Tuesday, December 28, 2021

mama & me: fall 2021

I'm excited about the second installment of my "mama and me" series! Last season's was all about my time as a stay at home mom, trying to figure out summer style in a time of being recently postpartum and being home with my children. Now that I've starting working full time again, with a more balanced work/life schedule, and much more time in the office rather than the hospital, I've been having some fun wearing real clothes again! Still working on branching out from the place that feels comfortable (skinny black paints + blouse), but we're working on it! 

family thanksgiving

sweater: nordstrom [exact | similar]
jeans: paige [exact]
shoes: michael michael kors [exact]

theo's jumper: H&M [exact]
theo's shoes: c/o little grapefruit [exact]

clinic day

top: H&M
pants: j.crew [exact]
shoes: michael michael kors [exact]
headband: amazon [exact]

theo's sweatshirt: target [exact on clearance]

clinic day

bodysuit: everlane [exact | link for $25 off]
pants: madewell [exact on major sale]
shoes: tory burch 

theo's chambray: gap [exact]

clinic day

scrubs: figs [exact]
vest: ll bean [exact]

penny's hairbows: amazon [exact]

clinic day

blouse: loft [exact on sale]
pants: j.crew [exact]
belt: gap 
shoes: michael michael kors [exact]

Linen-Blend Courier Pleat-Back Shirt
clinic day

top: madewell [exact]
pants: j.crew [exact]
shoes: c/o birdies [exact]

V-Neck Poncho Sweater
children's museum

sweater: loft [exact]
jeans: uniqlo
shoes: c/o birdies [exact]

penny's sweater: H&M [exact]

room details //
bed: west elm
bedding: crate & barrel
rug: safaveih
mirror: wayfair
curtain rods: amazon
curtains: ikea
theo's pack-n-play: guava 


Sunday, December 19, 2021

nordstrom trunk club: december 2021

Hello! After an unplanned little hiatus while starting at my new job, I'm back to talk about my Nordstrom trunk this month! I accidentally skipped last month's trunk, which actually was really wonderful, and landed a new dressed up sweater, a cozy casual turtleneck, and winter booties in my closet. 

Unfortunately, we somehow took a turn after three great months worth of trunks. This month's trunk reminded me of how I approached shopping around the time that I first started blogging - I remember I always bought items in different colors so I had an even amount of colors in my closet. Like I wouldn't buy a sweater in black because I already owned a black sweater, so instead I would buy it in like bright green so "even out" my closet. That left me with a closet full of clothes that 1. didnt go together and 2. didn't flatter me and 3. didn't get worn because I didn't actually like them. Now, after years of blogging and assessing and writing out why and why not I like something, I personally gravitate towards neutrals, and occasional light blues and soft pinks, because I like how they look on me and therefore actually get worn. That's not to say that it's not nice to branch out once in a while, but for the most part...I now know what I like and how it will work in my closet. So to get a trunk full of colorful items, after saying I really prefer neutrals, was a bit of a loss for this month's trunk. I also wasn't able to decline items before they were shipped, which means instead of removing items I know I don't want even without trying them on, they were all shipped to me without my input. Not sure if there was a glitch, but normally I would have said I wouldn't want some of the items in my original trunk. 

Sunday, October 31, 2021

nordstrom trunk club: october 2021

I have been looking forward to my newest Trunk Club for weeks! First of all, I just love getting things in the mail, so that's always fun, but I love the combination of having someone pick some clothes out for me, letting me have a say in what I actually want, and then getting a few more surprises! I've been wearing my items from last month a ton, with the Barbour coat being worn almost daily. This month I asked for a few more cooler weather work tops, as well as some jeans. Here's what I got!


Saturday, October 16, 2021

review: *sweater weather*

If you've been following along on instagram and/or tiktok, you know that I've spent the last month slowly revamping my closet to get ready to start my first attending job. If you've been a long time follower, you know that I used to actually wear real clothes prior to residency...but then I didn't wear anything except scrubs (and yoga pants on the rare time off) for 4 years, so literally 95% of my closet consists of clothes from 2017 and earlier. So I've been trying to update my closet for the current styles, my current body, and the work I'm going in to. 

