Monday, July 17, 2017

my experience with microneedling

I feel that you guys have been a part of this skin journey for years now. Several years ago, I shared how the Paula's choice system really helped with my acne - that system was the beginning of getting my skin to where it is today. Then about two years ago, I added a tretionoin gel to the regime, which did a great job with helping with the hyperpigmentation scars, as well as with keeping my acne at bay.

Last November, I was seeing my dermatologist for my last tattoo laser removal session. It was right after CR and I got engaged, so I asked her if she had any suggestions for getting my skin to be as great as it could be before our wedding. We discussed lasers (like Fraxels) versus peels versus microneedling. In the end, she recommended microneedling for me as I'm still young, and my main concern at that point was the scarring left over from the acne, and some of the spots that were starting to pop up on my face.

You may have heard of microneedling, as it's one of the big up and coming cosmetic treatments in the dermatology world. Microneedling is the process of using tiny needles to cause microscopic injury to the skin, also called "collagen induction therapy". This stimulates your body to respond to this injury by increasing the production of collagen, which helps treat texture, color, and unevenness in the skin. There are two ways about getting this type of treatment. There's the kind that you can do at home - from what I've read, this is a nice way to get into microneedling, but the needles don't penetrate as deeply or as evenly, so you aren't going to see the same results as you would if you had it done professionally. Then there's the kind where you see someone in a dermatologist's office. At my derm's office, there is an RN who does all of her microneedling and peels. They use the Rejuvapen, which looks like... a pen with a bunch of tiny needles on it.

Okay, so before I get into the process of microneedling, here are some before pictures.
It's hard to really see the scarring in these pictures - I really tried to get better pictures, but depth is hard to capture in pictures. I had true pockmark scars, especially along my temple and the lateral sides of my cheekbones (probably because I get acne where I rest my face on my hands, a habit I can't seem to break - it's all that studying!). But you can see that some of the hyperpigmentation from the acne was still present, and I had a bunch of new discoloration showing up. Once I saw these pictures, I realized even though I don't really see much sunlight anymore, it really was time to wear sunscreen daily, so I'm proud to say I've been wearing this sunscreen daily for over six months now, and feel better every day knowing I'm taking better care of my skin, and preventing more of those age spots from showing up.

Okay, so about the actual process of microneedling! At my dermatologist's office, they started the process by taking before pictures, and then going to their back procedure room. There, the nurse applied topical lidocaine to my face to numb it. I basically then took a 15 minute nap while I waited for the cream to start working. 
mascara details: urban decay primer followed by bobbi brown's mascara
Then, the nurse used the Rejuven and started working at on my forehead down. Because of the lidocaine cream, I felt very little besides just the vibrating. I would say there really was very minimal pain involved, even when she went closer to the edges of my face, where there wasn't always lidocaine cream. You can see how she did it below: 


The only true painful part was the "stamping", which from how she explained it, is she "stamped" aka went deeper, on the scars that needed a bit more collagen induction. It was a split second of pain for each stamp, and nothing that should scare you away from the process, but I definitely want to warn you that that may be painful for a split second.

All in all, the process from start to finish takes about one hour.

After the whole face has been done, you are ready to go! Your face will be red and feel tight - kind of like if you got a bad sunburn. Here's what I looked like right after walking out of the office (you can even still see the lines the scrub cap left).
For the next 12 hours, my skin felt pretty tight. Nothing unbearable, but enough that I noticed it. By the next morning, there was just a bit of redness remaining, and within 24 hours, my skin color was back to normal. During the first few days, you are not supposed to sweat or go into the sun much.

Here is the downside to microneedling. It is not a quick fix like a facial would be. You do not walk out of the dermatologist's office with brand new skin. It takes about 4-6 weeks to really see a difference, and for optimal results, you have to have multiple sessions. So I have had three sessions, spaced between December and May. Each session at my dermatologist's office cost $200. As someone who has been unhappy with my skin for the last 15 years, that money was more than worth it to get rid of the evidence of the acne that my skin is slowly overcoming. I now only wear a primer and a BB cream daily, and some days only a bit of concealer under my eyes because I don't need to put a bunch of stuff on my face anymore. I plan on getting one more treatment next spring, about two months before our wedding.



