Saturday, December 31, 2016

healthyish, vol. 1

For the past few weeks, I've played with the idea of starting a new weekly post. Now that I'm done living in dorm rooms, having a lot of things to look forward to in the coming year, and having a bit more time on my hands, I'm really looking forward to dedicating myself to regularly working out, cooking more, and watching what I eat. While I do enjoy working out, and I do enjoy eating healthy, I also really enjoy sitting around marathoning tv shows and eating cheeseburgers. I was thinking about how I can hold myself accountable to sticking with eating cleaner and working out more consistently, and I thought...well, I've been documenting most other parts of my life on the internet, why not this?

This will never be a healthy living blog. My plan is just to do a quick post every week about what work outs I did, what food I made, and overall how I'm striving to live a healthier and fitter life.  I want to share what my weekly goals are - I've always said that the way to achieve a long term goal is by breaking it up into little goals, and trying to live a healthier life is no different. My long term goal is to lose 25 pounds. When you look purely at the numbers, I'm slightly in the overweight category, and while I know that I'm a healthy person otherwise, I want to strive to be healthier, and a part of that is being in the normal weight category. Trust me, that's not an easy or fun thing to admit on the internet, but I also want to go into this being honest. Here's how I plan on achieving my goals, in the short and long term!

through watching what I eat:

Two years ago, CR and I had a lot of success doing the Four Hour Body. We both lost about 15 pounds relatively easily. We spent most of our days at home studying, so we were able to control our diet really well - there weren't any temptations in our homes, so we didn't really deviate from the plan! Once clinical rotations started, we still tried to follow the diet, but life got busy, we spent less and less time at home, and the time we were together, we wanted to do fun things like get cheeseburgers and eat dessert with our friends. That, combined with those months of not living at home, and we're basically right where we started. Our (because we're doing this together again) plan is to eat pretty similar to that diet again - high in vegetables and lean meats, low in carbs and dairy. Due to my PCOS, losing weight is not the easiest for me. I can't just cut out cereal and soda and lose weight. I have to actively work on my diet, and for me, that includes not eating simple carbs most of the time. We already cook like that at home anyway, so now it's more about meal prepping during the week so I have those meals to take for lunch, and working on self control at times when I'm around other food that isn't the healthiest. So the plan is Sunday-Friday, we eat clean. Eggs and beans for breakfast, veggies and meats for lunch and dinner, and vegetables and protein (jerky, eggs, etc) for snacks. I plan on keeping track of calories on My Fitness Pal (lets be friends! I'm fhasselhof). On Saturday, we have a cheat day! We get to go out for brunch with friends, grab a pizza for dinner, and enjoy those meals together. 10% of our meals for the week are whatever food we desire, and the other time we focus on delicious healthier food. It's the right compromise for us. 

through exercising more and intentionally

In June, when we had a month off to study for Step 2, I did six weeks of the BBG / Sweat with Kayla workouts. I liked having organized work outs listed out for me, and with them lasting only 28 minutes each, it wasn't a giant time commitment. I felt stronger and leaner after that time. Then sub-internships happened, and working 75 hour weeks meant that the first thing to stop was work outs. I have one week of EM left, and then I have a month of vacation, so it's the perfect time to really get into that routine. I also have recently discovered spinning! I know, a little late on that band wagon ;) I found a nice little studio around here, and with a New Year's deal, have purchased unlimited classes for the next three months (bonus part about living in a low cost of living area? 3 months unlimited classes cost me just over $100). So the plan is 3 days of BBG a week + 2-3 spin classes a week. Having specific plans in place means I'm less likely to go to the gym and just half ass my time on a treadmill for twenty minutes. I'm scheduling my workouts a week ahead of time, so I can't back out of the workouts. Especially since I know how have to show up here every week and confess what did and did not happen!

through weekly goals

Like I said, achieving a big goal is about breaking it into little goals. So for this, it's no different! More about my goals for next week below.

through treating myself for my hard work

Part of that is through cheat days - I love all types of food too much to just say "nope, never again!". Other parts of that is, of course, cute work out clothes! I've always really liked Old Navy's work out clothes - they hold up well, they fit me well, and have really lasted. Currently in my cart I have a high waisted cropped pair of pants (my favorite style) in a cute black + blue pattern, a tank top, and a pullover (because the BBG work outs currently are happening in my cold garage).


