Monday, February 29, 2016

february budget

Banana Republic blouse [seen here]: originally $80, on sale for $35
Blank jeans [seen here]: originally $88, on sale for $60
Nordstrom sweater : originally $90, on sale for $50

February budget: $145

Quarterly budget: $625 ($500 + $125 carried over) - $145 = $480 left 

This is the most non grey, white, or black budget recap month I've had in a long time! Maybe it was Valentine's day or the fact that I felt like I needed to bit more "color" in my wardrobe, but either way, I'm loving the pretty new colors in my closet. Unfortunately, both of the tops are now out of stock - fingers crossed that Halogen brings back that sweater in a bunch of colors because I can't get enough of it. The jeans are still available with most sizes still in stock as well - they are such a comfortable pair of jeans that I highly recommend. 

I've been sticking pretty under budget for the better part of the year, but this is the first time I've actually rolled over the extra amount. We will see if I actually end up using it all, chances are probably not, but I like having the option. I may just stick that money away to save up for a couple of suits for interview season instead - that'll be a whole pain in itself, so if anyone has experience buying suits, please advise! Luckily I have quite some time until I actually need one, but I'd rather save up a little bit since I figure it's going to be a bit pricy! 

I do have my eyes on several items this month. Like I mentioned yesterday, I would really love to try on this blue and white short sleeved dress from J.Crew Factory - I just see it as the perfect summer dress paired with cognac accessories! I've also had my eye on this double v-neck shell - all of the patterns are so freaking cute, although I'm currently leaned towards the green grid version. 

Well that's all for me - your turn! Please link up below and let me know how budgeting went for your this month. Last month we had the most amount of link-ups ever!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

top three [02.28.2016]

Mulberry + black pants = never fails

  • Struma ovarii is an ovarian teratoma (a type of tumor) that produces thyroid hormone, which can cause thyrotoxicosis (an excessive amount of thyroid hormone).
  • Micrographia is what it sounds like - small writing! It is often seen in patients with Parkinson's disease, and that presentation can actually be used to help make the diagnosis. Interestingly, there isn't one clear cut diagnostic test to diagnose Parkinson's, and it's largely made on clinical presentation. 
  • Working in GI this month means that I've learned all about the world of digestion. Probably the most interesting thing I've learned about and discussed with patients is fecal transplants, which is an option for some patients who have incurable diarrheal disease from Clostridium difficile. The first documented case of this was in the 1950s, when four residents donated their feces for fecal enemas in a last ditch effort to help four of their patients with fulminant pseudomembranous colitis. Nowadays, there are whole donation centers that will pay for your "donations" that will eventually be made into capsules that can either be swallowed, or the option that most patients choose, dropped into the small bowel via a scope. 

on the internet
  • I love this bright red dress on Jessica - and I love it even more with the matching red shoes (totally stealing that idea!)
  • Looking to start a blog, or trying to expand? Carly shares some great tips in this post. An established blogger who isn't sure what you are worth? Check out this post from My Style Vita that shares a bit more about what most bloggers are roughly charging (while I don't have very many sponsorship opportunities, I do find that my prices are similar to what she mentions!)
  • Kimberly is giving me major spring fever in this outfit - I need those shoes!

  • CR's brother is getting married this summer, and I feel it's never too early to start planning what we are going to wear (CR is actually going to marry them, so we're all very excited!). I'm thinking something like this pretty blue floral dress with a matching tie for him. 
  • You guys, gold mocs are definitely happening this spring - they are just so cute and fun and most importantly, comfortable!
  • How freaking cute is this scalloped bag from Cambridge? I just love that blue color!

ask me anything
  • I was wondering if you have a laptop and if you ever brought it to school during your 1st and 2nd years? Or did you find that you only needed to bring your iPad to class for note taking? If you did bring your laptop, did you use a backpack to bring it or did it still fit in your tote? 
    • I do have a labtop - I used to have a Macbook Pro that I had for almost 6 years before it finally broke a few months ago. In school, it really depended on what classes I had that day for whether I would bring my computer or my iPad. During anatomy, I used to download all of the powerpoints on my iPad, and used Notability to record the lectures and draw on the slides. For most other classes (that were way less visual), I just used my computer. I still used my tote for whenever I was at school. Looking for a tote you won't feel bad weighing down with all your stuff? This one from Charming Charlie is adorable, professional, and under $40!
  • Do you have a season you feel most comfortable dressing for? I always feel like I look better in summer styles (brighter pure colors, shorts, and sundresses), but perhaps this is just because of my acquired wardrobe? Still, I feel like sweaters and winter pants just never suit me. Thoughts?
    • I'm the complete opposite! I really should live somewhere where it is fall year round, because it's my favorite. I love being a bit more covered up, wearing layers, and wrapping up in scarves. I'm still trying to figure out how to dress in warmer weather because I still haven't quite figured it out!
  • I've been a fan of your blog for quite some time and thought you'd be the perfect person to ask about my dilemma since I love your style! My husband and I will be attending a military ball in March at which point I'll be about 14 weeks pregnant with our first baby. I'm looking into rent the runway but I have no idea what shape will be flattering at that time. That will be right around the time we'll start telling people so the dress doesn't necessarily have to hide it but I don't think I'll have a cute little bump that I'll want to show off just yet, more like I just ate too much pizza. Any suggestions? I'm looking for something floor length and formal.
    • First of all, congrats on the baby - can I come deliver it? ;) I don't have much experience (read: any) dressing a pregnant body...or going to a military ball, so I don't know how much help I will be, but my biggest suggestion would be to go with something a bit flowy but still flattering. You mentioned Rent the Runway, so I picked out a few options. If you want to go va va voom, this beautiful red criss crossed version should hit you in all the right places.  If you want to go glitzy and glam, this sequined version is a stunner (plus reviews say you can wear it with a regular bra!). If you want to go a bit more classic, this blue version is conservative but has a bit of a unique back. 

