Saturday, May 27, 2017

tips for staying healthy in medical school

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A question I've gotten over and over again over the past few years is how to fit healthy routines into the life of a medical student. For the last post in this graduation week series, I wanted to discuss ways I've found to stay on top of my own health over the past four years!
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Your life is not "on hold":  I've heard (and said) this phrase over and over again since I was a pre-med. Now at the end of medical school (but only the beginning of my medical career), I feel like this phrase just does more harm than good. While you are busy during medical school, there is no reason why you can't work towards your own fitness goals during this time. If you want to run a marathon, you will have time to do it. If you want to join a triathalon training group, you can! Want to squat more than ever before? Go for it! Interested in taking part in a yoga challenge? Do it! The thing is, you just have to make the time and effort to do it. Sometimes that will involve sacrificing certain things - maybe you have to get up earlier so you can go before school, or you can't watch The Bachelor live because you're at the only gym class you can make that day, but those little sacrifices will be worth it. Yes, there will be rotations and times during pre-clinical where you just can't make it work - during really busy months like surgery and on my auditions when I was at the hospital for 80 hours a week, I did not work out. But there are plenty of rotations where you get home at 3 PM and have your weekends free, which is when you can focus back on your fitness goals. 

Keep up on your own health maintenance: Especially if you moved for school, finding a new PCP is kind of annoying just because you will probably move again in two years. But it is vital that you stay up to date on your own wellness maintenance, whether that's getting a yearly physical, getting your Pap smears as recommended, or getting your flu shot. Plus I found myself to be a bit hypocritical to constantly ask about other people's health maintenance without staying up to date on my own!

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Find a buddy: This is huge, and has been one my biggest motivators to get my butt in gear! During the pre-clinical years, my best friend Caitlin and I would schedule 2-3 days a week to go to the gym. We used it as girl time and exercise time - we would spend like 30 minutes on the ellipticals catching up (and getting our heart rates up) and then spent another 15-20 minutes doing weights. For us, it was never a hardcore work out, but it was good to get our blood pumping, and time with friends is so vital during this process. When we didn't go to the gym floor, we would swim laps - I loved this, because you're in your own bubble for 45 minutes just swimming (not talking, staring at a book, or looking at a screen), and afterwards we would spend a few minutes in the sauna. All in all, it was about 1.5 hours on those days that we spend on our health and our friendship. During the clinical years, I would schedule work out classes with my friend Amy - again, we got to see each other, got to do something with a friend, but got in a really good work out in spin class or weights. Having those scheduled times means I actually did the work out, and had something to look forward to all at the same time!

Increase your water intake: Back when I was working full time, I used to drink a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew every day. I have never been a huge coffee person, but the more I learned about the benefits of water, the more of an effort I've made over the past four years to drink it, and drink a lot of it. I have a soda stream at home to make bubbly water (I usually add a few squirts of Mio for flavor!), and on rotations where we have a " home base", I bring a big bottle of water with me. I'm not at Dani's level of 150 ounces a day, but some day I'd like to be!

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Go on a walk: Having two dogs makes this almost mandatory for my life, but we go on walks all the time! During our pre-clinical years, my friends and I would pack up all of our animals, and head to the local park on early weekend mornings. The library wasn't open yet, so we couldn't feel guilty about not studying yet, and I always felt better knowing my dogs had fun outside before having to sit inside while I studied all day. Plus it was nice to just get out and be in nature for a while! Now during the clinical years, CR and I would come home from work, and grab the dogs to go on a walk before making dinner. The pups were so excited to go explore after being locked in the house all day, and it was nice for us to get some fresh air while catching up on our days. 

Join intramurals: This is such a great way to not only be active, but also meet new people! I know people who joined basketball leagues, softball leagues, and even kickball! Whatever gets you out of the library and moving around is good for you, and meeting new people is one of the best things about medical school! 

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Sweatshirt: Nike c/o Finish Line [exact]
Pants: Under Armour c/o Finish Line [exact]
Shoes: Nike c/o Finish Line [exact]

Treat yo self with cute work out clothes. CR thinks this is such a girly thing, but new work out clothes always motivates me to go work out! I sometimes will treat myself when I reach a fitness milestone (like my recent ten pound down mark) as an extra motivator to keep working to reach those goals. I recently received these fun training capris from Finish Line  as another incentive to keep up with my work outs - I love the white band around the bottom, and how well they hold everything in! I wore them to our spin class on Wednesday, and they were perfect for all the jumps we did. For an early morning walk with Baer, I paired them with a pink Nike sweater (so cute, right?!) and light weight tennis shoes, also from Nike. I think it's nice to reward yourself sometime with something that gets you going even more!

Pack your snacks and lunches (when possible): This is something I used to not do - we got free lunches at our hospital, so I would just eat whatever was being served that day. But especially in smaller cafeterias, and on rotations where food made me happy, I didn't always make the right choices. Now we cook several larges dishes on Sunday, so that I can bring my own lunches during the week. Because I bring my own, I control the portions and what I'm eating, and I'm not tempted to get chicken fingers instead. I also always have snacks on me, no matter what. Especially on unpredictable rotations like surgery where you probably won't get a lunch, quickly eating a protein bar between surgeries was life saving. 

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Mix it up: For some people, running three miles and then doing 45 minutes of weights, and doing that same routine for years works really well for them (see: CR). I get bored. I love finding new types of exercise to throw myself into - over the past four years, I've spent time on the ellipticals and stair masters, trained for a few races, tried yoga, stuck with BBG for a while, took a kickboxing class, spent time in the pool swimming laps, and really fell in love with spin classes. For a while there, I was going to spin like four times a week (when my schedule allowed it). You won't always be able to exercise, but trying new things keeps you interested in going. Plus, as a student, you often get discounts for signing up for classes, which is awesome. When I was traveling for residency interviews, I would look to see if there were any studios in the area that I wanted to try - usually, your first class is either discounted or completely free, which is a nice way to counteract all the amazing food you are going to get at the interview dinners!

