Wednesday, November 30, 2016

wedding wednesday: the venue

one | two | three | four | five | six
When we got engaged last month, so many of you ladies said you wanted to know about our wedding planning process! I, of course, am more than happy to discuss ad nauseam, but instead, I'm hoping to do posts here and there as the big parts of the wedding come together, so for my first post in this 18 month series, I'm going to talk about how we found our venue site!

Before CR and I even got engaged, we had several discussions about what we each wanted in our future wedding. I was not raised in a religious household, and although CR was, we both individually did not want to get married in a church. I think if he had wanted to, I would have done the necessary steps for that to happen, but it was really nice that we were on the same page about having a non-church wedding. CR obviously didn't really have thoughts on where he actually did want to have the wedding, so when I brought up the idea of a barn wedding, he was all in. I personally love the idea of a barn wedding for several reasons. One, I just think they are gorgeous - anything with sparkly lights, lots of flowers, and the contrast of wood with lots of white is my favorite. Second, I like that you can have the whole wedding festivities in one place, from rehearsal dinner to the ceremony to the reception, as they are typically booked Friday-Sunday. Third, since it has indoor and outdoor space, there's a back up in case the weather is bad. And fourth, having a more bare backdrop (as opposed to a hotel banquet room) gives you more options on personalizing it and having it look the way you want it to. You also get a bit more space than just a banquet hall, so you can fun activities like lawn games and so on. Basically when I said lawn games, CR immediately agreed!

Next we had to decide where to even have the wedding. I'm from Wisconsin, but the only people that live there are my parents and a few friends from high school and college - all in all, about ten people. My extended family lives in Germany, and my college and medical school friends are all over the country, so in the end, my side of the guest list was going to have to travel no matter what. CR, on the other hand, is from Rochester, New York, where about 90% of his very large family still lives. We just knew that it really made the most logistical sense for us to have the wedding somewhere in upstate New York - that was the easiest thing for us to decide on so far!

Wedding barns are "the thing" nowadays (probably because of the reasons mentioned above!), so we narrowed it down to about five wedding barns within an hour of Rochester. We compared availability (many have online calendars that show bookings, which is so helpful!), capacity (we made a rough draft of our guest list so we had an idea of how many people were going to be invited), amenities (onsite bathrooms, AC or heating, deck or no deck), the caterers used, and the price and what that includes (how many days, tables, chairs, decorations). From there, I had my favorite picked out just based on pictures, but was also interested in a few others, so we emailed them for details and to set up times to check them out.

With engagement season in full swing, and seeing that many of the barns were already partially booked for 2018 (and some already in 2019!), we wanted to get moving on at least looking at the venues. We had discussed timelines and agreed that there was no way this was going to happen in 2017 - between the match happening in March, finding a house, graduating in May, going on a post-graduation trip, moving, and starting intern year at the end of June, it was all just way too much, so an eighteen month engagement sounded perfect to get our lives in order, actually enjoy this time, and still have the late spring wedding I was hoping for. Since we live five hours away in Ohio, we don't have a lot of chances to come look at the places in New York, so we asked the venues if there was any way we could see the barns the Friday after Thanksgiving.

We ended up booking two appointments with the barns last Friday, including the one I was interested in. We saw a different barn first, and it was very nice - big open barn, pretty lights already up on the beams, on site bathrooms, and the option of having a live band. There were several things we didn't love as much - it was a bit rougher around the edges, the ceremony locations weren't our favorites, some of the decorations were not what I would have personally gone with, and they wouldn't let you use a different caterer for your rehearsal dinner. All in all, I liked it, but wasn't in love with it.
The second barn was the one I liked based off of their website. It's a fairly newly renovated barn - they just wrapped up their third year of holding weddings there, so there were a lot of features that we really liked. The floors were new (but looked like the belonged in that barn), the deck outside was beautiful, they are in the process of building a wood bar on the deck, the barn has AC, the bathrooms are in the silos (so cool!), and we liked the ceremony sites better. A couple things that were bummers were they no live bands are allowed, and they don't allow sparklers. We just really loved that it felt like a modern wedding site but in a rustic location, if that makes sense. Overall, I could just actually picture our wedding here, and was already thinking about how I wanted to decorate.
So we pretty much decided this was perfect for us! While we had originally talked about doing a May wedding (CR's parents' anniversary is May 26th, which falls on a Saturday in 2018!), we went with June 2nd so we wouldn't interfere with our siblings' college graduations and Memorial Day weekend. So, with hopefully everything falling into place with the Match and our future vacations, we are 550 days away! Not that I'm counting ;)

Monday, November 28, 2016

november budget

J.Crew top: originally $88 + 25% off = $66
Loft cardigan: originally $70 + 40% off + rewards = $0
Loft blouse: originally $54 + 40% off = $34

November total: $100

Quarterly budget: $500 - $100 = $400 for December and January

Because of how much I've been traveling for the past month, there hasn't been a lot of time left to shop! Which is great for my wallet and savings accounts ;) I, of course, did manage to find a few things though that I'm really excited about. The J.Crew top is one I've mentioned before - I ordered it during a 25% off sale (not nearly as great as the 40% off + free shipping they have right now!), and have worn it twice already. If you're interested, I got the 10 tall, which helps it not be as boxy on me. In addition to that purchase, I went shopping with one of my girlfriends a few weeks ago during a weekend visit, and I picked up a super soft cardigan and plaid tunic during a 40% off sale (they currently have a 50% off sale!!). Both have been worn numerous times, especially the cardigan (I'm wearing it as I type!). 