on franish

notable sales
  • Amazon watch sale
  • J.Crew Factory: extra 30% off 
    • There's an outlet 20 minutes from my hospital, and I may have to drive there this week to see if I can't find this dress to try on because I'm in love with it and need it in my life. I'm only a little bit dramatic sometimes ;)
    • I love the unique denim floral pattern on these shoes - professional enough for work but still really fun for your time away. 
    • Prepping for a beach vacation? Pack this cute cover up, and please take me with you.
  • Old Navy: 30% off your entire order

  • One more week of GI, and honestly, I have never had a rotation go by so quickly! I feel like I just started and now it's about to end. This week I really did feel like I was playing mini-resident - I was seeing all the consults by myself, writing notes, getting patient care in order, and just in general getting as much done as I could. It makes me excited to finally actually be helpful rather than feel like I'm always in the way. 
  • Yesterday I spent the day going to a wine and painting class, followed by a "how to make appetizers class"...with my attending. Oh my god you guys, it was the more fun time I've had in a long time. So many laughs, so much good advice, and so much inspiration. 
  • Thank you so much for all of your casserole and big batch recipe suggestions last week! We made quite a few of them this week, and it was so nice to come home and just pop something into the microwave. Definitely trying a few more out this week. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

statement is great, but delicate is better

For my 18th birthday, my parents gave me a diamond necklace - the diamond is actually from a ring that my grandparents gave my mom for her 18th birthday that she then had reset into a necklace for me. A decade later, I wear that necklace 99% of the time - it just goes with everything. While I love big necklaces too (my favorite is my big multi stranded pearl necklace), I have always been a person who will wear the simpler items more often.

I receive questions about my necklace all the time, and while my exact necklace is obviously not available, the style is! It's called a floating diamond necklace, and can be found at a variety of price points. Below are three very similar styles, from a Target version to a real diamond version.

save | spend (now on sale) | splurge

While I usually wear my necklace by itself, I think it looks so cute layered with other delicate pieces too. Below are a few options, from the mrs. for the recent bride to the starfish for the girl going on a beach vacation (jealous!).

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

beauty tuesday: glossier milky jelly cleanser review

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

As I've mentioned before, I'm pretty loyal to use my Paula's Choice cleanser at night - I have found that it's the perfect cleanser for removing my coconut oil make-up remover and cleaning my face without drying it out. I never had a good option for the morning though, so when Glossier came out with "the world's best cleanser" I kind of felt I had to try it!

what it promises:

This is the ultimate daily face wash: use on dry skin to dissolve away makeup and grime, or on wet skin as you start your day. The pH-balanced, creamy gel formula is made with a blend of five skin conditioners so your face is left feeling healthy and soft, never tight. Its cleansing power comes from the same gentle cleaning agents you’d find in contact lens solution, so it’s tough on impurities and still safe to use on your eyes.

how I use it:

Although it's marketed toward both AM and PM cleansing, I use it in the morning. I wet my face, use one squirt of cleanser, and...wash my face. Groundbreaking!

I have used it on days I wear minimal makeup to remove my makeup, and to remove my make-up I use one squirt on dry skin on my eyes, and then will use another half a squirt once my face is wet.

what I like:

I have never had a cleanser actually completely remove my eye makeup, so I was pleasantly surprised when it actually did remove it without irritating my eyes! That was definitely a big plus for me, and will be a big reason why I will take this with me when I travel for rotations. The cleanser has poloxamer in it, which apparently is the same cleaning product used in contact solution, so it makes sense that it is not irritating to the eyes. It has rosewater in it, so it's both soothing and also has a really pleasant soft rose smell.

The biggest thing for me is that really is gentle on my skin. My skin feels soft and clean without being super squeaky and dried out. Using it in the morning makes it that I start my day (and makeup!) with a clean and moisturized face.  I have tried the Cetaphil cleanser, as it has a similar consistency, but I always felt like it left a layer of film on my face and never completely cleaned my skin.

