Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Getting the Celebrity Look for Less

Being on a tight budget doesn't have to mean mean the end of your fashion and style. I know how it feels to have little disposable income for clothes (hello resident salary and high cost of living state for 7 years). But I have found that by using Pinterest I can pin the outfits from celebrities who have a similar body type and style I want to emulate. Then I can turn around and find the exact same pieces on ebay or poshmark for a fraction of the cost new. If I can't find an identical piece or if its still too pricey I just look for a very similar piece that I can get for an affordable $.

All it takes is a little research and some time and you can have the looks for less like I have.

Kate Middleton-if there is one woman whos wardrobe, style and class I could emulate it is 100% her!
Found a similar print dress at American Eagle in the clearance section for $25
Love or hate her Kim Kardashian still has a rocking style
Gibson blazer I got on poshmark for $25 and AE jeggings, necklace from jane.com for $25

Kate Beckinsale has a casual chic style I appreciate 

Victorias Secret Pink tshirt, American Eagle boyfriend jeans as a cheaper alternative. I will try to find cute pumps like hers next time too-love that look.





Sunday, April 6, 2014

Medical Mondays-We're Buying a House (Well Maybe)

So after 7 years of moving across the country, renting apartment after leaking roof/loud neighbor/I have to get my lazy butt off the couch to take my dog for a walk since we have no actual yard apartment we are finally looking for our first home! My husband will finish his spine fellowship at the end of June and we will be heading to Detroit next week to tour some homes that we have narrowed down onto "the list".

I always say this but it is such a surreal experience. When my husband and I first met 8 years ago we talked about how life would be after medical school and residency. We spent hours talking about what our first home would be like and would drool over houses that we found online.

Living in NYC and Nashville for training we always knew that those places were temporary so we rented. When I think about all the money we there away for rent (aka we could own a home free and clear now) it makes me sick. We also put up with our fair share of rude, money grubbing landlords, screaming neighbors, leaky roofs (literally every place we have rented it follows us like a black cloud), and just not having a place to call our own is about to come to an end. Well maybe.

We have a list of about 10 houses we plan to do a marathon weekend of looking at. Luckily I am from the area we are moving back to but am still no expert, especially since I haven't even lived in the state for 7 years. So we are placing our housing fate into the hands of a real estate agent and about 52 hours worth of ground time before we fly back.

I look back on all of the major decisions in my life and I have to just trust that God and the universe will place us exactly where we need to be. Life has always worked out like that and I have to have faith it will continue to. When I fight against something or try to force it, it never works out.

Being a type A super planner, going with the flow is not something I am used to doing at all. But now I need to. We decided to go into it completely open minded, check out the houses and we feel like we will just know if we find "the one". If its meant to be its meant to be and if not, we will probably just rent for a year or so until we can find it.

I am thankful that we are even in a position to be able to purchase a home and at the end of the day that is something many people will never have an opportunity to do. It is a privilege I am not taking lightly and will try enjoy the whole process :)

Oh and side note I am so incredibly sad and devastated that we missed out on this baby:


It sold for a mere $102 million cash out in L.A. Apparently some French billionaire got there before we did. Sigh…we could have had our own mini White House ;)

So any first time home buyer tips??

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Top Skin Care Must Haves

Finding skin care products that actually work like they are supposed to has been like chasing Bigfoot where people talk about it but no one ever seems to find it. Finally I have found my Bigfoot in these products-and also my closet apparently (size 9.5 baby!)

These products are items I use every day and have completely changed my skin. I suffer from moderate hormonal acne. That  beauty leaves lots of obvious and embarrassing scaring along with pimples all over my face but mostly around my mouth/chin/cheeks. So while I want to cover up all of that, I need something that helps prevent acne as well.

I have finally found my holy grail products and want to share them with you :)

#1 Paulas Choice Earth Sourced Cleansing Gel

I use this morning and night and it is 99% natural. Many of the face washes I have tried before caused more breakouts, left makeup on, dried out my skin, and had fragrance that irritated my face. This is fabulous! Its gentle yet effective and removes all my makeup while leaving my skin soft. Way better than Cetaphil and better for your skin.

#2 Paulas Choice Hydralight Moisturizing Lotion

This is the only moisturizer I have ever used that does not break me out and I have tried maybe 20 other ones. In fact, I never wore moisturizer before this because of the acne it would cause. Now I use this every night and it is light, doesn't clog my pores and I have seen a reduction in the wrinkles on my forehead caused from expression lines and dryness.

