Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: a review

I seem to have a theme for every year when I look at it as a whole. 2013 was the year of changing, 2014 was the year of figuring it out, and I think 2015 was the year of adapting. Adapting to studying for five months straight without a night or day off. Adapting to living with CR and combining our lives. Adapting to being at the mercy of the hospital - from what I wear to when I eat to what time I get up in the morning. Adapting to being asked questions at any moment, and having to come up with the answer. 

It really was a wonderful year though. I passed my boards, moved in with the greatest man, discovered my love for OB, went on a once in a life time vacation to Santorini, and have all around really enjoyed getting to actually be a part of medicine rather than just reading about it in a book. Every year I've blogged I've liked looking back at the year - the good, the bad, the regretful, and the favorites. Thank you for being a part of this year, for all of your words of encouragement, suggestions, and thoughtfulness. I hope you have a great and safe New Years!

Favorite Outfits

Lots of black + white, stripes, with a bit of red thrown in for sass. 

Least Favorite
Can't win them all, I suppose! I think overall there is nothing majorly bad about these, I just don't love them. The first two I find a bit lackluster, and maybe not particularly blog worthy. While I love the dress in the third picture, it was worn the weekend after I took my boards and I may have had just a little extra stress weight that caused it to not fit the way I would have preferred. And in the last one, I think the scarf doesn't really go with the rest of the outfit.

Favorite Purchases
express pants | loft top [similar] | loft blazer [similar]
ann taylor dress [similar] | jack rogers sandals | loft dress [similar]

These are the items I reach for the most - when I'm getting dressed in a hurry, when I'm packing, or because I can think of a ton of ways to wear it. The express ponte pants are currently my favorite things just because they are so comfortable and flattering. I've worn the striped shirt countless times now, and while I seem to stick with a theme when wearing the chambray blazer, I just think it's so fun. Two pretty dresses, and a simple pair of sandals, and I basically don't need any other clothes...if I lived in a more temperate climate ;)

Purchases I Regret

  • My uniqlo cardigans: I used to wear cardigans all.the.time, so when I finally found a kind I thought would be great to replace the ones that needed replacing, I bought two. As it turns out, I don't really like wearing cardigans that much anymore. So now I own two cardigans I just don't wear. Dumb. 
  • That tan Aritizia sweater. I spent a little (a lot) more on a sweater when I was in NYC because I thought I was paying for the quality. After one wear and washing, it has already shrunk and pilled. Luckily, Aritizia has offered to let me return it for store credit so it's not a complete wash. 
  • Frye flats. I thought these were going to break in better than they have, but they are still just completely destroying my feet every time I've tried to wear them :(
  • Banana Republic Midi skirt: I actually love this skirt (it's a part of one of my absolute favorite outfits of the year) but I just never wear it. I would feel strange wearing such a flouncy skirt to work, and I don't have any where else real fancy to wear it to. It will be one of those items I hold on to for a very long time, and will love wearing, but it kind of sucks I will only wear it like once or twice a year. So I guess it's not that I regret it, it's just that it may not make that much sense in my wardrobe. 

Medical School Related Posts
Day in the Life: Board Studying
Day in the Life: Family Medicine
Day in the Life: General Surgery
What's in my white coat? 
Day in the Life: OB-Gyn
Ask Me Anything: medicine edition
What to get a 3rd or 4th year medical student for Christmas

A little more about me
The amount of clothes in my actual closet
How I do my daily make-up
How I afford designer goods while on a budget
How I made my gallery wall
Where I live
What I carry in my bag
How I do my hair

Favorite Instagram Pictures
Still my social media of choice :) you can find me here!


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

how to: set a clothing budget and stick to it

A little under four years ago, I realized that I was basically living paycheck to small paycheck. I was also going to the mall almost every weekend. I wasn't spending excessively and I wasn't going into debt, but the day or two before payday always made me nervous. I finally decided it was time to crack down and get my shopping and spending under control.

Since then, and quite a few different financial situations later, I have successfully stuck to basically that same budget for four years. I have been able to pay off other debt, go on a few amazing vacations, and feel like I'm just at a better place financially. Not only have my finances been figured out, but so has my style. Being on a budget means every purchase needs to be thought about just a little more. It's easy to throw down $25 here, $50 here, but those add up so quickly. Having to put more thought into each purchase, looking to see if it is exactly what you want rather than settling for something not as good, and how those pieces fit in your closet, means that gradually over time your style and closet will evolve.

While I initially started a clothing budget to keep myself on track financially, I am so excited to see where it has gone when it comes to blogging. I think that blogging can be wonderful, but also so misleading. There are many bloggers who seem to have endless supplies of new clothes, sometimes very expensive items, but they don't talk about the money behind it. I think it gives readers a sense that if the bloggers can afford to buy all that, then so should they, and it can quickly become this weird mix of keeping up with the while not actually being able to comfortably afford it. I am excited to see the bloggers who post about their budget every month because it gives other women out there a more grounded outlook on clothes. That's not to say that I as a graduate student am the end all be all to what all graduate students are and should be spending on clothes. But I lead a very average life, and so sharing the details of that when it comes to money and clothes makes it all seem a bit more real rather than the fantasy that blogs sometimes portray.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

beauty tuesday: fresh seaberry moisturizing face oil review

fresh seaberry moisturizing face oil review

I have mentioned my dry and flaky skin so much at this point that you guys are probably sick of hearing about it...but my dry and flaky skin is dry and flaky. While one part of getting rid of the flakes is to find a good exfoliator, the biggest part is keeping your skin moisturized. I've been in a bit of transition where I am looking for products that will give me the moisture my skin needs, and that has led to trying a few different products.