And a superficial comment is that it comes in really fun packaging - it comes in pretty pink packaging with stickers, which is a fun way to get skincare in the mail ;)

what I don't like:

There really aren't any things I don't like about this. It does what it claims, it feels good on my skin, the bottle is good for traveling, and bonus: it looks nice on the shelf. The fact that is removes eye make up without irritating my eyes is great.

But maybe the name...milky jelly cleanser is an accurate description but kind of a weird name.

would I buy this again? 

Absolutely. The Milky Jelly cleanser lives up to its description, and delivers on its promises.

Monday, February 22, 2016

post valentine's day glow

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If I was a better blogger, I would have posted this two weeks ago because it's very Valentine's Day inspired, right? But I trust you all knew how to dress for the "holiday", so let's instead focus on how fun this wall + top is ;)

I know I said I wasn't so sure about if I could pull off my new bow shirt in my review post, but you know, I kind of love it now! I went super simple with it the first time, but I'm excited to pair it with the various skirts and blazers in my closet. 

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Blouse: Banana Republic [exact on sale - review here]
Pants: The Limited [exact]
Shoes: J.Crew Factory [exact on sale | similar]
Bag: Mulberry via eBay [save | similarexact]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact on major sale!]

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And because my BR version keeps popping in and out of stock, below are three options at different price points for a similar version. My favorite is the Forever 21 version!

< $20 (my favorite!) | < $30 | < $90

Sunday, February 21, 2016

top three [02.21.2015]

I don't wear my Frye wedges nearly enough (ps have you entered the jeans giveaway?)
  • While we associate smoking with lung cancer, it is also the most common cause for pancreatic and bladder cancer, which are both horrible cancers to die from. 
  • Is it strange to have a favorite microbe? Mine is Legionella, but that's mostly because I think the naming of it was so interesting - it was first discovered after a group of people who were staying at a hotel for an American Legion convention all came down with pneumonia. The bacteria is transmitted through breathing in aerosolized water, so it is often associated with large heating and cooling systems found in hotels.
  • I saw a case of Gastric Antral Vascular Ectasia this week, and it really does look like a "watermelon stomach"!

on the internet
  • I know a lot of you enjoy review posts, so make sure to check out Audrey's recent jean and Modcloth reviews (I love that floral blazer!) 
  • Rachelle shares her tips for doing an at-home facial
  • Kristina kind of had my dream wedding - look at all the gorgeous details here (my favorite are those "gold" name tag holders).

  • I wish I was more of a high heels girl because this rose adorned pair is absolutely gorgeous (and for that price, I could totally become a high heels kind of girl!).
  • My J.Crew chambray shirt is one of my absolute favorite items in my closet, so I'm intrigued by this version from Old Navy - how fun is that back? I would be a total copycat and wear it the exact way they styled it.
  • Am I the only one who struggles with finding a moto jacket that fits just the way you want it to? I may have to try out this version from BB Dakota (one of my favorite brands!). 

ask me anything
  • Any recommendations on a good (reasonably priced) bra? It's a constant struggle! 
    • My tried and true favorite bra is the Body by Victoria demi bra from Victoria's Secret. It has a lining but isn't padded, it's comfortable, and because it is pretty standard bra for VS, you can usually find it in the sale section too - during their last major sale, I got a plain white one for under $20. 
  • I'm never a math or science person (it doesn't come easy to me and I need to work very hard) but I do want to be a doctor, do you think it's possible and what advice would you have for someone like me? 
    • I think so, you just have to be willing to put in the time to become a science person. I was never a math person either, it just does not make sense to me. I have always loved science though, so even though again it wasn't a subject that came as easily to me, I think my interest in the subject is why I was able to do well in my classes. My advice is to learn to love the process of learning - if you want to be a doctor, you are going to learn new things every single day throughout school, your residency, and your career. Being excited about the subject, whether it's organic chemistry as a pre-med, or pharmacology in medical school, will help make you into a science person. You will have to work hard, but it will be worth it. 
  • Do you sell items you no longer wear? And if so, do you use Poshmark or a similar service?
    • I don't directly sell my clothes on eBay or Poshmark just because it's so much work, and most of my clothes are "mall clothes" that people aren't specifically looking for. Instead, I order a bag from ThredUp every few months, and then send it in. I get a bit of money back for the clothes, and whatever they don't sell, they will donate themselves. So it's a win-win either way!

on franish

notable sales

  • We got a huge snow storm at the beginning of the week...and by the end of the week, it was 65 degrees here. Baer was excited either way because it meant snow for him to play in, and now water for him to drag into the house. 
  • CR and I have been really trying to go to the gym at least three times a week, but sometimes it's hard because the gym is 20 minutes away, and it really does end up taking up the whole evening. I am SO EXCITED that another branch just opened up 5 minutes away from our house! Now I'm running out of excuses ;)
  • Because I have a bit more free time, and because I've been enjoying myself so much on this rotation, I feel this month has been flying by! Only two more weeks until my next OB rotation - I'm finalizing my "wish list" of things I want to practice through the month, I'm ordering all the recommended books, and stock piling casserole recipes because both CR and I will be so busy next month that I know I won't want to cook when I get home at 9 PM. Anyone have any good casserole dishes they'd like to share with me? :D

Thursday, February 18, 2016

review: banana republic contrast tie front blouse + heaps more

It's been quite some time since I did any type of clothing review - almost two months! I didn't really buy a lot for the past two months, but now that I'm back to real clothes (at least for this rotation!), I've tried a few new things out the past month! 

