Tuesday, April 25, 2017

gift ideas for graduating medical students

what to get a medical student for gradution
With thousands of medical students across the country getting ready to graduate from medical school, I've received several requests for a gift guide...which luckily, I've been thinking about for months now! I love making gift guides, and having made a Christmas one for medical student for the past four years, I was excited to make one for upcoming graduates. I've had a few items on my list for a while, I've asked my girlfriends, and I consulted google (although the posts I found were from 2005 and recommended buying mp3 players, so only a bit outdated!). Below are 14 items that I think would make great gift ideas for any student about to graduate from medical school!
  1. Patagonia fleece (embroidery optional): Consider it a part of their "welcome to residency" uniform. A lot of residents choose to wear a comfortable fleece versus the traditional white coat while working in the hospital. While there are a ton of different companies that make fleeces, my personal favorite is the Patagonia "better sweater". To make it more personalized, you can take it to any local embroidery shop to have their new doctor title and department embroidered on it! Don't forget that the proper way to write a doctor's name is either (I'll use my name as an example):  Dr. Franziska Hasselhof, or Franziska Hasselhof, DO (not "Dr. Franziska Hasselhof, DO"). 
  2. Diploma frame: Most school bookstores sell these online, and I think it's one of the best "traditional" presents you can get any recent grad! CR's parents have gotten him one for every degree he's received, and I'm so jealous (although I graduated from college six years ago, I'm debating finally getting one from UW for my undergrad degree). This is one present I'd love to receive - they are so pricey, and really allow a new grad to show off that degree they worked so hard for.
  3. Apple Watch: You can read my full review of my Apple Watch here, and why I love it, but in short, it's great to have access to your phone on your watch, and as soon-to-be residents, we all need a watch! You can get one of the older series for around $200
  4. Lunch boxes: Not the sexiest of all presents, but definitely practical! With most of us putting in around 80 hours a week some weeks, having a way to keep your food cool for hours at a time will be super important! Even though I have a food allowance for our cafeteria, I know that I'll personally try to bring most of my own food to stay on track with my dieting goals. 
  5. Subscription Wine boxes: When I asked my girlfriends for ideas for this post, one suggestion a Wine of the Month club and the rest of us immediately responded with YES THAT IS SUCH A GREAT IDEA! What's better than having delicious wine delivered to your front step once a month? I love this idea - it's a great way to wind down at the end of the day, and the recipient can invite over some of their co-interns for wine and bonding time. It's a win all around. Here's a run down of the 12 most popular services (I think I'd try Tasting Room, myself!). 
  6. Yeti mug: With most residents showing up at the hospital between the hours of 4-6 AM, coffee or tea will be a staple for most of us. A Yeti mug will keep their beverage of choice either hot or cold for hours on end. Include a giftcard to a local coffee shop (that has an early morning drive through) or one of those subscription coffee boxes for home brewers. I'm personally hoping I can perfect my at-home mango black iced tea!
  7. Meal Subscription box: When I lived with a couple who were both residents last summer while I was on an audition rotation, they had a meal subscription service drop off supplies twice a week. They said they absolutely loved that they had to do zero work ahead of time to make delicious home cooked meals - no grocery runs, no food going bad in the fridge. They loved that they were still cooking healthy meals and spending that time together in the kitchen. These services are kind of pricey, which makes them a great gift for a recent grad! There are a ton to chose from - Refinery 29 narrowed down 16 of the most popular ones, so you can find something for any type of eater!
  8. Noise Canceling headphones: Although we will no longer have the "student" title, our learning is far from over. Between Step 3, daily education requirements, inservice exams, and board exams, we have years of exams ahead of us. Noise canceling headphones have been one of those items I use constantly, and am so thankful for! Plus they are great if someone needs to catch a few minutes of sleep in a not-so-quiet hospital call room. 
  9. Personalized mug: I love these mugs, and have a whole bunch waiting to be handed out in five weeks! 
  10. Cleaning service: This is something a different couple who were both in a surgical residency mentioned last fall. They said they received it as a graduation present, and that it's been amazing to have someone come over once every 3-4 weeks to deep clean their house. Again, something that'll be a bit pricey, but also something they'll appreciate for the several months their house is spotless at least once a month ;)
  11. iPad mini: The mini's are small enough to keep in white coat pockets, which is especially great for anyone who will be in a speciality that rounds a lot (most medicine services). It'll be great for looking up something quickly, for all of their medical apps, and for down time on quieter night shifts. 
  12. On the go charger: With a lot of hospitals switching from traditional pagers to iPhone paging systems, there's a greater chance phones will die on those longer shifts. I love that this Rebecca Minkoff charging cable keychain is just plain cute, but also hides a lightening cord. 
  13. Embroidered scrubs: While those soon to be residents going into surgical specialities will have to wear hospital-issued scrubs while in the OR, it would be nice to have a nicer set or two to wear for off-service blocks or days outside of the OR (for example, I will spend one day a week in our clinic, where I don't have to wear hospital issued scrubs). I really like Maevn's scrubs, or you can get a set from Medelita and have their names embroidered on them. 
  14. Pens: You know what's a hot commodity amongst anyone in the hospital? PENS. A big box of nice pens should last a resident quite some time. My personal favorite pens are the Tul pens and the Pilot G-2 pens. If the recent grad loves stationery and paper products, include fun highlighters, a cute pencil bag, and occupational appropriate USB flash drive!
Congrats to all of you soon-to-be doctors! 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

top three [04.23.2017]

everlane reviews throughout the years - have you entered the giveaway

  • Melkersson's Syndrome is a neurologic disorder that's characterized by a triad of recurrent facial paralysis, swelling of the face (usually the upper lip), and folds and furrows developing on the tongue (called lingual plicata). Google that last one at your own risk. 
  • An empty, non-pregnant uterus weighs around 70g and holds 5 mL. Immediately post-birth, it weights around 1,000g and holds around 5,000 mL. HOW COOL IS THAT?!
  • Plexor: the technical term for that little plastic headed hammer used to test reflexes