When we got home on Monday night from our little Christmas break, I made two large spaghetti squashes, mixed in some red pasta sauce, and added frozen turkey meatballs from Wegmans. That made enough for my lunches for the week, and for CR's dinners (he's still living in a dorm an hour away for his last sub-internship). It was fairly easy to make, was delicious, and very filling too. For dinners I had my favorite new food, the veggie tots from Green Giant (they are in the freezer section) with turkey meatballs (doesn't look like much but it was so good), butternut squash with lean beef meatballs, and a lean hamburger with a poached egg and sweet potato fries (just a sweet potato cut up, drizzled with a little bit of olive oil, seasoned with salt, and baked for 30 minutes - SO GOOD). Snacks this week included carrot slices + hummus, hard boiled eggs, Hippeas, and a few protein shakes (made with this protein powder). I averaged around 1,500 calories a day and was never hungry! Which is pretty amazing since I spent last Friday-Monday eating as many cheesy potatoes and cookies as I could get my hands on ;)

- Tuesday: BBG legs (omg, my legs have hurt so much since! Today is the first day I can halfway walk)
- Wednesday: 60 minutes of spin (18.5 miles, 590 calories burned)
- Thursday: BBG abs + arms
- Friday: 45 minutes of spin (13.5 miles, 371 calories burned)

weight lost: 1.6 lbs

goals for the upcoming week:
- Drink 100 ounces of water/day
- Do 3 BBG work outs + 3 spin work outs
- Try one new recipe (maybe these tuna cakes?)

A few people have asked if there's a way we can make this interactive, and I really love that idea! I'm just not quite sure how we go about it - do you guys want to share what work outs you did and what new recipes your tried in the comments section? Do you want to just follow each other on My Fitness Pal? Do you want to make a Wellness group on facebook? I'm definitely game for anything!

ps. I can't not for the life of me come up with a good name for this series. What do you guys think? Weekend Wellness Update? Working on my Fritness (fran+ fitness - CR loves making up new words with my name). The 90/10 list?

Friday, December 30, 2016

it's going to be lit.

DSC06388picture 2 New Year's Eve is one of my favorite holidays - what's better than a holiday that you get to spend with friends, have to stay up until midnight sipping on champagne, and wake up with the excitement of a whole new year ahead of you? Sometimes there's even fireworks, which are one of my favorite things. Champagne + fireworks = best holiday ever.

When it comes to the NYE party, there's two ways to go - big and fancy or small and intimate. I've gone to a few big New Years party - think fun dresses, high heels, and lipstick  you may not wear in your day to day life. This faux wrap dress from Kohl's is a perfect example of that special dress you save for these parties - I love that it holds on to the holiday spirit with a bright Christmas red, but with a bit more va va voom than you would wear to Grandma's family get together. On the other side of the NYE spectrum is a smaller get together with friends, which is what we are doing this year. I'll be wearing something very similar to this tomorrow night! Classic black jeans paired with a fun top and loose blazer is pulled together, but comfy enough to cozy up on the couch eating deep fried apps and drinking Christmas Ale to toast the new year. I'm going to keep it a bit more special by pairing my outfit with these amazing velvet heels, because when else am I going to get to wear something this fun in my daily life? 

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outfit one:
Clutch: similar

outfit two:
Shoes: LC Lauren Conrad c/o Kohl's (go down half a size!)
Pants: similar

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If you are still looking for something special to wear tomorrow night, Kohl's has a ton of options where you can buy a piece online, and then can pick up in store that day so you have it for tomorrow (which is what I did with these pieces I'm wearing). You can use code FIREWORK to receive 15% off your order (good through January 1st). Below are a few options that you can pick up in store! 

