Sunday, November 5, 2017

how to: peloton bike for less (or how to make your own at home spin studio)

Back in the good ol' days of fourth year, I managed to work out 3-6 days a week. I fell in love with spin classes, and went every opportunity I could. I went to our local study religiously, and any time I was in a bigger city for interviews or fun, I would go to Soul Cycle or Fly Wheel, from studios in San Diego, NYC, Philadelphia, and Miami.  I've done all sorts of exercises over the years, from running to weights to yoga to circuit training, and nothing kept my attention like spinning did. I looked forward to that hour where I could just disappear - in a dark room where no one could see me, with music blasting, and my legs just going. It got me through the early phases of my parents separation - no one can see you cry while you're climbing up a hill listening to Adele. It helped me lose weight without feeling like I was hating my life doing it. Basically: I loved spin class.

And then we moved to a city that didn't have a spin studio. And I started working 80 hours a week, getting up at 3:30 AM and not getting home until 7 PM. And while I started going to Orange Theory, and liking it (and knowing that those weights were good for me), I just never looked forward to them. I remember reading AJ's post about her Pelaton bike, and the more I looked into it, the more I wanted it. But the cost ($1995, or $97 a month for 39 months) is pretty steep, especially on a resident's budget. The appealing thing about the bike is having a bike that is all connected, from the actual bike to the class you're taking to the numbers you're creating. I figured that those parts could be put together separately, while still getting the same experience.  So here's what I did!

the necessities
There are four main components to making your own Peloton:
  • The bike: there are a ton of different spin bikes out there, with all sorts of designs and extras. I ended up choosing this bike - it had most of the things I was looking for, and had great reviews. It has most of the standard features of a regular spin bike - the only thing this one doesn't have is a computer sensor, which is something most bikes at this price range don't have either. It showed up at my house within 3 days, and took CR about 30 minutes to put together. 
  • Sensor: to make up for the bike not having a computer, you can buy a sensor for $40 that attaches to the pedal to keep track of your cadence (how fast you are spinning). It attaches to an app that goes on your phone, so you can match the cadence that the instructors say. The only down side to not having a computer attached to the bike is that you can't measure resistance, which I never had at my regular spin class any way, but for those of you who are used to Fly Wheel and having a set resistance number, that may bother you. I personally don't care, so this was the perfect alternative. 
  • Peloton app: The app itself is of course free, but the subscription costs $12.99 a month for unlimited amount of classes. There are up to 14 live rides a day, and over 4000 saved rides. You can filter by time length of classes, type of classes, and instructors. The instructors are very similar to the ones you see at Soul Cycle or Fly Wheel - high energy, fit, enthusiastic instructors. 
  • Monitor holder: The Peloton app works on both iPhones and iPads, so if you don't have an iPad, you can use your phone. I personally like having a slightly larger screen, so I use my iPad mini. I use this tablet holder, which works great for holding the screen in front of you. It's no 21.5 inch screen like the Peloton bike has, but I personally don't think you need that huge of a screen to have someone tell you how fast to spin your bike ;)

Of course, there are some items that enhance the experience. Here are the things that are bonuses, but aren't necessary:
  • Floor mats: our bike is in the basement, which has a concrete floor. While the bike is pretty sturdy, there is definitely a bit of rocking when you're standing up, so I recommend that if you're bike is going to be on a hard surface, having some kind of padding underneath is a good idea. This pack comes with 6 pieces, which is the perfect size to put under the bike. Another option could be an older yoga mat that you're no longer using. 
  • Bike shoes: I've had this pair from Shimano for the past nine months, and love them. While you can ride the bike with just normal tennis shoes, having spin shoes makes it easier - you have better control over the wheel, and because you don't have to point your toes as much to keep your feet in the baskets, your feet/calves won't hurt. I highly highly recommend getting spin shoes if you are going to spin even semi-regularly. Both the bike and the shoes have the SPD clip, which is the standard clips most spin studios use. 

And then there are things that are absolutely not necessary, but are fun anyways:
  • A fitness watch: I've had my Apple Watch for over a year, and it is such a great motivator for any type of work out. You can read my review of my watch here. Definitely not a necessity, and you burn calories even if you don't have a watch that tells you how many you burned, but it somehow feels like an accomplishment to see the number at the end. 
  • Cute work out clothes: you guys know I'm all about Old Navy's work out clothes - they are inexpensive, and hold up well. Have you guys seen their newest pair of cropped leggings? I love. I also own several pairs of their sports bras - they are definitely more of a compression sports bra than a shaping one, but that's the style I prefer. I have and love the floral version. 

