of my money (hurry up loan check!), I put in an order at Gap - I really want these to work, but I basically got one of each to test out.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

from play to work: banana republic striped ponte skirt

banana republic striped ponte skirt,  banana republic ashley flats, kate spade metro watch 
When I was offered to be an Expert Shopper for Chippmunk, I knew I wanted to get something versatile for my closet - I rarely buy anything that only has one function. The skirt I choose from Banana Republic (40% off the then sale price!) can definitely be more casual - perfect for a summer outing with friends, a trip to the zoo, or a barbecue - but I thought it would be great for school too. A more professional shirt, less/smaller accessories, pantyhose*, and a color coordinated bag make it appropriate for work/school, but still fun. Plus, the skirt is so comfortable - the most comfortable I own! A perfect skirt for a long day of anatomy lectures and my first cadaver lab.

*I recently purchased these from Target and really like them. The waist goes all the way up to your bra so there isn't anything cutting into your side, and it helps keep everything in check. I highly suggest checking them out in case you have to wear pantyhose too!

Shirt: H&M
Skirt: BR c/o Chippmunk [exact]
Watch: Kate Spade [exact]
Shoes: BR c/o Chippmunk [exact]
Belt: H&M
Bag: Target

Monday, August 5, 2013

the smallest changes

everlane sweatshirt rocket dog leopard 
This morning we had our first test - technically only a quiz but we were all pretty nervous. I woke up this morning thinking more about what I needed to know about embryo formation than what I was going to wear. In college I would just wear my jeans and sweatshirt during finals (which I feel medical school is all the time now), but that's not allowed, so I grabbed the next best thing - my black pants and my Everlane sweatshirt. Dress code appropriate, but not exactly something I felt great in. I actually felt pretty frumpy for the first part of the morning. It was just so boring and made me feel bigger than I do when I wear more "uncomfortable" clothing. My pants were too baggy, the sweatshirt too wrinkly, and the coffee not strong enough.

We had a two hour lunch break, so I went home to take my dogs to the dog park (the school is 3 minutes from my house, and my house is 2 minutes from the dog park) so I took that as an opportunity to change - I exchanged the black pants for a black skirt, and added a necklace and I felt so much better. When I got back to school, my roommate told me how cute I looked (I pick the good ones!) - pretty much the same outfit but minor changes made all the difference.

Things you learn. 
Sweatshirt: Everlane
Skirt: thrifted
Necklace: c/o Apple of My Eye [exact on sale!]
Shoes: Rocket Dog
Bag: Kate Spade [save | similar]
and I'm not wearing pantyhose. shh, don't tell!

Friday, August 2, 2013


Blouse: Vera Moda Germany
"Pants": Urban Outfitters [exact]
Belt: Gap [same style]
Shoes: Banana Republic c/o Chippmunk [exact]
Necklace: Forever 21 
Bag: Target

I officially have one week of medical school under my belt. Only 199 weeks (or 1,395 days) left!

This weekend is will be dedicated to studying for our exam on Monday and preparing for anatomy which starts next week as well. We saw a few of the cadavers this week so I'm nervous, but also excited, to get a little more hands on. I hope you guys all have a great weekend - enjoy the nice weather for me :)

P.S. I hit 1,000 followers on bloglovin yesterday and so I just wanted to take this time to thank all of you for being so great - with the move recently and this massive life change, I'm so thankful that I can come here to talk to you and just escape for a little bit. It's like having a bunch of friends right at my finger tips :)

P.P.S. The Chippmunk contest is still going! Make sure you enter - it's super easy and your chances of winning something are pretty high!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

matchy matchy

Dress: Old Navy
Belt:  H&M
Shoes: Missoni for Target via consignment
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
Bag: Target 

Do you guys remember that episode on the Hills where Whitney Port was talking about how on her first day of work she was all "matchy-matchy"? Well, I felt a little matchy matchy today with the colors of my belt, shoes, and bag being reflected in my heels, but I also secretly liked it. Not so secret now that I've mentioned it to all of you though...

Also, I took a history of medicine course with Whitney's sister in college. My claim to fame! ...ish.

P.S. Everything I ever learned I learned from Bri.