on the internet

  • This is the second year that Topshop has made this scalloped top, and I just really want it...except all the reviews say it runs really short and boxy. Has anyone tried it? 
  • I know these are technically for children...BUT I LOVE THEM. Now to just convince the person I share a bedroom with that they are necessary. 
  • I got this workout top a few days ago and wore it for the first time yesterday. CR (who does not have any social media) did not get it. When I tried to explain what #squadgoals was, he just looked at my blankly 😂


ask me anything
  • I feel like I am in a somewhat similar situation as your story - always interested in science but decided a little later that I really loved medicine and took a gap year after graduating. Now I'm getting ready to start a post bacc so I can hopefully get into med school but I am freaking out. I'm so nervous that I won't get in or that I am not smart enough to handle it. Now that you have successfully matched - yay! - do you have any advice for newbies? Did you ever feel the same? How did you deal?
    • I have definitely felt the same way! For a lot of years, my now ex-boyfriend told me that I could never cut it in medical school. I didn't even realize how damaging that was until after we broke up, and I had to see him to pick up a few things from our old house, and he asked me if I had failed out of medical school yet. So yes, I definitely felt like I couldn't get in and be successful. You just have to surround yourself with good people who are rooting for you, to believe that you CAN do it (!), and that if you need help, to not be afraid to ask for it. Focus on school, come up with great study plans, and you'll get in and do great! :)
  • I'm starting my fourth year of pharmacy school in 2 weeks which consists of a year of month-long rotations. I'll be living in student housing for a few rotations a few hours away to be at a rural hospital. Do you have any advice on what to pack for rotations away from home or on how to prepare a capsule wardrobe for a month? 
    • I spent half of fourth year living not at home, so I definitely know about your current situation. So for things to bring that aren't clothing, I would suggest bringing your own pillows and sheets (some places provide them but you for sure want your own), a long phone cord, and snacks (soooo many snacks). As far as clothing goes, think about what your "uniform" is. For me, that's black ankle pants and a loose fitting top. So what I did was bring like 2 pairs of those pants and 5 of those shirts, and just rotated them around. For you it may be simple sheath dresses or pencil skirts with a blouse, but I find sticking with one "uniform" makes it a lot easier to pack when you're gone for a month at a time! 
  • I'm looking for cognac sandals to wear all summer. Any suggestions?

on franish

notable sales

at home
  • We watched The OA this week and omg you guys - I couldn't stop watching! Have you seen it?! It's like a low-key sci-fi suspense, but it's not like aliens and superheroes. I found it so interesting! (It's on Netflix)
  • This is my last week of MFM - I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. It's been a good mix of gestational diabetes, and then pretty intense situations like cancer while pregnant, and rare infectious diseases. After this week, I'll be on my last rotation ever!
  • This upcoming weekend is when I'm going to NYC with my mom to go dress shopping. I've been planning our itinerary for months now, and can't wait to go explore!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

healthyish, vol. 16

...and we're back!

Last week, I just wasn't feeling it. I was having a bad week, and so I just kind of let myself sit on the couch watching HGTV and eating not the healthiest foods. The good news is by the end of the week, I was ready to get back to my healthier ways, and felt re-energized to work out. My friend Amy and I decided we were going to start BBG again, this time together, and it's been so good having a work out buddy! It's a bit of a commitment for us as we live 30 minutes apart, but we have made it work, and are excited to continue doing it together. It felt good (...but bad) to be so sore again!

Sunday: BBG Week 1 legs
Tuesday: BBG Week 1 arms + abs
Wednesday: 1 hour spin class
Saturday: 1 hour spin class + BBG Week 1 full body

Looks like I kind of forgot to take pictures of food this week! For breakfast I had scrambled eggs or an omelet every morning. I brought bananas, Baby Bell cheese, and turkey sticks for snacks, as well as ate a bunch of apple and orange slices my attending offered me about every hour (I love apple slices!). For lunches and dinners we had a big thing of pulled pork in the crock pot with my beloved cheesy "potatoes", as well as chili, and butternut squash noodles with turkey meatballs. All were amazing!


This week I would like to make two meals tomorrow to last us all week. Bringing my own lunches makes such a big difference in my eating habits!

this week's treat:

We are having a few friends over later to grill cheeseburgers and brats (YAY!), as well as having mac and cheese, salt potatoes, lemon bars, and cupcakes. I can't wait!

weigh in: -0.0 lbs (total: -10.0 lbs). Not surprising considering the weight I probably gained last week, but glad to be back at this point. Can't wait to see where I'm at in a week from now (probably still unable to walk correctly haha).

Thursday, April 20, 2017

to everlane, with love ( + giveaway)

silk tank | mules
Everlane was one of my first blogging discoveries back in the day. Back then, they only made one item - a t-shirt. And I fell for it hard.  I've reviewed it, I've worn it, and now I own at least 15 of their shirts. I wear one every single day (my home uniform is always black leggings, Everlane tee, and a drapey sweater). It just hits me in all the right places, it's not see through, and it holds up so so well.

Over the years, Everlane has added more to their collection of clothing, always staying true to their "radical transparency" tagline about knowing where your clothes come from, how much they cost to make, and where the money goes. I own probably a dozen of their items besides the tee - I carried their backpack for all of first and second year of school, I wear their dress pants, their pocket tote is my gym bag, and I own several of their silk blouses and dresses. Not every piece they make works on my frame - some items run boxier than others, but they now have such a wide variety of items that I always find something I love in their new arrivals. Check out a few of my favorites below - that back zip tee looks just like my beloved BR tee, and the silk v-neck blouse would be perfect for the summer.
sweater | blouse (already on the waitlist!) | silk dress

Basically, I'm a huge fan of Everlane, and have been for years and years. To celebrate my "blogging anniversary" this week, I want one of you to experience and love Everlane as much as I do, which is why I'm giving away a $100 Everlane giftcard. You can enter the giveaway below - open to US, Canada, and Australia only as that is where they ship. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

my daily make-up routine (& a Sephora giveaway!)