Here's my screenshot from this morning's ride - I'm honestly considering going on another ride tonight just because it was so much fun!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

hello! and a few items for review


Needless to say, I've been a bit MIA on here for the past month. It was unintentional, but to be honest, it was a needed break. The beginning of residency has been a big adjustment period for my life, and it was actually freeing just to let the blog go for a bit. Not feeling pressured to buy something just to review it, or spend my free time on the weekends taking pictures for beauty posts, or spending the one weekend night that CR and I both have off on my computer putting together a post of links. So blogging went by the wayside for a bit while we've been busy doing all sorts of things - going to family weddings, planning our own wedding, adjusting to being on Labor & Delivery (honestly my favorite part of residency so far!), and continuing to work on the house, while also celebrating both mine and CR's birthdays, and spending time with our families. It's a lot! 

But I do miss you guys! I ordered a few things some weeks ago, and have been sitting on these pictures for weeks now. Some are in preparation for my upcoming bridal shower, and some are just because I really love fall ;)
 WAYF Blouson Midi Dress
My amazing future mother-in-law and sisters-in-law are throwing me a bridal shower next weekend. I've never even been to a bridal shower, so it'll be interesting to have my first experience be at my own! I know traditionally the bride to be wears white, and even though I've been waiting basically my whole life to finally have an excuse to wear all the white dresses, I couldn't find any recently that I really loved. But then I ran agross this WAYF dress, in our wedding color, and felt that was appropriate too. At the time, I was going to order it in my regular large, but it sold out while I was going to check out. So I ordered a medium, and hoped for the best. I think besides a tiny bit of pulling right at the bust, the medium works just fine! I love the color, the full short sleeves, and the v-neck. It's just such a simple, pretty dress, and isn't super over the top. I'm still trying to figure out accessories, whether it's my possible wedding shoes, or just simple cognac heeled sandals with a coordinating belt. Now it just needs a good steaming haha. 

The next item is this Levi's jacket that was a flop for me. It really was my own fault - the description says Parachute IN the name, but I was still surprised when it was really large and baggy on me. I'm wearing a size large in the grey color here. I wanted it to be a true grey, but it's kind of a green-grey color. So combined with it just being too large and unflattering on me (the sleeves were so big!), and it not being the color I wanted, it was an easy no. Which is fine, because I already own too many coats...doesn't stop me from always wanting more, which is probably a problem ;)

 Women's Bp. Geo Colorblock Scarf
Is it fall where you guys are? It's finally getting there here in Ohio. During our move, I donated a ton of old scarves I hadn't worn in years. I allow myself like one or two new scarves a season, and this year I wanted a darker thicker scarf. I ran across this dark orange, blue, and green scarf, and fell in love with it. It's a thicker blanket scarf material and size, but manageable. I personally wish it was like 3 inches longer, but especially for you more normal heighted women, it would be perfect! And for like $25, it's a pretty nice scarf. 

The last time is a blush scarf from Treasure & Bond. How long have been looking for a blush scarf, like three years?! I don't know why it's so hard to find one. I thought this one was promising, and for $35, not terribly expensive, but I just didn't love it. The tassles are cute, but I find them a bit distracting. I kind of wanted a softer, flowy but still thick scarf - is that too much to ask?! Apparently ;)

Okay, that's it for me. Promise I'll try to find some balance in my life and post more...when I have things to tell you about!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

top three [09.10.17]

looking for bouquet inspiration <3

  • A heterotopic pregnancy is when there is both a pregnancy in the uterus, and one outside of the uterus. 
  • The average lifespan after starting to abuse IV drugs is 7 years. 
  • About 20% of the population has aniscoria, aka unequal pupil sizes. Are you one of them?

  • In preparation for my bridal shower next month, I've been scouring the internet looking for a pretty, casual dress to wear to the occasion. Since our wedding colors are blush and navy, I'm thinking of maybe wearing this simple midi dress. It's soft and flowy, super important for a bridal brunch ;)
  • The temperatures dropped over the past week, and fall is here in full force! I'm thinking this textured sweater will be a mainstay for me this season. I love the look of it paired with a simple tee and distressed denim!
  • I've owned four different olive jackets over the years, but I think this year is the year I go with a grey version - it's a bit more unique, and would go with literally everything. 

