Friday, March 31, 2017

march budget

Loft dress: originally $98, on sale for $59
Target vest: originally $30, on sale for $24
J.Crew Factory dress: originally $98, on sale for $47

March total: $130

Quarterly budget: $500 - $60 in February  - $130 in March = $310 left for spring!

This month I purchased three items I'm really excited about. I actually haven't shown you guys any of these yet, but will talk about the sizing and style of them next week in a review post (I was going to post it sooner, but we've been really busy with house hunting activities). The loft dress is really beautiful - it's a bit dressier than I thought, but it's perfect for those events where you have to dress up but don't want to look like you're over dressed (I'm thinking of wearing it to a graduation event). It's currently 60% off (!!!) which is pretty amazing - I went with a size 10. Same goes for the J.Crew Factory dress, which has a really cute white polka dots on black background. I love that it's black instead of navy, just because that makes it a bit more versatile (in my opinion!). And that vest....I have a lot of thoughts about how a style we all wore like four years ago is back right now, BUT I wore this vest like four days last week, and can't stop wearing it! I have a problem (and for under $30, you can have that problem too). 

I'm still waiting on my Gap order to see how much I love that embroidered top I mentioned last week, but as always, that will be included in April's budget. I am going to NYC at the end of April, so we will see where the money actually goes - if I spend it before we go in prep, or if I find something I love while there. A couple of other big purchases may be made during that trip (...eek!!), so maybe I won't want to do any other shopping!

As always, I want to mention what I received for my sponsorship work this month. I received a dress, shoes, purse, and ring from Kohl's, as well as the newest watch design from Daniel Wellington (as always, you can use the code FRANZISKA to save 15%). 

As always, looking forward to seeing how you did this month sticking to your budget! Please link up below, and don't forget to tell your readers to check out the other budgeting bloggers!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

let's talk about microblading

I read a ton of blogs and magazines, so I've been reading about microblading for a while now. Microblading is basically eyebrow tattoos that look like natural eyebrows, rather than the old school tattoo eyebrows that looked anything but natural. They use a semi permanent ink to draw on natural looking hair strokes rather than just one blob of an eyebrow. It's semi-permanent, which means the ink isn't injected as deeply, so it doesn't last "forever" like a normal tattoo do. Costs average between $400-$1200, and some of the results I have seen are pretty amazing. But when I really think about someone tattooing eyebrows ON MY FACE...I get a bit more weirded out, no matter how great before and after pictures on the internet look.

But then I started seeing more and more bloggers that I really trust talking about it, and going through the process. It was specifically Dani's recent post about her experience with microblading that made me think, hmmm, maybe this wouldn't be such a bad idea! I spend a bit of time every morning drawing in my eyebrows with an Anastasia pencil (see the before and after above). My eyebrows are a bit crooked (my right eyebrow is higher than the left one) so I am constantly trying to make them even. Since I have blond hair, I also need a bit of color to them so you can actually see them.

Here are my thoughts of the pros and cons of actually paying someone to tattoo eyebrows on your face:

  • Less time every morning coloring them in. This is really the biggest reason I'm interested in this, and something I could be really thankful for on the really early mornings I'm going to have next year. It would cut 2-3 minutes out of my morning routine, which is a lot of time when you're up at 4 AM. 
  • I'll always have even eyebrows, since they can fix the small angle discrepancy. 
  • My eyebrows will always be on fleek (....cringe. but seriously, my eyebrows would always *hopefully* look good).
  • They aren't completely permanent, which is either a good or a bad thing.

  • I don't know anyone in the area I live who has done this, so I'd be basing it all on internet reviews. What if they aren't good? What if they don't know what they are doing? 
  • What if I don't like the results? So many things could go wrong - they could go too dark, it could be even more uneven, it could look really fake. 
  • How long will it last on me? Will I really have to get touch ups every year? What if it's bad, how long does it take to go away? 
  • Is it worth the cost to do it? It looks like places near where I live charge $250-$350, so it's not like the world's biggest expense, but it's expense.
  • How horrible will it look during the downtime between getting them done and them looking good? 

Anyway, I wanted to hear about if any of you have experience with microblading! We talked a bit about it on twitter, but would love to hear if you've debated getting your eyebrows microbladed, or if you have and love or hate it!

Monday, March 27, 2017

cause i'm a nineties chick

Women's LC Lauren Conrad Pleated Shift Dress 
I was born in the late '80's, so I'm completely a '90's girl. I had the velvet boot-cut pants, I begged for Doc Martens for Christmas, and diligently looked through every Delia's catalog that came in the mail. I had the stretchy chockers and chunky highlights and sparkly lotion. 