Contrast Tie-Front Blouse
Banana Republic Contrast Tie-Front Blouse
First up is a blouse with detachable bow from Banana Republic. I found this while scanning the sales section, and fell in love with the feminine blush color mixed with the masculine "tie". Above I'm wearing a size medium - I also ordered it in large, but it was massive, so definitely size down if you are interested. My initial reaction was "can I pull this off?" - you guys know I'm pretty safe and conservative with my style choices! But the more I think about it, the more I really like this blouse. It's pretty, it's work appropriate, and because the tie is detachable, it's also fairly versatile. It also has a covered placket, which all of us bustier girls can definitely appreciate. As you can see, it is slightly sheer (at least not 100% opaque) so a camisole is needed (my favorite is from Express - I wear it under everything!).

Next is Ann Taylor's lace yoke top...and I promise I did not accidentally buy a maternity top. The online flatlay is so pretty, but of course when it's on an actual person, it doesn't look the same. I'm wearing a tall medium above - I was hoping that going with it in tall would make it long enough, but it clearly was not. Maybe I just need to let it go that loose and swingy tops are just never going to work on me. I bought this in the middle of January, and it has already long been returned, but I wanted to share in case anyone had their eye on it. It may work better for you if you have a smaller chest than I do...or if you are looking for a cute maternity top ;)

Sailor mini skirt
I haven't really ordered anything from Gap in quite some time - I used to be allll about the Gap a few years ago (I worked there for a short time in college - I do miss that 50% discount!) but haven't really found anything I loved. I did see this cute navy mini skirt, and I just became really excited to pair with every striped item in my closet. At the time of my purchase, there was only one review of the skirt, and it said that the skirt they got in the mail had a giant pleat in the front. I thought maybe they ordered a different skirt than the one that they reviewed, so I ordered the skirt in hopes that it didn't have a giant pleat. does have a giant pleat on the front, and the now many disgruntled reviews agree. Even without the pleat, this skirt was going right back just because it is obscenely short on me. I do love the idea of a shorter navy skirt though, especially because I prefer skirts over shorts in the warmer months. J.Crew Factory has those cute elastic waist skirts, so hopefully they will come out with a navy version this spring!

gap Mini crossbody
Since I was ordering from Gap anyway, I figured it was time to finally try out that little red cross body bag I've been talking about for months. It's cute, and for less than $20 definitely affordable, but I found it to be just too small for me. I could barely get my phone into it, so it too is going back. I just didn't want to keep it because I knew that I would have a hard time committing to a red bag in the future "because I already have one" plus my rule is not to keep something just because it was inexpensive. DvF has a cute red cross body that is obviously more expensive than this Gap version, but not at the $800 price point of the Chloe I love. 

Ooooh fun, another top where I look pregnant! This one is from Loft, size large, and just not meant to be for me. I will learn one of these times!

Next is a sheath dress also from Loft that should be amazing - black, pockets, sleeves, shows your shape without being skin tight. Naturally it looks amazing on the model online, but is all wrong on me. I'm wearing a size 10 here. I think personally, I don't really love the high neckline on this - if it had a v-neck, I would be a lot more forgiving of the next few issues I have with the dress. Really the biggest issue is the pockets - they don't lay flat at all so they just awkwardly jut out from your hips, one place I don't need extra jutting! I also think the dress was an awkward length - it hits me right at my knee. The reviews online are mixed, most are saying the fabric is thinner than expected (I don't necessarily agree) and that it's too long (agree). I'm just hoping that they will make a similar dress with a v-neck and more subdued pockets - that would be the perfect work dress!

This is the J.Crew sweater I mentioned in Sunday's post. I'm bummed that it isn't really working on me! I purchased a size large. I actually quite like the torso of the sweater - it's loose without looking like maternity clothes, the slits and perforation are fun little details, and it's not too short on me. My biggest issue is the sleeves! First of all, drop shoulders should just not be a thing - who do we petition to make them go away? Combined with super loose sleeves (something I don't usually have an issue with!), it just looks very sloppy on me. If only it had regular shoulders and slightly tighter arms, this would have been a fun addition to my closet. 