I bought the Fresh Seaberry Face Oil during the Sephora VIB sale at the beginning of November, so I've been using it for 6-7 weeks now. When I try these products, I really prefer to use them for several months before sharing my opinions since I believe it takes some time for results to be seen.

what it promises:
Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil is a precious blend of pure oils—seaberry, cranberry seed, camellia seed, grapeseed, and sweet almond—packed with restorative omegas to maintain a youthful appearance. The lightweight formula absorbs quickly for a boost of vital moisture, while vitamin E works to maintain the skin’s elasticity and smoothness. This powerful antioxidant protects the skin from aging free radicals, leaving your complexion soft, smooth, and refreshed.

how I use it:
In the morning, after I've washed my face and applied the Paula's Choice Exfoliant to problem areas, I rub 2-3 drops of the face oil into my skin. I focus on my drier areas - my cheeks, forehead, and around my mouth. Then I follow up with my CeraVe moisturizer.

what I like:
This does initially help my skin feel not as dry and tight. It absorbs fairly better than previous oils I've used, and doesn't really make my face look or feel oily (if I use the correct amount). The bottle and dropper are also very secure - I've traveled with this several times now and have had no leakage issues.

what I don't like:
As with probably most face oils, there is a fine line between just enough and too much. If I use even a little too much, it doesn't absorb as well, and leaves my skin feeling oily. In these situations, my make-up seems to slide off my face quicker. It also doesn't make my face not have those dry spots - I may have a little less, but it is still scaly.

It is also quite expensive - $50 for 1.6 ounces.

would I buy this again? 
Right now I am leaning towards no. I will probably continue to use the bottle I own, at least until I am near a Sephora to return it. It isn't a bad product at all, it just hasn't been worth the price to just be alright.

I still have the dry patches on my skin, even when used perfectly after a slight exfoliation. I don't know if it's a pipedream to find a few products that make my skin not dry and flaky. I received a smaller bottle of the Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk, and have been using it on those spots, and it is actually helping quite a bit. I may end up returning the Fresh oil and exchanging it for a larger bottle of Argan Milk. Has anyone had any experience with it?

Monday, December 28, 2015

december budget

Express pants: originally $60 + 50% off = $30
Loft blouse: originally $60, on sale for $35
J.Crew Factory skirt: originally $90, on sale for $45
Modcloth sweater: originally $60 + 30% off + giftcard = $0
Vince Camuto boots: originally $172 + giftcard = $50

December budget: $202
Quarter budget: $500 - $35 in November - $202 in December = $263 left for January 

While I spent quite a bit more than I did in November (...considering I only bought one thing!), I am really excited about the items I bought this month. I've already mentioned most of these at length - the ponte pants (reviewed here), the plaid skirt (shown here), the loft blouse (seen multiple times on instagram), and the vince camuto boots (mini review here). The Modcloth sweater is something I came across when I was answering a reader's question, and fell in love with it. I've been holding on to some credit for a while, so with a Black Friday deal, it ended up not costing me anything. I wore it twice over the weekend, and got compliments each time. I've wanted a tan scarf for over a year - I've always admired Jean's tan scarf, and I love the way mine now compliments so many of the colors I have in my closet (mostly the whites, blacks, and navy). 

Looking forward, I don't really see myself doing a ton of shopping. I have the option of wearing scrubs on this rotation, so I have at least 6 more weeks in scrubs, at least part of the time. After IM is over, I'll be on another month of OB, so scrubs again. I did order that blanket scarf from Ann Taylor as well as their two-in-one sweater. I'm also hoping that Nordstrom's cashmere poncho will go even on further sale. Other than those items, I think the next few months will probably be a bit quieter on the shopping front. 

On the sponsorship side of things, I saved up Shopbop credits to order the tan Tory Burch revas. I also collaborated with New York and Company and received their beautiful coatigan and heels.

With the beginning of a new year coming right around the corner, I know many of us are thinking about what we want to accomplish in the new year. I am in the process of working on a post about setting and maintaining a clothing budget, so if one of your goals is to take control of your finances, I hope that will help. It will be about how to figure out how much your budget should be, how my budget has changed my shopping habits, and hopefully it'll include a few testimonies from some of the other ladies who have been sharing their budgets with us for years!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

top three [12.27.2015]

a white blouse always works

on the internet

  • "Do not make your first photo after you got engaged of you as Jake from State Farm and Flo from Progressive. You owe it to yourself." Preach, girl
  • How freaking CUTE is Tam in her little snow bunny outfit? I'm almost sad we haven't seen any snow yet. Almost. 
  • Jess and I started blogging around the same time, and I'm so happy to see that she is as genuine now as she was four years ago. I loved reading her thoughts on the topic of blogging this week. 