I did do a bit of online shopping during Black Friday - during J.Crew's sale, I ordered one of their classic plaid shirts that I'm hoping looks as cute in real life as it does online. Ann Taylor was (and is) having a 50% off everything sale, so I finally ordered that sweater I've been talking about for weeks, as well as an unusual shoe purchase for me. Can't wait to see how both work out for me! If I keep any of them, I'll include them in next month's post (the great thing about having a quarterly budget!). 

If you have your eye on anything on what most consider the best online shopping day of the year, here is a quick round up of the sales going on:

ANN TAYLOR: 50% off everything 
ASOS: 30% off everything
BANANA REPUBLIC: 50% off everything, no exclusions 
LOFT: 50% off everything + free shipping
MADEWELL: 25% off your entire purchase
MODCLOTH: 30% off everything + free shipping

and as always, it's your turn to share!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

top three [11.27.2016]

my Black Friday purchases: plaid shirt (40% off) | shoes (50% off) | scarf (47% off)


on the internet


  • I am having the hardest time finding toppers that fall between a casual cardigan and a business formal blazer. Do you have any recommendations for a structured "third piece" that can help make outfits feel more complete, but aren't as stuffy as a suit jacket or blazer? I would love something versatile enough to pair with a tank top shell and pants/skirt for work, or over a dress.
  • I'm beginning my bar course soon in preparation to take the bar in February. How did you stay disciplined and on schedule when studying for boards? It's going to be a long 8 weeks of studying and I would appreciate any tips you have!
    • For me, it was all about having a schedule set up for every day. I knew exactly what I needed to get done each day - what pages I was going to read, what questions I was going to do, and what notes I was going to review. It kept me on track, it kept me motivated to check things off the list every day, and it kept my anxiety at bay because it can be really daunting to look at all you have to learn over that time period, but breaking it up into daily chunks makes it all seem so much more manageable. Other things that helped was making time most days to work out, cook real meals, and get good nights of sleep - you can't run on empty, and this is a time you really have to dedicate yourself to your studies! I also always had my little things that made the experience better - pandora one so I wouldn't have to listen to commercials, my noise canceling headphones to drown out my dogs, lots of bubble water, and my favorite pens!
  • My parents keep asking me what I want for Christmas, but I'm at that age where I don't really have any wishes! What are you asking for this year?
    • I'm struggling with that same issue this year! I think eventually you just get to that age when you just buy the things you want, instead of waiting for the holidays. On my wish list this year I have an Apple Watch keychain charger, a humidifier, and a nice candle. With our upcoming graduation, move, and wedding, we really aren't asking a lot from each other and our families. 

on franish

notable sales

at home
  • We booked our wedding venue!!! I'm kind of shocked how quickly that happened. We knew what kind of venue we wanted (a barn) and where (upstate New York), so when we were up here for the long weekend, we looked at a few of the most popular one, found one that had basically everything we wanted, and just went for it! It's all going down June 2018 - it seems so far away, but then I look at everything we have to do until then, and it seems much closer than one would think. 
  • This weekend we ran our Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving - it was a little over four miles in the cold rain, but it was actually pretty fun! Plus it made me feel just a little bit better about all the stuffing I had later in the day. I hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving as well!
  • If you have a second, I'd be so grateful if you could vote for me for the Everyday Style award. Thank you!!
  • PS: Happy Birthday, Mom!

Friday, November 25, 2016

the best shopping day of the year

Ann Taylor: 50% off everything

Anthropologie: 30% off everything

Banana Republic: 50% off 5 items, no exclusions!

BaubleBar: 30% off everything

Express: 50% everything + free shipping

J.Crew Factory: 50-60% off everything (prices as marked)

Loft: 50% off everything

Madewell: 25% off your entire order

Mark & Graham: 25% your entire order

Nordstrom: extra 20% off sale items

Shopbop: 15% off orders over $200, 20% off orders over $500, 25% off orders over $800

Sole Society: 30% off shoes and bags

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

for you & for her (at 40% off!)

Years ago, when I first researched buying my first J.Crew blazer, I remember googling "when does J.Crew have a sale" because at that time, they very rarely had sales! I think I ended up getting that blazer with like 10% off.