The big one I needed to work on was finding dress pants! The Limited used to be my go-to - I wore the hell out of those pants for 4 years, but sadly they closed so that's no longer an option. I had minimal luck finding long enough pants while at the mall - most stores don't have tall versions in stores, and some places, like Ann Taylor, don't even make dress pants in the tall option. Long story short, I had good luck with the J.Crew Cameron pants - they come in a tall option online, so I ended up ordering the black and navy version, and both are currently at the tailor to hem and take in the knee (I think this is such a game changer when it comes to making dress pants look sleeker!). 

I ended up trying so many things in the last few weeks that I'm going to break it up into a few posts, so here are the sweaters I've tried and/or purchased recently!


This Loft sweater vest is my new favorite item. I've seen several sweater vests over the last year and they gave me major 5th grade vibes, and I wanted nothing to do with them. But then I tried this one on, and fell in love. I think because it's a big longer, so it's the more updated cooler version. I did size down to a medium, which gives it a more fitted look - I'm wearing it with this Treasure & Bond top in the picture on the right. I also bought the blue grey version this week! It's a great layering piece going into the cooler weather. It's currently 30% off. 

I bought this short sleeved sweater during the same visit. In pictures they look so similar but I promise they are different! I love this top for the current weather - it's ideal for low 60 degrees! I also sized down to a medium on this top. Looks super cute tucked into jeans or even dress pants. 


This poncho though...not great. Too short on me, the pockets add too much fabric around my waist, and just made me feel very square. Reading the reviews, it looks like others felt the same way. It's a shame, because the pink color is so pretty!

gap boyfriend shaker-stitch cotton cardigan

Speaking of pink sweaters though, I'm all about this comfy oversized knit cardigan from Gap. I got it in a large tall - the length is great for covering your butt in leggings, or for just an oversized look. I've already received so many compliments on it! The reviews are also raving about it. I wish the cream color wasn't sold out in my size because it's that good. 

jcrew Relaxed turtleneck poncho

My favorite sweater of all time was lovingly washed and then subsequently dried by my dear husband, which was so nice...but because it was a cashmere, it shrunk to about children's size, so R.I.P. I've been trying to replace it for 4 years, but haven't found anything close. I tried this J.Crew sweater in hopes it would be closet...but this guy is ginormous. I am wearing the medium/large, and could size down I suppose, but I think the very oversized style of it is not going to be the ideal replacement for my old sweater. 

Banana Republic Duster Cardigan Sweater

I've wanted a long duster cardigan for some time now, so I was excited to see this beautiful version from Banana Republic. It's thicker so it's warm but not too thick that you lose your shape. It has hidden side pockets, so it's not adding extra material in the middle but...you know, pockets <3. I'm wearing a size large here, and the reviews agree that it fits true to size. It is definitely on the more pricy side but it was 20% off in stores and I had a reward so it ended up costing me $50, which I was very excited about. I knew I had to get it when I kept trying it on and trying to convince myself I didn't need it. 

Universal Thread Women's Open-Front Cardigan - Universal Thread™
We had friends stay with us a few weeks ago, and both of the girls had this adorable Target sweater...so I ordered it while we were all sitting around the fire. It's definitely oversized, so I would suggest sizing down - I'm wearing a medium here. I'm wearing it in the color rust, which keeps popping in out and of stock. The cream is also super pretty, and probably more versatile though, so that would be the one I would suggest getting if you are interested!

Will be back next week with more reviews. My latest Trunk box also just shipped, so that will be up the following week. Have you purchased anything you're excited about lately? Would love to hear about it!

Monday, October 4, 2021

mama & me: summer 2021

Throughout the summer, I tried to remember to snap a few pictures of my outfits. I definitely don't have the time anymore to scout a location, set up a tripod, take a few hundred pictures, and edit them...so quick snaps on my phone is as good as it's going to get currently ;). I also have a two year old who most of the time refused to take a picture with me! Doesn't she know we are trying to BLOG HERE. Luckily Theo was always willing (...against his will). 