#3 Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser



This has been one of the most gentle yet effective ways to treat active acne breakouts. I use this when I'm having a rough skin day and it usually clears everything up in a day or two. Can be a little drying but nothing my moisturizer can't solve.

#4 St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub



I hesitated to put this one up here because there is lots of controversy over this being bad for your skin due to the jagged walnut shell pieces in it. I am open to a discussion and recommendations on another exfoliant. Exfoliation is so important and I feel this does a great job but I'm looking into other alternatives and want to talk about it with my Derm next time I see them.

Since using these products I am confident enough to (gasp) leave the house without makeup! This is something I would never have done even a month ago until I found these babies. The proof is in the pudding…or in this case my makeup free selfie ;)






Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stitch Fix Review

For those that don't know Stitch Fix is a really fun personal shopping service that picks 5 items of clothes/accessories and ships them to your door. No trying clothes on in a cramped badly light dressing room that makes your cellulite pop ugh. You get to try them on in the comfort of your own home and often they are pieces you would never chose for yourself but may be surprised.

You have 3 days to decide if you wish to keep some, all or none of the items. You pay a $20 styling fee for each shipment which comes off the total of clothes you buy. Shipping and returns are free. You complete a style profile, tell them what your looking for and your fashion preferences, link a pinterest board if you have one and voila.

You can chose a price range you are comfortable with so mine may not end up being the same cost yours would but I put the prices in here for reference. To be honest these prices for the shirts have turned me off a bit. I feel like I could get the same for about half of the price elsewhere. I may need to decrease my prices on their website so I get less expensive pieces next time.

This is my second box and while I haven't been thrilled this time or last it is still so fun to have a surprise at your door each month (or less you choose) and for 20$ to not have to go to the mall is worth it for me.

If you would like to sign up you can click here: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3436472 and I'll get a referral credit to keep fueling my addiction ;)

Here is what I got this month:

First up was a Tart Cliff Graphic Print Roll-Tab Henley Shirt ($88).



It was really soft but I prefer my shirts to be a little longer and wasn't sure about the lower cut. There wasn't a button at the top so hello push-up bra cleavage ha! I feel like I would be more likely to keep it if it was half this price-seems expensive for what it is.

Second was a Daniel Rainn Kerra Crew Neck Lace Blouse ($68).



Again I wish it was longer and more fitted. This is really not my style at all but I do like how feminine it was. On the fence about this one.

Third was a Pomelo Sam Hi-Lo Short Sleeve Tee ($44).




This shirt is really long in the back and really nice and flowey. Its different than the typical vintage tees I usually wear from Gap or Old Navy. I like this and need a basic grey tshirt in my lineup.

Fourth was a pair of Mavi Ruxin Distressed Boyfriend Jeans ($128).


I had asked for a pair of destroyed boyfriend jeans and these came close but I hate the acid wash. They fit fine but the color is not my style at all. I wanted something lighter and more modern.

Lastly was a Pomelo Oxford Layered Chains Necklace ($52).



I asked for a statement necklace but this is stating a bit too much for me-too edgy for my liking and I couldn't get the chains to lay flat for the life of me. Next time I will ask for a more dainty necklace. This one looks like a bike chain!

So help! What should I keep and what should I send back?


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ebay or Bust!

I have been an ebay addict since 2003. It is a fabulous resource to buy gently used or even brand new fashions at a fraction of the cost of what they are in store. Ok wow that sounds like a sales pitch. Hello ebay-try me out for your marketing department!

I'll go into a store that I like an item, try it on for size purposes and then scour ebay or another great site, Poshmark to find what I'm looking for.

I am all about beauty on a budget and am able to get so much more for my dollar buying clothes this way. I really encourage anyone to go this route. I've even been able to sell items as well-out with the old in with the new ya know?

Here are some recent ebay/poshmark finds:

Gibson blazer (ebay for like 20$)

Gap academy blazer (25$ ebay)

Express tunic (30$ ebay)

Express tunic (not technically ebay but bought on super sale online)

Have you ever used ebay or any auction or discount sites? I hate paying full price now when I know what I could be getting!



Monday, March 3, 2014

Bravo TV's Married to Medicine Kari Wells Interview

Mrs. Wells

Kari with her family

For those of you addicted to reality television like I am, you know that the Bravo network has an Atlanta-based show called Married to Medicine. It revolves around physicians and physician wives and the lives that they lead. There has been controversy over the depiction of these women and wether it is really an accurate glimpse into the lives of doctors wives. All I know is that I wish I could be on that show although Im not sure they would want footage of my husband napping all day on his four days off a month ;)

I was so happy to be able to interview the lovely Kari Wells who appears on the show and is married to orthopedic surgeon and hand specialist Duncan Wells. She was really sweet and offered her opinions on being a physicians wife, advice about life and her time on the reality tv show:

Me: There is a lot of controversy over being referred to as "the doctors wife" How you feel when people use the term to refer to you?