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The biggest thing is to just be kind to your body. Eat healthy food, work out when you can, and be thankful you have a body that allows you to do what you've always wanted to do. 


I've been shopping at Finish Line my entire life, so I'm very thankful to be partnering with them on this post today. Below are some of my current favorites from their new arrivals...because sometimes you just need to treat yourself to a new pair of workout leggings ;)

Huge thanks to Finish Line and Shopstyle for sponsoring this post!





Friday, May 26, 2017

what shoes to wear on clinical rotations

One of the questions I am asked the most is about finding comfortable shoes for clinical rotations.

The problem is, that this is such a hard question to answer because 1. all of our feet are different and 2. we have different needs for various rotations. So I'm going to break it down into scrub shoes versus non-scrub shoes, and share what has worked for me so far!

SCRUB SHOES

When I started medical school, I already down a pair of Danskos from my previous job in a pharmaceutical lab. I was only really wearing them for about two hours at the most during anatomy lab, and I really liked them. They made my back hurt less and I really liked that they could be easily wiped off - anatomy lab can get really messy!

Then when I started clinical rotations, I wore them on my surgery rotation for 10-14 hours at a time, and noticed that I wasn't loving them as much anymore. I have pretty high arches, and while the original Dansko clogs helped with my lower back pain, my feet hurt so bad. I also found them really difficult to walk fast/run in them. My dad, an ER doctor, suggested trying out Birkenstock clogs instead. I already love my Birk sandals, so I figured the clogs may be a good option. For non-surgical rotations where I wore scrubs, these were amazing! The arch is more supportive and even after 12 hour days, my feet didn't hurt at all. There are several problems when it comes to surgical rotations though - they don't wipe off easily, you can't run in them, and the bootie covers are super annoying when in the OR. On an interview last fall, an ObGyn resident at MSU told me about the Work Wonders from Dansko, and how they basically are a combination of things that make them the best shoes ever for anyone going into surgical speciality: they wipe off, they have a back (so you can run in them and the bootie covers aren't on your ankle), and it has more arch support than the originals. I've been wearing them for the past month, and I'm obsessed! My feet never once hurt, just as promised!

Here are my suggestions. If you are certain you aren't going to go into something surgical, you can probably get through your surgical rotations with normal tennis shoes. You don't have to spend $100 on shoes you'll never wear again if you plan on never setting foot in an OR after your few months of general surgery and ObGyn. If you are going to be spending a lot of time performing surgeries, or will work in a really messy field, some sort of plastic covered clog is a great option. Like I said, my high arches prefer the Work Wonders, but there are a ton of different brands out there that make your typical clog you see in the hospital. Go to a bigger shoe store and try on several brands to see what you like. You are going to be spending a lot of time on your feet, and don't want to be uncomfortable!



PROFESSIONAL DRESS SHOES

Man, this one is pretty difficult to answer, because not one shoe is going to work for everyone! I wish there was (maybe that will be my million dollar invention!) because it would make answering this question a lot easier. Here's what I did. If I was on rotation where I sat most of the time (psychiatry, pathology, one of my family medicine rotations, MFM), I wore whatever shoes I wanted - wedges, pointed toed flats, ballet flats. For the rotations where I did spend a lot more time on my feet, I either wore an older pair of worn in ballet flats with in-soles added, or my pair of Clark shoes. These shoes are a great option because the tiny bit of wedge made my heels not feel like I was stomping my feet into the ground all the time, and they overall just provided a lot of cushioning.

Here are my suggestions. Spend a bit more money on a neutral pair of flats. Typically, real leather will hold up better and be less uncomfortable. I stick with ballet flats and driving loafers, and pointed toed shoes when I know I won't be on my feet alllll day. Get a pair of insoles for every pair of shoes you wear - this makes a huge difference in how comfortable it is to stand in them. I went with this inexpensive pair from Target, and it's done wonders for how my feet feel at the end of the day! If you, like me, prefer not to wear those little baby socks in flats, I suggest getting a little container of baby powder to sprinkle into your shoes every morning - it helps to keep your feet from not sweating, and it buffers your skin from your shoes. Also buy a friction stick (usually in the aisle with the band aids) from when your shoe is hitting your skin the wrong way. I personally have always been interested in trying out something like Gekks to see if that helps with those issues too (I'd love to hear your feedback if you've tried them!).


I wish I could give you a one size fits all answer here, but it really depends on what you have and what you need. I hope this helps, especially if you are just starting your clinical rotations (check out this post if you want a few more tips on dressing for clinicals!).

ps. two more days!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

what to wear on residency interviews


With the upcoming residency season starting in a few months, I've received quite a few requests to talk about dressing for residency interviews. I wish I had been thinking a bit more about actually writing this post when I was interviewing myself, but I kind of blanked on being a style blogger (haha) while I was driving 4000+ miles for the actual interviews. But I pulled a few older pictures from my camera, and will talk about what I did!

I will put a disclaimer out there that I interviewed at a mix of academic and community programs in ObGyn. What I did and my experiences were may differ from say, someone applying to neurosurgury at Ivy League programs. But I think the main take-aways are still pretty much universal!