Thank you to Kohl's and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016: a year in review

For many people, 2016 was not a great year. Between the election, some of our favorite celebrities dying, and whatever else the year has brought, I think many people are excited to have a fresh start. 2016 was definitely an interesting year for me, luckily one with more ups than downs. The beginning of the year brought a ton of learning opportunities, and the chance to do two months of ObGyn that solidified my decision to pursue it as a career. Over the summer, CR and I kicked Step 2's ass (and scored the exact same score #soulmates), went to my ten year high school reunion, and have since spent the past six months living apart as we each did our sub-internships. It was a great learning experience for our relationship - it required us to focus on our communication skills, we learned to cherish our limited time together, and in the end, we are coming out of it stronger than ever...and engaged! We spent weekends camping and catching up with Dave. The fall brought us to California for a long weekend, and the chance for me to visit ObGyn programs for residency interviews all over the eastern side of the country. 2016 was a good year, and I have a feeling 2017 may be the best yet. Between Match Day, graduation, moving for residency, starting our careers, and planning our wedding, it may just be the busiest yet! But before we look ahead...we have to look back, at the good, the not so good, and everything in between. Thank you for being such an encouraging part of my life - I hope 2017 is your best year yet!

favorite outfits
one | two | three | four

2016 was the year that I blogged the least amount of outfits - there were many weeks where I didn't post a single one! Most of my rotations this year have been hospital based, so I wore scrubs all of those rotations (9 out of 11 rotations this year), plus busy months of studying for Step 2 and living away from home for sub-internships - all together, it left little time to wear real clothes, much less take pictures of them! I did manage to get in quite a few I loved though. It's quite interesting to look through the previous year in review posts, and see how my style has changed over the years. My wardrobe now is very neutral based - the colors I do wear are either blush or blue, with red accessories mixed in. This means I can mix and match more, and it also makes it easier to shop! 

least favorite

There is nothing really inherently wrong with any of these outfits, but as I looked through the last year's worth of posts, these are the ones I was mostly meh about. Sometimes that's what it's like to wear your normal clothes in your real life - sometimes they will be just fine outfits, but maybe not really worth putting on the internet. Finding that balance between sharing every day outfits with trying to keeping it interesting is definitely something I'm still working on.

best purchases
These were pretty easy to pick out, just quickly scrolling through the last year's worth of budget posts. The poncho is one I love to wear, and pack with me on every colder weather trip we go on (see it on here). I wear my Michael Kors loafers constantly. The J.Crew blazer is definitely the best purchase I made this year (see my review here and it on here). I haven't shown my Coach purse a ton on the blog, but it's currently my go-to purse on the weekends.

regret purchases
My least favorite purchase was the flared jeans I bought earlier in the year. I never grab for them, and it was definitely one of those instances where I fell prey to the trendiness of it. Lesson learned!

most popular posts
Looking at my stats for the 169 posts I've written this year, the ones that always get the most views are ones related to school or review posts. The highest viewed post of the year is a post about what to wear on clinical rotations, followed by posts about what a day on internal medicine is like and a 24 Ob call. My review posts are always the most popular of the month - I'm not sure if it's because people like to see how truly awful some clothes look on me, or if it's because google searches bring people here. Either way, I plan on continuing both types of posts in the future as they are clearly what people are most interested in!

This was the year I really started to incorporate more beauty and skincare posts, and it's been one of the things I'm most excited to write about nowadays! I'm always looking for the next best mascara / dry shampoo / face mask, so having a way to share those with you has been so much fun for me. Highlights included:
    - How I wash my hair only twice a week (with this lifesaver of a dry shampoo!)
    - A review of Essie's new gel couture line (possibly my favorite beauty product of the year)
    - How to trick people into thinking you have thick hair
    - The easiest way to apply self tanner
    - Before and after pictures using a tretinoin gel
    - My current skincare routine

medical school
Now in my fourth and final year, life was very busy, and now is very awesome. The first part of the year involved taking Step 2, doing three sub-internships, going on residency interviews, and now it's about enjoying the last five months until graduation! Posts throughout the year about school include:
    - A day in the life on Internal Medicine
    - 24 hour Ob call
    - A day of Step 2 studying
    - Great discussions about residency interview suits
    - Essentials for clinical rotations
    - Gift guide for medical students

in written form
I've always enjoyed writing, so I definitely enjoy writing longer posts once in a while. Longer posts this year included:
    - How we found our wedding venue
    - Thoughts on being curvy
    - Our engagement story
    - Real tips and tricks for growing your blog
    - My experience with Invisalign (complete with before and afters!)