on the internet

on franish

at home
  • Hiiiiiiii! Finally back with a top three post. These posts normally take about 3-4 hours to write, and honestly, I don't always feel super motivated to write them. So I think my new plan is to kind of work on them throughout the week, and if it doesn't get posted, just keep it and save it for the next week! I hope that's okay with you guys - I still love sharing what I've finding out there, but with less time actually spent on the internet, I'm hoping to find a good middle ground!
  • This week I started Gyn Onc - it's the service that takes care of the patients with endometrial, ovarian, and cervical cancer. It's going to be a really great month - you work one and one with your chief and the attending, so I know I'm going to learn a lot, improve my surgical skills, and work on my post-op management. Here's your monthly reminder that if you are due for your pap smear, go see your friendly local Gyn :)
  • My mom is officially moved into her new house, and we are really enjoying having family so close again. It's so nice to just go over, help with a few things that need to be done, and have dinner with. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

our save the dates!

I am so excited to finally share our Save the Dates! I am so so happy with how they turned out :)

Once we took our engagement pictures, we debated for a while about which picture to put on there. I wanted it to show us equally - there were lots of pictures where one of us was more prominent, but I really felt that it was important that we were both equally a part of the picture (rather than CR kissing me or me nuzzling his neck). I just love the picture of us that we chooose, plus the lilacs in the background are just so beautiful!

Once we choose the picture, I probably spent a good week looking at and comparing different options on the Minted website. There are just so many beautiful cards to choose from, but I eventually narrowed the options down to portrait cards with gold "save the date" with our information under it, and our favorite in the end was the Modern Script Save the Date. I love the crisp white edges and print, with the gold script across the whole card. One of the amazing things about Minted is that you can really customize the card, so if you don't like the font on the information part of the card, you can change it or move it! We ended up going with a different font than the original design had, just because I wanted a bit more juxtaposition between the gold script and the white lettering.

The next step after we finally finished designing the card was collected addresses. I love that Minted includes free recipient addressing. Instead of hand writing all the names and addresses, you collect that information in an excel spread sheet, and then your envelopes are printed...for free! It's seriously amazing. Luckily there have been several engagements/weddings in CR's family recently, so it was really easy to collect a large majority of those addresses since his cousin just sent out their Save the Dates! As far as the return address, you can pay a bit extra to either have it printed on the card or pay for stickers. Since we had just moved into our new house, I actually chose to do neither, and ordered this stamp from Etsy with our new address on it! I figured sending out 80 cards was the perfect excuse to finally get one!

My sister, in her first official duties as my maid of honor, came over to help me stuff and stamp the envelopes. For the actual stamps, I ordered these boutonniere stamps from They are pretty and fit the general theme of the Save the Dates/our wedding, but didn't cost as much as custom stamps would have. And then we just dropped them off at the post office, because it's more fun to put them in this than in your own boring mail box:

We got such great feedback from our friends, and I loved seeing all of their snaps that they sent us! I love seeing my friends' smiling faces on my own fridge, so I'm pretty honored to be on someone else's!

Overall, the process of picking out, customizing, and finishing our Save the Dates was a really fun and seamless process. I'm so thankful that we got to work with Minted on such a personal project, and that we ended up with such beautiful cards to share with our family and friends. A huge thanks to Minted for working with me on this project. I couldn't be more excited to work with one of my favorite paper brands on such a personal project!

In the next Wedding Wednesday post, we're going to discuss bridal parties, and bridesmaid dresses...something I may have been putting off for a while....

Friday, August 25, 2017

having a dog in medical school & residency

One of my biggest questions I've received is about having dogs while in medical school (and now residency). As we all know, having a dog is one of the best things in the whole world, but with the time consuming nature of medicine, sometimes it's a lot to try to handle at once.

My experience with having dogs is maybe slightly different because I've had both of mine since college - I got both Hans and Baer during my senior year, so we've been together for eight years now! When I started school, they were already four, so they weren't in that tough puppy phase. We had had several years together where I worked a full time job, so my dogs were used to not having me around all the time. But it really changed a lot when I started medical school.

Between long days at school and then long nights in the library during the first two years, the long clinical hours during the second part of medical, and now the hours of residency, there were really steps I had to take so that my dogs were taken care of. Having a dog (or two!) in medical school and residency is definitely possible. Here are some of the things that have really worked out well for me and my dogs over the past four years!

find other dog owners //

One of the best things I ever did for both myself and Hans & Baer at the beginning of medical school was reaching out to other dog owners. I posted on our class's facebook group asking if anyone had dogs and if they wanted to meet up for play dates. I met up with several classmates and their cute puppies, and it was such a great way to get out to meet people, and for my dogs to get out and play. Especially during anatomy (the first three months of first year), I was in lecture for 9 hours a day, so it was amazing to get outside, socialize with new people, and watch my dogs play.