Luckily for us, J.Crew has really changed their opinion on sales, and now regularly have 25-30% off sales...but this week, for the first time ever, they are offering 40% off! Which is a pretty big deal if you are like me and regularly enjoy window shopping, but don't frequently purchase anything because of the price. Below are some of my tried and true picks (most which I own, a few I have my eye on), as well as a few gift ideas if you have a loved one who really loves the Crew ;)

  1. Regent blazer: How many more times can I profess my love for this blazer?! While I've only shown it on my blog once, I have been wearing it non-stop for the past two months. It is so versatile, actually travels really well, and is just my favorite item in my closet right now. Highly recommend getting it now, if you've had your eye on it!
  2. Lace Peplum top: I just got this in the mail this week (I ordered it weeks ago but I was gone), and I loooooove it. I got the black version in a 10 tall, and it fits perfect. I've wanted a lace top with a slight peplum for years now, but they were always too boxy on me. Getting it in a tall makes it fit so much better - I'm planning on wearing it under my camel blazer on Friday for a night out with friends!
  3. Tuxedo blouse: I have a very similar version from Banana Republic that I wear constantly - it's the perfect top on it's own, tucked into a skirt, or worn under a blazer. It also comes in petites and talls!
  4. Lace Fit & Flare: I don't have this exact version, but it's so pretty that I had to include it! It's a collection piece, but actually one of their more reasonable priced ones, especially with 40% off!
  5. Perfect shirt: I have a similar version from last year, and wear it constantly during the winter months. This year's version has all the primary colors in it, which means you can easily mix and match it with items in your closet.
  6. #2 Pencil Skirt: it's a cult favorite for a reason. I have two, one in black and one in maroon, but would really love to own this green version as well. Bummed that my size is already sold out!
  7. Slippers: the older I get, the less tolerant of cold feet I become. I love the pretty pink color of these slippers!
  8. Crossbody bag: You will never go wrong gifting such a great bag (plus you can get it monogrammed, which is my favorite part!)
  9. Robe: CR's parents got me a robe last year, and I'm obsessed with it - it's perfect both for when you're getting ready in the morning, and just for Sunday morning lounging. 
  10. Phone case: leather + monogrammable, what more do I have to say?!

Monday, November 21, 2016

for your friend who really loves her smart phone...

I like to do a few gift guides every year, usually on topics that I am also interested in - previous versions included a gift guide for 1st/2nd year medical students, one for 3rd year students, and for your friend who just really loves organization. I've had this USB keychain in my shopping cart for months, which got me thinking about all the tech things I wish I owned. I'm 100% not a techie (I just really love my Apple products,) so here are some of my ideas for your iPhone obsessed friend (or yourself, no judgement!).

  1. Noise canceling headphones. I've had these for three years, and am obsessed with them!! 
  2. iPad cover: they also have a version you can customize yourself with pictures
  3. Portable picture printer. Love the idea of this - it's like a 21st century version of polaroids...with instagram filters (how meta)
  4. iPhone dock: a sleek (and more organized) way of charging your phone
  5. Hidden USB/lightening cord: this ones on my wishlist - it's chic and functional!
  6. Portable charger: provides 16 more hours of battery time (and it's pretty)
  7. Bluetooth speakers: We have a similar version, and use it all the time. We use it in the kitchen, use it in the garage during work outs, and take it along on camping trips!
  8. Keychain Apple Watch charger: the one item I really want - it's cute, it charges your watch, and it's easy to use on the go. 
  9. Cord case: just ordered this after messing around with all my cords way too long. 
  10. Cute tech gloves: no need to get frostbite while trying to return a text message - perfect for someone who lives in the colder parts of the country!
  11. Smart light bulb: kind of an oddball one at the end, but you can adjust these light bulbs from your phone. They apparently last 22 years?!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

top three [11.20.2016]

pinning away - can't wait to try these healthier options!

  • I heard about a new pain medication, Prialt, this week on the podcast Tell Me Something I Don't's made from snail venom! Here's an interesting article from NPR about why this pain medication that is stronger than morphine is not yet widely used. 
  • This week I watched a video about a paramedical tattoo artist who uses her skills to help cover up the burn scars, often times being more successful than a plastic surgeon can be to fix the color changes that come with burns. 
  • In the 1970s, a group of children in Lyme, CT were all diagnosed with what was then considered juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. While what is now called Lyme Disease was not a new disease, it was the catalyst to start extensive research on it. 

on the internet

  • If I had a holiday party to go to this year, I would definitely want to wear this stunner of a dress - I love how the collar makes it extra special. 
  • Majorly crushing on this cowlneck sweater - I'll take one in caramel brown, please! ...and it's now 50% off! 
  • How cute is this crochet blouse? The back is the best part! 

ask my anything
  • I'm attending my boyfriend's family's Thanksgiving for the first time this year. Do you have any suggestions on what to wear? 
    • Yay, this is so exciting! This will be the third year I'm attending CR's family's Thanksgiving, so the process is pretty new to me too! My plan is to wear my comfiest stretchy pants (my ponte pants are a life saver during these bigger meals!) and I will more than likely wear this new plaid top I just got from Loft - it's loose, but flattering, and put together. You could also wear a cute oversized cardigan with a normal tee (just make sure it's not too low cut!). My other piece of advice is to also ask your bf if you will wear shoes in the house or not - at CR's grandparents house, everyone takes their shoes off, and I wore flats without socks to the dinner two years ago, and ended up being handed his grandpa's socks to wear! So stick a pair of (clean looking) socks in your purse just in case so you don't end up wearing his grandpa's old hospital socks like I did ;)
  • How/where do you store off season clothes or do you always store everything in your closet? I have such a small closet - help?! Would love a tour and report on what you store where, as you also seem to have a fair amount of clothes and shoes.
    • I actually keep about 95% of items in my closet - this is what my closet looks like! Because my closet space isn't that big, I fairly often go through my closet and get rid of anything I don't wear. I have one tupperwear container I keep under the guest bed (which is the in the room with this closet in it - our house has very small closets, so mine had to go in the guest room while CR kept the one in our bedroom). In that container I keep my heaviest sweaters during the summer months, and in the winter I keep my lightest summer dresses in it. Maybe now that I'm home, I'll do a new inventory post to see where I stack up compared to last year! 
  • Do you dry clean most of your clothing items, or have you found the pieces you choose to hold up well in the wash?
    • I very rarely buy anything that needs to be dry cleaned because it would honestly never happen - I'm just too lazy! Most items from stores like Loft and Ann Taylor and The Limited (where my beloved black pants are from) are not dry-clean only, which is why I stick with them! I know that if I had to be a bit more dressed up for work, I'd probably buy more dry clean only items, but since I wash my clothes all the time (hospital germs, ick), I stick with the items I can wash at home. 