  • I love that Sole Society creates bags inspired by much more expensive bags. Their current crossbody bag is fairly similar to Gucci's Lady Web bag - while I of course would love the Gucci, the Sole Society bag is a great inexpensive alternative!
  • My preferred work-out pants are from Old Navy - they are great quality for the price, especially when you get them on sale. My favorite style just came out with this fun mesh panel on them that I'm definitely ordering. 
  • If we were a little closer to warmer weather (winter is fun!...), I would be all about this peplum top from Anthropologie - I just imagine it would be adorable with dark wash skinny jeans and colorful shoes!

  • I noticed you got new glasses-- they look great! Are those also from your Aunt's shop in Germany? I'm always on the lookout for cute frames :)
    • They are! I'm very lucky that I have a family member who is an optometrist and owns her own store, so I get a new pair of glasses about every three years. My current glasses are from a German brand called i-spax. That probably doesn't help most of my US readers though :(
  • How you overcame feeling faint when observing/doing medical procedures? I recently shadowed a physician and he starting pulling bloody gauze out of a patient's nose and I fainted. I fell flat of my face and luckily walked away with only a bloody nose (and enough embarrassment to last me a year)! I can watch surgeries all day on the internet but I am terrified that I will faint again once I see the gore in person. Any suggestions for this pre-med?
    • So the exact same thing happened to me when I was shadowing one of my first times - I just literally fell forward on my face and got a bloody lip. And I'll be honest, it has taken a long time to get over that - there were a couple of other fainting spells since (like during a breast augmentation the year before I started school). I did shadow a doctor who made me be really hands on and forced me to just kind of face it. He wouldn't let me quit putting in stitches - in fact, he threw some water in my face and told me that if I didn't finish it, I'll never get over feeling faint. So that's what I've done - I shadowed and made myself look at things long enough, and then excused myself so I wouldn't fall on patients ;) But honestly, being in anatomy lab for school and then again the summer between first and second year helped a ton with the fainting feeling. Once I got to my surgery rotation, I didn't feel faint a single time. Plus by the time you get to that point, you're so focused on what the doctor is doing and the anatomy and what questions they may ask you that you probably won't even really think about what you are actually looking at. 
  • Viewing Instagram and all the pretty polished fashion and decor blogs leaves me feeling so inadequate, broke and miserable. How do you combat those feelings of wanting a perfect space and closet and life?
    • Honestly? I unfollow those people. It sounds extreme, but I found myself being really resentful and bitter about certain aspects of other people's lives - their money, their free time, their homes, their free vacations. If I was just following those people for their pictures (instead of feeling like I had a personal connection with them), but they made me bitter instead of inspired, I just removed them from my feed. It has helped SO MUCH in those feelings of inadequacy that are so rampant on social media. I find that looking for the things that make you happy is a lot more fun than looking for things that make you bitter, so why have those feeds be the ones you see if they don't make you happy? Instead, find people who do inspire you, who are doing things that are inspiring, and look for your own happiness in your life to share. I would love a perfect house I got to decorate, beautiful shoes that others find impractical but look so good on instagram, and free vacations to Bora Bora. Instead I look for the good in my life - the career I'm working so hard for, the animals who love me, and the cute little moments around me, and share those. I know that being authentic on social media goes a lot further in the long run. And as always, remember that that a person's highlights in life they share on the internet are not their whole life. 

notable sales
  • Banana Republic: 50% off sale items
    • Their xo pajamas are the cutest - not just for Valentine's day (too soon?)
    • There are a ton of gold sequin skirts out there, but their silver version would be a fun alternative. It also comes in black sequins!
    • While not inexpensive, the hem of this peacoat is too pretty not to consider. 
  • J.Crew: 30% off most items + 40% off sale items
    • Their excursion vests are now heavily discounted - if you are petite, they have even more options! Go for the red version, for me! And if the solid colors aren't your style, their buffalo plaid vest is on sale too. 
    • Their classic ballet flats are now on major discount too - which one of their classic colors is your favorite? 
    • If you will be in warmer weather any time soon, this cap sleeved dress is pretty darn cute. The cream version would be fun for a party, and the navy would be great for a wedding!
  • Nordstrom: sales picks
  • PS: Ann Taylor is still offering 60% off today! This excludes new arrivals, but I highly suggest their "blanket" scarf (I'm getting the grey's definitely not a huge blanket scarf) or their quilted Chanel-lookalike flats!

on franish

  • Did you all have a good Christmas? We were in upstate New York with CR's family - we didn't get a white Christmas (it was 65 degrees!) but it really was wonderful. Coming from a small family that is spread all over the globe, it is always so interesting to see his giant family come together. 
  • Like I mentioned above, we are hosting a little NYE party at our house. I'm thinking champagne jello shots and these ginger + whiskeys will definitely be happening!
  • Coming up this week on here will be my budget post tomorrow (are you ready to link up?!), possibly a post on my favorite mascara combo, and a post on working on your finances in the new year! If there is ever a type of post you are interested in, please let me know! 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

these are a few of my favorite things (conveniently on sale...)