It's been a hot second since I last wrote about my daily make-up routine (...so it's been like 18 months), and since quite a bit has changed (and a few things have stayed the same), today's post is all about my current make-up routine! I have this thing down to a science, and can do all of this in about ten minutes now. If I'm in a hurry, I skip the foundation and highlighter parts, but for the most part, here's what I use every day!
  1. Smashbox primer: I have larger pores, and this does a great job of "blurring" them out. Downside is that some days I need more hydration, so I sometimes use the Laura Mercier primer for those dryer days. 
  2. Hourglass foundation stick: A YouTube favorite, I started using this about four months ago and absolutely love it! I love that it's really buildable (I don't it to be super thick, so I just use a few swipes of this), that you don't have to get any foundation on your hands, and that there is such a broad selection of colors so you can really get your perfect color. I blend it out with my Beauty Blender. Highly recommend, especially if you travel a lot (no risk of spills!).
  3. Urban Decay concealer: Still one of my favorite concealers I've ever used ( I'm on my third tube now). I am curious about the Tarte Shape Tape though - everyone seems to love it!
  4. Smashbox powder: Still one of my holy grail items. I've been using this for over six years now and have no plans on changing my powder anytime soon. I use it with an It Cosmetics brush and the combo is 👌
  5. Charlotte Tilbury bronzer: One of the newer pieces of my routine, I love the color and formulation of this bronzer. It's not too orange, and has good staying power without being overwhelming. This guy is a bit of a splurge for sure. I use it with this Morphe brush (which I absolutely adore!).
  6. Bobbi Brown blush: I wear the "pretty pink" color and it's the perfect amount of pink glow for every day wear. I apply it with a Sephora blush brush that I've had for years and years. 
  7. Urban Decay setting spray: As I mentioned last week, I spray this on a beauty blender, and then tap on to my skin. Have you tried this trick yet? It's one of my favorites!
  8. Becca highlighter: This is something I've owned for over a year, and continue to really enjoy. I use an Anastasia brush to apply a little on my cheek bone and nose. While I love the pretty glow this provides, it's also the first step I'll skip if I'm in a hurry. 
  9. Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow: In every day life, I just use my fingers to put a swipe of the lightest color on my lid. It brightens up my deep set eyes, and I think it provides a better foundation for my eyeliner. If I'm going somewhere special, I'll apply a bit of the darker color to my crease for added definition.
  10. Stila eyeliner: You already know this was going to be here - it's the only eyeliner I've used consistently for the past seven years or so. #holygrail
  11. Eyelash curler: One of those steps that makes such a huge difference that I never ever skip it! Eyelash curlers are the secret to longer looking fluttery lashes. 
  12. Eyebrow pencil + eyebrow gel: I have used several different methods for "applying your brows" but I really like using the brow definer pencil the most - when you apply and then use the spooley to brush it out, I think it looks a lot more natural than a pomade like the dipbrow, and it's a lot quicker to use than a powder. Combined with a clear gel, they now last all day!
  13. Eyelash primer + mascara: Saving the best (and most important!) step for last! I have been using this eyelash primer for about 18 months now, and am on my third or fourth tube of it. It makes such a difference in the thickness and volume of your eyelashes, and really makes your mascara stay put (I never have issues with flaking). I've been playing around with a few new mascaras, but my go-to is still the eye opening mascara. It does dry up quicker than others I've used, but a few drops of contact solution fixes that problem real quick, and extends the use of the tube for at least another month this way!
And that's it! It takes so much longer to write that up than to actually do it 😂  I did want to mention that this upcoming week is the spring VIB sale event! Here are the details:

  • VIB Rouge: 
    • April 18th - April 24th
    • 15% off with code ROUGESPRING
  • VIB:
    • April 19th - April 24th
    • 15% off with code VIBSPRING
  • Beauty Insider:
    • April 20th - April 23rd
    • 10% off with code BISPRING

Since I'm doing pretty good on my go-to products (I have a few favorites stock piled from previous sales), there are just a few things I'm going to order. I want to try  Hourglass's primer (I've read so many good things!), this CC cream from It Cosmetics, and Dior's lip scrub+ balm combo (I tried this last weekend and my lips looked amazing after!). To celebrate my five year of blogging anniversary though, I want to give one of you a little extra spending money for the sale! Enter the giveaway below - and as always, thank you for being my internet friends and loving make-up and skincare as much as I do! Giftcard will be in US dollars.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

top three [04.16.2017]

only one of these came home with me yesterday... ;)
  • On fetal ultrasound, another way of telling whether a baby is male or female besides "the money shot" is by looking at the bladder! The female bladder will be less rounded than a male bladder because the uterus is in the way!
  • Dr. Barry Marshall proved the link between H. pylori (a type of bacteria) and stomach ulcers by drinking a petri dish of the bacteria! Now that's dedication to science. Don't worry, he was treated, and then won the Nobel Prize, so it all worked out in the end!
  • The masseter is the strongest muscle in the body. 

on the internet



ask me anything
  • Does where you do your residency usually end up being where you practice medicine, or is it easy for any physician to move around? All I know is law school because my husband is an attorney, and unless you went to Harvard or something, in my experience most law school grads end up working in the city or state where they went to school.
    • You can practice wherever you want, and aren't obligated to stay in the state you did your training in! I know for most lawyers, you practice in the state you pass the bar in (but not always), but our board exams are national, so we can practice anywhere. Our long term plan is to live where we are doing residency for the next 6-7 years, and then move to upstate New York permanently. 
  • I'm getting ready to take Step 1 and I'd love to treat myself to new pajamas to wear the night before (I'm superstitious like that). Any suggestions for cute nightgowns/pajama sets?
  • Congrats on your match! I'm starting med school next fall, and like you, I'm going to have to rely on loans for my income. What recommendations or suggestions do you have for this process? I'm slightly terrified but I have to remember it will all be worth it in the end!
    • Taking out a significant amount of loans is definitely scary - it's a huge amount of money! Just remind yourself that most doctors have to take out loans to pay for school, so you are not in a unique situation. All but one of my friends had to take out loans to pay for school, and we all know that we will be able to pay it off. My suggestions would be to make a budget plan so you know how much you have to take out - you may not need the full amount of money every semester (although there are some where you need the full amount to pay for step exams and application and interview season). When I got my loan checks, I would calculate about how much all my bills would be every month, and put that into one savings account. Then I gave myself an allowance (for groceries, gas, and fun), put that money into a separate account, and had it automatically transfer that to my checking every two weeks (like a paycheck!). The rest I put into another savings account which I used for big school expenses (each board exam is around $1000) and unexpected expenses. That system worked out really well for me! Just know you will have a job eventually where you will be able to pay back loans. We plan on staying in our house we will be in for residency for several years after we are done with training so we can pay off our loans quicker - knowing we are doing that gives me the piece of mind that we will be free of our loan debt quicker. 