on franish

notable sales

at home
  • I was in Lansing, MI this week for an interview, and met up with Whitney from Whitney a la Mode. She's pretty much the cutest - we have such a good time drinking wine, chatting about life, and laughing about how strange blogging can be at times ("I take pictures of myself...and put them on the internet!"). 
  • Speaking of Michigan, I'm currently all over the place! In the past week I have been in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin (with drives through Indiana and Illinois). Coming up in the next few weeks are trips up to New York twice, Michigan a few more times, and eastern Pennsylvania. Me and my car are best best friends :/
  • I am so excited for Thanksgiving - a holiday that's all about eating?! Hope you guys have a safe week and please send me snaps of all your amazing food ;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

everyday style

one (blouse) | two (blazer) | three (shoes) | four (sweater)
When I started my blog almost five years ago, the majority of bloggers were just everyday girls sharing their outfits they wore to work or to school. There weren't professional photographers, huge sponsorships, or people who blogged full time. I was really inspired by the girls who found a way to work on and share their style while living their busy lives. Over the years, blogging has definitely shifted more towards the professional side of things, and to be honest, sometimes I felt it was really hard to keep up with that. I work more than full time hours, my boyfriend or my tripod takes my pictures, and for many months of the year, I don't even live at home.

But you know, I'm proud that all these years later, the outfits I show on here are ones I've actually worn in my real life. I think the reason I've stuck with blogging and blogging about my "everyday style" through these busy years is because of you ladies and being inspired by the busy lives you lead.  I love connecting with you about the clothes you wear to school, to work, and to raise your babies. The discussions we have on my blog on a daily basis are my favorite thing about blogging.

ShopStyle has nominated me for the Best Everyday Style award and I'll be honest, I'm actually pretty honored. While it's "just" an internet award, it also motivates me to continue with this little hobby of mine. If you have just a few seconds, I'd love if you could vote for me here - all you have to do is click on the vote button, no signing up for anything!

 best everyday style

Sunday, November 13, 2016

top three [11.13.2016]

picks from the Loft 40% off sale: one (so soft!) | two (perfect for the holidays) | three (exact dupe for this $300 blouse!)

  • Delayed interval delivery is when during a multi-fetal pregnancy (like twins or triplets), one of the babies is delivered while the other isn't to give the second baby more time to mature. This is typically due to pre-term labor or premature rupture of membranes. It's a horribly sad situation, but delayed interval delivery gives the other baby more time to mature.
  • Alien Hand Syndrome as an extremely rare neurologic condition that happens after a stroke or brain trauma. One hand moves completely on its own - sometimes even slapping or chocking the body it belongs to!
  • In the final stages of hypothermia, some people will undergo paradoxical undressing - theories are that in those final stages, the muscles are too tired to contract anymore, so blood rushes into the extremities, so the people think they are overheating, and take off all their clothes. 

on the internet

  • We are running a 4.5 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving (next week already!) and so I've been trying to put in my miles at the gym the past few weeks. These amazing gold/black running tights would basically give me all the motivation I need to sticking with it over the holidays!
  • Looking for an easy (and stretchy!) outfit for Thanksgiving? This cowl neck tunic sweater will be perfect with some leggings and boots, and lets you eat as much pie as you want. 
  • I didn't think I wanted to join in on the slip on sneaker trend...until I saw this pair from Steve Madden. I saw them in Nordstrom this weekend and fell in love! I'm thinking the grey color (although that rose gold is pretty fun!).