Overall, I am extremely pleased with the results that microneedling gave me. If you have acne scarring or hyperpigmentation that just won't go away, talk to your dermatologist to see if microneedling may be a good option for you. I firmly believe that creams and lotions can only do so much, sometimes you have to get the professionals involved!

disclosure: I am obviously sharing this from the point of view of a patient, this is not medical advice! :)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

top three [07.16.2017]

it's almost sweater weather ;)  || one | two | three

spotted //
  • Since finally trying high waisted jeans, I can't get enough of them - I wear them every time I get to wear real clothes! The color of this pair from Hudson is beautiful - it's like a mix between blue and black denim, which means they are the perfect way to dress up denim. Love!
  • I know it's July, but winter is coming (GoT, you ready?!). I really want to try Blondo's waterproof booties - I love that they are still suede but waterproof. I don't know what magic does that, but I'm here for it. 
  • Zella's leggings are my absolute favorite. They are so comfortable, keep everything tucked in, and really last a long time (I've had my current pair for three years and they still look basically brand new). They have a really cute pair that is cropped with a few pieces of mesh that I have my eye on during the Nordstrom sale!

on the internet //

on franish //
  • on the blog: nothing this week! sorry guys - I'm hoping to get a bit better as I get used to this new life.
  • on the instagram: making the most out of those saturdays (jeans + top)
  • on the twitter: so so happy about this!

notable sales //

at home //
  • Hiiiii! Sorry about the radio silence this week. I had big plans to have a few posts ready for the week, and then reading and prepping for the week, and actually spending time with CR and the dogs took precedence. I know you guys don't notice when I don't post, but I don't want to just come on here once a week and link dump and walk away. 
  • Anyway, the week was really good! A few really long days, but honestly, as long as I'm able to eat a few meals while there, it is really fun to finally be doing the work - really, that's the biggest difference between being a med student and an intern. You still don't know much and are probably more of a hinderance than anything, but at least you can put in orders haha
  • Lots of fun things happened this weekend though! CR finally got a new car! It's been a slow three year down hill battle with the car - it didn't have heat for two winters, we wouldn't drive it on the highways or more than a half an hour away from home, and I have had to come jump or get his car towed probably at least a dozen times. So now with a regular paycheck, and real responsiblities to show up to work, he made the big step and got a car he loves. I'm so excited for him, and for me, since my poor little car now gets a break from being our main car (but in exciting news in that department, I was able to pay it off yesterday, a whole year ahead of schedule. She's all mine!!!). 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

top three [07.09.2017]

still getting used to the doctor title ;)   (details: notebook // badge reel // shoes // mug // book)

medicine //
  • The mean age for menopause is 51.4 years old, but smokers will, on average, go into menopause 1.74 years earlier. Another reason to not smoke!
  • Gubernaculum: a pair of embryonic structures that helps the testes/ovaries descend. Plus it's a fun word to say!
  • Anotia: when a baby is born without the external ear. 

spotted //
  • I love the blue + white pattern of this dress...and that you don't need a strapless bra to wear it (looking at you, off the shoulder dresses taking over the world). 
  • I've really taken a liking to the Minnie style of Tory Burch flats - they require zero break in, and therefore they are so much more comfortable too. I love that new floral pattern they have (I have the tortoise shell ones too - so fun!). 
  • Lush has become the darling of Nordstrom, but I do have to admit, they make some really great classic looking pieces, like their new wrap dress. I'll take the pink one, please!

on the internet //

ask me anything //
  • I just started third year rotations, and my legs and feet hurt so much from standing all day. Any recommendations?
    • Compression socks are going to make a WORLD of difference for you! I didn't really start wearing them until the end of third year, and wish I had started earlier! I wear these ones from Sockwell - I know have at least six pairs, and refuse to go to work (in scrubs) without them!! I also will prop up my legs after a long day to help with the drainage and circulation. Avoid salty foods and drink water when you can!
  • How did you not let the competitive atmosphere of medical school and the students get to you? Specially with students who want to go into the same field as you?
    • That's a great question, and one that's really hard to answer because parts of it are really an internal thing. I have always been more about helping out my friends/co-students, and actually wanting to be friends with those around me. In school, our grades were not based on a bell curve, so what you got on a test is what you got - I suppose that helped in wanting to help your friends succeed. I loved getting to know people on interviews, and actually now that I think of it, even though they were 'my competition", I never even saw them that way! I saw them as my future co-workers, not something that needs to be dragged down to make me look better. One of my close friends, and former roommate, also was going for ObGyn (and now is!), and we both just wanted the other to succeed, and bonded over our experiences. It's just more fun to support those around you rather than dragging them down - that's fun for no one. 
  • Knowing how things have worked out with the residency of your dreams and the good stuff in your personal life, do you have anything you wish you could say to reassure yourself in the stressful lead-up to residency applications/interviews?
    • Oh man, of course I wish I could go back to my 22 year old self and tell her that things will work out. I think because you guys obviously weren't with me every day during the hard times, it's easy to think now "oh she has the job she wanted and a great man to marry" but it was definitely not always like that. I struggled to get into medical school, struggled at times in medical school, and spent the greater part of a decade dating the wrong person for me. So I suppose it would have been really reassuring to tell myself that yes, it will work out ("the way it's supposed to" like they say!), but having those experiences also shaped me to be who I am - grateful for the life and opportunities I've been given and have worked for. 