favorite instagrams
Still my favorite social media app of choice (although snapchat is getting up there - follow along @ fhasselhof). This is an older post about how I edit pictures, although I've changed a few things. Any interest in an updated post?

resolutions for 2017
I like the idea of coming up with a few things you want to work on every year. Not vowing to become a whole new person, but just a few things to improve on. This year I want to:
    - Not wish my time away. I'm excited for our future, but want to enjoy every month of the year.
    - Start a wellness series on here, mostly to hold myself accountable to stick with cleaner eating
    - Read real books. for fun. First up: the history of cancer. Should be a quick read ;)


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

december budget + budget in review

Loft blouse: originally $60, on sale for $30 (currently 50% off!)
Macy's sequin tee: originally $80, on sale for $30
Ann Taylor shoes: originally $118, on sale for $60 (on major sale!)
Ann Taylor blouse: originally $70, on sale for $35

December's budget: $155

Quarterly budget: $500 - $100 in November - $155 in December = $245 leftover for January

It's our last budget post of the year! I've been writing my budget posts for four and a half years now, and I think 2016 was really the year where I really didn't feel the need to shop as much anymore. I still do quite a bit of it, but I've started to become particularly picky about the things I keep - I'm always excited to try new things (and share my thoughts with you guys) but I end up keeping so few of the items I order. I plan on going into more details about some of my favorite purchases and biggest misses of the year in the next few days during my year in review post (you can see previous versions here), but I did want to talk about a few specific budget related items today! 

I bought 38 items this year, which averages out to just a little over three items a month. The most expensive item of the year was my J.Crew blazer (seen here), which I think is also my favorite purchase of the year. I spent $1,983 this year - that averages to $52 per item. I think that's a bit skewed because every few months I buy an item that's over $100, while most other items I buy are under $40. I've tried a new technique this year of putting items I like in my carts online, and then waiting until a good 30-50% off sale (depending on store) happens so that I get the best deal I can. I also started using store cards a bit more (I have ones at Loft, Gap, and Nordstrom) because it's easier for returns and because you get free spending money that way. I pay mine off every month, so I'm not losing any money through interest. 

Overall, I'm very happy with the way that quarterly budgets have worked out for me for the past three years. Some months I spend a bit more and other months I buy one thing, so having the flexibility to spend more or less depending on what I come across has been so great for me. If you are thinking about starting a clothing budget in the new year, I wrote a post all about that last year

In this month particularly, I went half practical, and half a bit more fun! On the fun side of things, my new velvet flats are not the world's most comfortable and sturdy shoes, but they sure are cute and fun to wear - they are currently on sale + 60% off, with most sizes still available!  The sequin top is for NYE (we're hosting a small party here) and while not something I'll wear a ton, it's definitely a fun addition! On the slightly more practical side of things, my split neck top (reviewed here) was worn twice over the weekend - it's currently 50% off if you're interested. The popover is patiently waiting to be worn (I'm in scrubs on this rotation) but it's a fun take on the classic shirt - will definitely be wearing this a ton in the spring, and on warmer days here (like this week - it was 50 degrees yesterday!). It's also on sale + 60% off (I find it runs true to size). 

As always, I'd like to thank a few of my sponsors by acknowledging the items I received from them. I think it gives a more well rounded view of my own budget since I do receive some things for free every month. One of the companies who I have worked with the longest, and one I truly believe in, is Daniel Wellington. I have several of their watches, and wear them constantly. They are such timeless pieces that I just can't rave about enough. This month I received one of their new black collection watches - you can see it on me here! If you're interested, they are offering you 15% off with code FRANZISKA15. I also got to work with Shoebuy, and received a new pair of boots and a coat from them. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

top three [12.25.2016]

getting a little pin happy over here ;)