Summer is my least favorite season to dress for, so the majority of the time I just wore my favorite old shorts with an easy top to nurse in. Transitioning out of 100% scrubs has been hard for several reasons - the nursing sports bras I used to wear don't work with real clothes. Luckily, these bras from Target have built in pads so I don't have to worry about putting nursing pads on all the time! I also don't really have any dedicated nursing tops, I just wear looser tops so it's easy to pull up. 

going to the children's museum

top: loft [exact]
shorts: gap [similar]
belt: gap [similar]
sandals: steve madden
headband: amazon [exact]

Penny's romper: target
Theo's overalls: H&M [exact]

going to the zoo

chambray: j.crew (comes in talls & on sale!) [exact]
shorts: target [exact]
tee: j.crew 
shoes: steve madden

Penny's big sis shirt: etsy [exact]

going to music class

tee: free people [exact]
shorts: gap

penny's watermelon romper: old navy [exact on sale]
theo's jumpsuit: H&M [exact]

going to the library

top: treasure & bond [exact on sale]
jeans: 7 for all mankind [similar]
headband: Amazon [exact]

Theo's pants + chambray

going to costco on the last day of summer

cardigan: target [exact, 20% off!]
jeans: uniqlo 
shoes: treasure & bond [exact]

Penny's fleece: gap [current style]

room details //
mirror: wayfair
theo's pack-n-play: guava 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

nordstrom trunk club: september 2021

Several of my girlfriends are in a similar position I am when it comes to work clothes - recently out of residency, having not really purchased new items in a while, and now needing a whole closet of work clothes. One of my friends mentioned that she was having a lot of luck with StitchFix and Nordstrom Trunk Club. I tried out StitchFix this spring but didn't end up loving anything, and then felt my $25 were kind of forcing me to keep items I wasn't 100% in love with. What drew me to ordering a Nordstrom Trunk though was that if you have a Nordstrom card, their $25 styling fee is waved! So I can order trunks and not feel like I have to keep anything just to not lose $25. I really love that a box full of clothes just shows up at my house, I get to try them on in the privacy of my own home with my own closet, keep what I want, and have FedEx pick up the box from my front door. It also helps to have a stylist give me new styles to try on, to see how they work with my body, life, and current wardrobe. I am fairly consistent about basically buying the same items just in different colors/patterns, so this kind of forces me to try new things that I may love.  

I signed up through the app, answered a few questions about what I was looking for, filled out my sizes, and the next day got an email saying my box was ready to be reviewed. I swapped out a few things I knew I wasn't going to like at all, and left a few spots open for my stylist's suggestions. A few days later, the box showed up at my house!

Here's what I got!

Saturday, September 4, 2021

penny's play kitchen

The room I am probably the most excited about, truly, in our new house is what is going to be the playroom. It was previously used as an office, but with its location directly off the living room, it's the perfect room for our children. In our last house, we did not have a separate space for Penny - her bedroom was very small, and only could hold her crib, small dresser, and rocking chair. We had a small cabinet in our living room that housed the majority of her toys, but as she and Theo grow up, the toys get bigger too, so I'm just so thrilled to make their own little space for them to play and explore and have fun!

One of the first projects I knew I was going to do was make her a little play kitchen. I've seen so many "Ikea hacks" for the Ikea play kitchen, and so I spent hours looking at different ones on pinterest. The one that spoke to me the most was one I found on the blog Katie Lamb. I love the gender neutral colors, and her step by step instructions made it pretty easy to follow. The only difference is that I used a latex brush on paint rather than a spray paint! Basically the steps to making this little play kitchen your own: 

Figure out parts //

Take out all parts from the box, and figure out which pieces you will paint what color. I made 3 piles - the blue pile, the white pile, and the don't touch it pile. 

Things I should have done here: sanded and primed. Things I didn't do: sand and prime. Instead I just taped off the pieces I needed to tape off, and started the painting process. 

Paint // 

Each piece got 2 coats of paint. I then let them cure for a few days before starting the assembly process. For the metal pieces, I used Katie's trick of using a box to peg all the metal parts up to paint easier, then they got 3-4 coats of spray paint. I let these sit for a few days before attaching to the kitchen. 