Dinner the Night Before

All of my interviews had a dinner the night before. The majority were at local restaurants, with two of them being at someone's house. For these, I (and all the other applicants) basically wore the casual end of business casual outfits. For the boys, it was almost always khakis and a button up or polo shirt. I personally always wore my favorite black jeans with either a simple blouse (mine was very similar to this one from Ann Taylor) or a white blouse with my camel blazer over it. Because I was traveling so much, I just rotated those two outfits and kept both of them in my garment bag. This is a time to show a bit more of your personality than on interview day, so wear what makes you feel put together and comfortable! That can be dark jeans and a blouse like I did, or a dress, or a skirt with a top. As long as you look polished, you'll be pretty much set. For me, at least, the dinners were always pretty casual and just a way for you to meet the residents and for them to meet you. While I had certain questions I wanted answered at these dinners, I really tried to talk to the residents more about their lives in that city, how they got along, and so on - I wanted to get a feeling for the potential city I could live in as well as my future co-workers. Seeing some residents interact with both us and each other really makes or breaks interviews and your perception of the place - there were some where they seemed to genuinely enjoy each other's company and were so nice to us applicants (which meant I ended up ranking them highly) versus some where you could tell they did not even have each other's phone numbers and didn't know anything about each other, and actually shushed us (ranked way down on the list).

The Interview Suit

Last summer, I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what I was going to wear on the actual interviews. My post about it definitely had a lot of differing opinions about what is appropriate and not appropriate to wear on residency interviews, from "wear whatever you are comfortable in" to "don't wear black" to "definitely wear skirt because you aren't in a position of power". Needless to say, I was conflicted! So what I ended up doing is what I wanted to do all along - I wore a dark pant suit with wedges and a white blouse. Here's where experiences will differ based on speciality and hospitals, but at the places I interviewed, I paid close attention to what all of the other applicants wore. We all wore a dark suit of some sort, and that was about the only similarity. There were grey, black, and blue suits, as well as pants, skirts, or dresses with blazers. Some people wore heels, others wedges, and others flats. And you know what? I really don't think it matters what combination of those you wore. What does matter is that you feel comfortable in what you are wearing and that you are able to be a good interviewee - I promise, no one really cares if you wear wedges or heels or if you pants suit is blue or your skirt is black. They do care that you are passionate about the field, will make a good resident, and that you are someone they want to work with 80 hours a week for the next 3-7 years.

While I initially wanted to wear a black suit, I actually ended up with a grey one! This was not because of color but because of fit. I ended up with these pants and this blazer from Ann Taylor (that at the time was only available in grey, not black). I had ordered a black suit from Ann Taylor, as well as two from the Limited, and I hated all of them on me. So I went with the grey two button blazer with bootleg pants. I had the pants hemmed to hit properly with my wedges on. Underneath the blazer I wore a sleeveless blouse - I never once took my blazer off, and not having sleeves meant I didn't have a bunch of fabric bunched up under my jacket.  I wore my J.Crew Factory wedges, and carried my Mulberry bag (I think any darker bag is fine - no one will be looking at your purse anyway). I was comfortable and felt like myself (well, as much as you can feel like yourself in a suit!).

So my personal advice, and what I've read from other's experiences, is that you really just need to wear what makes you most comfortable within the confines of the definition of a suit. You won't not match because you wore a black suit instead of a navy one, and if someone doesn't want to rank you because you wore pants instead of a skirt, is that really somewhere you want to go anyway? I think we both know the answer.

Hair & Make-up
Sorry for this huge picture of my face! But this is basically what I looked like at all my interviews. I always had my hair pulled back one way or another - either half pulled back, or in a low pony tail. You don't want to constantly play with your hair out of nervous habits while you are interviewing - I know I can easily not even notice that I'm doing that! For make-up, as someone who probably wears a little more make-up than the average person, I just basically went with a fresher face with a bit less eye make-up. I wore my lucky lipstick (lavalliere nude is the perfect pink nude!) and made sure there wasn't anything in my teeth after lunches. If you don't normally wear make-up, I'm not going to tell you that you have to wear make-up. If you wear a lot of make-up, and that's what makes you feel confident, then go with your polished make-up look instead of your partying look, and you'll be good to go! Again, be the best, more professional version of yourself. You want people to remember you for your shiny personality and stellar application, not because you wore bright red lipstick smeared all over your face or because you played with your hair the whole time you were having a conversation about why you want to go into that speciality.

Interview season is definitely one of the busiest of your life, but just try to keep a positive attitude and remind yourself how lucky you are to be at this point. It helps, I promise! Because there will be long nights and road construction and missed flights, and small talk after small talk...but we are lucky to be given the chance to pursue the career of our choice.

And as always, I have to give a shout out to all the ladies who came before me and whose advice I sought during the process. Check out the posts below about residency interviews from women who went into different specialities than my own, and what their opinions are!


Joyce (dermatology resident): residency interview suit
Laura (dermatology resident): pre-interview dinner + interview packing list
Elyse (dermatology resident): residency interview suit
Andrew (ophthalmology resident): top 10 tips for residency interviews




Monday, May 22, 2017

the numbers of medical school


2: the number of times I applied to medical school

1084: the number of miles I drove in 36 hours to interview at what is now my school

1: the number of medical school acceptances you need that will completely change your life

6: the number of weeks of funemployement I took before starting school

4: the number of times I cried when I drove from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania 

3: the number of boxes of items I had shipped to my new house in PA - I brought everything else with me in my car...including my dogs and a vacuum cleaner



3: the number of anatomy lab partners I had

1: the number of anatomy lab partners I ended up getting engaged to

1368: the number of pages of Robbins that I read

9: the number of pets we had between me and my 4 girlfriends (4 dogs, 2 horses, 2 guinea pigs, 1 cat)

3: the number of all nighters I pulled

3: the number of all nights that were unnecessary

6: the number of weeks I boiled and scrubbed a skull for my research project

36: the number of books I purchased on Amazon

147: the number of days I studied straight without a night or weekend off

1: the  number of abscesses I incised while the residents stood back to avoid the spray