on franish
  • on the blog: I loved all of your advice on figuring out your personal home style. You guys had such insightful comments!
  • on the insta: 6 weeks left with the baby white coat (but really only 2 weeks because I don't have to wear it on my last rotation)
  • on the twitter: on Thursday we went on a Home Depot date...

at home
  • My MFM rotation started, and it's been so interesting! The MFM (maternal fetal medicine) doctors are the high risk ob doctors, so we see a wide variety of problems. Some from the simpler gestational diabetes, to patients with rare infections and cancers (while pregnant). We also see a lot of routine 20 week ultrasounds though, so it's been an interesting mix of patients. 
  • I ended up not writing a Healthyish post yesterday, and it's, to be honest with you, because last week was basically a week off for me. I wasn't having a good week, and so I only worked out once, and allowed myself a lot of freedom eating. It was obviously amazing to eat allllll that food, but I am ready to get back to it! I guess I just needed a few days off to be re-excited about this journey. I suppose going wedding dress shopping also helped! ;)
  • Happy Easter! I hope you are getting to spend some time with families and the Easter Bunny. CR's parents sent us an edible arrangement (I've never had one!), so we have been enjoying all that delicious fruit!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

figuring out my "interior design" style...help?

The closer we get to figuring out our housing situation for the next few years, the more I get the itch to decorate. And then I get lost in Pinterest and HGTV and try to imagine how I would decorate and change houses, and then realize I have no idea what my "interior design" style is. Do I like farmhouse chic (a la JoJo, CR's HGTV crush) or am I more mid century modern? Can I have a farmhouse table in the same room as a wood floors - how do the woods work together? Do you put a rug underneath it? What kind of sectional is best...or no sectional, and two complimenting couches instead? TV above the fire place or on a separate wall? How many patterns are too many? Can you have gold home decor when you have silver hardware?

I really have no idea how to answer any of these questions (but if you do, please enlighten me because I'm not really joking about those questions). But I do know that we all took years to figure out our own personal clothing style, and I bet you most of us are still working on figuring it out! Which is why, for now, I'm just kind of going with what I like, without having to put a title on it. So my future home may have a farm house table, gallery walls, and gold accents every where - just because I can file it under one category doesn't mean I won't love it!

For those of you who have decorated a house, pretty much from scratch, how did you figure it all out? Did you stick with one style, or did you kind of go with your gut about what you liked and didn't like? 

ps. I found that amazing peace sign hand statue while perusing Shopbop's home section, and wanted to mention that they are having their spring sale right now. 20% off everything if you spend under $500, and 25% if you spend over $500!

please note that Shopbop is a sponsor of this blog

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

beauty tuesday: first impressions and new favorites

I have been playing with a bunch of new products over the last few months. Some I found by falling into an internet black hole, some I tried samples and loved, some were sent to me, and others were suggested by friends. I didn't think any really warranted a full review post (although a couple will have follow up posts with continued use), so I wanted to do a quick first impressions and mini review of the products!

Banila Clean it Zero Cleanser: K Beauty and its 10 step nightly routine has been a big thing discussed online for a while now, and every time I read about some people's routines, I get really confused about all the different steps, and what each of them does and then I just give up and continue my standard make-up removal, cleanser, treatment, moisturizing routine I've been doing my whole life. But then I recently read Sydney's post about her new routine, and man, her skin does look pretty amazing, and since her post made it a little easier to figure out how to go about all of this stuff, I purchased a few things. The first one is this balm cleanser, the first step in "double cleansing". For those of you who use coconut oil to remove your make-up, this is pretty similar, except it cleanses more and doesn't leave as oily of a residue behind. You scoop a little of the solid balm into your fingers, rub all over your face and eyes, and then cleanse with warm water. It does a great job of removing all of my eye make-up! I then cleanse again with my go-to Paula's Choice cleanser to remove all remaining make-up and cleansing balm. My face feels so soft after, and I like that I don't have to wipe at my face with any clothes or wipes or pads.

Neogen Wine Exfoliating Pads: You guys know I'm all about exfoliating - when you have dry flaky skin, anything that helps your skin look bright and not dying wins in my book. I've seen these wine soaked pads mentioned a few times over the past few months, so I figured it was time to try. I use these 2-3 times a week after double cleansing. Basically they smell like a combination of red wine and grape jelly - if you're sensitive to smells, you will probably hate this. I love it, I think it smells amazing! These are little gauze pouches, basically - you stick your finger in them, use the "rougher" side first (it's not rough at all) and then use the softer side after, to rub all over your face to exfoliate. My belief in this kind of over the counter skin care product is that it won't really change what your skin is really like - chances are, your pores won't be that much smaller, your acne isn't going to magically all disappear, your dark spots aren't going to just go away. But what it does in the day to day feeling of your skin is real - it does change how my skin feels, and how other skincare products react with my skin. So I would say in this situation, my skin does feel smoother! But it's not a magic product, just like most skincare products aren't. If you want a nice smelling exfoliator that helps with flakiness, this is a great product to try!