Nordstrom: Half Yearly Sale
  1. I just got these Vince Camuto boots, but they are amazing. They have required no break in, the extended calf size is perfect for those of us with in between sized calves, and they also come in black! I find they run true to size. 
  2. I do not yet own this wrap dress, but am heavily considering it for an upcoming warmer weather wedding. I just think it's so pretty (and now 40% off)
  3. I'm a new Zella leggings convert and I loooovveeeee them. I got a black pair during the last big sale, and they are my all time favorite lounging pants, so I may get a second pair in this fun pattern. They are so flattering, thick, and supportive. Even though the reviews say they run big, I find they fit true to size. 
  4. Nothing I love more than big drapey sweaters, and this kensie sweater fits that description perfectly (now 50% off) 
  5. HUNTERS! I love my adjustable kind (again for those of us with slightly more muscular calves) but if the regular fit is good for you, the darker glossy red is on sale now too. Both are under $100!
  6. If you have big plans for NYE and don't have a dress, how fun would this ombre sparkler be? It's now 40% off. 

Loft: 50% off everything
  1. This is the sweater version of my layered top I've been wearing almost weekly. I love that it does the layering for you, and can be worn both casually and in more business casual environments. 
  2. I'm so excited they brought more colors back of my favorite pocket blouse (here are a few ways I've worn it). I'm going to look for the rose frost today when I'm out shopping - I know it would get a ton of wear. 
  3. I do not own this skirt yet, but I'm hosting a little NYE party at my house, and this is the perfect amount of casual + sparkly for a party where I don't leave my house. The reviews are pretty smitten with it too!
  4. Here's the black version of the polka dot blouse I'm obsessed with (I'm actually wearing it again today!). This would look great either tucked into a skirt, or worn as a tunic over leggings and boots. 

Gap: 35% off
  1. If I see this bag today, I'm buying it. I just think it's so cute, and the perfect little red crossbody bag...while I save up for the original Gucci bag I fell in love with ;)
  2. The world's most comfy jeggings - I wear these most weekends, and they are wonderful. I find they fit true to size (I'm a large)
  3. Because I'll need a red hat (under $10) to go with my new bag ;) 

Ann Taylor: 60% off everything!
  1. I saw the pink version of this scarf in the store today, and immediately beelined for it because it looked so soft. I would have purchased it too but a sales associate saw me looking at it, and told me a grey version was available online, and I was sold. It is the perfect oversized scarf that isn't a massive blanket scarf, and it is incredibly soft. 
  2. I tried on the black version of this sweater today, but am going to order the white version online instead. I want it to fit slightly oversized, so I'm going to get an XL. I think at 60% off it is a pretty good deal, but it's not a shirt I would spend full price on. 
  3. Don't these quilted shoes look exactly like the Chanel quilted flats?! I wanted to try these on so bad in stores, but they didn't have my size. At 60% off, they are under $40 - not bad for a pair of shoes that look just like a $700 version. 

Express: 50% off everything means the ponte leggings I recently reviewed are now a pretty great deal for under $30. I'm worn them 2 out of the last 3 days. Don't judge, they are just that great ;) 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

beauty tuesday: my daily hair routine

I filmed a video a few years ago on how I curled my hair, but since it unfortunately was deleted in the great "switch everything to one account" of 2015, I re-filmed it (with better quality) this past weekend. This is how I curl my hair on mornings that I wash it, which is 2-3 times a week (dry shampoo is every girl's best friend!). It's not perfect, but I can generally do it in under 15 minutes total. Here's the video, and step by step (+ products) below!

  • I start with semi-dry hair, usually I let it air dry while I'm putting on my make-up.
  • I use Kiehl's smoothing + heat protection cream first - I have been using this product for at least three years now, and I can't imagine doing my hair without it. It smooths out my hair, makes it more manageable, and helps protect my hair from the heat. One bottle lasts me about 9 months. 
  • Then I use Living Proof's style extender. I focus on the bottom half of my hair because that's where I want my hair to stay curled the most.
  • Lastly I'll use my Aveda volumizing tonic (reviewed here). 
  • My hairdryer is from Conair - it's alright, but I would like to eventually upgrade to something a little stronger.
  • Once my hair is completely dry, I typically wait 10-15 minutes before I start curling it (I usually go have breakfast during this time). Then I will divide it in half, spray the bottom layer with Amika's texturizing spray (c/o), and back comb my hair. I find that the texturizing spray before curling really keep my curls around longer, and same goes for the back combing.
  • Then I use a 1.5 inch curling iron, start in the middle of my hair, curl around, and then hold it horizontal. Holding it this way keeps it from getting too spirl-y. Once I've gone all the way around my head, I'll spray it all with L'oreal's hairspray. 
  • Then I do the top layer, finish with a little more texturizing spray at the end, and that's it!