ask me anything
  • What are your thoughts on block heels? I've noticed they are having a moment right now, and I can't decide how I feel about them. I've tried a few on, and they are definitely more comfortable and easier to walk in.
    • I love them, actually! I don't wear heels a ton, but when I do, I typically wear my block heels. Like you said, they are just so much easier to walk in than stilettos. I also like the ones out there now with a bit of a shorter heel - BP has a really cute pair that's retro and fun, but totally work appropriate. 
  • Do you have any advice for how to stand out during rotations?
    • Unfortunately as medical students, there aren't a ton of things you can do to actually make the lives of the residents and attendings easier, but there are ways you can be helpful. The point is for you to learn and see the different fields of medicine, so it's more about being a person other people want to be around than things you can do to make the day of doctors easier. The biggest ways to stand out is to be excited to learn, and try to be as engaged during patient care as you can. Know when it's okay to ask questions and when it's not. Big no-nos include playing with your phone when around patients, just walking away during H&Ps, and leaning against a wall and closing your eyes (I've seen all three of these happen). I've also seen students tell residents they don't want to see a procedure because they have seen one before, and rolling their eyes when asked if they want to participate in surgery. I always bring in a treat on my last day for the team/office I've worked with - people are taking time out of their busy days to teach and guide you, so a small thank you gift of donuts or bagels is a nice way to thank the whole team. 
  • I've dealt with persistent acne since I was 14. It's been such a rollercoaster journey. I'm now 23 and still have reoccurring breakouts in my chin area mainly, and my back. Do you have any suggestions or helpful advice? I know my skin doesn't define me and I'm trying not to stress about it, but its such a kick to your confidence (Look at me, not my acne!!). I currently use a lot of Paula's Choice products but I feel like I'm just treating the symptoms and not the cause. Advice?
    • Having acne can definitely be a huge blast to your ego, and after years of dealing with it myself, I completely know where you are coming from. Since you feel that at this point you have done the most you can do yourself, and the most that commercial products can do, it may be time to take it to the specialists. There are a ton of medical reasons why you are continuing to have acne - it could be a hormonal issue (like PCOS), bacterial issues, or you may just be a person who naturally has skin prone to acne. Seeing your PCP would be a great place to start - they may try certain types of medications to see what helps (hormonal birth control, topical bacteria, or topical tretinoin are possible options). If your PCP is unsuccessful, they may refer you to a dermatologist. Joyce, a dermatology resident, has a much better explanation and work up on her blog that gives you a better idea of how a dermatologist approaches acne treatment. From personal experience, treating my PCOS with hormonal birth control and spironolactone, as well as starting to use topical tretinoin, are the two major medical changes I've made in treating my acne. 

on franish

notable sales

at home
  • Man you guys, this week definitely wasn't the greatest. As many of you know, I'm actually not allowed to vote because I'm a felon (kidding, I'm just a German citizen + US permanent resident), but I had high high hopes for this election. I'm saddened to see how it turned out, and I'm very nervous that many of the great things that have happened for our country and people may be reversed. This is a great opportunity for us to do good though - one of my best friend's friend started a way to find charitable causes at local and national levels. Please add any charities you have found as well! I have been a long time financial supporter of Planned Parenthood, and will continue to donate as they provide incredibly necessary components of women's health. 
  • Like I mentioned last week, I start my emergency medicine rotations tomorrow! I'm a bit nervous - I haven't worked in the ED yet, so I don't really know what to expect. 
  • Living in dorms rooms and houses with minimal kitchen appliances for two months have caused me to fall into some unhealthy eating habits, so now that I'm home (when I'm not traveling for interviews), I am so ready to get back into healthier habits - eggs at home and not in a Starbucks sandwich, meals filled with lean meats and veggies, and cutting back on the sweets. I bought a blender this week (as well as chocolate protein powder...who am I?!), and I'm excited to start making smoothies too - I think it'll be a great snack for the mid morning! Do you have any favorite smoothie recipes?!

Friday, November 11, 2016

two months

A lot has happened over the past two months...which is when I last took outfit pictures of dress clothes! I spent the last eight weeks with two different ObGyn programs, and am now so sad to see this time be over now. Since I figured out that I wanted to do ObGyn, I've been looking forward to these stretches of time where I got to just be around the field I'm so excited about. I love the patients, I love the happiness of a safe delivery, I love the procedures, I love being in the OR - there's no day that I've dreaded or not looked forward. From here on out (for the next 198 days!), I'll be on non-ObGyn rotations and while they are vital for my general medical knowledge, I'm bummed that I have to spend the rest of the year not in the OR, in delivery suites, or the gyn clinic. 

On the upside, I'll be living home for good now! No more dorm rooms or shared bedrooms. And then in two months, CR will be home too, and we'll be back to our happy little family, animals and all (who are currently on vacation at CR's parent's house as I'm either working 12 hours/day or traveling for interviews for the next two weeks). So that's our little life update :)

Blouse: Loft [very similar]
Pants: The Limited [exact]
Purse: Mulberry [similar | exact]
Shoes: Madewell [similar]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]

Loft is having a 40% off everything sale! Below are a few of my picks - the plaid shirt has adorable ruffle details, ponte pants that zip and come in three colors, and the most perfect lace dress (this one is my favorite!!)

ps. Sephora's VIB sale started today - here are my suggestions for what to pick up! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

beauty tuesday: sephora VIB sale selections

Starting this Friday, the Sephora VIB sale is the best make-up sale of the year. If you are a VIB card holder, use the code 20VIB to get 20% off your entire purchase. I use this sale to pick up items in three types of categories - things I already love, things I may love, and things others may love. Below are my picks - please let me know what you are buying and if you have any new recommendations for the rest of us!