So let's just say when the '90s came back in style over the past year, I was not ready to jump into the trends that were popular when I was younger. But slowly, like  a lot of trends, I started to kind of love the look of the updated '90s style. It probably helps that I'm now almost 30 and feel a lot more comfortable with myself than I did when I was 13 (omg, is this what 13 Going on 30 was about?!). Anyway, there are certain trends that I kind love for right now! Black and white floral dresses with an updated cut? Yes, please! Mine is from LC Lauren Conrad, a brand found exclusively at Kohl's, and I love that it's fun and flirty, but also on trend. Instead of combining it with combat boots though, I'm embracing a look that's completely 2017 with a pair of open toed booties. I'll be honest: when this style came out, I was a bit confused. What's the point of a bootie where your toes are exposed? But the more I saw, the cuter I thought it was, so I finally wanted to try a pair out for myself. With the chunky heel, they are even pretty comfortable to walk in!

So while I'm a 2017 woman, I'm all about bringing back parts of that '90's girl...with an updated twist ;)
LC Lauren Conrad Women's Cutout Ankle Boots
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Women's LC Lauren Conrad Pleated Shift Dress
Dress: LC Lauren Conrad c/o Kohl's [exact]
Booties: LC Lauren Conrad c/o Kohl's [exact]
Purse: LC Lauren Conrad c/o Kohl's [exact]
Ring: LC Lauren Conrad c/o Kohl's [exact]
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Kohl's will have a promotion for 20 percent off your purchase with code FF20OFF from 3/29 until 4/02. I picked out a few of my favorite LC Lauren Conrad pieces below. Did you know they made the cutest home items?! I had no idea, but I'm bookmarking them for when we move in a few months! I especially want that ruffle pillow for my future office space and the cream blanket for the guest room!

Thank you Kohl's & ShopStyle for sponsoring this post!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

top three [03.26.2017]

gulf shores through the years

on the internet



  • When I saw your amount of debt this week it made me sigh in relief because I'm not the only one! I'm still a third year medical student and just thinking about repaying my loans stresses me out...what is your plan for repayment? Will you defer them until after residency? Is it actually practical to try to make it to ten years when they will just be forgiven, or are you trying to pay them off before that?
    • You definitely aren't alone - most of us in school are several hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Don't stress yourself out too much at this point because there's nothing you can do about it right now, especially with all of the costs with the upcoming application season. My plan is to do the income-based loan repayments while I'm in residency. We are planning on staying in the area where we are doing our residency for 2-3 years past residency, and continuing to "live like residents", just with an attending's salary, so we can pay off as much as we can in the shortest amount of time. I'm not going to rely too much on the 10 year loan forgiveness plan just because who knows if that's actually going to be around in ten years? So that's our current plan...of course plans always change!
  • So I was considering buying some Jack Rogers sandals and I was wondering what you think of yours? Do you think they are worth the price? Do they last a long time? Are they versatile?
    •  I love my Jack Rogers sandals. I've never seen anyone actually wear the style I have, and I get compliments all of the time. If you are looking for a simple flat that goes with everything, I highly recommend them - I wear mine all spring and summer! If you are looking for shoes you can walk ten miles in, these probably aren't it just because there's not a ton of support in the shoe. 
  •  I'm looking for an everyday cross body bag, preferably under $100. Any suggestions?

on franish

at home

  • Have you guys tried any new recipes lately? I'm getting a big lazy with cooking, and need to try something new!
  • We have booked our engagement shoot for May now I actually finally need to figure out what we're going to wear. For those of you who have done this, how did you figure it out? I assume I'll figure out what I'm wearing, and then just plan CR's clothes around that? This should not be that difficult...
  • Thank you so much for all of your helpful comments and emails about house hunting. We looked at eight houses on Tuesday, and are going back for a full day this coming Tuesday as well. We do really like one house, so we will see what happens!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

healthyish, vol. 13

Now that my schedule is a bit calmer, travel wise, I think the next five weeks are going to be really great, diet and exercise wise. While I've really made a big effort while on these trips to get my work outs in and not over indulge, it's easier to stay on track when you're home for longer periods of time. This week I started taking new exercise classes at my gym, where the trainer asks me what I want to work on, and then makes up a circuit for me. I like that I can fit this time into my schedule, and that it's really only 30ish minutes of work. I've been so sore the last few days, so it's good to feel those changes happening. While I definitely love my spin classes more, I know that I need to add more strength training as well.

Monday: 1 hour spin class
Wednesday: 1 hour spin class (new calories burned PR!)
Thursday: leg circuit (squats, lunges, dead lifts, medicine ball throws)
Friday: arm circuit (ropes, more ropes, more ropes, jackknifes on the TRX bands)
Saturday: 1 hour spin class

This week I had chia seed pudding every morning. I mix 3/4 cup almond milk with 3 tablespoons chia seeds, a splash of vanilla extract, and cinnamon, and let it sit overnight. I either topped it with raspberries or bananas in the morning. I really like this, and can see it become a major part of my morning routine once residency starts since it's basically ready to go in the morning. For lunches this week I either had left overs from dinner, we went out to eat in between looking at houses so I had a large chicken salad, and I got a burrito bowl from Chipotle yesterday (I get it without rice or cheese, and just a tiny bit of sour cream - even then, just the veggies, beans, steak, salsa, and guac still add up in calories!). One of my favorite snacks this week was the no sugar added bread and butter pickles - I love that crunch, and that they are 0 calories. For dinners I made chicken with brussel sprouts, and that chicken meatballs in red curry sauce above (this was SO GOOD and I can't wait to make it again. I got very lazy and used store bought chicken meatballs and cauliflower rice, but that's what I like about it - the minimal work!)


