Saturday, January 31, 2015

save spend splurge: chanel-ish espadrilles

save (also comes in black and leopard print)
spend (also comes in a pretty blue!)
splurge (second hand)

While I was being oh so studious this morning (aka avoiding packing my bag to go to the library), I was looking through instagram and saw Katie's recent packing picture. On top of her clothes were a pair of shoes I've been looking for FOREVER - the perfect summer shoe. Granted, we are currently under about 500 feet of snow, so summer shoes aren't practical at the moment, but I knew I had to make them mine so I could have them in June - when all the snow is gone ;)   

They look exactly like the famous Chanel version, except about $700 cheaper. It looks like they are just coming out with them, so I signed up to be notified when my size is available, and I can't wait. I have a feeling these are going to be popular this spring, so if you are also interested, I suggest signing up for the notification so come spring, we can all be twins :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

january budget

Banana Republic skirt: originally $100 + 40% off + $40 reward = $18
ASOS ring: $11
Loft Blouse: originally $60, on sale + 70% off = $16
Banana Republic Wool coat: originally $250, on sale + 40% off = $120
Not pictures: this necklace I purchased from Katrina = $20

January Budget: $185

Quarterly budget: $500 + $180 (sold on eBay) - $266 in November - $108 in December - $185 in January = $121 left over

Another quarterly budget done! In these three months, I've purchased 1 dress, 1 skirt, 4 tops, 1 pair of boots, 3 accessories, and 1 coat. I really like that I have a bit more flexibility with the budget month to month, so that if I come across a beautiful coat for more than 50% off, I can buy it because I didn't spend as much in a previous month.

So what did I get this month? Well, I've decided to keep the midi skirt - it's just too much fun, and as you can see, I got a really great deal by hoarding reward points. The blouse (which is still available and on sale) was something I had been eyeing for a while, and eventually purchased during a crazy 70% off sale. I think it'll be a great blouse for when clinical rotations start because it adds interest underneath the white coat without being inappropriate or in the way. The ring is something I added to an order to get free shipping, and as it turns out, I hated the sweater I actually ordered but loved the ring.

I've had some people ask about how I incorporate work out clothes into my budget, and the short answer is that I don't. I consider work out clothes under the same category as underwear and so on. I very rarely buy work out clothes (most of mine are free shirts from college haha), so I choose not to include them here because they aren't a part of my normal wardrobe. I did buy new tennis shoes (in bright pink!) and a pair of lululemon crops. I considered it a reward to myself for sticking to this new healthier lifestyle - I'm going to the gym about three times a week now, so a little extra motivation via cute clothes is nice. Now, if I decide to start hoarding work out clothes, I'll have to reconsider my budget approach, but for now this works for me.

For those of you who are new to my budget posts, I wanted to explain why I include my c/o items here. While I never set out to be a "budget" blogger, I do share where my money goes every month. I want to be completely transparent about what is going into my closet every month, so I tell you what I received for free from companies I work with. I was very lucky to receive a couple of beautiful pieces this month. I used some of my Shopbop credits to buy a BB Dakota cardigan, and Leah Lerner sent me this amazing leather tote.

So that was January. Looking ahead, I'm starting a new quarterly budget, which is always a nice fresh start. I don't have many plans yet. The only thing I'd really like to find is a pair of cognac wedges or heels. I wear cognac leather so often that it would be nice to give my ballet flats a rest. I'm thinking something along the lines of this style - fancy enough to dress up, but not uncomfortable.

I'd love to hear how your budgeting went this month! Add your link below, and as always, please link back to this post so your readers can discover other budgeting bloggers!

Monday, January 26, 2015

wearing a dress as a skirt

One of the easiest ways to look dressed up is just wear a dress - you look nice with minimal effort! Part of the reason they are so easy to wear though is because they aren't very versatile - you can throw a cardigan or something over it, but it's pretty much a stand alone piece. I've been meaning to try the "dress as a skirt' thing for a while, and I'm so glad I did because it really felt like having a new piece in my closet, although it wasn't! So now that I've done the dress as a skirt, and a shirt as a scarf, what do I try to re-wear in a new way?

winter look
J.Crew Ikat Dress
Dress: J.Crew [similar below]
Sweater: J.Crew Factory [similar]
Tights: Target [exact - slimming but not constricting!]
Scarf: H&M [similar]
Boots: Vince Camuto [exact]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]

and a few similar options below (I love the first one!)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

top three [01.25.2015]

one | two | three

  • Alien hand syndrome is caused by a neurological problem that makes a person's hand to move without them realizing it. It is sometimes caused by a stroke or when the two hemispheres of the brain are separated (like to treat epilepsy). Here's a video about it (although this one is a bit cheesy).
  • How fashion made vaccinations oh so posh (found via Jessica's weekend guide, one of my favorite weekend reads!)
  • Graft versus host disease happens when a person gets a bone marrow transplant - basically, the donor's immune system (which is normally IN the bone marrow) takes over the recipient patient's non-existent immune system, and then starts attacking the recipient's body. It sounds absolutely horrific. 