Kari: For me, personally, it has been a privilege.  I have learned so much about medicine during my 12 years with my husband, but I  have always maintained my own identity. I continue to work full time and have many, many passions. I am heavily involved in various charities  like my girl's mentorship program "Girlpower and Emerging Women". 

Me: What advice do you have to women or men that are married to physicians to keep their marriage strong?

Kari: There is no doubt that a marriage to a physician is a hard one.  I alway say that there are several people in our marriage: me, my husband and his patients.  This is something that you must accept and respect if you are married to a doctor.  Patient emergencies must come first.  My husband loves his work and takes it very seriously, so he is always available if a patient truly needs him. He often has to respond at a moments notice.  Having said that, the key to any happy marriage is communication and, of course, intimacy.

Me: How do you manage to raise balanced children when your spouse is married to their job and their pager?

Kari: Luckily we have a well balanced marriage:  When my husband is home he is home. He cooks, plays with the kids and helps with homework and projects.  He is a hands- on dad, so  I don't feel overwhelmed with the kids.  But, of course there have been times when I was counting the minutes until he arrived home. And, unfortunately, because of his schedule, he has missed a lot of special events. In fact, I even had to schedule the birth of our two children around his surgery schedule.   I strongly recommend hiring help if you can afford it.  It is a good investment if time together is precious. 

Me: How do you fill the alone time when your husband is on call or away at conferences?

Kari: I work non stop. Even if you are a stay at home Mom, you still need to have your own passions. As much as your life often revolves around your husband and kids.  Make sure you also stay involved with something that you love, that hopefully supports the interest of the family. 

Me: Do you feel that Married to Medicine was an accurate representation of physician wives and lives? What did you think of your time on the show?

Kari: The first season of the show was hard for me, as there was so much drama and some of it got very negative.  In my life I am all about inspiring women and mentoring young girls, so it was hard to watch a few of the scenes. I am a firm believer in that everything happening for a reason and the reason is to benefit me, so as a result,  I have learned a lot about myself.  I could not commit to the second season of the show, due to a family emergency that I had, but I plan to go back for season 3 if the show continues to get picked up. 

Me: What are your current projects and future goals?

Kari: I am heavily involved in my girls mentorship program Girlpower and emerging women as well as other charities that help abused and at risk youth.  I am working and traveling and being a hands on Mom with our two children. 

Me: Any other words of wisdom about life in general?


Kari: Yes, One thing that being on a reality show taught me was not to take myself so seriously.  For a big part of my life I worried a lot about what others thought of me and I tried hard to fit it.  Having had my life so publicly displayed has taught me not to sweat the small stuff as much. People either get you or they don't and everyone always has an opinion, so in the end you just have to be true to yourself and do what is right with your self, your family and  your beliefs. 

Kari's website can be found at www.kariwells.com

Monday, February 24, 2014

Celebrate Good Times

Valentines day was a recent happening and I was BEYOND spoiled. You can't really read the card but he wrote something along the lines of money doesn't make up for me not being there but on days like this it helps. He was on call the entire weekend and I barely saw him but I was touched and teared up at his effort. He is an amazing, caring person and its so true take away all of the presents and I would not care. I am already blessed just to have him in my life.

But a girl sure is happy when she comes home to this :

Tiffany & Co bag I'd been in love with for months, Chanel sunglasses and beautiful flowers
Of course I had to selfie my new glasses (hangs head in shame)
I also am excited to report back that my husband has officially signed and executed his first job contract post residency and fellowship. It goes without saying how incredibly proud I am of him for getting through 4 years of medical school, 6 years of neurosurgery residency and a one year spine fellowship to get to this point. His sacrifices and dedication have paid off and this is the moment we have both been longing for.

So that calls for a fancy steak dinner with friends to celebrate right!? We went to an amazing steakhouse and splurged on some champagne, steaks (I got lobster tail) and multiple courses. Obviously a dinner does not equal years of hard work but Im going to go with it comes damn close!

Lobster!!
Some bubbly ;)
My go-to date night hair
Red Hot for date and celebration night :) Express tunic and necklace.





Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Being Married to a Doctor...the Photo Version


Being married to a doctor ain't what it's cracked up to be. Wait actually it is...every moment. Well unless you really don't like being alone which in that case....Judge for yourself ;)

1. Living in Amazing Places

I've resided in places during residency that I never even imagined and learned so much more about other people and myself in the process. Living 500 miles away from family will do that to ya.





2. Birthdays (and lots of holidays) Alone



3. Lots of Takeout 

Well someone has to cook-I would offer but I couldn't find the takeout menus. My husband is actually a fabulous chef but can't usually find the time/energy to whip up a 5 course meal post-call for some reason.



4. Plenty of time to explore new hobbies and adventures without him

Like jewlery making...


5. A chronically exhausted husband (and dog apparently too)

One of the many downsides of working an 80-100 hour work week. I try to let him catch up on sleep as much as possible but it's hard when I have so many crazy adventures and places I want to explore together.


6. I'm spoiled 

No, fancy gifts never make up for the time he is gone-and shoes don't love you back. But come on-how amazing are these!? Even more amazing = I can walk in them without tripping most of the time.



7. Incredible vacations

Vacation time is hard to come by as a surgeon so we make the absolute most of our limited time together and appreciate traveling. It's so wonderful to see him relaxed, stress free and as far away from the hospital as humanly possible!



8. Alone Time Most of the Time

I spend more time with my dog than my husband and I can't lie and say it's the best thing ever. I am fiercely independent but still miss him and feel like I can never get enough of him. Plus side-we almost are guaranteed never to get sick of each other!



9. Lots of drinking gets me though 

Kidding (mostly) but I am a sucker for chocolate mint martinis cheers! 




Sunday, February 2, 2014

Heading to the Barre

I have never been a huge fan of exercise. I loathe going to the gym and doing boring cardio, fending off stares from creepers (can't a girl squat in peace??), and the worst is the loud, sexual grunts that even when I have my headphones on full blast still come piercing through.

But for the past 5 months I have fallen in love with barre classes. I have taken ballet, pilates, and yoga before and barre combines all three to create a body weight based leg, arm, and core workout. You also use some light hand weights with many repetitions. The focus is on stretching, toning and getting stronger each time.

This class is no joke either! It involves lots of planks (which I still can't hold longer than 30 seconds tops but Im working on it), push ups and squats/leg lifts. It is high energy, fun and the instructors are amazing!
A couple recent holy cow I have abs and biceps shots. Hard work pays off. Or at least thats what I tell myself so I don't up and leave in the middle of class.
It is the first class I have ever stuck with after a month or two and I really look forward to signing up for them and attending. The results have been incredible as well. I am more toned, stronger, have more energy and my hardest areas to tone (thighs) are actually getting more shapely (score!).

I have tried many different studios and my favorite is BarreAmped. I had tried Bar Method and did not like their method of requiring you to tuck your pelvis on each move and their instructors were not very friendly in my opinion. My form must have been off as well because I got bad headaches after every class.

XtendBarre was pretty good but they spend a lot of the class away from the barre which is my favorite part. I would end up with knee pain sometimes because they do a lot of plies and floor work. The Dailey Method was very challenging for me and also caused headaches post workout. So I have monthly unlimited memberships to my local BarreAmped.

I recommend trying out a few different studios and methods until you find one that clicks for you. I had to go through many different ones until I found my match. Groupon and Living Social almost always have deals for new members thats how I got hooked.

The only downside to these classes is that they are very, very pricey and may not be assessable to everyone. But many studios offer packages/discounts, you could use an at home DVD (but take a few in studio classes first to get your form down), and also many YMCA/community centers offer barre classes for way cheaper.

Have you ever taken a barre class? How do you stay in shape?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Back...In Black

I had some gift cards from Christmas burning a hole in my pocket and was able to get some great new clothes for a fraction of the price combined with some great post-holiday sales (score)!

I will always go for comfort over fashion. My outfits have to be soft, moveable and make me feel confident. A tall order. I'm also not afraid to bargain shop either and could care less what label it has or where it came from. If it makes me feel good, then that to me is high fashion!

I also realized that apparently I am afraid of color. Maybe the single digit temperatures will do that to ya who knows. Black has always been my go to color and is most of my closet-sounds kind of weird but it's also my favorite color (and no I'm not a witch-well on most days). Here are my recent grabs:

Lululemon post practice cardi. Crazy expensive without a gift card but so cozy!

Express Tunic

Express Fleece Blazer, Express Tank, American Eagle Jeggings

Statement necklace from Nordstrom

Proof I do wear color! Dolman tunic from jane.com, lululemon leggings, coach boots