notable sales //

on franish //

at home //
  • What a week, you guys! While we are technically still going through orientation right now (one more week!), we have been going in before orientation starts to learn how to round on our patients, write notes, and put in orders. I got to help with an endometrial ablation (which is a very small procedure but it was nice to be a part of it nonetheless), and did a colposcopy. Our upperlevels could not be more kind and gracious to us interns as we learn the way of the land. Every day I'm so thankful to be where I am, even though I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed about what the future will be like.
  • CR had to work all weekend, so I used it as a time to get my life in order. Furniture was built (we got this for our kitchen for the coffee station - we just have to sand and stain the wood top to make it match our wood floors!), the house was cleaned, I organized my study materials, and today I'm spending much of the day cooking meals for the week and reading all the things. 
  • Speaking of meal prepping, do you guys have any recommendations for bakes or casseroles? Today I'm making a sweet potato egg bake, buffalo chicken spagetti squash casserole, and CR is making chili - we should be pretty set for the week haha....but I'd love to try something new!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

recent reviews: you never know until you try

I basically didn't order or try on a piece of clothing until the last few days of June, which is why there wasn't a budget post this past month. I've found a few great pieces though lately (and some not so great), so here are a few things I've tried lately that I thought you'd like to hear about! central shirt in erinn stripe; 9" high-rise skinny jeans in polly wash
Alright, first up is the outfit that I've basically been talking about for weeks now! These high waisted Madewell jeans feel amazing on. The material is apparently the stretchiest they've ever made, and I would agree that these have quite a bit more stretch to them than my other pair of Madewell jeans I have - but that's what makes them so comfortable. They are also thicker than some jeggings I have, so they are a bit more flattering than typically stretchy jeans are. As far as sizing goes, I'm wearing a 31 tall here (I'm 5'9'', for the record) and they are the perfect length on me. I don't know guys, I just think these are so flattering, which is unexpected. It also helps that they are currently on sale, which is not always the case with Madewell denim. 

I also wanted to quickly talk about the shirt I'm wearing - the central shirt is a style of shirt that Madewell makes several variations of, so I'm glad I finally tried it! This clearly is not a style I would have tried previously - looser around the waist, extra fabric around the shoulders, and on the boxier end of tops. But it's also a thinner fabric that drapes nicely and is great to wear to grill outs (which is where I wore this the first time) because you can eat as many hot dogs as you want without being concerned about being uncomfortable in a tight shirt. Do I think I will own a whole closet full of central shirts? Unlikely. But for cooler summer days to run around town in and go out with a girlfriend? Absolutely, it's a great looser summer shirt for those of us who want a bit more coverage.
 Denim roll shorts
Next up - these shorts from Gap. I, like I know a lot of you, have a hard time finding denim shorts. If they fit in the legs, they are too loose in the waist. If the waist fits, chances are you'll have a diaper butt. I have a pair of shorts from Rag & Bone that I love when I put them on right out of the dryer, but within two hours, they are falling off my waist and I feel like I'm wearing a denim diaper. Not cute. These gap shorts though are made of a 99% cotton, 1% spandex material, so they feel really great on and don't immediately stretch out and fall off your backside. I went with my pretty typical jean size, a  31, and I feel they fit true to size. I love the slight distressing on them (very similar to the Rag & Bone shorts...but for like 1/ 10 of the price). If you're struggling to find a comfy pair of denim shorts, definitely give these Gap ones a try. I got them on sale for around $30, so I'm sure with the many Gap sales, you can get them for a similar price.