2: the number of gallbladders I got to cut open to "play" with stones

3:15: the earliest I had to wake up to get to work

3055: the amount of dollars I spent on boarding exams (so far)

3: the number of pairs of shoes I went through before finding ones I really love (these ones, btw)

2: the amount of babies I completely delivered on my own, from pushing to baby

665: the amount of dollars I spent to apply to residency

50: the number of programs we applied to

16: the number of weeks I didn't live at home

7: the number of months CR and I lived apart

4739: the number of miles I drove for residency interviews

1311: the number of ObGyn spots there were in the country this year

9: the number of unfilled ObGyn spots this year

1: the number on our rank list that we matched to

102: the number of exams I have taken over the past four years

23: the number of months of clinical rotations I have been on

29,505: the amount of interest my debts have accrued

1399: the number of days between our first day and our last

1399: the number of days I've been thankful I was allowed to do this

Sunday, May 21, 2017

top three [05.21.2017]

a few updates from the new place!

medicine
  • Have you heard that scientists have created a 3D ovary? It's being made in hopes of some day being able to use them for women with infertility. So far it's only been proven to work in mice, but what an amazing concept! 
  • Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome is a condition characterized by shorter stature, moderate learning disabilities, and notably, broad thumbs and big toes
  • Darwin's tubercle is a thickening of the ear named by Darwin in his book The Descent of Man - CR has this and I always tease him about it ;)

on the internet

spotted
  • Although I don't own a single off-the-shoulder or one shoulder item, I kind of love this lace dress from Loft. If it came in navy, I'd immediately buy it and wear it to every event this summer. 
  • Speaking of off-the-shoulder....doesn't it feel like every other shirt made right now is that type of shirt?! It feels impossible to find something that just fits like a normal shirt! I'm going to order this Pleione half peplum top in hopes that it's a cute spring shirt...that doesn't expose my shoulders or require a strapless bra ;)
  • I love this minimalistic sandal from Sole Society - the extra strap means it's more likely to actually stay on your feet!

throwback

on franish

at home
  • We have been busy worker bees over here at our new house! So far, we have painted the downstairs, painted the staircase and upstairs landing, painted all the downstairs trim, and installed our kitchen cabinets. Have you been following along on insta-stories? You guys are constantly giving the best suggestions, and it's just fun to share the progress we have made. 
  • A few of you have reached out about the lack of Healthyish posts the last couple weeks. To be honest, I've just been incredibly busy, and don't have the time right now to work out consistently or write about it (between everything going on right now, blogging took a bit of a backseat). My goal is to restart it in the middle of June, after we have moved in. I'm excited to find new work out classes and explore new grocery stores in my area! 
  • This is my last week of school....ever! Around this time next week, my dad will be hooding me and I'll officially be Dr. Hasselhof - crazy! To celebrate, this week's posts are all about medical school, from the numbers to how it's changed me to what shoes are the most comfortable. I can't wait to share them with you!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

packing for ireland (rain coat reviews & looking for any suggestions!)

With so many things happening in our lives right now (buying a house, planning a wedding, graduating next week), I have been so slacking on planning our trip to Ireland! We decided last fall that we were going to go to Ireland as our graduation present to ourselves, and honestly, I am so excited about this trip. I have never been to Ireland, and I think we are just going to fall in love with it. I really wanted to visit a new country, and CR really wanted to have something with a ton of nature, so Ireland seemed like the perfect fit for us!

It took a bit to get a bearing on where we were going to go while there. We are going for seven days, which everyone says is not enough time to see everything. I always prefer to explore a bit more and get a feeling for the place I'm visiting, rather than just running from one tourist spot to the next. I knew I wanted to see some of the major cities, but we also were interested in doing a Game of Throne tour (since much of the show is filmed there), but after a lot of researching and looking at suggested itineraries, we decided to save Northern Ireland for a future trip. So we narrowed our trip down to Dublin, Killarney, and Galway. I just booked all of our Air BnB's this week, and next on the to-do list is renting a car. If you have been to any of these locations, please send your recommendations your way. Shelter and transportation was #1 on my list, so now we need to figure out adventures, food, and castles! ;)

One of the things I've obviously also been thinking about is what I'm going to wear on this trip! I've read conflicting things - some people say don't wear a raincoat because you'll look like a tourist. Others say always have a raincoat on you. Other people swear they wore rainboots the whole time, others say it's a waste of space in your suitcase. In some parts, it can be 85 degrees all day, and in others it's 60 degree and windy. So I was a bit unsure about what that all means. Here's what I'm thinking, and if you are from Ireland or have been, please let me know if I'm thinking about this the wrong way. The weather really looks like there is a high of 65, with lots of rain in our future.

RAIN COAT: I don't own a raincoat anymore, so I think it's time to get a new one. I have always wanted a bright red raincoat, I just think it would be so fun and bright on dreary days. I looked around, and here are the three I found:

Barbour Trevose Waterproof Hooded Jacket
The first one I ordered just because I have always wanted to try a Barbour coat. I think they are just beautiful classic coats that I've long admired on others. This is their Trevose coat - it's a front zip + snap, polyester coat with removal hood. I think this is such a fun coat - the lining is adorable, it fit well, and I really liked the feeling of this coat. But I don't love the pockets (you can't comfortable put your hands in them, something that's important on a rainy day!) and it is so expensive. If I lived in a super rainy area and loved all aspects of this coat, I could maybe justify the price, but I know I won't wear this enough in Ohio the rest of the year (besides this trip) to feel comfortable spending that amount of money on a coat. I was impressed by the quality of Barbour though, so will definitely keep them in mind for future coats!
 Hooded Raincoat MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS
The second coat is from Michael Kors. It is an unlined, zip up, polyester jacket. I have several items from Michael Kors I really like (my watch, driving mocs, and bag for example), but this was not a winner for me. The sleeves are too short, the arms are too large, and it just was very thin and crinkly, and not worth the $130 it costs
Contrast Cuff Fishtail Anorak 1 MADISON
Okay, this last one, and my personal favorite, is from 1 Madison, a brand that is new to me. Unlike the other two, this is made with a polyurethane fabric instead of polyester. It is a lot less crinkly and smoother, which I love (down side is that it smells a little plasticy right out the box, so I'm hoping that airs out a bit). The reasons I really like this is because the fabric is softer, it's lined, it was cuffs in the sleeve so you are actually protected, it's a bit longer so your butt is covered, and the pockets are at an angle so you can actually put your hands in them. Overall, I like this one a lot, and think it's a winner! If you're interested, it also comes in bright yellow, blue, and olive, which I think are all great fun colors for a rain coat! For reference, I ordered a large in all three of these. 

OTHER COATS: For times that it's not super rainy, or when we aren't out exploring and are just going to dinner or whatever, I'm going to bring along my J.Crew Field jacket. Mine is black, so it goes with everything, and protects you from the elements without being a rain coat. 

TOPS & SWEATERS: When I travel, I really like to bring a lot of my closet staples with me - I know they always work, and they all mix well with one another. My plan is to bring a few short sleeved t-shirts, several long sleeved t-shirts (debating trying out Everlane's newer striped tees), my chambray shirt obviously, my favorite Everlane sweater, a few dressier tops, and my beloved Patagonia fleece. This way I can mix and match depending on the weather and situation! 

PANTS: Black jeans are going to be pretty much all I bring - again, they are so versatile, they go with everything, and I find they hide stains a bit better too (which is important if you can't wash your clothes). My favorites are my ripped version from 7 for all Mankind, and the non-ripped version from Paige

BAGS: I'm excited I get to use my suitcase again - I haven't used it since we went to Santorini 18 months ago! I just love this suitcase, and have actually been using the smaller version of it basically weekly since I bought it in September. The larger one is actually currently super on sale, if you are looking for a new suitcase! My Madewell Transport tote is my carryon bag, which is great because it holds a lot, but also is such a classic bag that I can use it while we travel too. I'll bring along my vintage Coach cross body bag for when we are doing a lot of walking - I love that it has a flap, and holds my camera, and wallet and still has room for more!

SHOES: This is something that I wasn't sure about. I love my Hunter rainboots, but they are pretty big, and I don't like wearing them all day long because my legs get sweaty from having plastic on them. I ran across these Chelsea rain boots the other day, and thought they'd be the perfect compromise for keeping my feet dry but also not taking up a bunch of space in my suitcase or being on my legs the whole day. I'll also bring along my MK driving loafers for dryer terrain, and my Tory Burch tortoise flats for dinners. 

And that's it!! If you've been to Ireland, please send me all of your suggestions. If you are familiar with the weather in Ireland in early June, and I'm thinking about this the wrong way, please let me know!! I can't wait for this vacation - with all the craziness going on in our lives, it'll be nice to escape for a week!




Monday, May 15, 2017

we bought a house!


When we were going on our interviews, we always asked residents about their housing situation. CR and I had discussed our future house situation a ton, and had come to the conclusion that ideally we would like to purchase a house when we started our residencies. A big reason for that was because finding a house to rent with two dogs and a cat is pretty difficult, but also because we felt we were ready to take on the responsibilities of finally being home owners. We asked residents about their housing situations since it gave us an idea of the area we could potentially be moving to. We didn't apply to any programs in major cities, so we were often in more suburban areas where I'd say about half of the residents owned homes. Knowing that, I was so excited about the home buying process, and was eager to get started once we found out where we were going to officially live for at least the next four years.

Once we officially matched, we knew we would be buying a house - since it was our number one choice, we had done the unadvisable, and had already researched real estate in that area. Obviously when you think about buying a house, there's a ton of weighing the pros versus the cons. The biggest factor was the money. I have always felt like I'm "throwing away" money by paying someone else's mortgage for them (our current rent is double the mortgage payment on the house we live in). I really was drawn to putting that money towards something that is our own, rather than just paying for someone else's house. Being that we were going to live in that area for at least four years, but probably six years, we used a rent versus buy calculator to see how the finances really work out. Since the area we are moving to has a pretty low cost of living, and houses are very quite affordable (at least when you compare it to cities even just an hour away), the calculator really pointed to how much more financial sense it would be to buy.

Saturday, the day after Match Day, we started our official Zillow searches. Since we were moving to an area where we didn't know anyone, and also because we were brand spanking new to buying a house, I really had no idea about finding a realtor and looking at houses. Basically, I just found a few cute houses on Zillow and contacted the agent listed. Within ten minutes, three of them had called me back. You really have to hustle as a realtor! One buyer's agent spent some time on the phone with us, set up a MLS search for us (I hadn't even heard of such a website before that), and scheduled a morning that following week to look at whatever houses we wanted.

We met up with our buyer's agent the Tuesday after Match Day to look at houses. She was a brand new agent - she had yet to sell her first home. But you know, she was so energetic and really hustling to get us places to look at, emailing us at like 11 PM with new listings, that I knew she would do everything to do right by us. It sounds silly, but I have always appreciated when patients trusted me to learn from their care, so I felt like we owed it to someone else to be their first too. Anyway, we met up on a Tuesday morning at this old, recently somewhat flipped, home in the country. We knew immediately that this was not the house for us, but we did the walk through anyway. Driving away from that first house, I was uncertain about how this process was going to go down. As we drove away, I told CR about how nervous I was that we weren't going to find what we were looking for, especially because we didn't have months and months to get this figured out.