Countertop //  

I used this butcher block contact paper to make over the countertop. I used a credit card to apply it tightly across the top, and then cut out the holes for the sink and stove top. I also applied a little super glue on each of the corners to really secure it where it would likely peel off first. 

Backsplash //  

I bought a thick plastic board from Michael's. I got one pack of these stick & peel hexagon "tiles" on Amazon that I just love so much. They are a great neutral with some variation in color that adds a nice texture to the backsplash. I measured the size of board I needed for the back splash, cut it to that size, and then attached the tile. It was super easy, and a lot cheaper than some of the $40 options I saw on Etsy!

Assemble // 

After everything had a few days to cure, I followed the instructions to put everything together - honestly, probably the most annoying part, but also so fun to see it all come together! Then during nap time, I brought it inside from the garage and got to set it up with all the little accessories I had found. I was so excited to show Penny!

There are so many adorable play food items out there, that it was hard to stick with just a few items! We have a little wood toaster that has a little lever that lifts the toast, and comes with butter! That, and our little espresso machine are the biggest hits. We have a little set of fruit and vegetables that are connected by magnets, which is so nice since they can't wear out like velcro could. Although we do have a little egg set that is probably the most played with item, and it's held up very well so far. She was gifted this little apron that we had personalized with her name, and I can't wait to eventually get one for Theo as well. I think for Christmas we are going to get her a set of little oven mitts!

I loved making this little kitchen for my babies, and am excited to get started in converting the office into their playroom. Next up on my projects for the room is this magnet wall!

Kitchen: Ikea
Blue pain: Behr Adirondack Blue
Metal color: Rustoleum Champagne Mist
Countertop: Amazon
Backsplash: Amazon
Espresso machine: Hape
Toaster: Hape
Pots & spatula: Pottery Barn Kids
Play eggs: PB Kids
Magnetic fruits/veggies: Amazon

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

clothing review: that postpartum life.

Oh man. Postpartum clothing shopping....not exactly super fun. 

I feel in such a weird clothing funk right now. I almost feel like I went into a coma and came out four years later with a new body and not understanding current styles. I really only purchased a handful of non-maternity items over the past four years, and so now I feel like I'm kind of starting over, with a different body than before. Just to kind of let you in on where my head space is currently at. I may have left the mall crying yesterday. So if you've been there...you're definitely not alone. 
Smocked ruffle gauze top

Okay, first up is this beautiful top from J.Crew. I've had my eye on it forever, and finally ordered it during a sale. I'm wearing a size large here. Initially when I put it on, I liked it. Then I looked at it from all angles and decided I didn't like it. Because the fabric is thinner, it kind of puffs up from the chest down, so from the side it looks a bit sack like. And then now looking at it again, I like it! Isn't this a fun process? 

But seriously...I think I like it. It's cute both for work under a blazer or white coat, and then for a more casual night out. I think this lighter blue isn't the one for me though, and I think I'm going to order it again in the light mint. Or white, because I'm predictable. 
Are popovers back in? I've been seeing them all over the place, and I, for one, am here for it. I love this style shirt! This one isn't the one for me though. I'm wearing a 12 tall here - I do like the length on me, and am thankful it comes in the tall option. I just don't love the fabric - it felt very stiff and as you can see, see-through. I wish it was just a bit more opaque so you can't see my nursing bra! As I do like this style of shirt, I'm hoping they'll come out with a different fabric or color this fall.
Smocked-Waist Button-Front Midi Skirt

I had seen this Madewell skirt in instagram ads a few times, but it wasn't until I saw Merrick's instagram post with a very similar skirt (or maybe the same one?) that I had to order it. I don't have any midi skirts but I have wanted a cute item for my closet to wear for date nights! This is just such a comfortable, light, and flowy skirt. It fits true to size, I'm wearing a large here - the waistline is very stretchy, so you could consider sizing down. Now I would really like a white bodysuit to wear with it to help streamline the area around my waist. Any suggestions? All the ones I'm seeing out there are like $80!