 Cheetah Leaf Shift Dress
Okay, next up is Ann Taylor's cheetah leaf dress. I fell in love with this dress when I saw it online, so I ordered it in a tall 10 and tall 12. I'm wearing the 10 above, as the 12 was too big on me. First of all, I love the pattern on this dress - I think it's so fun and unique. The black and white makes it super versatile. I found that the tall sizing was too tall on me though for what this dress would be - a fun summer dress for the weekends. With the covered neckline and sleeves (full short sleeves! nice job, AT), also having it go down to right the middle of the knees made it look a bit matronly on me. I also don't feel super comfortable with just straight shift dresses. I feel I constantly have to suck in, and that's not fun when you're just trying to wear what should be a comfortable dress. So while this dress is super cute and fun, it just wasn't the right one for me...which is still hard to admit, because I just really love the pattern on it.
 geo-jacquard-popover
The other item from Ann Taylor is one that we had a ton of discussion about on instastories. As you can see, I loved the shirt online so much that I ordered it in both white and black (both in a size large). I am so torn about this shirt (at least the black version - I didn't love the white version on me). On the one hand, full short sleeves, a flattering neckline, and a forgiving shape make it a great summer work shirt. On the negative side, and really the ONLY thing that bothers me, is that the sleeves are a bit puffier than normal, which creates really square looking shoulders (I called them the shoulder pads of our generation because I feel like half the blouses made have these little puffs). I kept trying the shirt on with different clothes to see if I could see past that but it's all I saw...but so many of you said that it actually creates a really flattering silhouette. So I've tucked the shirt away and am going to retry it in a few days again, just to see if I'm just being a crazy person and that the minor minor sleeve issue isn't actually an issue at all.
Pom Pom Lace Top
 Next up is this adorable pom pom top from Banana Republic. I didn't think I'd love this much as I do - it looked like a shirt that could run pretty boxy, so I didn't really have my hopes up. It's actually not nearly as boxy as I thought it would be! I'm wearing a size large here. I love the longer sleeves (that are a bit looser, as you can see above), the simple pattern, the higher neckline, and the fun pom pom detail. With a good discount, this shirt is totally worth it (I wouldn't really pay full price for it, even though it's one of the more inexpensive tops currently for sale at BR).
 Perfect shirt in cross-dyed Irish linen
I've been trying to get the right size of this linen shirt from J.Crew for like three months now. Back in like April, I ordered it in a size 10 tall. It didn't ship to me until the end of May, when I realize that it wasn't the right size for me - it was too tight at the hips, and too long in the arms. So during a recent sale, I re-ordered it in a size 12, which fits so much better. I think of this shirt kind of like the dressier version of a chambray shirt. It's soft, comfortable, and goes well with black pants, but is just slightly more professional. It's currently 30% off too if you are interested (it also comes in a few other colors if this pretty blue isn't something your closet needs). 

 Garment-dyed utility popover
The last item for today is J.Crew's utility popover. I was tempted by this top because it reminded me of a dress from J.Crew Factory that I have. Unfortunately, this top wasn't a hit for me. I found the fabric incredibly stiff, the shirt too large on me (even though I sized down to a 10 as recommended in the reviews), and no matter how I tucked it in, just wasn't working on me. It would have been a great top to wear with blue or white jeans, but the fit just wasn't doing it for me (goes to show that with these boxier types of shirts, it's all about how the fabric drapes!).

And that's it for me! We're pretty busy over here at the moment, as I start my rounding on patients now although we have orientation activities all day. Wish me luck - hopefully I won't stumble over saying my own title too many times (it's so awkward right now to call myself Dr!).

Sunday, July 2, 2017

top three [07.02.2017]

this week we: painted our fireplace // got a white coat // got new shelves!

spotted // 

  • So I finally tried on these high waisted jeans and you guys were so right. They are so flattering and fun to wear...and best part is that they are majorly on sale right now! Lets be twins :) 
  • How absolutely gorgeous is this crochet overlay dress from Eliza J (I promise it's so much cuter than that makes it seem). If I had a wedding to go to this summer, I'd absolutely wear that!
  • So I know this may be a bit controversial...but I could almost see myself wearing these overalls! I don't know, is that crazy? 

on the internet // 

throwback // 

ask me anything //  
  • Any suggestions on how to prepare and do well on fourth year ObGyn rotations?
    • Yes! I loved my sub-Is during fourth year because I felt like I actually got to do something, more than you did during third year (and I got to do a lot during my third year rotations!). When you first start working with the resident, make sure you let them know that you are very interested in their program, and ask them what is typically expected of fourth years. Offer to come in to pre-round (which I did, even though it meant I got to the hospital at 3:45 AM), see triage patients, and help write up "the list". Try to get to know the residents and have them get to know you. This is a time for you to get to know the program just as much as it for them to see you. Know how to hand tie, how to help getting the patient ready in the OR (help move the patient, have your gloves and gown ready, grab warm blankets, write your name on the board), and obviously know the basics of managing labor. Good luck - it's a really fun time (writing that all out makes me even more excited to finally start all of this!). 
  • I am a first year medical student and I am getting married in September. I was wondering if you have thought about kids. I know your situation is a little different since you are getting married in residency, but since you have gone through medical school - I was wondering if you had some insight on a good time to have kids. End of medical school? In residency? Or waiting till after? I really don't want to wait that long since I'll be well into my 30s when I complete residency.
    • You're right, I was in a different place than you are currently! But I completely understand trying to plan out when to have babies, something we discuss all the time now that we're in residency. Looking back, of course there are no perfect times to have a baby, but I would say there are two time that are really a bit better. Having a baby towards the end of first year would be a good time -  you're already used to the pace of medical school by the time you would be heavily pregnant, and then you have all summer to stay at home (really, your only summer off)! The other really great time would be to have the baby during the spring of fourth year - auditions and interviews are over, the Match will happen soon/has already happened, and you will have a lot more freedom and time off before residency starts in July. Of course, people make it work during all parts of school - I know women who had babies during second year and during third year. But looking back, if I had to choose, those two times would have been the most practical. 
  • I'm looking for a pair of sandals for the summer. I want something with a bit more support - any suggestions?