  • Christmas disease, now more known as Hemophilia B, is a blood clotting disorder. Interestingly, it was named Christmas disease after the first patient described with the disease rather than named after the doctor who discovered it. 
  • Holiday heart is when a patient who has consumed a large amount of alcohol (usually around the holidays) has a dysrhythmic episode. 
  • Pityriasis rosea is a type of skin rash that begins with a "herald patch" that often looks like a Christmas tree

on the internet

  • I've never been one for big NYE events, I've always enjoyed small get togethers with friends and family...but if I had some glitzy party to go to, I'd 100% wear this faux wrap sequin dress. It's amazing, right?! I bet it would be so fun to wear. 
  • My favorite shoes right now are definitely driving moccasins, and Cole Haan's are definitely at the top of my list. I think the navy colored ones are my favorite! 
  • Has anyone tried on this toggle front cardigan yet? It looks so darn comfortable, and a little bit more unique than my other cardigans. 

on franish

at home
  • I mentioned last week that Baer wasn't feeling too well, and on Wednesday after he threw up again, we went to the emergency vet clinic. After some tests and medications, he is now seemingly on the mend. Lots of chicken broth rice is helping too ;)
  • My family is meeting in Miami in a few weeks to celebrate my youngest sister's 21st birthday - anyone have any recommendations for things to see/ places to eat / beaches to lay on? 
  • Merry Christmas, you guys! I hope everyone got to spend time with your loved ones, got to eat some delicious food (we are having cheesy potatoes today and I can hardly wait), and are enjoying the holiday season!

Friday, December 23, 2016

review: when it looks better on the model online

Yesterday was a day where a bunch of packages showed up at once, so I figured we could do a quick review - it was this or a last minute gift guide, and I figured you guys knew where to run to go grab last minute presents! ;)

Caslon® Cowl Neck Sweater Poncho

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

my favorite products from the drug store

Over the years, I've definitely started the lean towards using more expensive make-up and skin care products, but there are still a ton of items I will only purchase from the drug store or Target. Below are my ten staples, ones where I don't even like the more expensive versions. I'd love to hear more about what your favorite drug store staples are!

ONE // After trying dozens of lotions, this is the only one I've found that really helps with dry winter skin. I buy the giant bottle, and it lasts for everrrrrr
TWO // I use this about once a week, focusing on the rougher patches. I love the smell!
THREE // My favorite shampoo. Even though it doesn't have sulfates, it lathers really well. Plus some versions smell like rosemary, which is a bonus if you love the Aveda shampoo smell but hate the price.
FOUR // Growing up in a German household, this was our magic cream. Dry face? Use it. Bad cuticles? This will help. Rough elbows? Use it every night. It's magic. 
FIVE // I'm very lazy when it comes to shaving (one of the few benefits of being a blondie!), but this makes it easy and quick. It's just so much easier than messing with shaving creams and so on.
SIX // One of the staples in my purse - I've been using the same stick since first year of med school. A necessity, especially when you're breaking in new shoes. You just rub it on the parts of your foot that rub your shoes the wrong way, and it prevents your shoes from tearing up your feet. It's seriously a life saver.
SEVEN // My absolute favorite nail polishes are from Essie, both the original formula and now the gel formulas. Their color section is vast, the formula stays forever, and for $8 a bottle, I think the formula is very comparable, if not better, than the $20 bottles.
EIGHT // I've been using this since high school, and leaves your hair moisturized and bouncy without weighing it down. Bonus is that it's super cheap (and smells amazing). 
NINE // I've been obsessed with this for years, and it's the only drug store lip balm I'll use. It actually relieves your lips of being dry and cracked rather than just putting a waxy surface on top of your lips - highly recommend this, I keep one in my car, purse, and bedside table!
TEN // My favorite multi-purpose item! I use it mostly in my shoes when I wear flats because it prevents your feet from sweating and making yours shoes sticky and smelly. I also use this when I travel as a dry shampoo (a trick I learned from Bri!), and it works very well for that purpose too. I buy the little bottles (usually only a dollar) as they travel and handle easier.