I always thought a good idea for a company would be to have women take videos of them doing their make-up or hair, and then having someone with more knowledge/experience tell them what they are doing wrong, so if you have any tips for me on how to get extra volume, how to make those curls stay, or must-have products, I would love to hear them! (and no stealing my million dollar idea please :P )

Monday, December 21, 2015

plaid tidings

how to wear a plaid skirt

4 more days until Christmas - who's ready?! We get Christmas Eve and Christmas day off from school, which is really nice, but not enough time for me to fly home. I would definitely say that the hardest part of the holidays this year (and last year) is that I can't go home to be with my family. I actually likely won't be able to visit my parents until January 2017, which is something I try to suppress sometimes when I'm feeling homesick. I am so lucky though that CR's family takes me in, and basically treats me like their fifth child. I don't know how I would manage without having that support system somewhat close to us!

In less sappy news, I'm slightly obsessed with my plaid skirt. I've worn it twice since I received it, and plan on wearing it on Christmas Eve as well. The issue with patterned skirts like these is that they show off your curves a little more since it's just a bunch of lines on fabric, but it's so fun to wear that I just don't even care in this situation! The last time I wore it for work I wore it with my simple white ASOS blouse, but I've also worn it with a sweater, and for Christmas Eve may wear it with a sparkly shirt. Gotta get those wears in before it's no longer plaid skirt season ;)
j.crew factory plaid skirt
plaid skirt with white blouse
Blouse: Asos [similar]
Skirt: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Shoes: Tory Burch c/o Shopbop [similar]
Bracelet: gift from my friend Lizzi [very similar]
how to wear j.crew factory tartan skirt
j.crew factory plaid tartan skirt
Below are a few plaid items, some you can still order today and receive by Christmas (or pick up when you are at the mall getting those last minute presents)! My favorite is the pom-pom scarf. Seriously, how cute is that?! The duffel bag is also pretty great for if you only have a few days to spend somewhere this weekend (plus it's under $40 and reversible!)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

top three [12.20.2015]

maroon + black + white

  • If you've never had an asthma attack, count yourself lucky. I've had two exercised-induced attacks in my life, and it was honestly terrifying. Asthma is actually a two stage process with an early response and a late response. The early response causes bronchoconstriction, which is what inhalers treat. The late response causes inflammation, which is why asthmatics are also given steroids. 
  • While all sorts of drug overdoses can lead to death, the withdrawal from alcohol is actually one of the only life-threatening withdrawal situations. This week I saw several patients who were hospitalized for the better part of a week, some in the ICU, because of alcohol withdrawal. 
  • We all know herpes as the virus that can cause sores in our mouths and in other places, but in rare cases, it can also infect the meninges (essentially the protective covering of our brain and spinal cord). This is called Mollaret's meningitis, and it is pretty rare. So for these patients, instead of having an outbreak of sores during times of stress, they develop meningitis. 

on the internet

  • I've been wearing the same two old ratty college sweatshirts for years now, and it's definitely time for a upgrade. I'm really hoping I find one of these Patagonia pullovers under the Christmas tree this year!
  • Looking for something a bit understated but still sexy for New Years? Go for this affordable jumpsuit, unbutton one button, and wear some amazing shoes. 
  • I really love the look of the Stuart Weitman lowland boots, but I just could never really wear them, so I could never justify the price. Luckily, this pair from Ivanka Trump is super similar, but about 1/7 of the cost. The only good thing a Trump has done lately ;)

ask me anything
  • Did you use any review sources during your M1 or M2 years? I'm thinking about using Firecracker. Do you have any recommendations about what worked for you are others you know?
    • I started using Memorang during the beginning of my second year of school. You can make your own flash cards, but they also have basically all of first aid made into flashcards, which was super handy. I used to do them a lot right before going to bed, when I was too tired to learn new material, but still wanted to study. Then obviously First Aid - I got mine during the spring of first year, and liked to keep up with it throughout all of systems. That way I basically did one pass before I even started board studying, and it sometimes points out important facts you may have not thought were important!
  • I know you're interested in OB. What specialties is CR interested in? 
    • He's really interested in doing family medicine - he's like the exact right person to go into it too. He really likes his patients and wants to be involved in their lives. All of his family medicine attendings are already trying to recruit him for their practices!
  • I see you wear the Tory Burch Revas often. Sometimes it's hard to find cute and professional flats, so I'm considering investing in a black pair. I've heard mixed reviews on the comfort of the Reva. Have you found Tory Burch flats comfortable to wear?
    • It really depends on how much walking and standing you are doing. For example, I probably won't wear them a ton on my internal medicine rotations just because we walk or stand for at least four hours every morning. I just need a bit more support during that time, so I probably won't wear them as often. But I do actually think they are pretty comfortable, and now that they don't have that elastic band on them anymore, there is way less breaking in time! 

on franish

notable sales
  • Ann Taylor: 50% off (almost) everything
  • Express: 50% off everything
  • Nordstrom: sale section edition
    • That Target poncho didn't really work out for me, but I noticed that Nordstrom's cashmere poncho was just marked down. It's still a bit too pricy, so I'm hoping a post-Christmas sale will mark it down a little bit. This time I'll go with the grey though ;)
    • A pair of classic black boots that should fit a large portion of us since it has a stretchy back.
    • Will I ever stop loving Marc Jacob's Hobo bag? Probably not. 

