Tuesday, December 31, 2019

top three: december 2019

medicine //
  • I recently saw a post about the "most kissed lips in the world"...the original model for today's CPR dolls. So sad, but also slightly creepy.
  • Certain inflammatory infections can cause fistulas, or tracts, to develop between organs that aren't supposed to be connected, like the colon to the uterus. 
  • Friendly health reminders: make sure your pap smears are up to date. Talk to your parents about their health conditions so you can tell your doctors about them (especially cancers in your family!). Bleeding after menopause is not normal, see your doctor immediately if that happens. Get your flu shot. Stay healthy out there, love you, mean it. 

on the internet //

spotted for me //
  • I'm slowly beginning the process of finding my first real physician job out of residency (18 more months until I'm done!), which includes lots of meet-and-greets, tours, interviews, and dinners. Unlike medical school and residency interviews, I plan on actually dressing in clothes I like and feel comfortable in, like this neutral and modern blazer, which I plan on pairing with a simple white top and my new work pants
  • I know it's not really for this season of life, but I can't help but want this belt bag. I just imagine it with a black t shirt dress and cognac sandals and wearing it all summer long as my summer uniform...clearly planning for six months from now ;)
  • There's just something about the black and white print on this shirt that I'm dying to try. I think it would look darling tucked into higher waisted jeans!

spotted for penny //

ask me anything //
  • I know you have LL Bean boots, and the fleece quarter and the quilted quarter zip. I have the first two after your recommendations and love them also! What else do you own from LL Bean?
  • Are you you still spinning at home? How has your bike held up? Looking into this option myself!
    • I haven't just because I'm short on time - I'd really love to get back into it, I think about it quite often. I loved my at home spin work outs, I always felt amazing doing them and after. Chris still does them and the bike (our homemade peloton) is holding up amazing! 
  • Would you consider doing an updated video tour of your home?
    • Yes! I will film one in the next few weeks and will write a post about it! 

on franish //

at home //
  • Happy New Year's Eve! We are in Rochester for the long weekend, celebrating a delayed Christmas with my husband's family, as well as the new year. It's been so nice to have these days at home with Penny before starting a busy six months of work. 
  • This month I spent the month with our breast surgeon. ObGyns are very often the doctors who find breast cancer, either through yearly exams (have you had yours? Make it your goal for early 2020 to see your friendly neighborhood gynecologist) or through screening imaging, so it's been very insightful to see what happens once lumps are found. It also makes me hate that the organ we use to feed our babies can turn on us and try to kill us. Cancer is just so cruel.
  • Penny is in such a fun age right now! She's so interactive and smily and starting to move around more. We are also starting the babyled weaning process of feeding her more foods, which has been so fun to see her trying new foods and becoming more coordinated. 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

penny favorites: 3-6 months

Penny turned six months (half a year!!!) old this past weekend, and I can't believe my little baby is already half way through her first year. The time goes so quickly! It has been such a joy watching the leaps and bounds she's grown mentally and physically over the past three months - she's like a real interactive human now rather than our little newborn. 

As first time parents, we have been trying to be mindful of what we buy for Penny while still trying to figure out what we and she needs. I can easily fall into the trap of buying buying buying - first of all, baby things are so cute and second, I'm trying to figure out what makes our lives easier, and what she likes to play with. Especially as she grows older and actually plays with things, we are trying to stick with more organic materials and less battery operated. I also don't want so much stuff that we don't know where to put it or worse, end up throwing away a bunch of stuff, so we (ok, I) am trying to hold myself back from buying all the things.

I shared our baby favorites from 0-3 months, so here are the items we all have loved and used over and over again for our now 6 month old!

Sakura Bloom Ring Sling // We loved loved loved our Solly wrap for the newborn phase - I babywore Penny every day. But as she grew older, she became a lot less interested in being all snuggled up, and wanted to look around. We received the Sakura ring sling recently, and we have loved still baby wearing (and having free hands!) while letting her look around. I feel it's slightly less secure than the Solly wrap, so I mostly still support her with one hand, but it takes a load off my arms, which is definitely a big plus. I know moms who still use theirs with their 2-3 year olds, so I'm excited to get a lot of use of this for the next few years!

