What I Wore Sunday: Madison edition

Monday, April 29, 2013

I got back from Madison this morning. I spent the weekend with two of my best friends eating sushi, drinking wine, shopping, and catching up on each others' lives...it was very cathartic after the horror that last week felt like (I'm still trying to block my surgery oral exam out of my head). And sometimes it just feels good to get away, you know? (Although I did miss Stephen kind of a lot).

So I may or may not have had Stephen snap pictures of my weekend outfits after I got home from Madison (ha). Regardless, this is what I wore to mass on Sunday: the white skinny jeans that I finally felt right wearing (it was 60s over the weekend!), my favorite shirt (chambray and polka dots), and an old pink sweater that was a clearance rack find a couple years ago. It's starting to pill a little and I'll be very, very sad when I have to let it go...

Pink sweater: old, from the J. Crew Factory clearance rack
 Button up: J. Crew polka dot chambray (last year), Factory version
Necklace: J. Crew Factory
White skinnies: J. Crew Factory
Shoes: the usuals

This was my Saturday night outfit; I love the simplicity of throwing a fun jacket over a white tee and jeans. 

I lucked out on this jacket: there were only two sizes left after it went on sale online at the Gap, and one of sizes happened to be mine...there's a very similar one at Zara, but unfortunately it's three times the price. Also, boyfriend jeans were probably the best idea ever.

Stripe Jacket: Gap
Boyfriend jeans: Gap

 Happy Monday! Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple and Style Elixir.

On neurosurgery...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Image Caption
Last Friday, I spent the final day of my surgical specialty week in neurosurgery. I promise that I was scared.to.death the night before. Partly because it was neurosurgery, but honestly more because the neurosurgeon that I worked with, Dr. C, is brilliant and very, very intense. I knew that no matter how much I studied neuroanatomy, nerve pathways, and the various nerve deficits, I would most likely still feel like an idiot.

The first case of the day was a minimally invasive spine surgery and it was rough. Dr, C basically rapid fire questioned me on nerve deficit after nerve deficit...I was definitely sweating underneath my mask and layers of sterile garb. I also had the misfortune of realizing that my OR shoes (a.k.a. the same shoes that I wore to hike Macchu Picchu last summer) had definitely reached and passed their peak, and my legs and feet felt like they were slowly dying. Long story short, I'm so relieved that surgery is over and done.

Before our next surgery, I got to go in and watch part of an awake craniotomy. Yes, awake! It was completely amazing and almost surreal. The neurosurgeon doing the case was dissecting a brain tumor at the corpus collusum, which is deep inside the brain and runs between the two hemispheres. Since the fibers running in the corpus collusum are crucial for all of the body's motor function, the surgery was done awake (!) so that the patient could be continually assessed to see if the surgeon was close to damaging any of the motor fibers near the tumor as he removed it (it was very Grey's Anatomy).

The last case of the day was another spine surgery, but it was done open and I was allowed to first assist on the surgery. I have to admit that when I first started my surgery rotation, I wondered why any student not planning on becoming a surgeon had to spend 12 weeks total rotating in surgery. Now though, I completely understand. Seeing the spine and the intricacies of the nerves surrounding it in real life is so different than looking at it in a textbook (or even on a cadaver in gross anatomy lab).

Despite the stress, hours, and horrors of my oral exam, I think I am going to miss surgery.

The end of surgery and a navy blazer...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Joining Jen for Friday Quick Takes.

1. My surgery rotation is over and done and I can finally breath a sigh of relief. We had our surgery oral exam last night, which was every bit as bad as it sounds. In fact, it was one of my worst moments in medical school so far. I passed, but I felt like I completely choked and I would never, ever want to repeat that hour of my life. Maybe I will write about it sometime, but it is way too fresh in my memory right now to share the painful details...

2. On to better and happier things. I have a week off! Stephen is working most of it, so I'll be visiting these ladies for a couple days and I'm beyond excited.

3. I've been on the hunt for a navy blazer for awhile but couldn't seem to find one for a reasonable price...until I found this one! It's from Lands End, and I never shop there, but it was on sale for $29.99 + an extra 30% off so I decided to give it a try. The sizes were slim picking so I had to order a 6Tall, which is a size smaller than my normal 8 and I also never order anything in tall, but the reviews said it ran big and short. I was shocked when it fit! I kind of love it, it's this comfy knit material that is still sort of dressy. I also think it says J. Crew all over it (for a fraction of the price).

4. I really can't believe that I'm sharing this, but Stephen took this picture without me realizing it this week. Apparently I look very intense and kind of angry when I study (at least when I study surgery).

5. Stephen made me breakfast multiple times over the last week while I was stressing over surgery and I love, love this pancake that he made me in the shape of a heart (no pun intended). He has been so supportive and I'm grateful every day for him (it's not easy being the spouse of a medical student, especially when they are freaking out over their surgery exams).

6. My sister-in-law and little nephew came to visit last week. Isn't he the cutest thing ever? Also, in case you can't read it, his onesie says that he loves his auntie.