The Ordinary oils: In Sydney's post, a commenter said that there's no need to pay $40 for some of the face oils because you can get them for a quarter of that price from The Ordinary. I had never heard of this brand, so I fell deep into the internet hole about this brand. Basically, The Ordinary provides the active ingredients without any of the fillers...and for fair prices. I don't know if it's because we are so conditioned to see $100 bottles of face oil or if it's because we believe you can't buy good products for inexpensive prices, but I was pretty shocked when I saw that you could get the same 100% Squalane that sells for $60 from some brands for EIGHT DOLLARS from The Ordinary. $8! So at those prices, what do you really have to lose? Here's my disclaimer: I do not own the expensive bottle of Squalane, so I can't compare the two, but this little $8 bottle of oil feels pretty amazing. At night, after cleansing and exfoliating, I pat the squalane and rose hip see oil on my face. My face glows - I seriously can't stop looking at it because it looks so bright and clean and glowy! Again, I think this is one of those products that can change your skin when you apply it, but I have no idea how much it changes your skin over the long run, if that makes sense. The only product I have ever used where I noticed my skin actually changing is my prescription tretionoin cream - that product is the holy grail of changing your skin. These products change my skin on the daily, and so if you are looking for a few inexpensive face oils to try, The Ordinary is a great place to start! I've been very impressed with the products in the few days I've used it so far.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum: A few months ago I reviewed Ole Henriksen's Power Peel system. I felt it was pretty harsh on my skin, so I returned it. Then I received a sample pack for the Power Bright system, and while it wasn't as harsh, the only part I really liked was the serum, or the middle step. Turns out, you can buy just the serum part without buying the harsh scrubs! So I bought the smaller bottle, and have been using it for about three weeks now. I use this in the morning after washing and toning my face - I use half a squirt, and pat into my face, and then follow with moisturizer. If you have oily skin, this may not be the best option for you, but for those of us with dry skin, it feels so good. I would actually say my skin does look radiant after using this (and I don't say that about everything)! It contains Vitamin C, which is another one of those skin care ingredients that has actually been shown to improve wrinkles and improve texture of the skin. I bought this before finding The Ordinary, but if you want to try a different Vitamin C product and not spend $50 on this oil, they make a Vitamin C suspension for $6...

Chanel Le Volume Mascara: I went to a Nordstrom Beauty event about two months ago with Katy. One of the products we got to play with was Chanel's volume mascara. Katy said she swears by the sample sized tubes, and it's been the best mascara she's ever used. You guys know I'm an eyelash junkie - I'm all about long thick lashes! So even though I kind of hate plastic brushes, I gave the sample tube a try...and have been using it ever since! It just really lifts and separates your lashes, while also building up the volume. I use one coat of primer, two coats of this, and one coat of Bobbi Brown's mascara for added thickness (I know it seems excessive...I just really love dark and thick eyelashes). Katy did say that she really likes the sample tubes more than the full size product, and I have only used the sample sizes so I can't verify her statement, but believe her. If you live near a store that sells Chanel makeup (like Nordstrom), stop by a counter and ask for a sample tube! It costs nothing, and maybe it'll be your new favorite. A sample tube lasts 2-3 weeks!

Bumble and Bumble Hairspray: When I got my hair colored back last fall, the stylist used this hairspray on my hair, and my curls lasted for THREE DAYS. That's unheard of for me! I remembered that she used a blue Bumble and Bumble hairspray, so when I finished  my last bottle of hairspray (which, tbh, I'd had for like two years because I don't use hair spray every day), I bought a bottle of this. And you know, my curls really have lasted longer! I love the fine mist, I love that it's technically a light hold, and I love that it's a twist top rather than having a lid that will mostly likely go missing.

Vichy Double Peel Mask: I was sent this tub by Amazon to test out, which I will be honest, I was so excited about. My mom has been a lifelong Vichy skincare user - whenever we go to Germany, she buys like ten tubs of products to bring back with her to the US. I trust my mother implicitly, so whatever works well for her, I know will be a good product. I fell in love with this "double" peel face mask - it exfoliated mechanically with powdered volconic rock, and then chemically exfoliated with AHA. I use this about once a mask, and then follow with a face mask. I would say this is a pretty gentle peel/exfoliator - there is not redness or burning after use (I have pretty sensitive skin, so this is important!). Definitely gentle enough to use multiple times a week. Be on the look out for a chance to win a trio of Vichy masks in the near future!

Monday, April 10, 2017

couples matching: how we went about this crazy process

Alright! So this post is like three weeks overdue from when I promised I'd write about the couples match and how we approached this process, but as it turns out, it takes a lot longer to write out everything we did over a 14 month process!

So, as a background, for medical students to be accepted into a residency program (where they receive the training in whatever field they go into - for me it's obstetrics and gynecology), they have to go through a process called "The Match". Long long story short, we apply to as many programs as we want, are offered interviews to residency programs based on our application, submit a rank order list at the end of the season, and then an algorithm figures out where everyone goes based on the applicants' and programs' lists. This video explains how that algorithm works so much better than I ever could - it even won a Nobel prize in Economics! The match is not a perfect system, but I do believe it probably makes this process as fair as possible.

So the nice thing is that the NRMP has what is known as The Couples Match. It's the exact same as the normal match, but is complicated because you and your rank list are tied to another person. Watch this video to see how the algorithm manages that situation. The fun thing about the couples match is that you can couples match with anyone! I know best friends, cousins, and siblings who have gone through the couples match, as well as people who are dating, engaged, or married.

Okay, so now with that background, here is how CR and I went about this process.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

top three [04.09.2017]

a few snaps of white dresses from this week's review post
on the internet
  • Jessica is starting a new wellness series, and I found her story about when she was forced to stop working out that she had to find new ways to be healthy, and ways that made her feel better than just exercising away calories. Very excited to read more posts about this!
  • As I've started to fall down the house decorating rabbit hole, I've recently fallen in love with Copy Cat Chic. I love seeing the items where she finds an inexpensive dupe of a way to expensive for our budget item. Not everything is my taste, but it's very inspiring to see the look for less!
  • Love this girly meets rocker look on AJ! Plus check out the amazing deal she got on a designer bag - looks like perseverance paid off big time!