Halogen® V-Neck Lightweight Cashmere Sweater
I realized last week during our first real snow storm of the year that I really don't have very many sweaters - I have two! So I ordered the J.Crew sweater above and this cashmere v-neck from Nordstrom. It was originally $90, but now marked down 40%, which is pretty great for a 100% cashmere sweater! I'm wearing the pink hush color in a large, and I do think it fits true to size. Again, this has those damn dropped shoulders, but because the sleeves are fitted, it is less of an issue. I love the pretty soft pink, the length of the torso and sleeves, and the little slit detail on the sides. It is slightly sheer, but again, not a problem for me. I definitely recommend this sweater, and hope they come out with a few more subdued colors in the future (as well as without dropped shoulders, please!) as I would repurchase it in another color. It also comes in petite sizing if you are interested.  

Last, I just wanted to share a quick look at the Clare V. clutch I received c/o from my collaboration with Shopbop. I have wanted a Clare V. clutch forever - the leopard version that was so popular a few years ago was like all I wanted for the longest time. When I finally decided to get one, I was torn between going with the leopard version I loved for so long, or a more practical tan or black version. In the end, I decided that for occasion I would use a clutch, I would more than likely be wearing black shoes, so I went with the supreme fold over clutch in the pebbled black. I've used it twice now, and was so excited both times! It's the perfect size to hold all the things you need - phone, lipstick, and a small wallet. The inside is like a grey chambray fabric, which is great because I would rather have a lighter inside where I can actually see what I'm grabbing for. Oliveve also has a very similar style for $100 less - still expensive for sure, but a very similar style for "less". I almost wish I had seen it before I ordered mine just because of that price difference! 

So that kind of summarizes the past eight weeks or so of shopping for me! Have you purchased anything great lately? I'd love to hear about it!

ps. the nail polish in most of these pictures is essie's peak show (I'm obsessed!) and my phone case is c/o casetify.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

beauty tuesday: using a Nivea's post shave balm as a primer + current foundation routine

While I love my pricey beauty products, I also really love finding an inexpensive option that works just as well. I found out about using a men's post shave balm as a primer through youtube (and only about a year late) but I've really been enjoying it! Below is how I use, plus my current foundation routine.

I'm hoping to do a few more videos in the future, so feel free to subscribe to my channel (although the videos will always be posted on here as well). I'm currently working on the lighting issue so hopefully the next video won't be as dark ;)

Laura Mercier foundation in Medium Ivory
Aesthetica palette c/o + Morphe brush E48
Smashbox powder in light/neutral + IT brush No. 101*
Urban Decay makeup setting spray c/o

my lipstick is Clinique Pop Lip in Fab Pop 

* I misspoke in my video - these are IT brushes for Ulta, not IT cosmetics :)

Monday, February 15, 2016

trying something a little new (+ premium jeans giveaway!)

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A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to buy a pair of flare jeans. I have so many skinny jeans, and while I love them, I was ready for something new and fun. Because I have to order everything online, I went to my trusty Fitcode to guide me in my search. I've used and talked about them in the past, but basically Fitcode has an algorithm to figure our your shape, and then makes recommendations for jeans that would fit your body well. Since you can filter your results by shape, I quickly found these BLANKNYC flared jeans...and bonus, they were on sale! I ordered them in my regular jeans size, and find they run true to size. I think they are just a fun way to add a little variety to my closet while having them be super versatile - I can wear them with blouses, sweaters, tees, and it just always works. CR kept calling them mom jeans, but really, what do boys know anyway? I love the sexy shape the create, plus it's always a win when you add something to your closet that goes with so much you already own.

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Jeans: BLANKNYC [exact on sale]
Blouse: Asos [cute similar on sale]
Wedges: Frye [exact]
Watch: Michael Kors [save | exact]
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Seriously three days after I ordered my jeans, Fitcode reached out again and asked if I wanted to hold a giveaway on my blog for a pair of jeans. I'm already such a fan that I agreed immediately because I have enjoyed using their service, and I wanted one of you to win a pair of jeans! 

As a disclosure, I paid for my own jeans before they even reached out, I am not being compensated for this giveaway, but it is also a blogger competition so if my giveaway has the most entries, I get a giftcard too. Enter the giveaway though the Rafflecopter below - your Fitcode is the number you receive when you answer their 4 questions. For example, mine is 710. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 14, 2016

top three, love edition [02.14.2016]

I don't always wear pink...but when I do, I go all in ;)

  • Bitot's spots are the physical manifestation of a Vitamin A deficiency. Night blindness or complete blindness are other manifestations, so start loving those carrots! 
  • I saw my first real case of asterixis this week - it's also known as a flapping tremor, and is often caused by hepatic encephalopathy (basically the liver isn't working properly, and the toxin build up affects the brain). Here's a short video demonstrating it. 
  • Babies are considered obligate nose breathers. 

on the internet
  • We all are attached to our phones, but would we love our lives more if we weren't permanently attached to them? Grace shares her thoughts
  • Most of us aren't probably too passionate about the financial management side of blogging - I know I'm not. Hallie breaks down what has worked for her in her successful blogging career. Come at me, tax season!
  • Cute outfits + cute pets = the most Valentine's Day appropriate post eva. 