on franish //

notable sales //

at home //
  • This week has been a bit of relaxing and rushing around to get everything in order! CR started orientation, so we had several events for that (including a spouse orientation, white coat ceremony, and intern picnic!), as well as me trying to get stuff settled in the house. My mom was also here for a few days, so we had fun exploring the area. Even though we are still missing our downstairs furniture, it's starting to feel a lot more like home!
  • If you follow along on instastories, you know I just tried on a bunch of clothes (all my orders arrived on the same day!). I didn't actually buying anything prior to that in June, which is why there's no budget post, but I will have a review post up this week as well as a budget post in July (no worries, it's not going anywhere!). As a preview, I'm definitely keeping this jean + top from Madewell combo, as well as this linen top that'll be perfect for work. Still debating if that black top from Ann Taylor is staying or going!
  • Well, it's my last weekend before residency starts! Granted, we have orientation all week (and Tuesday off) so it isn't really "real" yet until the following week, but here we go! I have a lot of feelings about what is about to start, but haven't been able to really work through them yet. I'm nervous, excited, scared, honored, fearful, and hopeful. It's a confusing time, apparently!

Friday, June 30, 2017

house planning: my office (my favorite room!)

So our house has three bedrooms, but one of them is very very small. It's an odd shaped room, and has an open door up to the ~finished attic. It's not big enough to put our guest bed in any of the corners, so we chose to use the other larger bedroom as our guest room, and this room as my office and keeper of my clothes. CR keeps his clothes in our bedroom, and the attic will eventually become his space (once we actually finish the walls and replace the carpet).

So let's talk about the most fun part, about where my clothes go! I mentioned before that our house does not have huge closets, being that our house was built in the 50's. I don't have a TON of clothes, but I have a fair amount, so this one bar was just not going to cut it for my closet.

CR spent a whole evening taking out the old bars, sanding down the walls to make them smooth, painted it white, and then spent a half a day installing this simple Closetmaid system we got at Home Depot. It's just a 12 inch shelf system (he added a few extra shelves) with one bar on the left for dresses, and two on the right for blouses, skirts, and blazers. It has made SUCH a difference, and is so much more practical than it was before! Here's a peak at what it looked like before I found the rest of my pants ;)
and the instagram shot ;)
In addition to my closet, I recently purchased this dresser from Amazon after searching all over the place for a white dresser. I fell in love with this one because it's so darn practical! It has drawers for all my under garments and work out clothes, but then the right side I keep all my make-up and hair accessories - I love that I can just close the door and it just makes the room look so much tidier! Best part is that the dresser is actual wood, so I feel like I finally own at least one "real" piece of furniture. If you're interested in it, keep an eye on the price as it's been fluctuating over the past month - I got it for $200 less than it's listed for right now!
So the dresser goes along the right wall in the above picture, and then I bought this gold bookcase (also from Amazon) for the wall on the left side of the picture. I spent a long time trying not to buy that bookcase because it's a bit of a blogger cliche to have a gold open bookcase (at least I feel everyone has one!) but it was really difficult to find something that was open enough to fit in that space without blocking out a part of the room (because you basically walk right into that went you enter the room). Eventually I caved though and bought the gold bookcase (here's a similar Ikea hack if you want to save a bit of money). I am obsessed with it! I just love how pretty it is, how it holds my jewelry box, my most special purses, my perfume, and all my other accessories. It's just the stand out piece in this tiny room!
Above is what that space looked like before we painted everything (and before we added my mini chandelier!). My desk goes in the left corner, as you can see in the diagram above. I was thinking about putting a rug down under the desk, but the more I think about it, I feel that may look a bit weird and also be impractical with my office chair constantly rolling over it. I may end up adding a lighter pink one in the middle of the room (something like this rug from Wayfair) - what do you guys think?

So that wraps up the house planning tour (see the downstairs here and our bedroom post here). While all the painting is finally done, it'll be a while until our rooms are ready to really be shown off, so hopefully we will resume the house posts in a few months! Thank you for all of your help in this process - we really appreciate all of the helpful tips and encouragement you guys have sent our way!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

we all want to wear what we are told we aren't supposed to.

top on mannequin // top in collage // jeans // necklace // belt // shoes

Last weekend I went up to Cleveland with my mom and my sister, and we stopped at the mall just to look around (and buy lipstick). We walked around Madewell, mostly admiring their totes (mine is now five years old and has seen much better days). As we were walking out of the store, I saw the outfit on top, and immediately stopped to snap a picture of it because I loved  the look - high waisted skinny jeans, a loose half tucked top, an open neckline. It was just so cool.