And what exactly what were were looking for? I wasn't even sure. I had like three non-negotiables - it needed a fenceable back yard, I did not want to drive more than 25 minutes to work, and it needed to have central air. In the seven years I have had my dogs, they have never had a completely fenced in yard. All I want is to open a door, and let them play outside for hours without being on a lead. I also didn't want to drive a half an hour every morning at 4 AM, and after having spent most of my adult life without AC, it was time to be comfortable in the summer. Everything else I could work with, but wish list items included a newer bright kitchen, at least three bedrooms, bigger closets, wood floors, and something with character.

Well, after the first house didn't fit basically any of the things we were looking for, I wasn't too hopeful. We drove up to the next house though, and it was like...wow! This is basically exactly what I was looking for. Less than a ten minute drive to my hospital, it was a cute two story brick house with wood floors throughout, a new kitchen, a fireplace, and a huge back yard (without a fence). As I walked through the house, I was like YES YES YES, you are going to be mine. CR was not as convinced as I was - I saw the charm and potential, and he saw the big yard that needed to be fenced in, the busier street it sat on, and the kitchen that actually needed more work than I first noticed. Big bonus though was that it was at the lower end of our desired price range.

We had already agreed that we were not going to put an offer on a house that day - we had started the process of figuring out which bank we wanted to get our mortgage with, so we were still waiting on our work contracts and so on to be able to get anything concretely signed with a bank. We looked at six more homes that day - some were gorgeous, but at the very top of our price range and 35 minutes away from my work, while others were ones we knew we weren't going to buy from the moment we drove up to it (like lego colored rooms or falling down garages).

We went on another full day of house hunting the following week. We had asked that we stop by the cute brick house we saw previously at the end of the day to see if we still felt the same way. We saw a bunch of houses again - some that we could have maybe been okay with buying, but nothing where I was actually excited about the house. Our final stop of the day was at the brick house, where we spent a lot more time actually looking closely at the details. The charm was definitely there - they had recently re-done a lot to the house to get it ready to sell. The floors were all recently refinished - wood floors! No carpets! All windows had recently been replaced. The trim was all white. There was a fireplace!! With a mantle! The kitchen was brand new - new cupboards, appliances, and floors. But there were issues too. While the kitchen was new, the storage was seriously lacking - all the things were on one side of the kitchen, and the other wall was completely bare. We would have to put in a whole row of cupboards - not a huge deal, but also not "move in ready", and still a task for two people who have never done that. The backyard was big, but there were fallen trees and garbage, and it wasn't fenced in. Again, something that can be fixed, but something that would take time and money to fix. The closets weren't the big closets I had imagined having - the house was built in the 1950s, not exactly a time of huge walk in closets. The full bath was smaller, has absolutely zero storage, and is floor to ceiling tile.

But you know what - I loved that about that house. It needed a bit of work, but nothing that we couldn't either figure out ourselves, or hire someone to fix. It had charm - it felt like a real home to me, rather than just a house we would temporarily live in. It had things I had always wanted - wood floors, a semi-open floor plan, natural light, and a place for my dogs to stretch their legs. I could see our lives in there now, and in five years with a baby or two.

The next day, we put in our offer. I was so so so nervous, checking my phone every two minutes. Within twelve hours, they accepted! We had figured out everything with the banks, so we started down the path of getting all of that paperwork done and signed and faxed and emailed. I spent a whole day just trying to email forms and IDs and contracts to get everything done as quickly as possible. Long story short though, when our bank went to go appraise the house, they said it was worth $5000 less than we offered. We went back and forth on what to do - in the end, we asked to go down to the appraisal value with less back at closing. I think the owners were just ready to sell their house, because they accepted our offer. The following week, we had our inspection where everything went really well except that the radon levels were higher than our offer agreement allowed, so the home owners had to pay another $1000 to have a mitigation system installed. We were just happy we were getting the house for even less, and that they had to put that system in! It wasn't until that was all done though that I could finally really believe the house was going to be ours - I was afraid the seller was going to get annoyed with us and just pull out of the deal, even though we weren't trying to play them at all (after all, we did  offer their asking price and they knew that the mitigation system might be a possibility, which is why it was in the initial offer).

Anyway! There was a lot more paperwork, time on the phone, and internet education that happened during that time. I really have to credit CR with all the work he put into this process - he spent so much educating himself on the process of home buying, and doing the majority of the banking paperwork. If it wasn't for him, this process would never have gone as smoothly as it did. He kept me grounded and reminded me of what were looking for him our future home. I can easily be swayed by pretty floors and a nice kitchen, but he reminded me that we needed something practical and that fit our needs. I think we found a perfect mix in this house - a house with character but with a few things that need to be fixed, one that we can grow into a bit, and a place where we can spend the first few years of our marriage. I am so happy that she's finally all ours! Below is a little tour of the place - be on the look out hopefully later this week where I share details of the things we are changing and potential ideas for furnishing this place!