  • It was truly love at first sight with this adorable gingham dress. Do I need it? No. Do I neeeeed it? Yep. 
  • Yumi Kim always has the prettiest patterns - major heart eyes for her cross over silk top. Perfect for a date or a night out with your girls!
  • I just ordered this sweater and can.not.wait to receive it - I ordered it in CR's favorite green color just because I know he would like that (...and I don't need another grey sweater...). I haven't seen so many good reviews for a J.Crew item in a long time so fingers crossed!

ask me anything
  • Hi Fran, love the blog! Also a med student here. You mention that you're saving up for things with your blog income (a nice gift or a future house, etc). Is there a reason you aren't paying off your loans first if you have blog income? Just wondering, cause they continue accruing interest. 
    • Ohhh, great question, and I'm sure something many people have wondered. Since you're a med student too you will already know most of what I'm about to say, but I'll explain it for everyone else. So when I graduate from medical school and start my residency, I'll finally start having a real income again (although reading this article brings up some great points - resident's salaries haven't changed in 40 years and on average, this intern made $11 an hour). We have a few months of grace period before we start paying back our school loans, but really not that much time. Most residents will start paying back their loans with an "income based" payment plan as the ~$45,000/year makes it difficult to pay back $200k+ I owe. This payment plan is based on your taxes from the previous year. So in 2017 when I start paying back my loans, the payment plan will be based on my income from 2016. For most students, this doesn't change anything since most people don't have an income while in school, but I do because of my blog. So my payments will be calculated to be much higher because of my current income. SO, that's all to say that I'm actually saving up money now to be able to start paying back my loans at the end of next year because the dent I could put into the loans in one year doesn't compare to the amount I owe back in total. Technically I could be putting that money into my loans now because you are correct, they are are accruing interest, but since my payments will be larger than what my resident salary will be able to handle, I have to save up for them now. So I'm really dividing my income between saving for a house and saving for loan repayments. You bringing this up though does make me want to look into how much interest I'm paying a month and maybe tackle that on the side - it's really almost overwhelming to know where to start with all of that!
  • I want to major in history as an undergrad, but my mom wants me to major in something I can use after I graduate. I plan on going to med school after I graduate. Should I change my major or go with what I really want to do?
    • I think you should do both! Double majoring is definitely doable, and something I know many of my medical school friends did. I majored in German and Biology - it gave me the humanities focus I loved while giving me a science degree for when I was applying for lab jobs and medical school. Or you can always minor in history, if your school allows it. I think having another focus in college besides just science science science makes you a more well rounded student and medical school applicant! 
  • I've really enjoyed your blog--thank for all the tips on sales. I just found some things I was looking for at Loft on sale because you mentioned their sale. I have two questions: at what time of year are the best sales for winter/summer clothes? and do you find that buying designer jeans are worth the price? are cheaper jeans just as good? ie: old navy, target...thanks for your thoughts!
    • I think with the sales that are always going on, there probably really isn't one specific time to get a good deal on something. Of course the end of the season (/right now) is a great time to pick up some winter staples because the stores are making room for spring clothes, and trying to get rid of their winter items. For example, Nordstrom currently has some super cute sweaters like this marled cardigan on sale - at 40% off. But with the sales that most stores now have all the time, you can really get some great pieces for even greater prices. My personal plan is to usually wait like 10 days before buying something to see if a good sale doesn't come along...and it almost always does. The only time I really purchase it right away is if there are only a few sizes left - then you just have to make a call if you want to save a few more dollars eventually, or not get it at all.
    • As far as jeans go, I personally do think that designer jeans are worth the price, especially if you wear jeans a lot. I personally have struggled to find jeans at cheaper prices just because of my height - they often don't come in tall sizes, which is something I often need. I also think the fabric is softer, fits better, and holds up in the long run. That's not to say that you NEED designer jeans, absolutely not - I have jeans from J.Crew Factory and the Gap that are wonderful, so I guess it depends on if you mean $200 jeans or $60 jeans. I think if you found a pair of jeans you love at a cheaper price point (for example, I know that the rockstar jeans from Old Navy really look great on some people), then that's amazing and you should get them in every color. 

on franish

notable sales
  • Anthropologie: 40% off sale items
    • How freaking sexy is this little red number? That back! 
    • I don't really need another clutch, but come on, this cognac one is so pretty and unique. Definitely lust-worthy. 
    • One of those times the waiting game paid off - I've had my eye on this peplum top for months, and now I can finally get it for 1/4 of the price! 
  • Loft: 40% off select items
    • I can't decide if I love the navy or maroon version of their dotted tee more - at that price, you may as well get both ;)
    • Oooooo, I kind of love this mixed media cardigan - how great would it look with some dark wash jeans and a simple white tee?!
    • I love dresses that take you from winter into the spring - wear this pretty patterned dress now with tights, boots, and a scarf, and then trade it in for flats and a matching belt in the spring!
  • Madewell: 30% off sale items