  • If you're looking for an easy throw on and go LBD, this Madewell version would be perfect for you! I love the details on the sleeve and neckline. 
  • How precious is Club Monaco's scalloped trench?! If only I wore jackets more often, I'd be all about that grey version!
  • A lower stacked heel + cognac + ankle straps make these sandals from Sole Society a great spring time shoe! They would look cute with jeans, skirts, or dresses! The ideal shoe ;)


ask me anything
  • Do you have any rain coat recommendations? I'm looking for a longer bum covering style, and not black.
  • Are there any gifts you have gotten that you have loved/ would love to get for your engagement? Just a little something (on the "I'm starting med school this year" budget!) to help friends celebrate!
  • 3rd year medical student here wondering about outfit ideas for interview dinners this fall (because it's more fun than thinking about ERAS, Step 2, etc). I am applying general surgery, which I have heard is more formal across the board. But I also want to show more style at the interview dinner than the black suit and collared shirt that interview day mandates. I am always up for a good, flattering dress (body type = skinny with no curves). What are your thoughts?
    • The dinner the night before interviews are the perfect time to show a bit more of your personality through clothing, because exactly like you said, on your interview day you will be in a dark suit just like everyone else. I wore something business casual on my interviews. I almost always wore black jeans with either a white blouse with my camel blazer (now on sale!) or with a flowy blouse. I was comfortable, felt like myself, and my pants were stretchy enough for all the amazing dinners you eat! Don't forget that you'll be interviewing from October-January, so depending on what part of the country you apply in, you may want to be more covered up as well. Good luck! Interview season was a lot of fun, even at times when it was stressful, nerve wrecking, and time consuming!

on franish

notable sales
  • J.Crew: 30% off everything
    • After eyeing this crossbody bag for a while, I've decided I'm finally going to get it in that amazing blush color...with a gold monogram, of course!
    • My beloved blazer is now on sale + an additional 30% off! See my sizing review here. 
    • I also ordered this indigo button up - I think it's one of those super versatile shirts you can wear tucked into black dress pants or a darker skirt for work, but then you can also just wear over a white tank and ripped black jeans for a casual weekend look. Based off of experience with their sizing, I ordered a 10 Tall. 

at home
  • We rented Passengers this weekend, and even though it got some not so great reviews, I loved it! Maybe it's because I want to live in space (like unrealistically want to, but I've always dreamed of it!), and because parts of it speaks to me in a "making the best of any situation" life story, but I really liked it!
  • Have I mentioned that we've been going to play trivia every Wednesday? It's my favorite night of the week now, between one of my favorite spin classes followed by a few hours of sitting in a bar with my friends playing trivia. Two weeks ago we won second place!
  • One of the next wedding things we are doing is asking our bridesmaids and groomsmen! My little way of asking them is coming together - I can't wait to share what I put together for them after I finally get the chance to ask all of them in person :)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

healthyish, vol. 15

15 weeks in, and I finally hit the 10 pound mark! I am very excited about this milestone. This whole process was definitely about taking it slow and steady, and while some weeks were more slow than others, I'm proud of myself for really sticking with it! The work outs really just are a normal part of my week now, and every week I'm excited to find a new way to incorporate veggies and proteins into my diet. I have been far from perfect - you guys know that I love to eat, especially while traveling and spending time with friends, but it's this series that has made me come back to the cleaner eating part every week.

Monday: 1 hour spin class
Wednesday: 1 hour spin class
Thursday: 30 minute circuit training at Planet Fitness
Saturday: 1 hour spin class

This week, CR brought me a package of lobster cakes, and OMG, they were so good! One cake is 190 calories, so I squished it down to make it a larger patty, and added two poached eggs, and that combo was so filling and protein filled that I always made it to lunch without needing a snack! They definitely aren't going to be a weekly occurrence, but at least once in a while! I met CR for lunch one day, and we had our go-to burrito bowls from Chipotle. I made a big casserole dish of the cheesy "potatoes" (that are actually cauliflower) and just basically ate that all week - it is so so good, and I plan on making it just about every other week from here on out. Dinners included our first attempt at making salmon at home - we tried out this recipe, but put the salmon in a packet instead of on the grill (it turned out okay, but will try something else next time). Also grilled chicken and salmon, and made a dinner of hamburger patties + a fried egg with roasted brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes when my best friend was here for a night.


Last week's goal was to cut back on sugar. I was pretty good about this this week! We did order Girl Scout cookies from our friend's god daughter, so I allowed myself to have one at the end of every day, but besides that, I didn't eat any other sugary goodies!

I'm making this next week's goal as well. It was really good to be mindful of the sugar, and it clearly made a difference for me, so I'm going to stick with the same goal for next week!


I ordered these customized tennis shoes three months ago, and they have been sitting under my bed since then, waiting for me to hit the 10 pound milestone. I just love them! You can see what they look like here!

weigh in: - 0.6 lbs (total: 10 lbs!)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

review: dresses dresses and dresses (including engagement shoot options!)

Okay so I've been stock piling some review pictures from the past eight weeks, so I'm splitting them into a few different posts. Today's is all about dresses! Some were from when I was going down to Alabama and wanted a few cute dress options, some are for upcoming graduation celebrations, and the last ones are options for our engagement pictures. I'm excited to hear what you guys think!

Okay, first up are the casual ones:

 Embroidery split-neck dress

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

wedding wednesday: save the dates, part one

Long ago, when I first discovered Pinterest, I also found a ton of wedding inspo, from fairytale dresses to venues to wedding invitations. I had a whole wedding pinboard even though I was 22 and years and years away from getting married. I remember I had this one pin of a wedding invitation that I was just in love with - it was white with curly gold foil font, and it was just the prettiest.

Like most gorgeous wedding invites on Pinterest, it was from Minted. I've been working with Minted on some of my favorite posts over the years (see here and here), so when they offered to collaborate on something for our wedding, you guys, I almost cried. I was so excited because I just love their stationery, and every Minted invite we have ever received has always been gorgeous.