Sunday, May 14, 2017

top three [05.14.2017]

sharing my Kleinfelds experience
medicine
  • The cause of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is unknown, but it's thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. One of those external factors is associated with where you live. There's a higher chance of having MS if you live in the northern part of the US. Interestingly, people who migrate from a high risk area to a low risk area after puberty will still have the same high risk of getting MS. If someone moves before puberty though, their risk is associated with the area to which they migrated. 
  • It has been shown that men are more likely to get skin cancer on their left side of the body, because statistically, they drive the car. 
  • The fern test is used to distinguish amniotic fluid from other fluids. I think it's one of the prettiest things in medicine (...visually anyway. Sometimes it's not a good thing to see it). 

on the internet

spotted

throwback

ask me anything
  • My husband recently got into Medical School and I want to get him a congratulatory gift. I ordered the MedInfo clipboard I have seen you recommend many times, but do you have any other recommendations? Thanks!
    • I think a fleece or zip up from this new medical school would make for a great present! Something a bit special, and something he'll wear for years and years, both while at school and after he's done! Another idea is to get him an iPad if he doesn't already have one. I used mine constantly during both didactics and clinical years - you can even get it engraved to make it a little bit more special. Congrats to you both! 
  • Any recommendations for getting healthy again post-baby? I'm breastfeeding, so can't really diet. I love going to the gym, but it's so hard to go without someone to watch my little one! Any eating tips or workouts I can do at home that you've enjoyed?
    • Congrats on your baby!! First and foremost, enjoy your time with you little one - I've been told they grow up so fast ;) But I completely understand the desire to get moving again, especially now that you don't have a baby belly in the way. I have not had a baby, so it's hard for me to give you personal advice as I haven't been there, but here are a couple of ideas. Since it's spring, and hopefully the weather is nice, going on long walks with your baby is a great place to start. Don't push yourself too hard though - enjoy the time you're outside of the house! Maybe there's another mom you can meet up with so you guys can have girl time, exercise time, and still have your babies with you. I follow several girls on instagram who recently had babies, and a lot of them have posted about doing work outs like these once they feel they can do lighter exercises again. I hope that helps a little, but like I said, I haven't been there yet so my advice may not be the most helpful!
  • I love your wedding posts because I am getting married as well! Our wedding will take place in early fall, so it will still be warm but not totally summery. In accordance with the "something old, new, borrowed, blue" tradition, I really want to wear a shade of blue shoes! I am a fellow tall girl, so I want some small heels, but nothing taller than 2ish inches. Additionally, I want something in which I will feel comfortable dancing the night away! Finally, I'm hoping not to break the bank on my shoes (weddings are so expensive!) Any suggestions?
    • Yay, congrats on your upcoming wedding! I too will be wearing flatter shoes at my wedding - I couldn't imagine trying to wear heels all day! I did find two options that I think are really great. Both are just a little bit more pricey than I was hoping to share, but I hope you think they could be your shoes (be sure to send me a picture in the fall either way!). The first pair is a wedged pair in dark blue with a peep toe. I think the wedge would make it super easy to walk around on, and sticks with your something blue theme! The other pair is my personal favorite - this Badgley Mischka shoe is just so darn pretty, and would be what I would go with!

on franish

notable sales

at home
  • We were up in Rochester, NY this weekend to take our engagement pictures. Rochester has a park with tons of beautiful lilacs, so we got super lucky that the weekend we planned to take pictures was the weekend the lilacs were in full bloom. It was a bit misty throughout our session, but from the one preview we saw, I can't wait to see the final results! I'll be sure to share as soon as they are ready (in about a week or so! Eek!)
  • Tomorrow is the day we close on our house!! Check by here tomorrow afternoon to hear about how we went about the process, the full tour, and our plans! Can't wait to finally share with everyone!
  • Happy Mother's Day! All moms and mother figures are great, but my mother is particularly amazing. Couldn't be more thankful to have such a strong, courageous, and kind woman as my own mother. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

wedding wednesday: saying yes to the dress!

I was debating if I should write this post now, or later but because the dress that I ended up with is actually quite a bit different than the ones I shared here, I wanted to share the post now! I'm so excited about the dress I found, I really wish I could share it with you all right now! But it's my little secret for the next year - I can't wait to show you next June! After the wedding I'll share the other dresses that were top contenders :)



I've always loved weddings. While I didn't even go to a wedding as guest until I was like 22 years old, I've always had really strong feelings about weddings. Obviously Say Yes to the Dress is something I've watched for years and years because there is nothing more fun than judging people trying on wedding dresses.

So as you can imagine, I had pretty clear idea of what I wanted in my own wedding dress when I started really thinking about it. My taste has definitely changed from the time when I first started a wedding pinterest board (yep...like five years before I was ever engaged), so I had a lot of fun looking through hundreds of pictures online for the past few months to come up with what 2017 Fran likes versus what 2012 Fran liked. Since we are having an outdoor wedding and are doing the whole barn wedding thing, I definitely wanted something soft and flowy and appropriate for the venue. I started gravitating towards dresses with lace, sleeves/straps, and chiffon skirts - basically, this was my ideal dress based on pictures I found online. 

We have decided we aren't doing a lot of traditional pre-wedding events for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is that both our families and our wedding parties are spread all over the country. I just don't feel like I can ask members of my bridal party and close friends, many who are about to start residency or work really demanding jobs, to travel to Rochester, NY or Ohio for engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and so on. So once I really started coming up with a general timeline of when things needed to be done for the wedding, I asked my mom if she would come to New York with me to go wedding dress shopping. I actually got the idea from Jessica, who went to NYC to go wedding dress shopping when she was planning her wedding. I loved the idea of having a weekend where I spent time with my mom finding my dress, especially because we aren't doing many other wedding related things. 

Before our scheduled weekend in New York, I wanted to get a sense of what wedding dress shopping is like. I ask my friend Amy to come with me to go try on dresses at the Nordstrom in Cleveland. I had found this Monique Lhuillier Bliss dress online that I wanted to try, and I found that the closest Nordstrom to me has a bridal boutique, so I made an appointment. It was very easy to do - you just choose your location, pick a date, and then tell them if there is a specific style you are looking for. I understand why they do that, because the wedding suite itself is not very big, and does not have a ton of dresses, so they have other Nordstrom wedding suites ship specific dresses that clients are looking for. They also have a small selection of other dresses - I think we had maybe around 40 dresses to look through in the show room and back rooms.