Last week's goals:
  • Take 2 group weight classes with stair masters beforehand: done!
  • Use My Fitness Pal every day: this didn't happen. I did it some days and just forgot others. Making this a goal again this week!
  • Try out a new recipe that we haven't tried yet: done! the chicken meatball curry sauce was amazing

This week's goal:
  • Track all meals in my fitness pal
  • Stretch at least 10 minutes a day
  • Drink at least 3 bottles of water a day

Last night our friends Ben and Amy had us over for dinner - we had an amazing meal of chicken, pasta, asparagus, and finished with peach cobbler. It was amazing!

weigh in:  - 0.8 lbs from last week, totaling 9.2 lbs over all. I think next week I'll finally hit 10 lbs down!

Friday, March 24, 2017

easy breezy

lace-up peasant top in caravan print Just popping in to share a quick outfit from when I was down in Gulf Shores a few weeks ago. I'm a terrible blogger on vacations, and never pack outfits to take pictures of or anything, but our house is next to this gorgeous teal house, so I convinced my sister to snap a few pictures while we went on one of our walks. 

I bought my black and white top when I was down in Miami in January. I love how the fit is loose, the colors are versatile, and how it's a bit more fun than a lot of my work tops are. Paired with a pair of boyfriend shorts and my trusty Birks, and it was the perfect outfit for walks and lounging with my family. I've brought the top along on every trip since then because it's just so easy to throw on and go. Good news is that it's no longer as expensive as it was when I bought it, so you can get it for almost half the original price
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Shirt: Madewell [exact on sale]
Shorts: Rag & Bone c/o Shopstyle [save | similar]
Shoes: Birkenstocks [exact]
Sunglasses: Rayban [exact]
lace-up peasant top in caravan print
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There are a ton of cute things in the Madewell sale section right now. Below are my picks - I of course highly recommend the transport tote (get it monogrammed!). 
one | two | three | four

Thursday, March 23, 2017

a bedroom refresh (...or how we figured out how to have white bedding with pets)

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I have always owned, and loved, white bedding. Growing up, that's what we had on all of our beds, and now as an adult, I love the brightness and crispness it brings to a room, especially when you have a fairly dark home like we do now. When we first moved into our current rented house, I bought us a new duvet set that I loved. It was white and bright and looked so nice. For a few months, it looked perfect...but that's because we didn't allow our pets in our bedroom, much less on the bed.

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We've since loosened up a bit, and love nothing more than to have a cuddle session with our mini zoo at home. But with that comes little paws all over our bed, and what was a bright crisp bed turned into a dull duvet with cat marks and tears all over it. Basically, when we were given the opportunity to do a little bedroom refresh with JCPenneys, I was so ready.

Our first step was finding a duvet that didn't change colors, doesn't show little claw marks as easily, and doesn't need to be smoothed out immediately if a cat jumps on it (bonus points if you don't even have to iron it after washing!). If you follow along on Snapchat, you know how much Lucy likes to play on the bed, which over time has led to a bunch of little snags and holes in our duvet. After several discussions, we decided on the VCNY Maya duvet set. It has a pintuck pattern, so it hides those little marks a lot better than a flat surface does, and it doesn't constantly need to be smoothed out when Lucy jumps on the bed. The polyester also means that it doesn't suck up dirt as easily as our previous duvet did. Our set came with two pillow cases as well, which I really liked (I've purchased duvets in the past that didn't include them, and then it's a pain to find matching pillow shams). 
I wanted to add a few larger pillows too - I felt our bed before felt really bare because we only have our two flattened pillows on either side (and while big fluffy pillows look better in pictures, we both prefer flatter pillows to sleep on). We added these large European sized pillows in the back so not only do I feel our bed has some dimension now, but it's also so much comfier to sit up in bed when we're watching a movie!
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Lastly, I wanted a throw for the bottom of the bed. Like Corrine, I'm a big fan of naps (even just little 15 minute ones), so I really wanted something I could cuddle up with, plus have an area where Lucy would spend the majority of her bed-laying time. I talked about before how comfy throws throughout the house really make everything a bit cozier, and it definitely applies here! We ended up going with this faux fur throw because I loved another shade of grey for the bed. After a few naps, I can attest to it's comfy factor! ...and Lucy also is a big fan ;) It also comes in a few other colors, including a gorgeous teal color!

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Overall, we are thrilled with our little bedroom refresh. We're basically all set to just move this room right into our next bedroom. We started looking at house yesterday, and I'm already so excited to make our future house our matter which one we end up with!

From March 23rd-26th, JCPenney has the following promotion:

Extra 30% with JCP Card, 25% off other method of payment

Extra 30% off select apparel, shoes, accessories, fine and fashion jewelry, salon products, home, furniture, mattresses, custom blinds and shades purchases with your JCPenney Credit Card.