Since we're about 14 months out from our wedding, since some of the big things are nailed down (we have our venue and our photographer), and since we have a lot more time right now than we will starting in July, I've been scouring the Minted website looking at their 1600+ options for Save the Dates. There are a couple of things I was looking for when picking out options:

  • It had to match the overall vibe of our wedding. We are having a barn wedding, and therefore are all about a bit of a rustic, outdoor, pretty theme. Our wedding colors are probably blush and navy, and I hope to include a lot of greenery and whites into the wedding decor. Therefore our invites should convey a similar theme.
  • I would love for it to include gold foil. Luckily a ton of cards have the options of customizing the colors to any color in the rainbow, or about five metal foil options, which I love!
  • The main font has to be easily legible. I love the really swirly fonts, but also want it be clear to read. 
  • Ideally, our names would not be the center point of the card. Both CR and I have longer names, but go by the shortened version in every day life, so I just didn't like the idea of our full names taking up the majority of the card. There were a couple of styles I loved so much that did have the names larger, but I just liked them so much I let it slide. 

So once I narrowed it down, the cards really started to fall into two categories - ones without pictures and ones with. Here are the final eight cards I settled on that didn't include a picture. I think if you made me choose right now, I would go with the diamante foil-pressed version. I love the greenery and the gold foil - isn't it gorgeous?!

The other option is one with our picture on it. We have engagement picture session scheduled for mid May, and I think depending on how they turn out, I'd like to include them in the Save the Date. We keep all the Save the Dates we received on the fridge, and I just love looking at our friends and family every day. I also think it makes it a bit more personalized. For these ones, I'm having a really hard time picking out a favorite! I think my favorite is the XOXO card - they have a beautiful font, have the foil pressed option, and our names aren't the focus. I also love the whimsy of the We Do card, but it doesn't include a foil pressed option. But then I also really like the theme of the Vintage Love cards, although our names are the biggest part of the card!

Am I overthinking this? Maybe.

one | two

If nothing else works, we can always go with this very appropriate save the date for a couple who met in cadaver lab ;)

A couple of other things I wanted to mention about what I love about Minted. First of all, you can order a sample of any card for $1. Once we decide on our favorites, I'm going to order them in the style we want - I love that you can really get your hands on it before ordering 150 of them before you've even touched them. Also, and this is a big deal, is that they offer free recipient addressing on the envelopes. I sent out like 15 Christmas cards this year, and wrote the addresses by hand, and am not about to do that again x10, so this is definitely a huge perk. I'm thinking about getting a personalized stamp for the return address - we'll see what Pinterest finds for me! For now, I'll work on narrowing down our favorites, finding a dress for our pictures, and collecting addresses!

Please note that we are receiving credit for our Minted Save the Dates, but I was not paid to write this post, and of course as always, all opinions are my own!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

all my beauty secrets, in one post

easy beauty tips

Okay, that title is misleading, because I have all of four beauty secrets. But I am going to share them today! These aren't those odd beauty tips like "use a potato instead of a beauty blender" or "use a spoon to apply eyeliner", but little things I've experimented with over the years that have really worked for me!

spray setting spray on a beauty blender instead of your face
urban decay setting spray with a beauty blender

I discovered using a setting spray about a year ago. I loved that a two second spritz could solidify your make-up and make it last all day (or night!). But I really hated spraying it on my face. It just felt wrong, and eventually I stopped using it because I didn't like the process. . Then one day when I was using my beauty blender to add a bit of liquid highlighter, I wonder if I couldn't use the sponge to also apply the setting spray. Turns out, I love this way of applying setting spray much more, for several reasons! One, you get a much more even coverage of the setting spray since you control exactly where it goes. Two, you don't have to spray anything on to your face. Three, it doesn't get in your hair. Four, since your pressing the setting spray into your make-up, your make-up not only lasts longer, but it also looks more natural!

how to: spray 2-3 spritzes of your fave setting spray (this is the one I use) onto a beauty blender, and pat pat pat!

use a dark eyeshadow + eyeliner brush to blend out liquid eyeliner
use eyeshadow over liquid eyeliner
up close pictures of eyelashes are weird.
Liquid eyeliner is my go-to eyeliner, and has been for the better part of the last decade. I love that you can be really precise with it, you can easily get in between the lashes (important for blondies like me!), and it lasts all day (seriously). My favorite holy grail eyeliner is Stila's - I keep a stock pile now just because I love it that much. One of my favorite tricks for emphasizing the eyes is to "smudge" the eyeliner out with a dark eyeshadow. I like to keep my eye make-up pretty "minimal" during the day (minimal for someone who likes to play with makeup!) by just wearing a swipe of eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara, but for occasions like going out with friends, on a date, or to special events, I use this to add a bit of dimension to my eyes without going overboard with a bunch of smoky eyeshadows and more liner.

how to: dip an eyeliner brush into a dark eyeshadow (mine is a dark purple from this palette), then starting right past the outside of your eyeliner, brush it towards the middle, right over the liquid eyeliner. Finish with your favorite mascara (my go-to combo is Urban Decay's primer + Bobbi Brown's mascara).

apply dry shampoo before working out instead of after
sports bra | water bottle
I only wash my hair about every four days...but I also work out about 4-5 days a week. My secret to not washing my hair after every work out is to use dry shampoo before rather than after. I find this provides some cushion to get your styling to last longer - the sweat doesn't get in your hair as much, and it's less likely to get frizzy from the humidity. I also always wear a shower cap when I take a shower afterwards!

how to: spray a generous amount of your favorite dry shampoo (this is mine!) before going to the gym. Use a soft hairband to keep your hair back during your work out, take your hair down soon after finishing, and wear a shower cap while in the shower. 

use texturizing spray before curling your hair to help set curls
I have fine hair - I have a lot of it, but it's fine, which means it does not hold a curl very well. Multiple hair stylists have tried to prove me wrong over the years, and every single one has commented how "oh yeah, your hair DOESN'T really hold a curl, huh?". Yep. I have found a few things that have helped though with my eternal desire for hair with more curls and volume. The biggest thing I've found that makes a difference is using a texturizing spray before I curl my hair. I have two I really like - Oribe was my original favorite (it smells so so good...but is also pricy) and Living Proof's volume blast is a close second. I find that my hair curls quicker (less time on the iron!), the curls last longer, and bonus, you already used the volumizing spray so you don't have to disrupt your curls after.

how to: spray on hair, focusing on roots and ends, wait a few seconds to dry, and then curl your hair how you usually do.