Monday, May 8, 2017

when your outfit uniform bores you...

Pencil skirt in polka dot textured tweed
Can I just say that an outfit has not made me this happy in such a long time?

I'm a huge advocate for having a work "uniform" - you know, where you know you can throw on a combination of clothes that you know always works for you, especially when you're in a rush? I most definitely have one, and I bet you that you could very accurate describe it. Basically, black dress pants + looser top + flats. That's pretty close to what I've worn constantly for the past four years.

And as much as I love my uniform because it always works, man does it get boring! Which is a huge reason I have hardly blogged outfits for the past year or so. I was really busy, I was wearing my go-tos, and I kind of felt uninspired by it when it came to blogging. Like how many times could I show you guys the same combination before you guys got super bored?

But then I fell in love with this skirt as I was walking by a J.Crew, and I'm excited about getting dressed again. I was initially unsure about keeping it because it's not exactly the most versatile item in my closet but you know, not every single item in your closet should be a part of your uniform. It's boring and tedious and uninspired. Sometimes you need a little black and white polka dot skirt to mix it up.

So thank you to all of you who encouraged me to keep this beauty. You guys were so right. 
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Pencil skirt in polka dot textured tweed
Blouse: Banana Republic [similar at Everlane]
Skirt: J.Crew [exact]
Shoes: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Purse: Mulberry [save | similarexact]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
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You know who else has some really great skirts currently? J.Crew Factory! They have so many cute options right now! Below are my favorites - can you guess which one is on its way to me? I'll give you a hint: it's striped, and will go perfectly with a white tee and a denim jacket!




Sunday, May 7, 2017

top three [05.07.2017]

my people <3

medicine
  • It's Melanoma Awareness Month! Do you know the changes a mole can undergo that make them worrisome for skin cancer, specifically melanoma (the most dangerous type of skin cancer)? Joyce, a dermatology resident, describes those changes her in recent blog post. If you have any concerns about a mole, please make an appointment with your PCP or dermatologist as soon as possible. 
  • To contract Lyme disease from a tick, the tick usually needs to be attached for 36-48 hours to transmit the bacteria that causes the disease. Always do a body check after spending time in the woods and long grasses!
  • The ciguotoxin is a toxin that accumulates in certain types of fish, and when ingested by humans, can cause the human to change hot and cold senses into the other (like they taste hot liquids as cold). The condition is called ciguatera.  (thanks to my friend Kira for this fun fact!)

on the internet

spotted

throwback
  • For those of you about to start clinicals: my advice on what to wear on clinical rotations! (I am planning on writing a "shoes on rotations" post - hopefully I'll have it up soon!). 
  • Remember how I donated my green vest, and then bought a new one this year? I do plan on wearing it a bit more toned down than I did here haha
  • A review of 2014

ask me anything
  • I'm looking for an everyday short to wear this summer. The last few summers I've spent lots of money on cheap pairs of shorts but haven't found a pair I truly like. Do you have any suggestions? I just want something simple, probably neutral, that will fit well. I find it tricky since there is so much less area to get a good fit, know what I mean? Oh, and I'm willing to pay more than $20 now that I know the $20 pairs aren't cutting it for me. Thanks!
    • You guys know how much I hate warm weather clothing, so I totally understand the struggle! I have a pair of denim shorts I wear basically all summer long because they are casual and fit well - mine are old, but this pair from Caslon look very similar. I've also found that my black shorts get me pretty far in the summer - I have this pair from Old Navy, but if you are looking to spend a bit more, Volcom also makes what looks like a nice pair. Don't forget, it's about how something fits you, rather than how expensive it is - I've tried on $200 shorts that looked horrible on me, but have worn my Old Navy shorts for like four summers. If you find a pair that fits you almost perfectly but maybe are too big in the waist, you can always have a tailor take them in too! Don't be afraid to make something work for you even if it doesn't fit right off the rack. 
  • How do you keep your black jeans looking so black? I have a pair and after the first wash they were significantly less black and faded. Do you do something special to keep them dark, or is it more in the quality of the jeans?
    • It's definitely both how you wash your jeans and the quality, but even expensive jeans are prone to fading. First of all, I don't wash my jeans every time after I wear them - in fact, I don't wash any of my clothes after wearing them once (except of course work out clothes). I'm not a sweaty person, I shower every day, and my clothes aren't dirty, so I don't waste time and money on washing clothes that don't need to be washed. Washing your clothes isn't good for them either, so the less you have to do it, the longer they last. Second of all, when I do wash my jeans (which is like every 3-5th wear), I always turn them inside out. No idea how much of an affect that has, but I've read that over and over again, so I do it. Lastly, I use this laundry detergent - it's my secret weapon for keeping my dark clothes dark! 
  • You mentioned your "home uniform" consists of black pants, an white Everlane tee and a drapey sweater. I LOVE the simplicity having a set uniform brings to getting dressed in the morning! I already have favorite black pants (Athleta leggings...yes, they do count as pants! :)) and am planning on purchasing my very first Everlane tee...wondering what drapey sweaters you would recommend? Thanks a bunch!

on franish

at home
  • Hello from Long Island! Our close friend and classmate Amy is originally from here, and invited us to come here for her graduation party. I've never been to Long Island, so this has been such a fun experience! It took us 11 hours to get here on Friday (did you catch up the updates on snapchat? We had fun with it!), and have since ate our way through the island. We had such a good time! It's always interesting to see where your friends are from and to get to know their families, especially if you've heard so much about it for years. 
  • Can you believe we are three weeks away from graduation?! I can hardly believe it! 
  • One more week until we officially close on our house!! Please tell me nothing can go wrong at this point...