  • I know I've mentioned before how my hospital's locker room says "nurses lounge" on the female surgical locker room and "doctor's lounge" on the male's surgical locker room. I was talking to one of my (male) attendings after another patient assumed I was a nurse because I'm female, and I mentioned the doors to him. Within 10 minutes, he emailed the president of the hospital, who emailed the head of maintenance, who told us no one really knew about this issue, that they found a work order from 1967 (!!!) to take it down, and then they finally took it down. I was seriously so excited. They were even going to give me the old sign as a souvenir but unfortunately it was thrown away before we could get to it. 
  • I started my internal medicine rotation this week, and it is like a whole new world. First, I worked close to 60 hours this week (which is why there was a lack of blog posts this week), so that was something to get used to since I haven't worked that long since my OB rotation three months ago. Second, IM is sooooooo broad that all of our patients have different things wrong with them, so I feel I can never really prepare because I never know what's going to walk in the door. I've been a bit overwhelmed, but feel I am also learning so much, both in the actual medicine and in patient care. 
  • Are you guys all done with your Christmas shopping? I just finished mine yesterday - nothing like waiting until the last minute and battling the crowds! ;)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

review: ponte pants you'll want to wear all winter long

 express Ponte Knit Five-Pocket Pant
I'm a huge fan of ponte pants for the winter. They are warmer than leggings, look like actual pants, and I find they are what looks best with boots because the aren't any wrinkles or sagging. I love my ponte pants so much, that I basically wore them out. After 2.5 years of wearing them multiple times a week, they have just lost their shape and honestly are wearing thin in certain areas, so I've been on the hunt for a new pair for a few weeks now. 

I stumbled across Express's version, and after reading the 60+ glowing reviews, immediately ordered a few pairs to try on. All of the reviews mentioned to size down, so I ordered both my ~regular size large, and a medium. The reviews were spot on though - the medium fits so great that I didn't even both trying on the large. They are comfortably stretchy, thick, and even after a few hours of wearing them and rolling around with my dogs, haven't stretched out. I'm so happy to have found a replacement for my beloved Gap ponte pants!

I apologize that the lighting in these pictures isn't the greatest, but I've been leaving my house at 6:15 and not returning until after 6 so far this week, so I wasn't able to take pictures with natural light. I did want to show you guys how the pants look with boots on though. I've also been looking for cognac boots for two freaking years now, and finally found a pair I like. I must have ordered and returned at least like 6 pairs. These are from Vince Camuto. They come both in normal calf and wide calf, and after reading how tight the normal calf sizes are, I went with the wide calf. I have pretty muscular calves that seem to fall right in between regular and wide, and in the past I've just been able to find larger regular calf boots. I would say that the calf on the wide calf is probably pretty small as they fit me comfortably tight. My only real complain is that the ankles are a bit too loose on me, but that's something that won't be as much of an issue with thicker socks on. If you are interested, I'd advise to do some shopping around as Amazon has some pairs for around $125 in certain sizes/colors.
 Vince Camuto 'Phillie' Tall Riding Boot

And as a last note, I wanted to mention that Shopbop has a sale right now offering 25% off their sale items. My personal favorite is this beautiful red tote from Foley + Corinna - isn't it the most classic looking with a spin bag?! I just love it. Other items worth checking out are the Clare V. bags (I still want that darn leopard one!), some of the cutest flats from Yosi Samra (those pom pom shoes!!!), or any one of the many pairs of jeans currently on sale. Also worth checking out is the designer section where all the Ferragamo shoes are hiding!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

decorating for two (+ a $250 Minted giveaway)

I've had plans to do a home tour for months now, but I was waiting for our carpet to be installed. Well, six months later, and no new carpet, so today instead of doing a full house tour, I'm going to show some of the smaller details.

When CR and I moved in together, we really were coming from a place of not having that much furniture, and really not that much to decorate with either. I had my bed, desk, and dresser, and so did he. When we moved in together, we took a little trip to the nearest Ikea to get a kitchen table, TV stand, and desk drawers. Since then, we've slowly added a headboard, art for the walls, and personal touches throughout our house. My goal when I was setting up our house was to not make it too girly, so I really tried to stick with neutrals throughout. There are probably a few too many gold or white items for his taste, but at least I tried ;)

Here are a few corners of our house, and where we got everything + there's a little giveaway at the end for you!


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Bedding: Pottery Barn 
Nightstands & lamps: Ikea
Gallery wall: DIY [post on more of that here!]
Painting: c/o Minted

We trained the dogs to stay out of the bedroom - we needed at least one place Baer's hair wouldn't be all the time! It's also the only way we manage to keep our bedding clean...although I wouldn't mind switching to the buffalo plaid for Christmas, even if it doesn't go with anything else in our house ;)

As far as decorating goes, I wanted a headboard that would work in any of our future homes, so I went with a tufted grey version from Overstock. The gallery wall is bits and pieces from my previous gallery wall in my old bedroom (with a mix of a few of our favorite pictures and quote prints found on Etsy). The picture from Minted pulls out colors from the bedding, but also adds a bit more color to the room. 