I uploaded the picture to instastories to share, and said I wish I could pull of the look. In my mind, that look only looks good on the thinner, straighter body typed girls. A bunch of fellow hourglass women shared my sentiment...and one said, why the hell can't you?

That's right, why can't I? Of course I can. But I've been spending years finding "the most flattering" way of dressing, and not just trying to make looks and trends work on my body. High waisted skinny jeans that showcase my size 10-12 hips, and a shirt that doesn't cover them has never really been something I've considered. I feel like about once a year I come to the conclusion that I should "stop playing by the rules" and just wear the outfits I think are cute without being so so SO concerned that it's not THE MOST FLATTERING ever. I don't really actively discuss how every outfit I show on here is about "finding clothes that flatter your body" because sometimes I fail (hard), but I do try to find clothes that look good on me and that I actually want to wear. That's why I order so many clothes and review them - because for every one piece of clothing I keep, I try on at least five that didn't work at all on me. But then you start figuring out what looks good on you, and you keep just buying variations of that same thing. Over. And over. And over again.

Maybe sometimes being in a clothing rut is because we don't feel comfortable trying new things, so you keep wearing the old ones, and then the rut continues. And continues. And continues. Until you have five years worth of pictures that document the same kind of style, just in different patterns and colors. I look through my closet, full of clothes that fit me and am just so bored. I see outfits like the one above and just wish I felt comfortable enough with my body and bold enough to just put it on and not care that maybe there are pant styles that are more flattering or that a top that goes in at the waist may be better for my frame. Maybe I just want someone to look at my outfit and think "wow, good for her for wearing something she loves, she really seems confident in that outfit" rather than "that girl sure found a way to minimize her larger bust and show off her waist without showing off her love handles". Doesn't that statement make me sound like a crazy person? Because I bet you that not a single one of you thinks that...but that's what I think every day when I get dressed.

So... I bought the damn jeans and the shirt. Because I loved the look and it's been a long time since I saw a whole outfit and just wanted it immediately. Maybe I'll try it on and go dammmmnnn I look good, won't this be fun to wear on a date sometime or to dinner with a girlfriend or just for an afternoon walking around Home Depot.

Or maybe they just really won't suit me and I'll try something else.

But I'll never know until I actually try.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

top three [06.25.2017]

a few updates around the house: actual chairs to sit on //  no trees :( // our new countertop!

spotted //
  • Buying denim shorts is pretty much the worst. I'm hopefully that this rolled pair from Gap is exactly what I've been looking for. 
  • A polka dotted linen skirt is basically the cutest thing I've seen all week. 
  • After spotting these Madewell jeans while at the mall yesterday, I decided it's time I finally try some higher waisted skinny jeans. I love the look on others, so I want to try to make it work for me too!

on the internet //

throwback //

ask me anything //
  • I'm an Ob/Gyn wannabe at medical school in Canada and applying for residency this year. Not sure if it's different in the US, but here we are encouraged to apply for more than one specialty to reduce the chances of going unmatched. I'm wondering whether you thought about applying to another specialty as a backup, and what you think you would have done if you'd had to deal with going unmatched.
    • Oh man, that's such a tough one to really answer because I know the matching system is different here in the US than it is in Canada. I chose not to apply to a back up speciality. I personally would have been really unhappy if I didn't get to do ObGyn, and it would have been unfair to a field like internal or family medicine for me to have that as my backup, because I just don't have the passion for it. All of my friends who are doing IM/FM really love it, and I know it wasn't for me. So while I was wrestling with the idea of having a backup, I chose to take a big chance and throw all my efforts into matching ObGyn. If I hadn't matched, which obviously is always a real possibility, I wasn't 100% sure what I was going to do. It's hard to answer now retrospectively - CR and I discussed me scrambling into to a transition year spot so that I could re-apply to ObGyn, but I am so so so thankful that I didn't have to go down that route. Best of luck in this crazy process!
  • What kind of bag did you bring around to classes during medical school? Would you recommend something more formal than a backpack?
    • During the week, I used a leather tote bag from Kate Spade (mine was very similar to this). My school had a dress code, so I liked looking a bit more pulled together. On the weekend, I would use my Everlane backpack for carrying all my books (and bookstand and noise canceling headphones and snacks) to the library. I personally liked having something a bit more formal for when I was at school, but that's just me! 
  • You graduated from a DO school, but are doing an MD residency. Will you be able to use both MD and DO after your name?
    • No, I earned a DO in medical school, so that's what goes after my name! 