Monday, December 19, 2016

poncho sweaters are the best type of sweaters

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I realized yesterday that when I linked to the times I have worn this sweater on my blog, I've only worn it once on here! Which is crazy, because in real life (which I'm too lazy to document on the daily), I wear this sweater all the time. I love that it's warm without being constricting, and that it's flattering but still allows you to eat as many Christmas cookies as you want. It's the best

Other things that are the best? My new watch. Daniel Wellington has always been my go for timeless watches, and over the years, I've grown quite the collection. Their newest collection is the black faced collection, which I think is a great twist on their classic white faced watches. I've had several people ask me about the quality of the watches and I truly think they are some of the best out there - I've had several of their watches for years that I wear constantly, and they look as great, if not better, than the day I got them. I've teamed up with DW again this year to offer you 15% off their full collection of watches. Use code FRANZISKA15, which is good until January 31st! If you buy a watch + cuff combo, you'll get an additonal 10% off. 

Ponte Knit Five-Pocket Pant
Stuart Weitzman 5050 Stretch Suede Boots
Sweater: Nordstrom [similar]
Tee: Loft 
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact - get 15% off w/ code FRANZISKA15]
Pants: Express [exact on sale]
Boots: Stuart Weitzman c/o Shopbop [save | exact]
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My sweater is from last year, and no longer available, but below are six very similar styles. My favorite is the one I just ordered yesterday - I got it in the tan cobblestone color, and can't wait to wear it all winter long. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

top three [12.18.2016]

this year's gift guides: for medical students, for stationery lovers, and for the iphone obsessed

  • A study done on kidney models has shown that riding roller coasters helped pass the kidney stones in the model kidneys. Obviously, the fact that it was done on models and not real humans doesn't make it the best study, but it was inspired by actual people claiming that the ride helped them pass their own kidney stones. 
  • Echolalia: unsolicited repetition of words made originally by another person. It is often seen in children with autism. 
  • Spontaneous regression of melanoma (the worst type of skin cancer) is extremely rare (there are only 76 documented cases), that some believe is due to immune responses. 

on the internet


ask me anything [you can ask questions here]
  • I'm currently in undergrad, considering a career in medicine and thinking getting a very small, very meaningful tattoo (literally so small it looks almost like a mole if you aren't close up enough). I really want it on the inside of my wrist, but I know that tattoos can be looked down upon in the medical field. If it's that tiny, do you think it will be okay?
    • I definitely think that won't be a problem, as long as it's something you know you'll want forever. I had a small wrist tattoo for most of medical school - the nice thing about wrist tattoos is that they are easily covered up by watches! I got my tattoo when I was 18 though, and by the time I was 28, I realized that it was something I no longer loved and it no longer meant anything to me, so I've been undergoing tattoo laser removal (I'm almost done with the process, and will be writing a post about that in the future!). If it's something you love and it's small, it's no big deal!
  • After working as an engineer for a long time, I'm going back to school to with my final destination being a nurse anesthetist. At 36 years old, I sometimes get discouraged and feel like I'm doing this way late in the game...what is your advice to someone who is older?
    • I definitely can understand your hesitation about being an older student when you compare yourself to the early twenties students you see otherwise. I like to think of it as you have one life, and it's a pretty long life, so you should do the thing that you think will make you the most happy. 36 is not old at all! You have many decades ahead of you, and so wouldn't you want to spend that time you will be working doing something you always wanted to do, rather than always looking back and wondering "what if?". I also think it's helps to not just compare yourself to others in life situations - I've said before that I'm one of the only non-married people in my high school class, so of course when I compare myself, as being unmarried without children, without a permanent home, yeah, that's hard. But I'm working towards something that makes me happy and fulfilled, and that's all that matters in the end! 
  • Any advice on fun Christmas sweaters? Bonus if they ship quickly!

on franish

notable sales

at home
  • We were a few months behind, but in the last week, CR and I have watched the first season of Westworld and OMG. It was so good, I couldn't stop thinking about it! I downloaded the music, I started listening to podcasts about it (Decoding Westworld), and have already restarted watching the season from the beginning. Apparently season two doesn't come out until 2018?! 
  • I'm finally almost done with my Christmas shopping. I feel some years I'm so excited about the presents I'm giving, and other times, I find it so hard to shop for my closest friends and family members. This was one of those years where I really struggled!  Anyone else? 
  • Poor Baer got into some garbage earlier this week, and now he's been a miserable wreck - throwing up, not eating, just wanting to cuddle all night and day. He's still going to the bathroom and drinking a bit here and there, so he's doing okay, but I hope my boy gets better soon. That'll teach them for playing around in garbage though! 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

gift guide for medical students

It's time for my favorite gift guide this year - the medical student gift guide! I have done one of these the past few years (here and here), and while in the past I made ones for the part of school I was in, I tried to be a bit more all inclusive of all medical students (although this year's version does include a few more things that future fourth year students will use a ton). Some are practical and some are more fun!