Half way through first year, my best friend got a puppy. So it's definitely possible to get a puppy in school, it just takes work! For us, it was awesome because we had puppy play dates most days of the week, either at each other's houses, or at the dog park. Our dogs had such a great time playing, and we were thankful to spend a bit of time together that didn't revolve around studying. We would also go on hikes with our other girlfriends early weekend mornings, so we were being active, the dogs were getting to stretch their legs, and then we had all day to study! It really was a win for everyone.

have roommates that love dogs as much as you do //

When I found out I was moving to Pennsylvania, my first thought was ....but who do I live with? Again I got on our facebook page, asked if anyone was looking for a roommate and also loved dogs. I got the best roommate out of that - my roommate Sarah loved my dogs as much as if they were her own. She would take them out on hikes when she wanted to spend a few hours in nature,  she would cuddle them on the couch during her lunch break, would take them on potty breaks if I was at the library, and would put them to bed if I was spending the night at CR's. Having a roommate is great for lots of reasons, but if you have a pet, it's especially nice to have an extra set of hands for when you are in a crunch.

During my third and fourth year, CR and I moved in together. It's a bit different having dogs during the clinical years because you have less control over your schedule. Some rotations are more time consuming than others - on rotations like surgery, where I would leave my house at 3:45 AM and not get home until 6 PM, there was no way I could have done it without CR being there. We got really lucky that our schedules were kind of opposites - when I was on difficult rotations, he was on easier ones, and vice versa. This worked out for us, even without having any other help nearby. We only had each other, but we made it work!

My friends who have dogs all have roommates or live with their significant others. I got extremely lucky with having the people I lived with, and while it's definitely possible to have a dog without a roommate, it definitely helps having someone nearby who can help!

take them to doggy day care // 

When I was working full time and Hans & Baer were younger, my dogs went to a dog day care about once a week. It was such a great way for them to socialize and for me to not feel guilty about them being locked up in the house. Since my dogs were a bit older when I started school, and I had found great alternatives for their play times, I didn't re-enroll them in a doggy day care. But I wanted to mention this as a great option, especially for younger dogs, because my best friend took her puppy to doggy day care several times every week, and it was a wonderful way to get that puppy energy out, get the puppy the socialization it needs, and to not feel guilty if you were stuck in the library preparing for a big exam. Having a dog is definitely an expense, and while doggy day care is definitely not cheap, it's one of the best things you can do for a young playful dog!

get a dog walker // 

Now that we are in residency, our hours are even more inflexible and longer than they were in medical school. We, for the first time in the eight years I've had my dogs, had to hire real outside help. I spent a lot of time researching dog walkers in the area, and finally found a great woman to come help us with the dogs. She comes to our house every day around noon to take care of the dogs. She was walking them initially, but now that our back yard is completely fenced in, she lets them out and plays with them. She sends us texts daily of what the dogs are up to, and I just have no guilt now about being at work all day long. I love knowing that they get to play outside, that someone is giving them attention, and when I get stuck at work later than I thought, I know it's only been about 6 hours since they last went outside, not 14 hours. Again, hiring help is not cheap. But when you get a dog, you're committing to taking care of them, and that means more than just feeding them every day.

find good toys & pet supplies

This is somewhat of a no brainer, but we have found several items over the years that have made our pet owning days a bit easier. Since we have two dogs and a cat, there's a lot of water that they drink, so instead of always worrying about their one small bowl not having water in it, especially when we are running out the door at 4:30 AM, we have one of these water stations for them, and it's been such a life saver. That means they have fresh water available to them at all times, and we don't have to worry about filling it up daily. I like to keep the boys entertained, so Hans will sometimes get his breakfast in one of the dispensing toys, or they will get a Kong with peanut butter before we leave. None of this is rocket science, but just little things that have helped over the years!

Overall, my dogs are one of the best things in my life. They are such good dogs (even when they are being a bit naughty), and I just couldn't imagine my life without them.