on franish //

notable sales //

at home //
  • Lots of things happening at the house this week! We wrapped up "Phase 1" of the projects - so now everything is painted, all the receptacles and switches and hinges and door knobs are replaced, and all most lights are switched out. Now we are doing the fun things, like building floating shelves and painting the fireplace! My gold bookshelf also arrived, as did our dining room chairs (although still no table). It's slowly coming together!
  • One more week you guys, and I officially start residency! We have about two weeks of orientation, and then I start on gyn surgery. I am so nervous. 
  • My mom was here this week to help my sister move into her place and to help me with some house projects (hello, white fireplace!). It's been so nice to have family around and explore our new surroundings! 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

house plans: the bedroom

hi guys!

is this the worst style blog of all time?

probably.

Anyway, not much going on here besides house things all day, every day. A lot of people have commented that we are really banging out the projects, and to be honest, we have really been hustling. We want our house to be pretty much set by the time we start residency - CR starts next week, and I start the week after, so we want to have a livable house by that time. We're getting there!

Thank you for all of your helpful suggestions on my post about our downstairs - I'm just patiently waiting for our dining room table and couch to come (...any week now...). I am still looking for the right dining room chairs - I've decided that even with a cat, we will probably go with upholstered chairs, something like these ones from Wayfair, that can easily be vacuumed off when we have guests. Still looking for a rug and coffee table as well...among other things.

But today we're talking about our bedroom!

So this is basically what it looked like before - a pretty typical 11 x 14 foot room. It has as small closet to the right of this picture that we had already decided was going to be CR's closet (as my office has a closet). Like the rest of the house, we painted it a light grey color, painted the trim white, retouched the ceiling, and replaced all of the outlets with white ones. We also removed that super dated boob light (any one else call them that?!) with an awesome black ceiling fan (our cat is obsessed with it!). Since we both will be working nights during residency, we are putting in black out blinds in the windows...and then probably getting some kind of curtain (...still tbd). This is the after:
As far as actual things in the room...

We have a queen sized bed, and have this dark grey headboard from Overstock - we've had it for two years now, and it looks brand new, so highly recommend if you are looking for something new! Our one set of older bedding has definitely seen better days (cat claws and non-textured fabric are just not a good combo) so it has been donated. I just ordered this beautiful duvet from Pottery Barn as our other duvet (they just had a great bedding sale, so keep an eye out for code if you are interested!). We still have our older night stands from Ikea and our bedside lamps (that I spray painted black to match the rest of the hardware in the house). CR's dresser is actually the first piece of furniture his parents bought when they got married, and so we have repainted it the same white as the trim, and made the drawers a dark navy. We used the old cupboard pulls that we replaced in the kitchen as the new knobs - saves us a bit of money for something you can't really see anyway! I love that the dresser has such a great story behind it (it used to be CR's changing table too), and I can't wait for it to eventually be a changing table for the next little one in the family. In a house with so much "new", it's nice to have some history too. 

Under the bed we put a rug (you can see the concept in the top picture - that outside square is the rug, not the bed). I was debating between something darker, like a really dark navy rug, or something with a bit more lighter colors in it. We decided on the lighter rug in the end because it was a bit more modern and brighten up the room. I can't wait to show you what it looks like! 

I would also like to add a chic mini symmetrical gallery wall above the bed - I was thinking something like these sleek black frames from Framebridge with some pictures from our past years together...and maybe a space or two for wedding pictures ;) I think it would be the perfect finishing touch. 

Other than that, we have a whole corner and mini wall to by the door to come up with something for - mini table for CR's things? Corner bookshelf? Giant plant? Any suggestions are welcome!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

top three [06.18.2017]

I'll take one of each from Everlane's new beach collection: dress // shorts // sweatshirt

spotted //

on the internet //

throwback //

notable sales // 

on franish //

at home // 
  • This was our first week in our house and boy, have we been busy! We are just about done with all the painting - every single wall and piece of trim in the house was painted, so it's taken us almost a whole month to get it done. A few pieces of furniture have arrived (notably my dresser and gold bookstand), light fixtures have been changed out (no more boob lights!), and door hardware is almost all done being exchanged. I can't wait to share all the progress we have made!
  • After a month away from any form of real exercise, I went to my first Orange Theory class on Friday - it was such a great work out! My co-intern Marissa and I immediately signed up for a monthly membership. Having the membership will force us to at least work out four times a month during intern year ;)
  • On Friday, us incoming interns were invited to our residency's graduation banquet. It was so much fun to hang out with my co-interns and our future upperclassmen. It made it all seem so real - two more weeks until I officially start! 

ps. happy fathers day to my own dad, who I know does not read my blog, but deserves a shoutout anyway! 