Classic Straight Jeans
The last item I had ordered online from Madewell are these classic straight jeans. From the front, these are so flattering - almost tummy controlling, looser than skinny jeans but not too baggy that your shape gets lost. But these were SO tight on my belly - I could hardly squat down! I ordered what I think is my normal size 31, but these were just so tight and frankly, not flattering from the side. I did really love the color and overall style though, so during the next sale I plan on ordering them a size up to see if that makes them feel and look better. 

Of course, I had to take advantage of a day when Penny went to hang out with family for part of the day, so Theo and I went to the mall to return the items above...and try a few things on. It's been years since I've actually been in a mall and tried things on there! The only item I ended up taking home is this Hayden top in a black/white pattern that isn't even online yet. They only had mediums left in store, but it actually made the fit more flattering. I find the majority of Madewell tops to not fit me well, as they are shorter and boxier on me than I prefer for myself. This has just a little more length than other shirts I've tried, and sizing down to medium means I don't totally get lost in the shirt. Plus the fabric is soooo soft! They previously had this style in a white, which I'm so sad is no longer available in my size. Again a great top for hanging out with the babies, but can be dressed up with black (or mustard!) pants for work. 
Floral Jacquard Puff-Sleeve Tee
This floral puff sleeve shirt....is not for me. I tried it on because the non-boxy, longer length drew me in, and because I saw Shea McGee looking super cute in puffy sleeved shirts and I basically want to be her...but this is not for me. Maybe styled correctly, with my hair done and in the right light...but I know that that is rarely the situation, so I didn't want to buy a shirt that I would actually never wear. If it does seem like your style though, I am wearing a large here, and the fabric is nice and thick. Cute, but not for me. 
Grandover Bobble Pullover Sweater
While it is currently 86 (!) degrees out, I did just move to one of the snowiest cities in the country, so I'm starting to think about what I'm supposed to wear during the many months of winter coming my way. I was drawn to the colors and texture of this sweater, but kind of feel like a frumpy grandpa in it. I can see why the cool kids would love this, but as a 33 year old mom of two who is currently working through some postpartum body issues, this was not the one for me. 
Y'all know I love a good plaid blazer, but I've wanted an updated, more casual version. I saw this oversized blazer on a TikTok some weeks ago, and wanted to try it. This was such a comfortable blazer, and really I could tell the difference between a $30 H&M blazer and a $170 blazer, but this wasn't the one for me either. My H&M blazer is a very similar color, so I feel I don't want to repeat it. I also found it too boxy on me, so I'll keep an eye out for something that works better for me. I've been eyeing this Vince Camuto version - I could definitely see myself wearing it to work this fall!

So here is where we are at. I'm still trying to figure myself out. I'm trying to work with my newer, different body. I'm trying to understand what the current styles are, while also knowing that I already know what I like, and trying to blend those together. I'm trying to figure out my current stay at home mom life, while knowing that I'm stepping into an attending ObGyn life in 2 months, where I will spend the majority of my time in an outpatient clinic. Thank you for following along with me while I figure it out!

p.s. below are my working conditions when trying to take pictures. he thinks he's sooo funny. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

fran's fbmp find: drexel pine dresser (and a little bedroom sneak peak)

I am so excited to talk about our new home! This spring, we sold our first home. We had loved making that home our own. It was the perfect house for us, but we were slowly outgrowing it...plus we were moving two states away, so we got lucky in a sellers market, and sold it in days. Finding a house, on the other hand, was tough. We lost several houses, but then got the luckiest when a younger couple was selling their beautiful home, and chose us to buy their house, even though we had competition with an all cash, no cap offer. I believe it's because they had young children and the house was made to raise kids in. We are just so thrilled to have gotten a house in this market. 

This house is twice the size of our last one. It has one more bedroom, it's own dining room, an office, and a formal living room...all things we did not have in our first home. We brought all of our furniture with us, but the majority of it doesn't really fit into the space - it's either the wrong shape or too small for the space. But furniture is expensive, so we are buying it in stages. We started with our bedroom!