Extra 25% off select purchases with any method of payment

Below are a few of my favorites from the home section. We desperately need those wicker baskets!
one | two | three | four

Thank you to JCPenney and Shopstyle for our beautiful new bedroom set and for sponsoring this post!

Monday, March 20, 2017

stocking up on all your favorites for 15% off

Nordstrom currently has a ton of beauty items for 15% off, including products from expensive brands like Dior, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Estee Lauder, and Urban Decay, just to name a few! You can find all the items here, but I've picked out a few for you guys! The first list includes all my tried and true favorites - products I use every single day, have purchased again and again, and that I'm stocking up on now. The second list includes all my wishlist items!

  1. Bobbi Brown eyeshadow pencil: I own this in both bark and dusty mauve. I use it by smudging it on my waterline, and then using my pinky finger to blend it. I have found it to be the perfect way to create a simple smoky eye on the lower lash line without dealing with a bunch of different liners and eyeshadows and pencils. 
  2. BareMinerals BB cream: This is one of my favorite products, and if you are someone with dry skin who is looking for a bit of coverage but nothing heavy, this is a really great option. Plus you don't need a ton, so it lasts forever. 
  3. Bobbi Brown blush: I own this in several colors, but my favorite and every day color is pretty pink. It's just that classic pink blush that you can easily build up to be brighter, but is soft and pretty and just goes with everything. 
  4. Stila eyeliner: *holy grail item* This is the only eyeliner I have purchased for the past seven years. I must have purchased at least 25 of these over the years, and am purchasing two now just because of the sale. It goes on smoothly, it really lasts all day (no flaking or smearing), and it's just overall a holy grail item for me. 
  5. Beauty Blender: Possibly the most versatile item I own - I use this to blend out my foundation and concealer, tap on setting powder, and use it with my setting spray to set my makeup. There's a larger set I'm probably going to purchase as it comes with a few smaller sponges and the cleanser!
  6. Urban Decay setting spray: I didn't really believe in setting sprays until last summer when I used one before a wedding, and was surprised when my make-up lasted all night. My favorite way of applying it is by spraying it on my beauty blender and then patting it on my face - I feel weird spraying it straight on my face, and feel the patting method works better. 
  7. Urban Decay eyelash primer: One of my big make-up "tricks" to build up longer and thicker lashes. Lashes are my favorite thing about make-up, and a primer creates the perfect base for that almost falsies look I love. It also prevents your mascara from flaking (something I know a lot of people have issues with when it comes to the Better Than Sex mascara, but something I never experienced because I used a primer). 
  8. Bobbi Brown mascara: I've been using this for about six months and really really like it. I used to be a BTS fan, but like the Bobbi Brown mascara even more (see my comparison here). 
  9. Essie's gel nailpolish: Y'all know that I'm a big fan of this line of nail polishes - you can see my review here. I wear the Fairy Tailor and Pre-Show Jitters almost exclusively. I'm just hoping they come out with a few new colors soon! 
  10. Smashbox powder: *holy grail item* This is another of those items I've purchased and repurchased for at least seven years now. For those of you with dry skin, this is the only powder I've found that doesn't leave a cakey flakey mess on top of dry skin. On lazier days, I only use a bit of concealer on blemishes and this powder, and it evens out my skin and lasts all day. I just love it. 
  11. Dior lip balm: I just talked about this lip balm last week! I like this because it smells nice, it's soothing, and it adds just a bit of color to your lips without being too much. I own this in the sheer pink color. 
  12. Anastasia eyebrow pencil: I've tried several different eyebrow products over the years - I used to use the duo powder, then for a while I used the thinner Brow Wiz, and now I've really settled on the Eyebrow definer because the thicker pencil means it looks less harsh, it goes on quicker, and it lasts the longest. I wear this in taupe. 
  13. Smashbox primer: I have pretty large pores on my nose, and as my dermatologist tells me, there is nothing you can do about it (and even with that advice, I still try product after product...just in case). So since I can't fix that problem, I use this primer to cover it. It blurs the pores, and makes your skin so smooth, so foundation goes on even smoother. I really love it, and am repurchasing another tube now. 
  14. Urban Decay concealer: I've repurchased this concealer twice now. I know it's a YouTube favorite, and for good reason. It goes on smoothly, blends perfectly, and doesn't crease. I wear this in light neutral!
  15. T3 curling iron: I've owned this iron for about nine months now, and it remains the best curling iron I've ever used. I really believe that because of this iron, my hair is much healthier than it was previously, just because I have to curl my hair less often and for less time. It's pretty pricy, so the 15% off makes a big difference!