Restock your favorites: The issue with ordering a bunch of new things during these sales is that you may not like what you purchased, and then you basically "wasted" the sale by not actually keeping anything you bought. I like to stock up on my holy grail beauty and skincare items during these sales - items I purchase over and over again - because you may as well get them on sale! These are my tried and true items, and many that I plan on stocking up during the sale (specifically the eyeliner, primer, powder, and moisturizer, all which are almost empty right now!).

1. Laura Mercier primer: the only primer I've found that seals moisture in. This will be my third tube!
2. Belif moisturizer: can't get enough of this stuff - if you have dry skin, it's a must buy.
3. Smashbox setting powder: holy grail item - I've been wearing it for more than five years now
4. Stila eyeliner: the absolute best liquid eyeliner, hands down (I've been wearing this one for at least six years)
5. First Aid hydrating serum : my review here
6. Urban Decay mascara primer: my review here (it's the secret to thick lush lashes!)
7. Living proof dry shampoo: my review here

Try out something new: Getting your staples on sale is smart, but it's not the most fun way to use a sale! I like to pick out an item or two that I've had my eye on, but haven't pulled the trigger. These are the items I've researched and read the reviews, and have had sitting in my basket for a while. Unfortunately I can't get alllllll of them (boo!) but I think I'm going to get the Ren mask (so many great reviews!) and the Guerlain bronzing powder (one of my mom's staples for the past twenty years!).

8. Kat Von D eyeshadow palette
9. Bobbi Brown blush + highlighter
10. Sunday Riley lactic acid treatment
11. Ren glycolic acid mask
12. Guerlain bronzer
13. Dr. Dennis Gross modeling mask

Prepare for the holidays: A sale like this gets you better prices than anything happening on Black Friday, so you can get a great present for less money ahead of time - sounds like a good deal to me! My favorite deal is the perfume set - you gift this box of 15 sample sizes of perfumes, and then it comes with a certificate for the full sized version of any of the perfumes in the box. This way, the person you gift it to can not only play around with new scents, but then she can get the full sized version of her favorite one (and often, the full sized bottle alone costs more than if you get it through this set, so it's twice the deal!). There is also a mens version, if you a guy in your life needs a new scent.

14. L'occitane hand cream: a luxe stocking stuffer perfect for the dry months ahead
15. 15 Sampler pack + certificate
16. Beauty blender + cleaner: another great stocker stuffer
17. YSL lipstick: get her something she may not buy herself (my favorite perfect nude color is nude lavalliere)
18. Living Proof dry shampoo + shampoo/conditioner
19. Anastasia Glow kit: with six highlighters to choose from, this will work an any skin tone

Sunday, November 6, 2016

top three [11.06.2016]

inspiration pinning all week ;)

  • Immersion foot sounds like pretty horrible condition to be in - it happens when feet are exposed to prolonged periods of wetness and cold. The foot will turn pale, and may even start to show early signs of necrosis because the blood supply is so poor. This isn't seen as much anymore, but was rampant during the World Wars (back then it was called trench foot). 
  • Quinke's disease, or isolated uvular angioedema (most diseases named after people are now more commonly referred to by what it is rather than who discovered it), is thought to be caused by a type of hypersensitivity reaction where only the uvula (the little punching bag in the back of your throat) swells up. 
  • Globus pharyngis: the sensation of having a lump or something stuck in your throat ...not related to Quinke's disease though ;)

on the internet
  • Pin this outfit to your holiday board for a work-appropriate Halloween costume for next year. So cute, right? 
  • Loved these five beauty lessons learned from Charlotte Tilbury. Now if I could just get her to make me my own lipstick color!
  • I've been a huge Lauren Conrad fan from the beginning (what can I saw, basic b*tches unite) - I'm obsessed with her house and basically will just copy every aspect of it in my future dream home. 

  • I've been trying to branch out in my color choices lately - not completely new ones, but just ones that will add a little something special to my already very neutral closet. While this large square scarf is also mostly neutral colored, the burnt orange makes it stand out for me...and now that it's under $20, it will be a fun addition to my closet!
  • Have you started looking for the perfect dress for the holidays? I love this lace dress from Anthropologie because it's a bit more covered up (pair it with black tights and booties, and you'll be the most comfortable girl in the room), the sleeves make it unique, and the red lace makes it perfect for the holidays. 
  • Another item for the holidays that you can wear for the next two months straight are these glitter loafers from Sole Society - I'm obsessed with the bronze version. 