I had saved up for the last month so we could furnish part of our bedroom when we moved in. We wanted our room to be calm and bright, and my husband requested to have shades of green in it. We painted one of the walls a really pretty green (Behr Eucalyptus Wreath), and the rest a bright white. When it came to furnishing it, I've always wanted a king sized bed. After months of debating which one to get, we went with the West Elm MidCentury Frame - it's so so pretty in real life and looks great with the green wall and hardwood floors! We went with a Saatva mattress, which is described as "hotel like", and as a belly sleeper, I've really really liked it. I had had my eye on this Crate and Barrel duvet, and I love the texture that it adds to the bed without it being an overwhelming pattern. 

As a side story, prior to medical school, I was really into thrifting. That's how I spent my evenings and weekends when I was working full time - finding goodies at Goodwill and garage sales. Now that I have my life back, and 3 months off before starting my first attending job, as well as a house to furnish, I've really rediscovered that thrifting bug. But with having two small children and a husband who works out of the house, spending hours at the thrift stores isn't really a possibility right now, so I've become a hardcore Facebook Marketplace fiend! In the 6 weeks we have lived here, I've already found several amazing pieces for our house. A few needed a little love, some needed nothing, and I can't wait to see how they tell their story in our house. The overall "look" for our house is transitional - filling our bright and airy spaces with a mix of old school charm with modern touches. That's the great thing about finding furniture and decor that's pre-loved - it doesn't need to fall into one design style, it just needs to fit the space. 

So, we had the bed, the bedding, and the rug, but needed a few other items for our bedroom. Top of the list were a dresser, and bedside tables, and then also a big mirror, lamps, and art. I spent several weeks looking at different dressers on FBMP when I ran across a beautiful 9 drawer pine dresser that was selling for $120. I reached out to the seller immediately, and went to see it that afternoon. It turns out it had been a part of an estate sale but no one bought it, so the price was decreased and put on FBMP...where it promptly became mine! 

As far as I can tell, the dresser is from sometime between the mid 20th century. It's made of pine, with dovetail construction on the drawers. The hardware is brass, but we will get to that in a second! When we got the dresser to our house, I noticed the smell immediately. It smelled like someone's very nice grandmother. The dressers had a paper lining, which was easily removed. I then wiped out each drawer with a 50/50 vinegar/water mixture, which apparently neutralizes perfumes. I then put some baking powder on paper plates, and put them in each drawer, and then put the drawers back in the dresser. We didn't put any clothes in the dresser for a week, and by the end of the week, all the former scents were gone! 

Now that it smelled new, it was time to update the hardware. Because of the very unique drawer pulls, it wasn't really an option to replace them because the stain behind the pulls was different than the rest of the drawer. So I removed all the pulls, soaked them for a few minutes in Dove power wash, and then used this magic powder to remove all the tarnish. It was amazing how a few minutes of scrubbing could complete remove the tarnish! 

Now she's sitting in our bedroom, and is mostly used as a baby changing table. I'm debating what to do above the dresser though. Across from it, above our bed, we already have a large piece of art (see below). Our big mirror is going on the third wall of the room, and the fourth wall currently just has two windows (...that still need curtains). I initially thought another mirror, but we don't really need it since we have the big one on the wall. Then I was thinking maybe a gallery wall? Several pieces of art? I don't know, I feel torn. 

I also bought two bedside tables on FBMP that need to be sanded and painted - they aren't a real wood so painting makes the most sense. I'm thinking maybe black paint and then gold hardware? We also need lamps for the bedside tables, I'd like two additional pillows in a green to go with the wall color, and this blanket for the edge of the bed. Once Theo's pack n play is moved out, we also would like to add a chair and small table in the corner. 

So while I'm excited about where we currently are, there's so much left to do!
paint: Behr Eucalyptus Wreath


Monday, August 2, 2021

my current skincare routine for mid-30s skin

I have shared my skincare routines over the years (2016 at age 28, 2018 at age 30) and I think the latest change to my skincare regimine is reflected of where I'm at in my mid 30s as a mother to two young children - quick and easy, gets results, and prevents future problems. I have dry skin that needs moisture. The acne I was dealing with for years is now kept at bay, but instead now we are dealing with fine lines. The addition of several key lotions and potions have made a huge difference in my skin though, and I'm so happy about where we are at. 