  • Happy Valentine's Day! I'm all about telling those you love that you love them all year long, but it's also nice to have an excuse to get your loved ones something nice. CR and I exchanged presents Friday night just because we were already having an impromptu date night eating Chinese food and watching The Office, but today we are going with our favorite couple down to Pittsburgh to just explore. I'll take any excuse to go out and have fun!
  • I know I've already mentioned it, but I am LOVING this GI rotation. My attending has taught me so much, I get to do a lot by seeing all of our consults first, and the people I work with this month are so fun to be around. In addition, my schedule is also pretty relaxed, so I get a few mornings off a week to really get a ton of studying done! 
  • We are now in the thick of applying for audition rotations (rotations during your fourth year of medical school where you spend a month at the hospitals you will be applying to for residency) and man, what a process! I don't think I've ever written so many emails in one week. Keep your fingers crossed for me - I'm so excited (and nervous!) that we're getting closer and closer to the process!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

my experience with invisalign

experiences with invisalign
I spent the first Monday of every month from 3rd grade until my senior year of high school at my orthodontist's office. The first time I got braces was in 4th grade. I had big buck teeth, and overbite, and just a pretty crooked mouth. My first orthodontist is a wonderful man, but his methods were a bit outdated. Instead of having the cool braces with colored rubberbands everyone else had, I had a metal band around each tooth that connected to another metal band with metal wiring (basically the braces on the far left in this picture). I had those until 7th grade, and then I had a retainer I wore religiously.

The retainer was only for my top teeth (it looked like this), so by the time I got to 10th grade, my bottom teeth had shifted significantly. So I got braces on my bottom teeth, and those stayed on until a week before I graduated from high school. This time I wasn't even given a retainer.

So needless to say, my teeth shifted over the next decade. It was always something I was self-conscious about - I spent so many years trying to fix my teeth that I really noticed other people's teeth, so I guess I was probably hyperaware of how mine looked. Many people tell me that they didn't even notice my crooked lower teeth because I smile without them showing, but I noticed them in every single picture and every time I looked in the mirror. In addition to my crooked teeth, my sister pushed my down a water slide when I was younger which chipped my front tooth, so my left front tooth is half fake. It was always a different color than my other teeth, more opaque, and eventually a different shape.

I grew to smile with my mouth closed - I actually had a really hard time finding a picture with my teeth showing for the picture above! I wanted to fix my teeth, but I was mad that my parents had already paid for braces twice, and that I spent NINE YEARS going to the orthodontist and I still had crooked teeth.

At the beginning of my first year of medical school, I went in for a tooth cleaning at a new dentist's office, and my dentist asked when I was going to have my teeth fixed. I explained I didn't want to go through with braces again at 26 because, well, braces. He gave me some info about Invisalign, and told me to think about. I went home that day and started a new savings account with my bank to start saving with my earnings I made from blogging.

A year later, I made my appointment with my current orthodontist. Here's how the process works, my experiences, and most importantly: my before and after pictures!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

go with your gut

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So I started my GI rotation this week and I am loving it. The doctor I'm with is amazing - she's so sweet and kind, and she just shows so much compassion for her patients - it's truly inspiring. I know I'm going to learn a lot from her, and I'm just excited to see the real life side of GI versus the book.

On a personal level, it also gives me a bit more of a flexible schedule. Some days I don't have to be at the hospital or clinic until later in the morning, which means I have more time in the morning for reading...and taking pictures once in a while. I repeated an outfit I wore a few weeks ago just because I liked it so much the first time. It's nothing too fancy, but it was comfortable and warm, which is great because it started snowing about five seconds after I finished pictures.
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Sweater: Everlane [exact]
Blouse: Loft [similar]
Pants: The Limited [exact]
Shoes: Target [save | splurge]
Bag: J.Crew [similar below]
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My red tote was my Christmas present from my parents and I'm obsessed  with it - it's the perfect work size, plus it has my monogram :) The red version is sold out now, but the blue version is still available and on super sale if you are interested. If you'd rather have a red tote, below are a few options at different price points. Plus Madewell just came out with a red version of the transport tote if you want to spend a little more (it's seriously gorgeous)
under $50: one | two
under $100: three | four
under $200: five | six 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

beauty tuesday: origins drink up intensive overnight mask

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

Over the past year, I've really expanded my face masks collection. For most of my life, I did occasional exfoliation and left it at that. I'm getting a bit older and experiencing different skin concerns than I have in the past, so I'm looking for new options to help. Jessica from Bedknobs and Baubles raved about the Origins overnight mask, so I was more than willing to get it a try. 