Monday, August 21, 2017

i'm back! (a quick life update)

hi y'all!!

long time no talk...really, it's been three weeks. on one hand, it's been weird having not blogged in that long - it's the longest i've gone in five years! on the other hand, it was really freeing to step away for a bit. i felt this annoying pressure to post all the time, and when i was working as much as i was, it just didn't happen, and then i felt bad, and then i continued to not post, and it was just a cycle of feeling bad about not posting.

so i need to find a different method to blogging. i won't be as consistent as i once was, i just don't have the time. i have two more weeks of being on the ultrasound service, and then i start a really busy five months, so we will see what happens. i am not ready to give up this space, it just has to come after all the other important things in my life.

so what's been going on in my life? here are some updates!

work // 

so step three is officially done (yay!), i finished my month of gyn surgery, and am currently on ultrasound. on this rotation, i spend most of my time with our obstetric sonographers, watching and learning how to do ultrasounds. i also learn a lot from our genetic counselor, and spend one day a week with the breast center. it's definitely different than being on service, as you have a lot less responsibility, but it's a different type of learning, and it's nice having a pretty regular schedule! since i was spending most of my free time before this week studying, i am excited to get a bit more ob reading done now that i have a bit more time. coming up in two weeks is my month of gyn/onc, so i'm excited to back to being on a team and being in the OR! it also looks like i am scheduling my first surgery, which i am really excited about (when we schedule our clinic patients for a surgery they need, you become the surgeon on the case. it's one of the things that really attracted me to my program, the fact that you get so much surgical experience so early on).

i'm also really loving my co-residents, especially my co-interns. the people i work with are some of the funniest, and hard working people, i've ever been around, and i have learned so much from them. my co-interns are amazing, and i am so thankful for them - i know that they have my back, and you know you found a good group of people when you spend all weekend together after seeing each other all week.

family update // 

well. this is actually really hard to write, and something i have been thinking about writing for the past eight months. but i'm sad to say that my parents have decided to separate, and will being divorcing in a few months. this was a big shock to many people, and it's been a very difficult time for my family. i will not discuss details, obviously, that's not really something that belongs on the internet. the blessing is that my mom is moving to ohio at the end of the week - she found a beautiful home 11 minutes from mine, and me, my sister, and CR are so excited to have her here. we are looking forward to moving forward as this new version of our family, and while this is not how we saw it all working out at this point in our lives, we are all trying to see the positive. i really wanted to mention it now because i am so excited to have my mom close by and i'm sure it'll be something i mention a ton in the future, and felt it's best to just address it head on.

coffee stand // coffee machine // nespresso pod holder // the nespresso machine we got!
house // 

you guys! we have done so much around the house since we last posted on the house. our backyard now has a fence, and is growing grass! we have a dining room table, and chairs to sit on! our kitchen now has a coffee cart, and an amazing pinboard over it.  our couch arrived, and are anxiously waiting on our rug and coffee table to show up. i finally ordered frames for our bedroom (6 are going above the bed), and need to figure out which pictures i want in them. so lots of things have happened, and once we get a few more things on the walls, i'll write a more detailed post about updates. every day i am so happy when i walk through my house, and am so happy with how it's turning out. it's been a slooooowwwww process, and it'll be a work in progress for a few more years, but for now, it's been nice to be in a liveable house!

closet updates // 
when i'm on service, scrubs are all i wear, so i have been doing very little shopping. i ordered a ton of things during the nordstrom sale a month ago, and the only thing i ended up keeping was a cashmere cardigan (it really needs to cool down so i can finally wear it!). i ended up ordering the black pair of my favorite michael kors shoes - they are my favorite shoes to wear, so getting them in black just made sense. last item is this amazing karen kane top - it was on sale for $40 a few weeks ago (it's currently back to full price?), that is just a little different enough to be special.

alright, so that's what's been going on here for the past three weeks! i'm excited to spend a bit more time with you guys on here, while also using the next two weeks to get more done around the house, and getting some things checked off on the wedding list (like hair dressers and florists and i should probably start thinking about a baker, huh?).

Sunday, July 30, 2017

be right back!

hey guys!

Intern year has been a whirlwind so far, in really great,  and also in hard ways. Because I am taking Step 3 (our third and final board exam before our ObGyn boards at the end of residency) in 2.5 weeks, I'm going to take a little break from blogging until then. I really need to focus on studying in the evenings, and as much as I'm excited to share things on here with you when it comes to clothes and makeup and hair products, I need to really buckle down for a few more weeks! When I come back, I'll be on my ultrasound month, and have a bit more time to spend with y'all :)

I'll talk to you soon!! xoxo

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

sticking with my healthyish goals in residency

DSC07507picture 2 Intern year is known for a lot of things - early mornings, late nights, pagers going off at all times, not knowing what you're doing...and occasionally eating and drinking away your feelings.