As a disclaimer, I did get 3 sessions of microneedling done back in 2016-2018 that helped with some acne scarring, and I get botox about twice a year, although with my pregnancies, I haven't really had much botox in the last 3 years. I also get a small amount of filler in my tear troughs every two years as I have had basically hollowed eye sockets since childhood. I think while those things helped target specific concerns that skin care can't fix, but the daily skin care routines make such difference in how your overall skin looks and feels. I'm at such a good place with how I feel about my skin that I don't wear anything on my skin other than some concealer and setting powder - I no longer wear any foundation or even a CC cream unless it's a special occasion. So here's my current routine, and why having a "less is more" approach is working for me now!

AM //
I don't used a cleanser in the morning, I just wash my face with water and then pat dry. Then I use

Vitamin C serum: Probably the biggest game changer for me has been adding vitamin C serums to my routine. I've tried several, I used BeautyPie's vitamin C ampules for several years until finally splurging on the SkinCeuticals version last month (it's the most hyped and recommended Vitamin C serum I've seen). It's been proven to help reduce free radical damage, and improve fine lines and overall brightness. I've definitely noticed a huge difference in the brightness of my skin with consistent Vitamin C use over the last three years. One big thing to note is that the stability of Vitamin C isn't great, so not all Vitamin C serums are created equal but I think all provide a benefit. As with most skin care, this is something you have to use daily and for a while until you see a difference, but with consistent use, you will get amazing results. As the SkinCeuticals serum is pricy (the priciest skin care item I've ever purchased), here's a post about dupes to the skinceuticals serum - I've always had great success with Paula's Choice so their Vitamin C serum would be my recommendation. If you aren't using a Vitamin C serum yet, I highly recommend adding one. 

Moisturizer: Like I said, I have dry skin, and have been very loyal to Belif's moisture bomb for years now. It's a medium thick cream, so it's great for daily morning use - provides enough moisture but doesn't turn you into an oil slick (I save that for night time!). Love love love. 

Sunscreen: Some years ago, I read that the best anti-aging cream you can buy is sunscreen and that somehow blew my mind but also makes sense. I've been consistently using daily facial sunscreen since my mid 20s and I like to think it's what keeps me looking so youthful ;) (...that, and the fact that I worked 60-80s hours a week and never saw the sun....). Something I didn't learn until recently though is that you're supposed to put your sunscreen on last in your routine! I'm currently using up my first bottle of SuperGoop's Glow Screen, which I quite enjoy as it leaves you all dewy and young looking. Next up I'm going to try EltaMD's sunscreen though, because it's again one that comes highly recommended my the dermatologists I follow. In the past I've also really liked Paula's Choice sunscreen, if you're looking for another price point. 

PM //

Cleanser: I can't find any make-up remover/cleanser as much as I love the Glossier cleanser. With just three pumps of the cleanser, I can take off all my make up without needing two different cleansers or separate make up remover. I've tried a bunch of others in the past, and always come back to this as it's so easy and works so well. If you're lazy, and don't wear a ton of face make up, this is a great option for you to remove your make up and cleanse your skin.  

Retinol: The other "must have" item that is always recommended to use is a type of retinol. From my basic non-dermatologist understanding, retinols are typically purchased over the counter and tretinoin is a prescription. I was prescribed a tretionoin cream by my dermatologist about six years ago, but as I moved several times, and couldn't make it to an actual dermatologist's office (plus most had a 6 month wait list), I started using Dear Brightly. You have an online consultation with a derm (including sending pictures of your skin), and they send you prescription retinol. I love this version of retinol because it is formulated with hyaluronic acid, so I haven't experienced as much of the dryness I did with Retin-A Micro. As I've been a long term retinol user now, I use a stronger strength (0.1%). Not ready to get a prescription tretinoin cream? There are tons of over the counter retinol products in almost every price range, but if you are looking for the biggest change, I'd recommend an Rx, from either your local dermatologist (the generic creams are really not that expensive, as long as your get the generic versions!) or if you can't make it to in person dermatology appointment soon, try an online version like Dear Brightly. Start off slow with a lower concentration, make sure your skin is all the way dry when applying, and make sure you use a moisturizer. 