And now for a few things on my wishlist. Some are items I've had my eye on forever (like that Dior balm I'm finally going to try and the Mac eyeshadow I tried out a few weeks ago in store), others that beauty bloggers and youtbers rave about (do I need an eyebrow gel? ...maybe.) and others that just caught my eye (hello, fun new face scrubs!). 
  1. Dior foundation
  2. Dior balm
  3. Philosophy microdermabrasion kit
  4. Anastasia highlighting kit
  5. Mac eyeshadows
  6. Clinique cleansing balm (has anyone tried this? people seem to love it!)
  7. Anastasia brow gel
  8. Dior lip gloss (I want to try 'kiss me'!)
  9. Origins face scrub
  10. Clarins eye gel
  11. Bobbi Brown moisturizing mask

Sunday, March 19, 2017

top three [03.19.2017]

my people <3

on the internet

  • If you're someone who loves dresses as much as I do, you may just want to pick up a pair of these wrap wedged espadrilles. They are beautiful, and would go with so many summer dresses! I just love them. 
  • I'm a big fan of scalloped and perforated totes - I think they are just the cutest thing. I just found Chelsea28's version that has both and comes in four great colors. Go with the tan or black for a neutral every day bag, or buy it in blue for a fun pop of color. I think I'm going to go with the blue!
  • Still on the look out for white lace dresses for our engagement pictures, I found a great option for under $60. My only concern is that it may be too short on me, but I sure do love those sleeves!


ask me anything
  • Congratulations on matching!!! I'm a second year medical student. Do you have any advice/recommendations on what types of shoes to wear on rotations? Do you recommend buying the clogs that most people wear in the OR if you aren't planning on going into a specialty with lots of operations?
    • Thank you so much, we are very excited! So for shoes, I actually am working on a post about this BUT here are my suggestions. If you don't think you are going into something surgical, you can wear tennis shoes into the OR. You wear shoe covers anyway, and I've seen plenty of surgeons, residents, and other medical students just wear tennis shoes that are comfortable. Since I am going into something surgical, I've been testing out various shoes. I have several pairs of the original Danskos, but I find them just a bit too high and stiff. I still wear them, but only on days where I'm standing a lot, and not doing a lot of walking/running. I have a pair of Birkenstock clogs that are great for standing a lot and walking, but because they don't have a back, they aren't going to be the best option for me when I'm on labor and delivery (there's more running than you would think!). I actually just ordered this style of Danskos that was recommended to be by an ObGyn resident, so as soon as I've had some time to test those out, I will write a full review! For non-surgical rotations, I ended up wearing a pair of shoes from Target that had an elastic top and added insoles. I also wore my scalloped flats a lot and they were actually quite comfortable!
  • I recently got accepted to an all expenses paid 2 week trip to Germany through an educator program. Given your familiarity with the country, any tips on what to pack or see?
    • That is so exciting! I am definitely jealous - I love Germany so much. Since I don't know where you are going, it's harder for me to give you examples of what to see, but as far as clothing goes, I do have a few suggestions. First, Germans did to dress more in the neutral colored zone. Lots of black, denim, and other more neutral colors. Germans tend to not be super done up with hair and make-up - they definitely embrace the European "less is more" type of look. You won't see a lot of people out wearing high heels or sparkly tops during the day, and also less likely to see people wearing leggings with sweatshirts. If you wear just normal jeans, nice blouses, and comfortable flats, you'll more than fit in and still be comfortable. 
  • Was that a married life book I saw on your Snapchat? What was it? Do you recommend?
    • We have been reading Things I Wish I'd Known Before Getting Married. It's written by the guy who wrote the Five Love Languages, and it's actually been pretty interesting. We did figure out our "love language" and to be honest, knowing what the other person finds important has actually been good for us. My love language are acts of service and physical touch, and so CR has made a real effort to do those things (and then likes to wink and say "see, love actions") while CR's is quality time, so I've made an effort to put the phone away when we watch TV or make sure we do things together rather than just sitting next to each other without interacting. So the book goes into some of that, and also on a bunch of other things that goes into a marriage. I mean, it's not like a life changing book, but for $8, it's been a good quick read!
notable sales
  • Anthropologie: 20% off full priced items (code: Springperk)
  • Old Navy: 40% off everything
    • A knit blazer is one of those things you can wear with so many different things in your closet, and a striped one on top of cute! 
    • With white jeans and sundress season coming up, a jean jacket is so versatile (and this one looks like the much more expensive versions). 
    • I'm still hoping I can figure out the sizing on their tee shirt dresses. I think they are just so cute, and always have the best patterns. One of each of the striped ones, please!

on franish

at home
  • WE DID IT. You guys, the fact that the match worked out has lifted so much weight off of me. We found out Friday that we got our first choice spots, and will be moving about an hour away from where we live now. I'm working on a whole post about how we couples matched that will include more details, but ugh, I'm just so happy it worked out. 
  • We are currently up in Rochester visiting CR's family. We met up with all of our friends on Friday in Pennsylvania to celebrate, and then drove up here Friday night. It's been so nice to be near friends and family during this time!
  • And now...we start house hunting. For those of you who are home owners....any tips in this ridiculous process? I'm already nervous.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

healthyish, vol. 12

And just like that, we are 3 months into all of this! This was an exciting week for sure, with the match happening and all of the celebrations that came with that. We had an amazing dinner on Monday after finding out we matched, complete with crab dip and pasta with cream sauce and dessert, as well as drinks with friends. But besides those instances, it was actually a great week, healthyish things concerned. CR made an amazing new dish that tastes just like my favorite dish of cheesy potatoes, but with cauliflower. I tried out the PF 360 class at my gym, which is basically circuit training with a trainer. I was the youngest person participating by several decades, but it was really fun, and I definitely felt it the next day! A good thing about the upcoming six weeks is that we have no more travel plans or big events coming up, so it'll be a good time to refocus a bit. I feel I've been on the maintenance track the last few weeks, and would really like to crack down a bit without the distractions we've had the last few months.