what it promises:
Put dry skin to bed with this ultra-rich, hydrating overnight mask. Avocado and Apricot Kernel Oils deeply and instantly quench compromised moisture reserves and help build a reservoir for tomorrow. While Japanese Seaweed helps repair skin's barrier to prevent future dehydration and signs of premature aging. Skin awakens comfortable, refreshed, supple.

how I use it:
At night after removing my make-up and washing my face, I lightly exfoliate with an enzyme mask or konjac sponge, and then put on a medium thickness layer all over my dry face. Then I wait at least a few minutes to go straight to sleep just because I sleep on my stomach/face. I do this 2-3 times a week, usually the night after using my tretinoin cream

what I like:
My first impression was that it smells amazing. It smells just like apricots, but it's definitely a natural smell, not artificially sweet. Second impression is that it feels really nice going on my skin - especially if your skin is pretty dry and sensitive, it just feels nice to put on this smooth, soothing mask. It's not oily or greasy at all and doesn't leave any residue on my pillows. I love that I can put something on my face at night that works throughout the night. 

The best part is the results in the morning. My skin is softer, more moisturized, and almost has like a blurred look to it - like you can't see the little red lines and patches on my face. 

what I don't like:
I personally can't see anything wrong with this product or something I would want to change. I checked out the Beautypedia review after using it for a few weeks just because I was curious what they had to say, and they did not recommend it for sensitive skin because of the fragrant oils used. If you have very sensitive skin, this may not be for you. While I usually trust the beautypedia reviews, I was already liking the mask so I wasn't going let that sway me. 

would I buy this again: 
Definitely. This is my first time trying out an overnight mask, so I'm open to trying other masks as well, but I will definitely be repurchasing the Origins Drink Up Overnight Mask. I love how my skin looks and feels, especially now during the colder months. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

top three [02.07.2016]

when in doubt, go with stripes

  • A recent study has shown that the fiber intake during early adolescence is associated with a lower chance of developing breast cancer. The full study can be found here, but this article on NPR condenses it for an easy read.
  • My friend Lizzi sent me this article the other about a woman and her intuition about her labor and delivery. I can't stop thinking about her story, and it will make me think differently in the future if a patient presents similarly. 
  • While we get our "normal" DNA from both of our parents, there is a small amount of DNA in our mitochondria that we only inherit from our mothers. There are certain diseases called mitochondrial diseases that ethic committees are now discussing if they can't be prevented by doing mitochondrial transplants, so that an embryo would technically have genetic materials from three different people. 

on the internet


ask me anything
  • Why are you studying in America and your Sister in Germany? Are there major differences between medical school? 
    • The major difference between American and German medical schools is that in America, you go to college first, and then go to four years of medical school. In Germany, you start medical school immediately after high school, and you go for six years. I've always felt more American than German, and I knew that I would spend the rest of my life living in the US, so it made the most sense for me to stay here. My sister always felt more connected to Germany, and she may eventually move back to Europe to work, so those were two big draws for her. 
  • I'm an MS3, and with the long hours of rotations, I find it hard to cook food and not end up eating unhealthy cafeteria food. Have you been able to keep your 4 hour body diet or do you have tips for food/snacks that you bring on rotations? 
    • It's been a bit hard to stick to the Four Hour Body diet now that we are on rotations. It was so easy last year because I was home all day long, so I could cook for every meal. Now that's not always the case, and honestly, it's just easier sometimes to eat in the cafeteria instead of making and bringing lunch every day. We do still live by a lot of the rules though - we don't have carbs for breakfast or for dinner, and don't really keep many sugary items or bread in the house. My go to snacks on rotations are carrot sticks, packets of peanut butter, protein bars, and hardboiled eggs. I try to choose the healthier options from the cafeteria, or have a salad. It's definitely not easy to always eat healthy, but it is doable. Like I've mentioned, I put on weight very easily, so not sticking to a strict diet has made me gain a few pounds over the past 7 months, but I know that eating healthier overall and keeping my sanity is more important than five pounds. 
  • What do you wear while running errands, having coffee with friends or whatever you do during your of time.
    • I am actually pretty lazy when it comes to what I wear at home - I'm almost always wearing yoga pants and my LL Bean fleece. When I'm out running errands....I may just wear that. If I'm actually doing something though, I wear dark jeans with an everlane tee and cardigan. 

on franish

notable sales

  • I spent Friday night celebrating my bff's birthday as she was back in the area for school, and it was SO good to be reunited with my friends. It was great just to talk, play pool, and cuddle dogs for the night :)
  • My trusty first generation iPad was no longer really doing too well, so finally upgraded to an iPad mini this week. I'm very excited about it because it's the perfect white coat size, so now I just need to find the right case for it. Does this dachshund case scream professional? I love it. 
  • My IM sub-speciality in GI starts tomorrow and I'm so excited. Have any of your medical students done a month the service/do you have any tips for me?