And that's it! My little beauty secrets that I've learned over the years. I would love to hear what your own little secret is - I'm always looking for new tricks to try!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

top three [04.02.2017]

on the internet
  • If you binge Fixer Upper regularly like I do, you probably wonder what the houses look like after the staging. I thought this post was so interesting to see how the people decorate after JoJo leaves.
  • 15 things to remind yourself of this week.
  • Tips for dressing yourself while pregnant (I KNOW, another pregnancy post. I promise that I'm not pregnant, but when you read blogs for years and years, a lot of people get pregnant! I also am regularly asked about maternity style, and since I have zero clue about that, I like to point out other places for inspiration!)

  • I'm obsessed with my distressed jeans, but since my exact ones are sold out, I found a very similar pair for under $70
  • We've officially booked our engagement shoots for the middle of May! We've been talking to our photographer about locations, and I think I'm going to order this pretty white wrap dress as a possible contender for my outfit. I'm hoping it's not too short!
  • How fun is this flowy giraffe print blouse? Just imagine it with some skinny jeans and cute shoes. I love it, even if may not look the best on me haha. 


ask me anything
  • Can you give some advice on what to wear for Step 2 Clinical Skills exam? I'm an international med student so I'm not familiar with clinical attire of US docs. For example, while I'm comfortable wearing ankle-length dress pants for clinic in my country, I'm not sure is it considered professional in the US? Is dress code for the exam similar to that of residency interviews? What about blouse/shirt? Is there any preferred color (white?) or style (button down?), or it doesn't matter as long as it is conservative and professional looking? Also, flats or heels? 
    • Absolutely. So my advice is to veer more on the conservative side for the Step 2 CS. I wore my straight dress pants (like this pair). While I too wear ankle length dress pants in the clinic, I wanted to go with the most professional option of pant I owned. I would say half the girls on my test day wore ankle length pants though, so if you only own ankle pants, don't feel like you have to go buy a more conservative pair. For my top I wore one of my Loft blouses (like this style) because it was going to be covering everything no matter how I was standing or bending over, and that way I wouldn't have to mess with buttons or worrying I was showing too much cleavage. Color probably matters less, just stay somewhat in the neutral or subdued range, and it's absolutely appropriate. Absolutely wear your most comfortable flats!! You are standing almost the whole day, and you don't want to be distracted by uncomfortable heels or new shoes digging into your heels. My belief is that if you just look like a normal person, they won't even factor in your appearance, it's when students look out of place that how they are dressed can affect how they do. Good luck!
  • I need to find Cognac heels for a wedding in May. Do you have any recommendations? I'd love to find cute wedges that aren't too bulky and would be comfortable enough to wear all day.
  • Any advice for a medical student starting a blog?
    • I have several pieces of advice! 1: don't make your whole blog about medicine. I find blogs and instagrams that are solely about medical school kind of boring, because medical school for the most part is pretty boring. Definitely mix in other parts of your life to keep your readers interested and engaged. I only write a medical school related post maybe once a month, and I think since the majority of my readers aren't medical students, they don't really care how many pages of First Aid I read that day. 2: remember that if you share anything on the internet, it's about you and no one else. There are so many cool things I've seen the past two years, but I always share my side of the experience rather than sharing a patient's story. 3: Remember that nothing is anonymous on the internet, so write as if your parents, grandma, priest, and future program director are reading it. I've talked about this before, but I definitely am not as vocal on my blog and social media as I am in real life, and for good reason. Future patients can easily find me by just searching my name (it'll be harder once I change my name, but still), so I don't put anything on here that would be considered inappropriate. There is a lot of discussion in the medical community right now about physicians and social media (there are so many on instagram now, and plastic surgeons snap chatting their whole days!), so while I think the community as a whole is definitely a lot more open about being "public", you still want to be a professional. 4: Just have fun with it! It's supposed to be a creative outlet for you, not something you feel you have to do every single day. 

on franish

notable sales
  • Ann Taylor: 40% off dresses, skirts, and more
    • If you have a bunch of weddings to go to this summer, this simple lace dress will be super versatile and can be mixed with a bunch of different things to make it unique. 
    • The reviews of their leather block heels can't stop raving about how comfortable and nice they are! Definitely worth checking out if you want a new spring sandal. 
    • And if you're looking for a flat pair of shoes, how fun are these tassel tied flats? I think they are so cute. 
  • Kate Spade: 25% off everything
  • Old Navy: 40% off everything
    • I love the distressing on this denim jacket - it looks so much like the way more expensive jackets out there! Wear it all spring and summer long with sundresses and white jeans. 
    • I have a feeling this one shoulder ruffled dress with the darling of bloggers this spring. Get it now while all sizing (including petites and talls!) are still available. 
    • And speaking of wearing white jeans, pair them with this lace up striped top for a look that basically screams spring. 

at home
  • We put in an offer on a house this week! Fingers crossed it all works :) Man, this process is exhausting! So much looking and searching and back and forth and papers! We ended up looking at around 25 houses (not bad for the 10 days we looked haha), and found what we think is the perfect house for us! I'm probably going to keep things a little quieter around the house searching process until closing (just because you never know what happens!) but I'm very excited about the possibilities!
  • Next month I start my maternal fetal medicine rotation (the high risk Ob doctors). I'm excited that I get to spend a month learning from them just before starting residency because I know they are just a wealth of knowledge. It's getting so close!
  • Did I tell you guys that my sister matched to a residency one hour away from mine?! It's going to be so nice to have her so close to me again - we haven't lived near each other since 2008 (she lived in Germany for six years for medical school).