ONE || Joyce recommended this, and I love them! You can personalize the little figure and put their future doctor title on it. I may have already ordered a few as gifts for friends, but had to get one for myself too ;)
TWO || Vera the Uterus is my little white coat side kick, and I am obsessed with her. Get one for the future uterus/heart/kidney specialist. I've given several of these away, to other students, people who just matched, and even a few of my favorite attendings!
THREE || CR got me this, and I have used it every day for the past six months. Between living in dorm rooms with shared bathrooms and traveling for interviews, this will get a ton of use!
FOUR || and I got this for CR - any upcoming fourth year will definitely need a way to transport their interview suits!
FIVE || for the student who lives somewhere cold and wants to be comfy & warm while studying (I love mine!)
SIX || the alternative to those stiff white coats - they'll live in it all winter long (and those heavily AC-ed summers). 
SEVEN || I've used mine almost every day of my clinical rotations. It folds up to fit in white coat pockets! You can also get it stamped with a name - I got one of these for my sister last Christmas.
EIGHT || for your future favorite obgyn or midwife (I love this one!)
NINE || a name tag for stethoscopes - love the leather versus the other plastic versions out there
TEN || either for long study sessions or for lots of flight travel, any student will get a ton of use out of a pair of noise canceling headphones. 
ELEVEN || my favorite USB stick - makes for a great stocking stuffer too!
TWELVE || just found this print the other. I plan on getting CR one some day for his future office!
THIRTEEN || keeps drinks cold for an entire day - I have one, and ice cubes stay solid for 24 hours! Get it monogrammed to keep it separate from all the others found in hospital. 

Other items that aren't as fun to buy but just as practical:
  • Starbucks gift card
  • An iPass/Easy Pass - I drove to all my interviews this year, and using my iPass has saved me so much time! 
  • Pandora One (gets rid of distracting commercials!)
  • A massage gift card
  • A cleaning service that comes once a month
  • Amazon prime + gift card

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

beauty tuesday: updated skincare routine

A couple of weeks ago, a reader asked about starting a night time skin care routine. After answering, I've had several other people ask me for what my current skin care routine is, and since I last did that post in February, here's an update! As you can see, many parts of my routine are still the same, but I've stopped using a few products for one reason or another, and added a few new ones in. I'm finally over the flakiness that the tretinoin cream caused, and I have a more control

in the morning
  1. Glossier cleanser: I use this first thing in the morning in combination with the sponge below. It's a very gentle cleanser, the bottle lasts a long time (I just ordered my second bottle finally), and I even use it to remove my make up on nights I'm feeling lazy and wore less make-up during the day. 
  2. Cleansing sponge: I've had the same sponge for about two years now, and still use the same one. It has made such a difference in removing flaky skin, especially during the winter. 
  3. Paula's Choice perfecting liquid: Another mainstay in my skincare routine. I'll stop using it for a few days because I get lazy, and all of a sudden have like four new break outs. It is a bit drying so I only use it on my problem areas, but it has made such a difference for me. 
  4. First Aid Beauty hydrating serum: To combat the dryness, I started using this serum last winter, and it's been a life saver. I tried cutting back on it this summer too, but again, came right back to using it because it is so effective.  
  5. Paula's Choice sunscreen: I used to never use daily sunscreen, but having read enough about skin cancer and just the vain prevention of wrinkles has made me start using sunscreen. I really like this sunscreen particularly because it's not thick and oily like typical sunscreens - it's a very fluid sunscreen that doesn't leave a film or anything on the skin. 
  6. Belif moisturizer: Another mainstay in my current routine - I'm on my third or fourth jar now!