Living Room:
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Couch: Interior Define (from a Camp Patton giveaway)
Ottoman: Target
Pillows: Ikea + Target
Bookcase: Ikea
Globe: Target
Gold frame: Nordstrom
White Frame: Jonathan Adler for JCPenney
Shrub: Target
Dachshund book ends: Jonathan Adler for Barnes & Noble
Tray: Etsy

Our house is pretty small, so keeping everything neat and tidy is our number one priority. I love our tray for our remotes and drinks on top of our ottoman - it keeps it all in one place. Our bookcase holds books on the bottom shelves and personal items on the top shelves - our first picture together, the vintage Grey's Anatomy I got him for our first Christmas together, a globe that will eventually have a map drawn on it (with the state's we've visited colored in), and pictures of our pets (because we are those people). 

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Art: c/o Minted [virgo + libra]

Our bathroom is tiiiiiiny - really only one of us can be in there at a time. We added a shelf above the toilet for a little extra storage for the shared items we use every day, and then added the frames from Minted above. I love that they are more personal to us, go with the limited decor in the bathroom, and can always be used in the future somewhere else. Plus they are just so pretty when the gold foil catches the light!

I have really loved working with Minted over the past few months to add a few personal touches to our rented home, and so am therefore excited to offer you the chance to do the same. Minted in generously offering one reader $250 to buy a piece of art (or two or three!) for yourself. All you have to do is enter the giveaway here - US residents only please!

Monday, December 14, 2015

nothing about everything

DSC01051picture 2 Today is my first day of internal medicine, and I'll be honest - I'm super nervous! I feel like I haven't done a lot of real medicine since we've started rotations. It's all been very specific fields of medicine, so I just don't have any experience with the treatment of people who are in the hospital (who aren't having surgery or delivering babies). I suppose that's the whole point of it, but it's hard entering a new environment and field of medicine every four weeks. Luckily, I have 8 weeks of general IM to get used to it. Wish me luck!
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Blouse: Loft [similar]
Pants: The Limited [exact]
Scarf: H&M [similar]
Shoes: Tory Burch [exact]
Bag: Mulberry via eBay [save | exact]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
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Sunday, December 13, 2015

top three [12.13.2015]

blue blue blueeeee

  • We all know that smoking is not good for you...except when it comes to ulcerative colitis. It has been shown to be protective in both the development and progression of the disease (although there is no clear explanation on how smoking is actually protective).
  • Aspirin, probably one of the most common drugs on the planet, not only helps with headaches, but is also shown to decrease the risk of large bowel cancer. That doesn't mean we should all start swallowing aspirin on daily basis (in fact, guidelines strongly recommend against this), but it is an interesting correlation.
  • While a mother's blood supplies her fetus with the nutrients it needs, maternal blood and fetal blood do not actually mix. The placenta has the two separate vascular systems that are close enough for the exchange of oxygen and nutrients to occur. Kind of neat, huh? 

on the internet


ask me anything
  • I'll be taking my MCAT for the 3rd time *gasp* in January! And even though it seems like I should be completely motivated and hyperactive about studying, I'm not. I've gotten a little lazy and feel defeated, for lack of a better word. Any tips/suggestions on how to back up? Thank you!
    • You've probably been studying for this exam for a long time, so it's understandable that you may be getting to the point of burning out. My advice is to step back and look at why you are doing this. Talk to your mentor, go shadow, talk to current medical students. Seeing others who need your help or who are in a position that you want to be in definitely helps. I also advise finding ways to make your study time the most enjoyable. When I study at home, I usually have a big glass of flavored water and my heating blanket on. At my favorite spot in the library, I always had good music playing (my favorite is the movies soundtrack station) and an iced coffee near. Studying isn't the most fun thing in the world, but there are ways to make it enjoyable!
  • It seems that for a while the theme in fashion blogging was minimalism/ capsule wardrobes. Now I see that a lot of bloggers are concerned with sustainable or made in America clothing. These are two related questions: What do you think of blogging trends (i.e., do you tend to follow, sit out, or follow only if they interest you)? Do you have interest in buying more sustainably made items for your wardrobe?
    • In general, I don't really consider myself to be a very "trendy" dresser. This is in part because my blog is mostly about my work clothes, and most trendy items aren't going to be appropriate. Another large part of that is that I have my budget that I've been sticking to for over three years. This is my way of having a more sustainable wardrobe overall. I don't buy new items to only wear once - I most buy clothes I can wear again and again. This means I buy less, get rid of less. I haven't explored many sustainably made clothes out there, but I'm definitely open to suggestions if you have companies you love!
  • I'm curious if you have any advice for put-together and attractive indoor outfits to wear home at Christmas with the family. I live in a climate where there won't be snow, but where I'll definitely want cozy-everything and MUST wear socks with slippers/indoor shoes (like your Birkenstock clogs) when indoors.
    • Yes! My biggest piece of advice is wearing comfy pants as not only will there be lots of delicious food (I'm already dreaming about the cheesy potatoes) but there's also a lot of moving around. I recommend a pair of ponte pants - I just ordered these from Express as mine are pretty worn out (review coming as soon as they arrive!). Pair your comfy pants with a cute and cozy sweater, like this tie cardigan from Modcloth. All in all you'll be comfy, warm, and super cute.