ABCs of Biology // Okay, maybe I'm a bad parent for saying this, but I think most baby books are a bit boring (except the Pout Pout Fish, which is a personal favorite to read). I initially purchased this book as a present for a friend, but after reading it to Penny, I purchased it for ourselves. The book has bright pictures for the baby, but with information captions for the parents to read - all in all, a book I've enjoyed reading to her over and over again without getting super bored. There's also the ABCs of Science, ABCs of Math, ABCs of Engineering, ABCs of Quantum Physics...I think I'm going to need the ABCs of Space pack

Teether toy // I used to see these teethers on a pacifer clips and not really understand the point of them...until my own baby started to sprout teeth at 4.5 months, and now I get it. Penny is obsessed with her little polar bear (we call him Charles the Chew Bear) and I love that she has a silicone teether that I don't constantly have to pick off the floor. We got ours at a local boutique (the brand also has an Etsy shop) but there are tons of cute options out there, from sloths to llamas to sushi! This is one of those "trying to be mindful" situations because I want to get all sorts of cute ones (hello, adorable watermelon!) when in reality she only really needs one, and she doesn't care what it looks like. This would also make for a really cute baby shower present, like on top of the present with a bow!

Baby Paper // I can't remember where I learned about Baby Paper, but for $6, I ordered one off Amazon and you guys...Penny loves this thing probably more than she loves me. She has spent an hour straight just stuffing this thing in her mouth and crinkling it. I keep it on my baby-designated purse and pull it out when we are in stores or eating and she just gets so excited. Cheap and super effective - a win win in the baby toy world!

Avanchy spoons // We started with purees when Penny was around four months old. We are now doing a combo of purees and baby-led weaning, and have really enjoyed using the Avanchy spoons. They have a silicone mouth piece with a bamboo handle. Penny is now helping us feed her by grabbing the handle and bringing the spoon to her mouth, and chewing on the mouth piece (I think the silicone feels good on her gums). We also purchased one of their suction cup bowls that we haven't used yet, but will probably get good use out of in the next month or so as we let her explore more of "adult" foods. 

Baby Bjorn bouncer // My in-laws have this amazing bouncer from when my husband was a baby that Penny loved being in - it has a little toy bar in front of it and she happily played with it for fairly long stretches of time. Obviously they don't make that version from thirty years ago, but when I started researching current versions, all reviews pointed towards the Baby Bjorn bouncer. Now, brand new this thing costs $200+, which seems very steep for a metal frame with a piece of fabric on it. I actually found ours second hand on Facebook Marketplace, which is where I would suggest starting out. We got ours for $50! I did end up purchasing the toy bar to go in front of it new, but we have just loved this bouncer that I would say it's the number one item on this list. The bouncer itself is super light and foldable, so you can tuck it away behind the couch or in the closet (my husband loves this feature), and can easily move it all over the house, so you can use it in the kitchen while making dinner, in the living room while folding laundry, and in the bedroom as you get ready. It's also easily washable, which is great if you are buying second hand or just have a messy baby. Penny also enjoys sitting in it as she gets to sit up, and has something right in front of her to play with. We are so happy with item!

Bibs with teethers // Are we noticing a trend? So many of our favorite items include something for my poor baby's gums. She started becoming super drooly around four months, to the point where our daycare would have to change her outfits because she was soaking her shirts. Our daycare also doesn't allow the teethers on the clips, so finding these teethers on the bibs was a great compromise! It protects her clothes from all that slobber, and gives her something to chew on. Plus I love the pretty floral patterns!

Kyte Sleep Sack // We started the transition out of swaddles around ten weeks of age, first by taking one arm out, then a week later unswaddling the other arm, and then for another two weeks just using the velcro swaddles like a sleeping bag that still gave her that "chest pressure" secure feeling. We tried a few different sleep sacks but I really fell for the Kyte sleep sacks. They are made of the softest bamboo fabric and come in the prettiest colors. We own the 0-6 month size in the 1.0 and 2.5 TOG. The sizes are pretty generous, I think we will probably end up using this size for at least several more months as she isn't anywhere close to outgrowing it. You can order directly from their website, which has a lot more options for colors and sizes, or on Amazon and get free shipping with Prime. The reviews on Amazon aren't great, but we have had no issues with our sleep sacks, and have been using them for three months now. If you like the brand, you can also join their facebook group and get early access to their sales, which is great because the items are pretty pricy. 