ask me anything
  • What wallet/purse do you use for work? I am in need of a good wristlet for the hospital!'
    • I actually don't use a wallet anymore! I love my wallet, but it is just too large and cumbersome to carry around all the time. For rotations where I'm in a hospital setting, I use a phone case/wallet combo that works so well - I keep my debit card and drivers license in there, and always have them handy when I need them. For rotations where I'm in the clinic, I use a card keyfob
  • I still struggle with finding comfortable shoes to wear to work - what are the most comfortable shoes in YOUR closet? 
    • My most comfortable shoes in my closet are my Sam Edelman scalloped flats, an old pair of Target flats with insoles added, and my Michael Kors driving loafers (I wore these all over DC yesterday with no pain!). It's all about finding real leather shoes with a bit of support in the sole, which these shoes all have (either on their own, or with little help!). I also always put a bit of baby powder in my shoes before wearing them (prevents sweaty feet when you don't wear socks) and I always carry a friction block with me incase shoes rub the wrong way for some reason. 
  • As a future OB/GYN, how do you feel about women (and men) electing to have permanent birth control procedures done at a "young" age and without having children? My husband and I (ages 31 and 30, respectively) know 100% that we do not want children. However, I have had doctors question me, telling me I will "change my mind later in life," and I know of friends who are around our ages who have had trouble finding doctors to perform procedures on them such as a tubal or a vasectomy since they didn't have kids. What is your take on this? 
    • This is a pretty difficult question for me to answer, and I'll explain why. In medical school, we don't ever have to make those decisions. We watch doctors make these decisions, but we are never the ones who have to make them, so I have never had to tell a 30 year old woman who hasn't had children that I won't do a tubal ligation on her. But, I do see where doctors come from when they are hesitant to do these procedures on young couples. Any type of permanent sterilization comes with risks, immediately after the procedure and in the long term. There are enough people who do try to have their tubals or vasectomies reversed later down the line that a part of a doctor's responsibility is counseling patients thoroughly about that specific risk. I also can see why a doctor may be hesitant to take a patient to surgery when there are other less permanent and more successful ways to prevent pregnancies in patients. The Nexplanon, an implant that is put in the arm, has a 0.05% risk of pregnancy, while female sterilization has a 0.5% risk - those aren't huge numbers, but one is a small in office procedure that can be reversed if you ever desire, and the other is a surgery that also comes with risks of anesthesia. I guess what I'm saying is that I have never had to make this decision because I'm not at that point in my career yet, but I know that there are other equally effective ways of prevent pregnancy that come with a decreased risk to you. I hope for you that your physician ran you through all of the options out there, and that you are able to go through with whatever method you and your husband decide on in the end, and that your doctors honor your wishes. 

on franish

notable sales

at home
  • This week, I had lunch with one of my readers who lives in the area I'm currently living in, and it was such a wonderful evening and just what I needed to get over those nights of sitting in my room by myself. You know how sometimes you just connect with someone and talk for hours and then wonder how it got to be so late? That's what our night was like. Thank you, Randee, for being so kind and funny and taking me out to dinner :)
  • I spent yesterday exploring DC with my girl Tierney - would a fun day we had! I stopped by the National Museum of American History to visit the First Ladies, we went to one of the oldest bar in the city, walked around Georgetown, and ended at a speakeasy. We had the perfect weather too - it was such a great day.
  • This is my last week of my last audition rotation! From here on out, I'll be living at home again, which I can not wait for. Unfortunately, CR now starts his last two months away, but luckily we have Thanksgiving to break up our time apart. I have two months of Emergency Medicine next - should be interesting to see what comes in! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


single solitaire ring with diamond band
This past weekend was the most exciting, surprising, and happiest weekend of of my life.

CR and I have discussed our future together a lot over the past few years - sometimes the medical school timeline forces your hand in those conversations. We decided after only a few months of dating to go to hospitals close together for our clinical rotations. Now we have decided to go through the couples match together. Getting married and so on came up quite often, but always kind of in the hypothetical.

So although I knew we were headed in that direction, I did not see any of this happening this weekend. To be honest, I had a feeling that it was going to happen in January just because that is when we are no longer separated after our six months living apart. Basically, I went into this weekend not even thinking about rings and engagements, I was just excited to spend a whole weekend together!

I'm currently in York, PA and he's back home in Ohio this month, so we had decided months ago that we weren't going to go more than two weeks without seeing each other, so we had this weekend in State College (about half way between us) planned for months. We met at our hotel Saturday morning, and immediately drove over to the Corner Room for brunch. Unfortunately, we got there right as they stopped serving brunch! So we got lunch instead, mac & cheese for me, beef on weck for him. Then we spent a few hours just walking around State College and the Penn State campus. As a Big 10 alum, I love visiting all the other campuses, and was excited to check this one off the list - it's a gorgeous campus! I didn't think we really had any plans for the day, and because we had both talked about wanting to see the new Dan Brown movie, Inferno, I suggested we go see it. CR got a bit weird then and said that we should go on a hike instead. We had already talked about doing that, so I didn't think much of that either.

We decided to go up to Mount Nittany Conservancy, which supposedly has a few great look outs over the town and campus. We drove up, parked our car, and basically just started walking. Well, we walked for like three miles and weren't getting any closer to going up the hill, which is when we realized we weren't on the right trail at all. The thing is, neither of us really cared! We were having fun just walking through the woods, discussing all sorts of things like recent podcasts and interesting stories from work and basically just enjoying our time together. We spotted a really old Jeep deep in some shrubs, and we both brought up how my dad would go try to take a closer look (because he has an old Jeep that needs a new windowpane) and somehow that evolved into joking about why CR would be calling my dad. We walked into a clearing, and then he started saying all these nice things that wasn't new for him, but it felt different somehow. I wasn't initially sure exactly what was happening until he reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring. Everything just kind of went black for me at that point. I do remember saying yes though! Then there was a lot of kissing and hugging and trying to believe that this actually just happened!