Friday, June 16, 2017

love for elemis 24/7 super skin system

I am working with QVC to review some of the products they sell. I am receiving compensation to review these products, but all the opinions are always my own. I'm excited to share these amazing skin care products with you!

One of my favorite parts about blogging has been that I get to try new products quite often - as I continue to try to perfect my daily skin care routine, it has been such a treat to try skincare products from brands new to me. One of those lately has been Elemis!

Elemis is a British brand that is now sold on QVC that is science led and results driven. QVC sells a bunch of their products currently, from toners to enzyme peels to face oils. I got to try out their three piece collection plus their rose scrub, and honestly, I can't pick a favorite because they are all amazing in their own way.

ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
I was initially the most excited about the cleansing balm because I am always on the look out for a new way to remove my makeup. The Elemis cleansing balm has a very clean smell to it. I take about a dime sized amount out of the jar, rub it between my fingers to liquify it slightly, and then rub it all over my eyes and face to remove my make-up. After rinsing with water, all of my make-up is gone, and it doesn't leave a residue like I've found with other balms I've used in the past. I took this with me to Ireland, and used it the whole time I was there - the container is perfect for traveling because nothing can spill out of it or leak. 
 ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
The other two items in the set are the Night Recovery cream-oil, and the Pro-Collagen day cream. I love that it's very clear about when to use each product and that they are formulated for either moisturizing under your make-up, or for your skin recovering overnight. Over the years, I've really found that you just need different products depending on what time of the day it is. The night recovery cream-oil combo is a new one for me - it looks like a cream, but has the highly moisturizing effects of an oil. You know I'm currently all about the face oils, so I love how moisturized my skin feels after using this. I use this on the nights I don't use my prescription retinoid. 
 Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator
Not included in the three part set, but one I wanted to mention, is the Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator. As someone with dry and flaky skin, I am constantly looking for something to help with making my skin look fresh and not dull. If you love the smell of roses as much as I do (my grandma has a huge rose garden and the smell of roses always reminds me of her), you will love this scrub. It's definitely on the gentle side, so I use it about every third day. It removes all of those flaky spots without rubbing your face raw, which is something I've experienced with harsher scrubs in the past. I usually follow with a face mask and then the recovery oil. My skin glows the next morning 👌

QVC is currently selling the 3 part set for $99 (if purchased each item separately, it would be over $250!). Below are a few more Elemis items being sold on QVC. I have my eye on the bliss capsules - they are basically little capsules with concentrated oil, which I think is just so clever. 





Thursday, June 15, 2017

visiting kylemore abbey

Women's Cargo Vest Dark Green - Mossimo
You know who's supposedly a style blogger, goes on vacation, and forgot her memory card for her fancy camera?

This girl.

I didn't notice until we went to go take outfit pictures on one of the last days of the trip, which is why I didn't go and buy a new one. I was still so mad at myself! Luckily I remembered this post that AJ wrote some months ago about the portrait mode on iPhones working pretty well in these kind of situations, and you know what, it actually worked pretty well!

Anyway, enough about #bloggerproblems. These were taken on our last full day in Ireland, when we drove from Galway to visit Kylemore Abbey. What a beautiful place! Built in the 1800s, it is a former castle turned monastery situated on a gorgeous lake in Connemara, about an hour north west of Galway. I saw pictures of it while doing my research for our trip, and knew I wanted to go see it. Unfortunately, half of the building was undergoing renovations (as you can see in some of the pictures) but it didn't take away from the real estate message of location location location! It is seriously stunning. I really wish we had had more time to go walk through the gardens, as everyone says they are gorgeous...but as always, we need something to come back for, so next time!

The weather in Ireland was the best because it was cool all the time - you guys know that summer weather is not my favorite, so having a week in 50-60 degree weather was amazing! I wore a variation of this outfit most days we were there. I've owned this vest from Target for a few months now, but just realized it's the first time I've actually shown it on the blog! If you were reading blogs about 4-5 years ago, you know that these olive vests were a big thing then...and I actually owned a similar version that I donated two years ago because I wasn't wearing it anymore. Well, here we are, now I own another version. I actually like this Target version so much more though - it's longer and drapers nicer than my previous version. It's just the perfect layering piece that adds a bit of warmth and a lot more interest than if I had just worn a long sleeved tee. Anyway, I'm a big fan of it!
what to wear in ireland
kylemore abbey
vest //  target [exact]
jeans // gap [exact now 50% off]
tee // banana republic [exact]
scarf //  ann taylor [similar]
shoes // michael kors [exact - debating getting the black ones!]
purse // coach [similar]