Pipette Balm // Penny started developing some eczema around three months of age. We switched to Baby Dove's wash for bath time, and then started using this Pipette balm after, and her skin cleared up in days! I think having fragrance/dye free really made a difference for her, so we will be sticking with that combo. The balm is really so nice to apply after her bath and helps seal in moisture, especially during these dry-air winter times. I kind of want a bigger tube to use for myself...

We now have a six month old who will probably be on the move soon - would love to hear any suggestions you have for the age group we are moving in to! From play mats to items for learning to eat, to favorite books to read!

Monday, December 23, 2019

for the last minute shopper

About a year ago, I was half way through my second trimester in pregnancy, and realized that I hadn't cooked a meal in weeks. I was still in the exhaustion part of pregnancy, I was on busy services, and couldn't find the motivation to drive to the grocery store or meal prep. I was listening to a podcast and heard an ad for HelloFresh, and even though I had heard about them before, I used their coupon code to order our first month's worth of meals...and we have been hooked ever since!

When given the opportunity to work with HelloFresh earlier this summer, I was so excited! We have had such a great experience as paying customers, that I couldn't wait to even share more in collaboration with them.

As the holidays are coming up, and I tend to be the biggest procrastinator when it comes to getting gifts ready, I thought I'd share why I think HelloFresh would make a great Christmas present. I'm gifting a month's worth to several friends and family members because we have been such a fan, that I'm hoping it'll help some of you finish up your holiday shopping! It would be great gift for...

the busy friend // I don't know about you, but I really find it hard to find time to come up with a meal plan, get to the grocery store, put everything away, and then find time to also make the meal. If you have a friend who is just slammed with work or school, and needs a little something to help their weeks go smoother, a meal subscription is amazing because it takes the first three steps out of the equation. A box shows up with everything neatly packed away in paper bags, all they have to do is stick it in the fridge, and find 30 minutes to cook the meal in the next week. They can even get the 4 person sized boxes so they only cook one, but get four meals out of it! I first experienced HelloFresh when I lived with an ObGyn and Ortho resident as a medical student, and think it's perfect for that busy resident in your life!

the tired family member // Like I said above, I finally ordered my first box after realizing I was basically too tired to get off the couch and put in all the work it takes to make a home cooked meal with real vegetables and meat. By saving your family member a trip to the grocery story, and instead just bringing one box in the house from their front steps, so much of the work is taken out of making  a meal that it's perfect for that new parent or overworked sibling.

the uninspired co-worker // I've been cooking for myself for about 12 years now...which means I have like five standard meals I make over and over...and over again. I occasionally looking through pinterest for new recipes, but a lot of time they require buying new spices or dishes or items not available in all stores. HelloFresh gives you exactly what you need in those exact quantities, while at the same time always coming up with new recipes and teaching new cooking techniques. I've learned how to quick pickle veggie toppings, make crema sauces out of three ingredients, and combine ingredients I would never have though of combining. I'm learning and eating new and exciting meals, rather than the same five things I always cook.

the hard to shop for mother-in-law // I think we all can agree we all probably own too much stuff, but the holidays revolve around getting each other things. I've slowly tried to gear my gift buying towards either practical items people actually want, or experiences. Instead of buying your mother-in-law another grey sweater, get her a few month's worth of new meals to cook together. She will love not having another thing around the house, and if you happen to live close, you can cook meals together as something you do for the two of you. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

In all seriousness, we have been so happy both as paying HelloFresh customers, and now as a member of the HelloFresh team. If you haven't had the chance to try HelloFresh yet, either as a customer yourself or giving it as a gift, you can use this link to save $90 off your first month.

written in collaboration with HelloFresh. Thank you for supporting me and the companies I love!