  • If you've been looking for a Transport Tote dupe, this reversible one just came out. I waaaaaaaant the black/red version so bad. SO BAD.
  • Knowing I'm moving into a new place in 4 months has me all itchy to get house things. I'm 100% positive a gold foil pillow will be incorporated somehow. Does this (red) couch say "almost 30 and therefore an adult with real furniture" or "forever student with too much badger pride"? ;)
  • I wish this pretty pleated dress came in a different color so I could wear it to the wedding I'm going to in May (2 days after we take the boards. Open bar, ohhhhhh yeah).

on the internet

notable sales

on franish
  • on instagram: I finally replaced my old beat up tennis shoes with a bright pink pair. The old pair had gone through 2 seasons of marching band, half marathon training, and several years of gym wear. It was time!
  • on the blog: why you won't be seeing a capsule wardrobe in these parts
  • on twitter: procrastination selfies

  • Tomorrow marks the end of heme-onc, and the start of endocrine. I actually really enjoyed this system! Blood and the immune system is something that always seems a bit abstract to me, and this really cleared a lot of confusion up. Endocrine should be a bit difficult, but I feel it's another system that is going to tie a lot of previous information together. 
  • My girlfriend Caitlin and I now have set times for going to the gym, and we've really been sticking to it! I went to the gym 4 of the last 8 days - we aren't going hardcore or anything, but 30 minutes of cardio + some weights gets us moving, lets us have some non-quiet non-study time together, and I kind of missed that sore feeling.
  • A happy belated birthday to my baby sister, Karoline! I remember the day you were born - it's crazy you are in college now! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

why I won't do a capsule collection

keep it neutral with a pop of color In the past year or so, a huge trend in blogging has been doing a capsule collection. For those of you who don't know what that means, you basically take a certain number of clothes (that you either already own or buy), and you wear that, and only that, for a certain amount of time. It's meant to teach you to buy less, live with less, and be more creative with what you already own. Awesome goals and in theory, totally makes sense.

I've had several people ask and email about why I haven't done a capsule collection, and my answer is...I don't want to? 

The long answer is this: I'm already limited in what I can wear every day. What I can wear now in school under a dress code, and starting in June when I'm on rotations, is restricted to business casual. I already don't wear a section of my closet, clothes I purchased and loved, because they aren't professional. That means when I do finally get to wear them, like when I go out with my friends or on a date with my boyfriend, I'm super excited to wear my lower cut tops, skinny jeans, or dresses I can't wear to school. So for me to restrict myself even more doesn't really make sense or really serve a purpose.

I think that's also why you don't see a lot of women who have clothing restrictions at work do capsule collections on blogs. It's already hard enough to be creative while being restrictive to work pants and pencil skirts, so cutting out a large part of the clothes you are already limited to... it's like triple as restrictive. It just isn't as easy (or frankly, interesting) as if you could just wear your jeans and sweaters and t-shirts and mix and match to make them work. Not to say it can't be done! Adina does it for her job, and MK does capsule/suitcase collections for business casual all the time. 

The thing is though, that the fundamental reason for a capsule collection is something that is really appealing. I'm clearly not a minimalist, and the urge to shop is something I have to fight with every day. But since I started blogging, I've been really working on defining my style, only buying things I love, buying less, and re-wearing what I own. It's fun to see the difference 2 years makes - look at this past month's budget compared to 2 years ago. The pieces I bought are cohesive, they make sense for my closet, and they are things I'll wear for years because they are timeless. Sure, it's not a 30x30 that makes me re-evaluate everything in 30 days, or a 37 piece capsule collection that I go on a shopping spree for beforehand, but it's like a real life learning experience about knowing yourself. Could I buy less? Absolutely. But I do think I'm a smarter shopper and lover of clothes than I was 2 years ago. Not as quick of a fix, but it worked for me. 