Sunday: 150 flights on the stair climber
Monday: 1 hour spin class
Tuesday: 30 minute circuit class
Friday: 15 minutes stair climber + 30 minute circuit class

This week I experimented with chia seed pudding (or as CR likes to put it, "the weird thing you make with the seeds I put on my Obama head"). The first time I made it, I followed a recipe that made it pretty runny and...not very appetizing. The second time, I used 3/4 cup almond milk (instead of 1 cup) with 3 tablespoons of the seeds, and that turned out really great! I topped it with a banana and a bit of honey, and it was quite good. I'm trying to figure out some breakfast options for next year - on a lot of months, I'll be at the hospital around 4:30 AM, and I need something I can just take with me instead of cooking eggs at 4 AM. I'm thinking this chia pudding and overnight oats will be good options! Lunches included going out to a local restuarant where I had a chicken sandwich without the buns, brocolli tots and chicken sausage, and left overs. Dinners included the cheesy "potatoes" that CR made, and pulled pork. This was SO SO GOOD, omg. Definitely one of my favorites so far!


Last week's goals:
  • Take 2 group weight classes at my gym: done!
  • Cut back on sugar this week: done! besides the tiramisu we had on match day, I did really good not sneaking chocolates throughout the days. 
  • Don't emotional eat this week: done! besides our celebration meal, we did a good job sticking to the meal and exercise plans

Next week's goals: 
  • Take 2 group weight classes with stair masters beforehand
  • Use My Fitness Pal every day - I've been slacking on tracking every day, and need to get back into it!
  • Try out a new recipe that we haven't tried yet


We had our celebration meal on Monday, and then celebrated with friends on Friday, so we got our celebrations in!

weigh in: 

I went up 0.6 lbs from the last weigh in, but am chalking it up to just normal weight fluctuations because I'm feeling pretty good right now. With less distractions in the upcoming few months, I'm hoping to see some decreases in numbers though. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

a quick review of Old Navy active wear items

Old Navy has been my go-to for cute, long-lasting athletic gear for the past few years. I have found the pants to fit better than a pair of Lululemon I own, the shirts are always inexpensive, and they make the cutest warm up jackets. I figured since I was ordering a few more pieces recently I'd do a review. I feel a bit more exposed in these pictures than I normally do (pretty sure my belly has never been on my blog...ever) but how else was I going to show just how high 'high-waisted' pants are? ;)

 Go-Dry Cool Racerback Tank for Women

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

packing for shorter trips + my suitcase is now on sale!

Delsey Chatelet Plus 21" Carry-On Hardside Spinner Suitcase
I have traveled more in the last nine months than I ever have in my entire life. Between living in different cities for away rotations, going on interviews, and fitting in a ton of fun trips with friends, family, and CR, I have put some serious miles on both my car and my luggage.

I have been receiving a ton of questions about my Delsey suitcase, which is what prompted this post today! I owned the same beaten down suitcases for over a decade, and when I finally upgraded, I really wanted to buy something I loved and knew I would use for another decade or two. So after a bunch of research, I now own the Delsey Chatelet in the white + cognac colors in the 21 inches (seen above) and 28 inches. I absolutely love these suitcases. They are hard shell, have two separate compartments, are on spinner wheels, a breaking system, and TSA approved locks. They are just so darn pretty too - I love the cream white color. The questions I've received the most is if these suitcases show a lot of wear because of their color. I have only used my 28 inch suitcase on one airplane trip, when we went to Santorini. When I got it back from luggage claim, it did have a few marks and scuffs on it, but a quick rub with a Magic Eraser, and it seriously looked brand new. My smaller 21 inch one has been on every rotation, interview, and trip with me, and it looks like the day I got it.

If you are interested in the suitcases, I have found some really good deals on it! Macy's currently has the 21 inch suitcase on sale from $500 down to $250, with an additional 25% off using code VIP. If you have an Amazon prime account, you can get it even cheaper at $171 (which is $80 cheaper than what I got it for!). The 28 inch version is also on sale - here at Macy's for $250 total, or here at Amazon for basically the same price.

So that's the what about what goes inside? This is the reason that I really love the two compartment system. My old luggage was one compartment, and it was so annoying to cram everything into it, never being able to find anything, and then stuff it all back, shoes next to sweaters, shampoo next to underwear, and so on.