Moisturizer: At night I like to go a bit heavier on the moisturizing. I'm still loving Vanicream for the days I use my tretinoin cream, and on days I don't use it, I like to use the traditional Nivea cream. I love how thick it goes on, and how soft my skin is in the morning! 

Ointment: This CeraVe ointment has been a recent find (I think I saw it on a TikTok in a video about "slugging") and went out to buy it the next day. I've tried lots of different face oils to help trap in moisture, but this takes it to the next level. I smear it all over my face and I look a little ridiculous because of how greasy I look, but my skin is so so soft  the next day. If you have oily skin, this is not the cream for you, but if you have drier skin like I do...run, don't walk. 

In addition, I also apply this hair strengthening serum in hopes that my postpartum hair loss won't be as bad, and then put my hair in a low pony with a silk hair tie - I have had such bad breakage around the level I wear a messy bun that I'm really trying to break that habit, and have found that this really helps. I also use Lash Boost every other day to keep my eyelashes long and full. 

So that's my quick and dirty skincare routine. It's not 12 steps, but that's why it works for me and the current state of my skin! I'd like to add back a mask or two when I take a bath, so if you have any current loves, I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

4 years later...and i'm back!



Hi. It's been a while...a whole year actually...and basically four years since I consistently posted on my blog.

I started my blog 9 (NINE!) years ago, and documented my way through post-college life, figuring out my personal style, getting in to and starting medical school, break ups, new relationships, daily outfit posts, getting married, buying a house, and getting into residency. But then residency, and the 80 hour work weeks where I wore scrubs 100% of the time started...and blogging just stopped. I was just too tired, and felt I had nothing left to give. And as a style blog, wearing scrubs all the time isn't conducive to a blog that is about buying and wearing clothes. Oh, and then I got pregnant and then really had no time or energy left. 

But here we are, on the other side. I completed my ObGyn residency, moved to Rochester NY with my husband and now two babies. I took 3.5 months off before I start my "real" job and am starting over in so many ways. Here are a few of the things going on: 

  • Closet updates. I have hardly purchased any clothing in 4 years, and as now a 33 year old mother of two, I feel I have nothing to wear. I only have a few casual items, the majority are business casual items that may or may not fit me anymore. I'm still dressing very millennial, with my skinny jeans and flats and flowy tops, and honestly that's probably not going to change...I shouldn't be dressing like I'm 17 because I am not 17. But I do want to update a few things so they fit my new life and new body. I've carried, birthed, and fed/am feeding two young children...in 2.5 years. I'm actually about the same size I was before, but everything just fits a bit different now and that also plays a role in how I feel in my old clothes. I also am nursing, and that limits what I can wear too. So I'm buying some new items (hellllllo, new jeans! and loose pretty tops), and will share my thoughts here. Review posts were always my most popular, and I think we can learn together about finding clothes that fit our bodies, lifestyles, and personal style. 
  • Home decor. We sold our first home, and are deep in painting and updating our new home! The housing market is insanity but we got so so lucky, and found the perfect house for us to raise our babies in. So I'm excited to share where we started, what our inspiration is, and how we are making it our own. Definitely taking it slow as I want to live here for a bit while trying to see how new pieces could fit into our space, and I also want to find a good balance between new items, and thrifted or upcycling used items. So maybe some interesting DIY posts coming your way. 
  • Babies. Parenting has been a wild ride so far. Penny just turned two, and Theo is 3 months old. We have learned a ton over the past two years, but every day is like a new adventure. Excited to keep sharing some of our favorite items, asking for your advice, and just trying to raise kids who don't turn out to be a-holes (truly my biggest motivator). 

Parenting and medicine bring me a lot of joy and fulfillment, but they also take up all of my time that I feel I have very little that is "mine" anymore...and that's why I want to get back in to blogging. For fun. For learning. For myself. I think probably many of you reading can relate - whether it's an all consuming job, family, or responsibility, it's nice to have something that is just "yours". 

So welcome back. I'm so glad we are here.