In addition, I'm already wearing certain things over and over and over again. I wear the same black pants, maroon scarf, tan cardigan, striped shirt, black boots ALL THE TIME. To the point where I look at recent posts and say "shit, I've posted that same maroon scarf 4 out of 6 times...yikes". So I'm already rewearing a lot of things I own, but because I love them, not because I don't have a choice otherwise. 

So in closing, I will not being doing a capsule collection now, or probably any time in the future (but never say never!). What I am doing is trying to build a working wardrobe, both by buying new versatile pieces, and by sorting through the things I already own. That is actually a huge thing for me right now because I'm moving at the end of May, and moving in with my boyfriend. I only want to bring things into our home that I love and need, and that's my own personal idea of minimalism / capsules / and loving what you already own.

how to wear a blanket scarf
Dress: Target [very similar]
Coat: Banana Republic [similar]
Scarf: Target [exact in stores | similar online]
Tights: Target [exact]*
Boots: Vince Camuto [exact]
Watch: c/o Shopbop [similar styles]
Purse: Kate Spade [similar]

* I suggest sizing down - these are in small! But so so warm :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

is it okay to wear black and brown together?

mixing black and brown leathers I used to be fiercely against wearing black and brown together, especially when it came to leathers. I think I read that rule somewhere in a fashion magazine when I was in my early teens, and I took it as the gospel. You know, along with other silly rules like no white after labor day and vertical stripes are the most flattering stripes.

Clearly, I no longer abide by the black and brown rule when it comes to clothing, but I still get a little weird about it when it comes to leather. I don't think I could ever wear a brown belt with black shoes!  Or maybe even a black watch band with tan shoes. Is that silly? 

Who knows, here I am, breaking all my own rules with a cognac tote and black boots. It doesn't feel as wrong, for some reason!
(horizonal, for shame!) striped tee: Loft [exact on sale]
Cardigan: J.Crew Factory [same style]
Pants: Gap [similar]
Scarf: H&M [similar]
Boots: Vince Camuto [exact]
Tote: Madewell [save | exact]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield
Madewell Transport Tote

besides these deep philosophical style conversations, here are a few current MLK Day sales: 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

top three [1.18.2015]

  • It's never lupus! When people first starting noticing what we now know as lupus, they though it was caused by the bite of a wolf because the rash that is characteristic apparently looks like a bite mark (lupus is wolf in latin). I personally feel you would remember getting bit by a wolf...
  • Chimney sweeps in the 18th century used to work naked so they wouldn't get their clothes dirty. Many young chimney sweeps ended up developing squamous cell carcinoma of the scrotal skin from the soot that would lodge in the scrotum - this was one of the first cases documented of an occupational carcinogen. 
  • There are several viruses (like rubella and cytomegalovirus)  that can cause babies to come out looking like blueberry muffins - so much so that they are know as blueberry muffin babies. 
  • (P.S. Remember how last Sunday I talked about the guy who invented cleanliness standards? On Monday, NPR ran a whole story on him! Definitely worth a quick 7 minute listen. Thank you Mia for letting me know on facebook!)


on the internet
  • I'm so happy Alissa is back to blogging - we could all learn a few things from her.
  • Would you travel for 2 weeks with only a backpack? I'm tempted to find out the next time I go on a trip! Now to find some of those packing cubes...
  • So proud of Miss Grace for launching her new site, The Stripe. Can't wait to see all the great things you have planned, Grace! 

notable sales

on franish

  • I've been playing the comparison game a lot lately - that person did better on that test than I did even though I studied more, that person seems to have everything going right in their personal life, look how cute that persons baby is, look at that person's new house even though they are only 22 - and reading Laura's recent post really has made me try to put a halt to it (even though her life is definitely one I compare myself to!).  I can only do the best I can do. So if I didn't do that well on a test, maybe this is a chance to try something new when it comes to studying because what I thought was working isn't anymore. Sure, people my age are on to their second child and brand new home, but I chose medicine and chose this life, and so for me, those things are going to have to wait a bit longer. I really need to work on that in all aspects of my life, from school to my personal life to blogging. 
  • Yesterday we spent 7 hours learning how to do "sensitive patient exams" aka the female pelvic exam and male genitalia exam. While getting up at 6:30 on Saturday morning to learn how to touch naked people isn't at the top of my list of favorite things, it was a really great experience! It also made me realize that in just a few short months, I'll be in a real hospital/clinic working with patients. That's crazy. 
  • With everything going on between school and board studying, I rarely see my girlfriends anymore except when we are sitting next to each other for hours at the library. Thursday night after our first heme-onc exam, we all went out for dinner and a drink and it was exactly what we all needed. I don't know what I'm going to do without them starting in June :(

Thursday, January 15, 2015

review: kiehl's midnight recovery concentrate

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate review

I don't really believe in "miracle" products - there isn't anything out there that is going to fix all of your skin problems. But I would say that Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate comes pretty darn close.