Delsey Chatelet suitcase review
In my carry-on, I separate it into clothes versus non-clothes. I know the travel experts say to roll your clothes and blah blah blah, but I don't like to do that - I just fold my clothes normal, especially because I unpack everything as soon as I get to wherever I'm going. When I use my larger suitcase, and therefore am bringing more things, I really like to uses these packing cubes. They don't make a ton of sense when you're only bringing a few tops and bottoms in a carry-on, but for longer trips, they are so nice to separate your swimsuits from your work out clothes from your t-shirts. Plus they are just so darn cute. I wish they had a red + white polka dot version!
This undergarments bag is one of my favorite little packing tricks, and something that I use on every single trip. It's a zipper pouch with two separate compartments, so you can keep you clean underwear in one and everything that needs to be washed in the other. It is so handy. Mine is from Etsy - here are a couple of cute options!
Last is the cosmetics and skincare! I alway save those "free with purchase" pouches, so I have a ton just waiting to be used. I keep them in my purse, that's how I keep my cords separate in my carry-on, I use them at home to keep make-up samples separate, and they are great for travel! I use a smaller pouch that's see through for the fluids - I have a couple of sample sized containers of my favorite products (like my moisturizer and overnight serum), and luckily a few of my regular items come in containers less than 3 mL (like my matte sunscreen and dry shampoo). In the larger pouch I keep all non-fluid items, like brushes, toothbrush, retainer, hair ties, and deodorant. I keep all of my make-up in a hanging cosmetic bag (it looks like my exact version is no longer available, but I believe this one is made by the same brand). This is such a standard in cosmetics bags, but I really like it because it keeps everything separate. I have eye products in the top pouch, brushes in the middle pouch, flat face products (including my new bronzer/highlight powder) in the bottom pouch, and then all the bigger items in the largest pouch. It rolls up nicely, there's less of a chance of one thing exploding and getting over everything, and it's so convenient to just hang it up wherever you are. Sometimes when I'm home only for a few days, I don't even unpack it. 

Last talking point is airport style! I typically dress for the location I'm going to rather than the location I'm starting at. So even though I live in colder Ohio, I typically will wear slip on shoes and a light jacket to the airport. Even though I always park in economy parking, I spend no more than a minute or two outside, so I always dress lighter. My go-to airport uniform is black jeans (this is my exact pair), loafers (my cognac ones are now on sale, as well as the same style in a few other colors), a looser top, a utility jacket (mine is old from Old Navy, but they currently have a very similar style), and a big comfy scarf that doubles as a blanket. In my carry-on, I keep my computer, a book (still working my way through The Emperor of All Maladies), my noise-canceling headphones, and usually a magazine, water, and a snack. 

So that's it! I don't think there is anything to ground breaking here, but I've been asked about my packing strategy so often over the years that I figured it's easiest to put it all in one post! If you're looking for a real expert, my girl Hitha just came out with a whole book on packing. if only I was better about actually unpacking my suitcase when I come home. I still haven't unpacked from the last trip 😳  If anyone has tips about that....

Monday, March 13, 2017


I haven't always known I wanted to be a doctor.

I've talked about my journey to where I am so much over the last six months that it's almost rehearsed. I have an answer for every "so why medicine?", "did you always want to be a doctor?", "why ob-gyn?"question I have received at interviews, dinners, and random conversations. 

Because the truth is, I haven't always wanted to be a doctor. Growing up, I always liked "science" the way most children who like science do - I asked for chemistry sets for Christmas, I had a telescope, and wanted nothing more than to go to NASA camp. In high school, I took the classes offered, but when you go to school in rural Wisconsin, there weren't always the most opportunites.

When I left my small high school class of 69 people to go to a university of 40,000 students...I was intimidated. I very clearly remember the day of orientation, they asked us who was pre-med so that we could talk to the pre-med advisors. I raised my hand...and then lowered it. Because I was scared and nervous and because I didn't actually know if that's what I wanted to do anyway.

So I did a bunch of other things. I took a lot of integrated studies classes, foreign language classes, and writing classes. Since I had tested so high into German classes, I also took those, and eventually declared a German major...because I had to declare something! But it wasn't something I was passionate about. For a while I considered becoming an English teacher - I like to read, I've been told by professors that I was a good writer, and I felt that education was a good fit for me. But after a few more English classes, I realized I like to read and write...I don't necessarily like to teach other people how to do it. 

At the end of my sophomore year, my parents sat me down to discuss my future. We had had these kind of discussions before. Once in my junior year of high school, I was grounded until I could provide a written paper to my parents on what I wanted to do with my life. It was a bit difficult to make my German parents understand how the American college system worked, and that maybe as a junior in high school, it wasn't necessary to have a life plan written out. But once I got to the end of my sophomore year of college, and still didn't really have a plan of what I was going to do with my education, it was time to buckle down. My mom asked me, if there was anything in the world I could choose to do, what would it be? And I have no idea why, but I replied with...a doctor.