I've made a bit of an attempt to change my outlook on my own health over the past six months, and since starting residency,  I am doing a few little things that I'm hoping will have long term benefits for myself. I want to have the stamina to work those long hours and I want to be a good example for my patients. On the superficial side of things, I did order a wedding dress that I'm supposed to fit into next June, so if nothing else, that's been a really great motivation to stick with healthy habits.

We are just four weeks into all of this, so this is definitely not a "how to be healthy in residency" post. Rather, it's the small things I'm doing to stay on track with my goals. From packing my own food to finding an efficient work out, here are a few things I do daily to stick with my healthyish goals (even if I'm not currently documenting them weekly). 

meal prepping & bringing my own food //

I am very fortunate that I am a part of a program that has a meal stipend. While it wouldn't cover all of my food, I definitely could get a large portion of my meals at the cafeteria. Since I go to work around 4:45 AM, and leave at 6 PM at the earliest, that could be all three meals of the day, not including snacks! So from day one, I have packed my own lunch bag with breakfast, snacks, and lunch. If you follow along on instastories, you will have seen some of my Sunday meal prepping. I tend to make big meals to cut down on the food prepping, so I make things like egg bakes for breakfasts, chili, veggie casseroles, and vegetables with a protein for dinners. For snacks I have Baby Bells, Clif Bars for my white coat so I can eat between cases, hardboiled eggs, and fruit. By bringing my own food, I can control what I'm eating for the most part, and by having dinners ready when I get home, I am less likely to just throw in a pizza or stop by Wendy's for a junior bacon cheeseburger. This is definitely not foolproof - we all have lunch together on Wednesdays where we get delicious food (last week we had pizza), sometimes I just really want some cereal in the middle of the day, and I may have had to go get a JBC after work, but 95% of the time, I'm controlling what I eat. 

taking the stairs //

I know this seems like a little thing, but I make every effort to take the stairs. In the morning, I make a pit stop on the third floor to grab my sign out sheets, and then head up to the sixth floor to round on my patients. I take the stairs every morning - I think getting my heart beating just a bit faster so early in the morning wakes me up a bit, and since I'm now in the habit of doing it every morning, I'm not making an excuse to take the elevator. It's such a small habit to form, but think about how many flights of stairs that is over four years! 

doing efficient work outs //
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The city we live in doesn't have a spin studio, so I really miss my 2-3 times a week spin classes! But I also don't have as flexible of a schedule as I did before I started working, so I've recently signed up for an OrangeTheory membership. The classes are built to get your heart rate in "the orange zone" - it's a combination of rowing, weights, and running. I like it because I would never go do sprints on a treadmill by myself or do some of the weight exercises (I get very nervous about doing weights in gyms), so I love that I get a really efficient work out in an hours time. There will be months where I'll be able to go more (especially the closer we get to next June!) but for now, I got on the weekends I don't work. I've talked a lot about how cute work out clothes are definitely a motivating factor for me. I'm so excited to get to work with Finish Line again so share some of their amazing work out items. While I'm typically a black leggings type of girl, I couldn't resist these fun striped pants from Reebok. I promise that they aren't see through! They are just a fun way to mix it up, even when you play it safe like I did by just wearing them with a black work out top. Below are a few more of their new arrivals that would make great self-motivators ;)

drinking water more than anything else //
I know I've mentioned this before, but I've really strived over the years to decrease my consumption of coffee, soda, and juice, and really focus on drinking water. I have a big water bottle I bring to work now that I sip on while I'm writing my notes before sign out and between surgeries if I have time. I learned the hard way last year that if I don't drink enough water in a day, that bad things will happen, so I'm all about the prevention now! 

bringing my work out bag to work //
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Our hospital has a small gym attached to it for the residents to use, so my co-intern and I have been making it a routine of bringing our gym bags to work with us. On days where we get done on time (when our pagers switch over to the night float team), we are able to quickly change into our gym clothes and get a quick work out out in. We do the stair climber or run a few miles or do some weights - really just to get our bodies moving. I know that if I went home first, I would never leave my house to go back to a gym. There's just not enough time between 6:30 when I get home and 9:30 when I go to bed to take care of my pets, connect with CR, do the assigned readings for the next day, eat dinner, AND leave to go to the gym. So by doing it right immediately after work, it's done, and I only "lose" 30 minutes instead of an hour+.

To keep myself motivated to continue with the habits I'm in the process of establishing, here are a few more cute items from Finish Line! I'm all about those gold tennis shoes - how fun would those be to wear after work?! Love. 

Thank you to Finish Line and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post! 

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.
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!).