I don't have a ton of major skin concerns, just the pretty typical one - hormonal acne, redness on my cheeks, uneven skin tone, and blackheads on my nose. I'm 27 now, so a few wrinkles show up here and there too. My skin is on the dry side, and it's been especially bad this winter.

I've been using the Midnight Recovery Concentrate for about a year now, and I just re-purchased a second bottle. It's an oil that you use at night to repair your skin overnight. The way I use it is that I remove my makeup (I use coconut oil), then use the Say Yes to Tomatoes face wash, and then dry my face. I put about 5 drops of the concentrate in my hand, and smooth it on my skin, focusing around my drier areas and my eyes. That's all I do in the summer, but with the winter weather I wait about 30 seconds and then moisturize with my favorite Say Yes To Cucumbers moisturizer.

And then I sleep...which is when the magic happens ;)

Here's the before and after (no judging!):

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

few and far between

tweed blazer and striped shirt
I like my closet full of "boring" staples - dark jeans, striped tees, neutral cardigans - but I love the fun and unexpected pieces. They are few and far between in my closet because I rarely step away from the "basics" comfort zone pieces (what can I say, I'm predictable!), but my old man blazer I got on sale years at H&M is one of my favorites. It's not even that outlandish, or great in quality, but I can't get enough of the pattern, the unexpected masculinity, and the elbow patches. I don't reach for it a ton, but every time I do, I love it just as much as I did when I first bought it.

One of my goals for this year is to find a few more of those pieces - they don't need to cost a lot, or be the "it" item of the year - they just have to be something I love wearing. The first item I'm trying out is this dress from Target  - while I ordered the pattern that I would normally go for (the black and white, obviously), I also ordered the floral version. A little bit unexpected compared to what I normally would buy, but I'm excited to give it a try! 
stripes, tweed, and leather
winter work outfit
Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield Lady
Blazer: H&M 
Shirt: JcPenneys [similar]
Scarf: H&M [similar]
Pants: Gap [similar]
Boots: Vince Camuto [exact]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
Bag: Kate Spade [similar]
Nails: Smith + Cult [exact]
Vince Camuto Fabina

Sunday, January 11, 2015

top three [01.11.2015]

one of my favorites of the year: one | two | three
  • There's a blood disorder called beta thalassemia where the synthesis of hemoglobin is decreased. A certain variant results in extra bone formation in a pattern called a "crew-cut" appearance - and it totally looks like that!
  • Polychythemia is a disease where you basically have more red blood cells, which means you can carry more oxygen in your blood. Sometimes this is an inherited trait, as was the case for Eero Mantyranta. He was a Finnish Olympic cross country skier who was accused of "blood doping" and it wasn't until 30 years later, when they finally discovered his disorder by studying his own family, that he was acquitted of those charges. Yikes!
  • Back in the middle of the 1800s, a doctor noticed that many of his patients who had just given birth were dying (by what was called childbed fever), and that many times, the doctors that performed the delivery had just came back from working in the morgue. Ignaz Semmelweis is credited with instilling the first cleanliness standards in hospitals, making doctors wash their hands before performing a delivery. Interestingly, many doctors at the time didn't think his hypothesis was real, and he was eventually committed to an insane asylum. It'll be interesting to see what the medical community comes up with in the next 100 years that we don't know exists today!