My dad is a doctor - he worked for years as a general practitioner, and now works as an emergency department physician. He never wanted his children to become physicians - the road to just the title is long, and the work thereafter is even harder. So he suggested dentistry - it's a field of medicine, you get to work with your hands, you earn a great living, and it's a lot more family friendly for women. So I went down the pre-dentistry path. I joined the pre-dentistry society, I increased my volunteer hours, started taking the pre-reqs like biology, chemistry, and physics and I shadowed a few dentists. By the time I was a few semesters into my science courses, I realized that I actually really liked the science courses, even if I wasn't as good at them as I was at previous subjects. But it's when I shadowed a few dentists that I realized that I just wasn't super interested in dentistry. 

By the time my senior year rolled around, I was officially a Biology (...and German) major, and quickly trying to get all my required classes for graduation in. That year, I worked as the business manager for the UW Marching Band. Basically, people all over the state of Wisconsin would hire a group of 10-100 band members to come play at their weddings/funerals/parades/business events. I was in charge of organizing all of that. A man contacted me to organize a group of people to come to his Fourth of July event. This man was a talker, way more than any of my other contacts. He eventually asked what I was majoring in and what I wanted to do with my life. I explained that I was a Biology and German major, but hadn't really figured out what I wanted to do with my life. As it turned out, he was a family doctor, and offered me the chance to come shadow him. 

And shadow him I did - a bunch of times. He worked in his own practice, and let me do a ton of things (sometimes more as a pre-med than I have as an actual medical student!). I sewed up lacerations, performed physicals (where I had no idea what I was doing), did pap-smears (again, no idea where we were even looking at), and even did the majority of a vasectomy. It was exciting and interesting and inspiring, and from then on, I officially wanted to be a doctor. 

But it's one thing to decide to become a doctor, and another thing to actually become one. I ended up having to do another year of college to fit in all the pre-reqs for medical school. After my fifth year, I was ready for a break. I applied to a bunch of lab jobs in the Madison area, and received an offer to work for the local pharmaceutical development company as a dose formulations sample coordinator. I started my job a few weeks after graduation, and actually quite liked it. I applied to medical schools that year, interviewed at one, and was eventually rejected. I was hurt, but it was expected - after all, most people don't get in the first time (or so they say)! Plus I was enjoying work enough, so if I had to work for another year, then that was what it was going to be. 

I re-applied the next year, and widened my circle of applications. I applied to both MD and DO schools this time, and applied outside of the Midwest. I again interviewed at the local medical school...and again was rejected. I was absolutely devastated. I wanted nothing more than to stay in Madison and go to school there. I cried and cried and cried. At this point, work was fine, but not something I was super excited about anymore. My relationship at the time wasn't in a great place, and I knew I needed to do something for myself. So I sent out a pretty late second round of applications, got an offer to interview at a school in Pennsylvania, and so off I went, driving 12 hours each direction for a one hour interview. A few weeks later, I was accepted

In July of 2013, I moved to Pennsylvania and started medical school. It was so exciting to finally be where I wanted to be. School was hard...oh my god, was school hard! Studying was rusty for me, I missed my nights and weekends I had when I worked, I missed the city I lived in for seven years, and I missed the people I knew so well. Over time, my prior relationship ended, and to be honest, it was incredibly freeing. It's one of those things where you don't realize how wrong a situation is for you until you're past it. I started to find "my people" - the girls who have gotten me through every hurdle the past four years. I met a great man who started off as a lab partner, transitioned to friend, eventually boyfriend, and now fiancé. I did really well in some courses, and struggled in others. I found mentors, and people who challenged me both academically and personally. There were some bad times, and some really great times too. 

After taking Step 1, we started the clinical years hit. It felt like I was a freshman in college again. I had no idea what I was doing, and no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Some rotations were amazing, others weren't as wonderful (so thankful I never have to do a month of general surgery ever again). After every rotation, my future became a bit more clear, and about two thirds of the way through third year, I knew I wanted to go into Ob-Gyn. It had everything I wanted - the ability to work with my hands, the chance to get to know my patients, and the opportunity to deliver babies. It's honestly the best mix of medicine and surgery.

In January of third year, CR and I officially decided to couples match - that meant, that we would go to the same hospital/region together. It was a big step for us! We started making our giant lists of places, looking to see where we wanted to apply to (lots more about that later this week). At the end of June, we had a ten day stretch where we took three board exams. It was not a fun ten days, but it was nice to bang it all out at once.

From there on out, CR and I spent the next six months living apart - one of us was on an audition rotation while the other lived at home. I went on three auditions rotations, and CR went on three. Half way through this time, we got engaged! Right after that, interviews started. I drove to all of them, from ones in Wisconsin to upstate New York to West Virginia. I listened to sooo many podcasts and books on tape. I had great interviews, I fell in love with places, and fell out of love with others. I met so many interesting and hardworking people, and all I wanted was it all to work out.

And today, we found it we did. We have officially matched! I am going to be an Ob-Gyn and CR is going into Family Medicine. We could not be more excited about our journey ahead of us. It's been a long road to get to this point, and the hard work really is only beginning, but YAY! We did it!

A huge thank you to all of you for your encouraging emails, texts, tweets, snaps, and comments over the past four years. It may not seem like much, but it has meant the world to me.