in the evening
  1. Micellar water: I reviewed this a few weeks ago, but like I said, it easily removes all eye makeup and is super gentle (it basically feels just like water!). I use it with cotton pads. 
  2. Paula's Choice cleanser: Another favorite! It's gentle, removes remaining make-up, and doesn't dry out my skin. I'm on my third bottle of this, and am about to order a fourth!
  3. Retin A Micro: Probably the biggest game changer in my skincare routine over the past year. It's a prescription cream that I use every other night. It has decreased my acne, reduced hyper-pigmentation, and has overall made a big difference in my skin. Highly recommend if over the counter creams and cleansers aren't making as big of a difference as you would like. 
  4. Vanicream: This was recommended to me by my dermatologist to help with the dryness and flaking caused by the tretinoin cream. I didn't believe it made me much of a difference until I ran out of it a few months ago, and the dry flakiness came back. Now I slather this on at night, and when I wake up, my skin is so soft (and not dry!).
  5. Glossier I use this for the rougher skin I get around my nose (mostly during the winter when I'm blowing my nose all the time). It soothes the irritation and heals the chapped skin. 

as needed
  1. Kiehl's acne treatment: I've had this same little tube for a few years now (it's probably actually time to get a replacement) but I use it when I feel a break out coming on. I don't think it makes a huge difference one way or the other, and I don't particularly think that this salicylic acid spot treatment is much different than others, but I like it, and it's what I've been using. 
  2. Kaplan's lip mask: I mentioned this on instagram yesterday, but the combination of a weekly lip mask + daily lip balm has made a big difference for my lips. I tend to have pretty dry lips no matter what else I've done, and this has helped, especially now that winter weather is officially here.  
  3. Glamglow face mask: I use this about once every two weeks to help with the flakiness of my skin. It's definitely drying, so I don't leave it on much longer than necessary, but it has been one of the only things I've found that helps with removing flakes.
  4. Ren mask: I stumbled upon this while looking through mask reviews, and people seem to really like it! I've used it twice, and plan on doing a full review soon, but it's basically a gentler mask that helps "restore radiance". 
  5. Memebox sheet masks: After mentioning how much I liked the Sephora face masks a few months ago, several readers recommended checking out Memebox for cheaper masks. I put in a big order, and have been using various ones ever since! The masks run $1-$3, so even if I put one on and don't end up liking it, I don't feel like I wasted a ton of money on something I don't like. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

top three [12.11.2016]

a sparkly necklace for all the seasons!


on the internet


ask me anything
  • Do you have any suggestions on what to wear to a white coat ceremony? I have a number of tattoos on my right upper arm, so I'm always looking for three-quarter sleeve length dresses. I'm open to patterns and color since the white coat is, well, white. I'm also hoping to get double duty out of this dress to wear during rotations when the time comes.
  • Please link where you got all your ornaments asap! I gotta order some custom ones!
  • What type/brand of hangers do you use? I'm looking to makeover my closet!
    • I actually won 100 hangers from years ago, on Alterations Needed! I like that I'm limited to 100 hangers - it causes me to constantly evaluate what I'm keeping and adding to my closet. I also feel like I can see my clothes a bit better than if I used thinner hangers. Since my closet is fairly small, it would almost make more sense to have the thinner ones, but this has worked well for me for the past four years!

on franish

notable sales

at home
  • I'm half done with my emergency medicine rotation blocks, and I've honestly really enjoyed it so far! I can definitely see the appeal of this speciality, and I like the idea of practicing in all realms of medicine, but I'm definitely most excited with any ObGyn cases come in, so I know that's still the right place for me! Working in an area with a lot of Amish communities has also brought in a ton of interesting pathologies that I don't think you'd see elsewhere. 
  • CR and I are on the last month of living apart, but now he will only be an hour away from me, so we can get middle of the week dinners, and he'll be home on the weekends again. We are getting so close to being done with this - we've been living apart since June!
  • We are all geared up for the holidays around here, in our own little ways. CR put up our outside lights yesterday (my favorite - icicle lights!), our little fake Christmas tree has our few personalized ornaments on it, and I may have purchased a holiday pillow too (it's so cute!). I think next weekend we are going to make cookies from scratch - any one have any recipes they'd like to share?!