on the internet


on franish

notable sales


  • Man, these next 4.5 months are going to be...something. We started school on Monday, and it's been full steam ahead since then. Not only do we have our normal school schedule (we are currently doing hematology), but all of our board stuff on top of it. Our schedule used to be a bit more relaxed, especially since we make our own, so if we got through all the school stuff we had to, we got a bit of rest. Now if we aren't doing school work, we're board studying. I've already covered 2 whole core subjects (which in school time took us 5 weeks to cover) and I am all fidgety about trying to get it all done. Bet you guys are going to get as tired of the word "boards" as I've been for the 6 months leading up to now! ;)
  • I made this chicken tikka masala (on top of cauliflower rice) and it was so good! A bit time-intensive, but I think I may make a huge batch next time and just freeze a large chunk of it. 
  • Have you guys heard all the fuss about Starbuck's "new" drink, the flat white? I actually drank a ton of these when I went to Australia/ New Zealand a few years ago, so I was excited that they now are going to be more popular in the US (I bet you kiwis disagree though!). While a bit rich to be an every day drink (both calorically and financially!), it was a nice treat on the way to the library yesterday. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

one for me and one for you (leah lerner giveaway)

mustard cardigan with black and brown accessories
While I love to see what bags are currently the "in" purse to have, I know that in the long run, a classic bag is going to get a lot more use. Simple leather purses with classic shapes will always be in style, which is why I was thrilled with Leah Lerner gifted me one of their beautiful tote bags. With a very similar style to my Madewell tote, the grey color adds a cool feel while remaining super versatile. The leather is seriously so soft, and I think it's definitely one of those purses that gets better with wear. I need to make a bag shaper for it so I can start using it for school more often (I don't want to stretch out the bottom with a heavy computer!), but I'm very excited to add such a beautiful bag to my closet.

Interested in owning your own timeless bag? We're giving away one of their navy small pouches - just enter the rafflecopter below (it's open internationally!) Or use that left over Christmas money to buy this beauty of a bag!
LARGE Distressed grey leather shoulder bag, Leah Lerner
Purse: c/o Leah Lerner [exact]
Cardigan: thrifted [similar]
Tee: Everlane [exact]
Pants: Paige c/o Zappos [exact]
Scarf: Banana Republic [exact on sale!!]
Shoes: suuuuuper old [similar]
Bracelet: gift from miss lizzi [similar]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 4, 2015

top three [01.04.2015]

replace the band on this watch for a similar look

On the Internet

  • How cute were Jessica's 4 different NYE outfit ideas? I'm all about #1, in all honesty ;)
  • 5 ways to wear the black and white trend
  • While some end of the year reviews are a bit unnecessary (like a 10 part series...really), I love reading those that include some insight into their year as a whole. Some of my favorites included Audrey's, Anne'sSarah's (I love that she has similar yay! versions), and Adina's (girlfriend has awesome luck with finding the best deals ever)


On Franish

Notable Sales

one | two | three


  • We are back from CR's after an amazing Christmas break. I had so much fun getting to know his family better, meeting a few more of his college friends, and spending New Years with another group of his friends. We're back at it tomorrow though - part of me is looking forward to it since it means we're that much closer to the end of pre-clinical years, but I also know how rough this next semester is going to be!
  • After enjoying the holidays for all it's (carb) worth, we're going back to sticking to the 4 Hour Body. We were getting a little lax about it towards the end of the semester, so with the start of a new semester, it'll be good to get back to it. CR's parents gave me a food processor for Christmas, so I'm excited to explore all the new possibilities. I'm going to make so much cauliflower rice...and hopefully some of the recipes on my pinterest (next up - spaghetti squash!)
  • My parents and grandma bought me these noise-canceling headphones for Christmas and I to use them. No more distractions during study time...except maybe for that pesky instragram ;)

Friday, January 2, 2015

stripes, the eternal trend

easy layering: striped top under sweater
My boyfriend thinks that stripes are a trend right now. I think he sees my closet, full of stripes, and then sees striped shirts in stores, and thinks that they are the trendy thing. I'm still trying to convince him that stripes are a classic, not a trend, but you know how boys are ;)

But really, I love a great striped shirt. I think they are so versatile - they can stand on their own, they can be combined with other patterns, or they can be used as a layer to add interest. I've been looking for a white shirt with black stripes, long sleeves, and a longer hem for a long time. I finally found it when I found this tee at Loft a few weeks ago. I'M OBSESSED. It's has the longer rounded hem that makes it perfect for layering. If you've been looking for a simple striped tee, this one is currently on sale for $15 (no code needed). I found that it runs true to size, and I can't stop wearing it. 

Soft Joie Ellie
winter layers: striped tee under a neutral sweater
Striped Top: Loft [exact]
Sweater: Soft by Joie c/o Zappos [exact]
Jeans: Uniqlo [exact]
Scarf: H&M [exact]
Watch: Kate Spade [savesame style]
Shoes: Sperry [exact]
Bag: Madewell [save | exact]
neutral layered outfit