We did eventually find our way back to the beginning of the trail and realized we missed the turn to the right trail exactly three feet into the hike. We hiked up to actual look out (it was so steep!), where CR later told me he initially was going to propose. When we got up there and saw how many people were there, we both agreed that our lost-hike-in-the-woods alone was exactly how it was supposed to happen.

After forcing a college kid to take our picture, we quickly drove back to our hotel to call our families.  I had asked CR to bring my nail polish from back home since my current manicure was chipping, so I did the most girly thing and quickly changed my nail polish -  if I am going to make people stare at my hands, I may as well have fresh nail polish on! Both of our parents knew what was happening (CR had called everyone earlier in the week), and so were quick to pick up our phone calls! I wish we could have been able to celebrate in real life with our families afterwards, instead of the delayed celebrating we will be doing over the next month, but we at least had FaceTime! His parents were so excited, as were mine. Next we called my youngest sister, who has been pushing for an engagement from the first day she met CR. She was studying at Panera, and burst into happy tears when we told her the news - it was my favorite reaction of the whole day! We were able to reach all of our immediate family members and closest friends, and were just giddy about the whole thing.

CR is my best friend and favorite person in the whole world, and I'm very excited for this next phase of our relationship. I could not ask for a more caring, understanding, funny, and kind man to spend my life with. He has and continues to make me a better person, and I'm so excited to see what our future holds.

I don't intend for this blog to become a wedding blog at all, but will periodically write a post here and there about our wedding planning process! We've (CR says I have, but he's just as actively filling it out) already started the spreadsheets and venue searching, but have plenty of time as we are currently planning for late spring of 2018. Can't wait to share more with you in the future!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

beauty tuesday: my favorite make-up removers

We discuss make-up quite a bit around here, but one thing we haven't talked about is make-up removal! I've been a beauty magazine junkie since I was young, so I've always made sure to follow the rule of taking your make-up off at night. I used to be all about the Neutrogena face wipes, but I eventually got sick of spending $6 every month on wipes I was throwing away, plus I never felt like they were very gentle on my eyelashes and skin around my eyes. Then for many many years, I used simple coconut oil to remove my eye makeup. This worked like a charm and was super cheap, but it was so messy to use, and even messier to travel with. I recently had the chance to try out two new methods of removing make up, so I wanted to share both with you today!

Bioderma Micelle Solution

I have heard about micellar water for quite some time, but was always hesitant to try it. I've used a lot of oil based make-up removers in the past, and hated how they felt greasy and didn't actually remove my make-up completely. Bioderma reached out and asked if I'd like to try a bottle, and so I finally gave it a try...and I am converted. I've been using my bottle for more than three months now, and from the first use, I was hooked. I soak a cotton pad to be about half wet, and then just softly wipe at my eye make-up. I use some heavy duty eyeliner and mascara, and this just wipes it away. My favorite part is that it feels just like water - magic water that removes your makeup with zero effort - instead of the oily liquids I've used in the past A bit of research shows that micellar water is basically cleansing oil molecules suspended in water, which explains why it cleanses so well but doesn't leave an oily mess behind. It's great for my sensitive dry skin too, and I've felt that the skin around my eyes has been less dry since I started using it. Of course, I like to see how any remover compares in price with my very cheap coconut oil routine. A 500 mL bottle (the size I have) costs about $17. Like I said, I've been using mine for about three months now, and have only used about 1/3 of the bottle, so I would say that it's actually pretty comparable to the coconut oil when priced out over the year. I did receive my bottle for free from Bioderma, but will definitely be purchasing a new bottle once this one is empty (in like six months!). Beautylish has several sizes in stock as well.

Makeup Eraser

This is another one of those products I had heard a lot about, and had sitting in my Amazon cart for a while, but never pulled the trigger on. I've been working with Popsugar's Must Have box program for several months now, and every month has brought some great new products into my life (if you're interested, you can use the code SHOP5 to receive $5 off your first box). This month's box included the Makeup Eraser mini, so I was very excited to test it out. It's basically just a polyester washcloth that promises that it will erase all make-up by simply wetting the fabric and wiping away your makeup. It even promises to remove waterproof formulas! I've only used this for a few days now, but have been very impressed by it's ability to remove my makeup. I honestly didn't have high hopes as I assumed it was just basically a more expensive wash cloth (which doesn't ever actually remove makeup well) but this little guy works so well! All you do is get it wet, and wipe at your make-up. It only took a few seconds, and all my eye makeup was transferred to the towel. Then I rinsed it with soap, and it looked brand new again! Instructions say it should last 1,000 washes, so all in all, $12 for three years of make-up removal is one heck of a deal. It also comes in a larger size, which I think I would like even more. The one thing that was a problem for me is that it irritated my eyes a bit - I don't know if that's because I'm rubbing water into it or because I have very sensitive eyes, but that did leave my eyes a bit irritated.

In the end, because the Makeup Eraser left my eyes a bit irritated, and because I like the added benefits of the Bioderma micellar water, I'm going to use the Makeup Eraser for travel (it's the perfect size!) and the Bioderma for my every day. I would love to hear about your experiences with various make-up removal methods, and which one you prefer - wipes? oils? cleansers? leave it on and reapply the next day? ;)