on franish

notable sales

  • Center Stage is probably in my top ten favorite movies of all time - I've seen in countless times. I've recently started watching Flesh & Bone - have any of you seen it? While it's also set in the ballet world with a few overlapping actors/dancers, it's completely different, but probably even more interesting. 
  • I've had my old macbook for over five years now, and this week my screen broke. I'm so upset because the computer is still in good shape, but they said it would cost over $350 to fix the screen. UGH. 
  • CR and I spent the day in Pittsburgh yesterday, doing some Christmas shopping, getting some of the best thai food, and celebrating a friend's birthday. I love weekends between rotations :) Next up - IM for me, infectious disease for him! It should be an interesting month. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

review: j.crew factory plaid tartan skirt + other black friday steals

I didn't go out shopping for Black Friday, but instead I slept in and then took advantage of the online sales. Here are the couple of things I ordered, and how they worked out for me.
First up is this plaid skirt from J.Crew Factory. I generally don't go for items you can only wear a certain part of the year, but I couldn't resist the cute plaid pattern on a skirt in a work appropriate length (most plaid skirts I've seen this fall have been minis). I love the different colors in the skirt because it gives you so many different colors to pull out in various outfits. As far as fit goes, I'm usually a 12 on the bottom, and that's what I'm wearing here - I find that it fits true to size. It's a bit form fitting, as most pencil skirts are. My little secret weapon when it comes to keeping everything in check is wearing one of these mid-thigh shapers that I found at Target. They are basically like wearing the shaping part of tights, but more comfortable. I'm wearing it in the picture on the right, and I feel it just smooths everything out. 

If you are interested in this skirt, it's currently 50% off (just like everything on the site!). I'd suggest adding this carrier tote to your order - it's an affordable version of the much more expensive totes out there (plus the reviews all rave about it!)
 Women's Poncho Sweater - Merona™
Speaking of Target, I know I mentioned this poncho a couple of weeks ago. I received it last week, and have already returned it. First of all, the brown color online is nothing like the actual color it is. Online it's a pretty tan color, but in real life it's just a dark brownish color. I always like ponchos on other people, but I've never really tried one myself before, so maybe this is the way all ponchos are, but I found it really impractical to wear. In the far right picture, that's as far as I could lift my arms before it started to bunch up and look weird. Maybe it's just one of those things that looks good in pictures and maybe isn't that practical in real life. Like I said, I've already returned it - I may have been able to look past the interesting fit if the color had been prettier in real life, but this one just didn't work out for me. 
Next is the polka dot tunic from Loft that I'm newly obsessed with. Sizes have been popping back every day, so if you are interested in it but your size isn't available, it may come back. I originally ordered this in both a medium and a large, but my medium order was cancelled. The large fits nicely oversized - this definitely isn't meant to be a form fitting shirt! I love the large polka dot pattern and the fact that it's a longer style top. I plan on sewing the split neck up just a tiny bit (you can see what I mean in the middle picture). It's so darn cute!
 loft textured-open-cardigan
Last is this open cardigan from Loft. I'm wearing a medium on the left and a large on the right - I would say the large fit be a bit better (not as tight in the arms). There isn't anything inherently wrong with this cardigan - the material is soft and thick, the color is nice, and it fits nicely. I just realized that I have a few similar sweaters that I just don't wear as often because I have to wear my white coat most days, and the two would look a bit strange together. If this is a style you've been looking for, it's a really cute cardigan that comes in several colors, it was just something that would be underutilized in my closet.

Loft currently has a 40% off everything sale (the best kind of sales!). I'm hoping it's still going on tomorrow so I can try on their gingham long-sleeved dress, as well as their grey trouser pants - I still haven't found a pair of grey trousers I like!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

two ways to wear a sweater coat

I love the idea of a sweater coat - something that you don't take off because it's a part of the outfit, but something that's a little different from the other sweaters in my closet. Mine above is from the newest holiday line from Eva Mendes for New York and Company. Unfortunately, it seems to now be sold out online, but if you love it, I'd suggest stopping at your local store. It runs slightly large, but is actually very warm and soft (definitely not a scratchy sweater!). I think it's a great way of mixing up your holiday outfits - as much as I love wearing pretty dresses, sometimes it's nice to cozy up in a sweater instead!

I wanted to show you guys two ways to wear it - one with a dress, and one with pants. Which version is your favorite? I think I prefer the pants version!

Sweater coat: c/o New York and Company 
Dress: Old Navy
Shoes: Ferragamo 
New York and Company coat
Sweater coat: c/o New York and Company
Top: J.Crew Factory
Pants: The Limited
Shoes: c/o New York and Company [exact]

Below are some of the new pieces from the Eva Mendes line. My favorite item is the reindeer sweater - it would look so good over a chambray shirt with black jeans!

five | six | seven | eight

Thank you to New York and Company, and ShopStyle Collective for sponsoring this post!