7. J. Crew Factory is having a 50% off everything sale in store this weekend. If I had a J. Crew Factory store near me I'd be there in a heartbeat (so it's probably a good thing that the closest one is at least six hours away). If I did have one nearby, I'd probably look for this:

Factory ikat sequin tank
Printed ikat tank

or this:

Factory stripe always cardigan
Stripe cardigan

or maybe this:

Factory printed pencil skirt in stretch cotton
Floral pencil skirt

Happy, happy weekend!

Sweatshirt dress + spots

Sunday, April 21, 2013

So I've been a little neglectful of le blog lately; I missed Friday Quick Takes two weeks in a row (hopefully planning on rectifying that this week after my surgery exam! prayers please!), What I Wore Wednesday last week, and last Sunday I even missed WIWS for the first time in months! I also haven't responded to a lot of sweet blogger comments, and for that I'm sincerely sorry (but I have read and enjoyed every single one).

I blame all of this on surgery. I just finished my surgical specialty week, which was equally awe-inspiring and exhausting. I spent two days in cardiothoracic surgery and got to be in my first open heart, one day in plastic surgery where I assisted in some reconstructions for breast cancer patients, and the last part of the week in neurosurgery where I saw an awake craniotomy (but more on that in a later post).

I have also been studying nonstop (lots of gastrointestinal loveliness a.k.a. butts and guts) and I'm starting to go a little crazy (I don't know how I did this every weekend during my first and second year of medical school). I have to guiltily admit that I am way too excited to go to Mass tonight because of the break from studying (and of course I should be excited to go to Mass because it's Mass).

And on to the outfit. It all started with this pin and then I watched this sweatshirt dress forevah until it went on sale. The size left on sale was slightly too big for me, but I justified it because a) it is super comfy b) and I can still wear it to the hospital c) its looseness is disguised with a cardi and d) most importantly, I think it will be a great maternity dress when the time comes. You can never be too prepared right? Also, I am pretty sure that this cardigan is 40% off right now and it doesn't get much better than a pattern that is a blend of polka dots and animal print. I almost added my green belt to the mix, but sometimes simpler is better.

Scarf: old, from fashionABLE (created by women in Africa!)
Cardi: Loft (40% off!)
Dress: Madewell (when it was way on sale)
Tights: Target (for $2!)

Happy Sunday! Linking up of course with Fine Linen and Purple. Also joining JennyDoranda, Style Elixir, and The Pleated Poppy.

What I Wore Wednesday: gondola stripes and sweet coral

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Last week was sadly devoid of outfit posts for me. My days in surgery were long and spent in scrubs (obv), and I just could not muster up the energy to put on an outfit and look semi-presentable when I got home (and is that sort of cheating anyways since I didn't actually wear the outfit that day?) 

Speaking of long surgery days, I was looking over my surgery syllabus yesterday and stumbled on this: "In all cases, student schedules will be planned so that they have no more than 28 hours of continuous responsibilities, and students must be excused after 28 hours. In rare cases, the student may choose to continue working beyond 28 hours on an active case with overriding educational value; this is allowable." To set the record straight, I have not worked 28 hours in a row (yet). But really, first of all a 28 hour consecutive hour shift seems a little extreme to me. And second of all, I don't think that I could get any educational value after working more than 16 hours, let alone 28.

And on to more interesting things, this is my new favorite top. It's the J. Crew Factory version of last year's retail Gondola stripe top. I admit that I thought it was a weird shirt/color combo when it first came out (it remotely reminded me of the circus), but when I saw it on the Factory site it kept growing on me. I also have absolutely nothing navy/orange or silk in my closet so I think it was justified (along with the fact that I found it 30% off sale price). I've been wearing it to work with grey trousers and the navy cardi, but it's definitely more fun with white skinnies.

Silk stripe top: J. Crew Factory
Cardi: Target
White skinnies: J. Crew Factory
Flats: Madewell
Necklace: J. Crew Factory

And another one. I actually wore this out (rare occasion) for one of my fellow medical student's birthdays. These are my tried and true vegan leather (pleather) boots and a fun (and wonderfully huge) scarf that I found at Target recently. Also, if you are searching for the perfect cardigan, this is it. I only wish that I could find the other colors on sale like I found this coral one (it went on sale, then sold out, and is now back full price). 

Cardi (in Sweet Coral): Madewell
Scarf: Target (recent)
Jeans: Loft outlet
Boots: old, this year's version

Linking up with Style Elixir, The Pleated PoppyWardrobe Wednesday, Allison, Shanna, Sarah, and Rolled up Pretty. Happy Wednesday!

On the human heart...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I saw my first open heart surgery yesterday. It was a surreal feeling, opening up the chest wall and sternum and then being able to see everything inside. The cardiothoracic surgeon hooked the patient up to bypass for the surgery which means connecting two tubes, one to the right atrium to remove blood that otherwise would enter the heart and lungs for oxygenation, and the other to the aorta so that after the blood is oxygenated by the bypass machine it can circulate throughout the body without ever passing through the heart. After bypass was initiated, the heart was induced into ‘cardioplegia’, or a state of paralysis, so that we could replace the patient's heart valve. To replace it, the old valve is removed and the new one, either a tissue valve (an actual pig’s valve or a valve made of cow flesh) or a mechanical valve, is painstakingly sewed in place. 

The best part was at the end of the surgery, when bypass is stopped and blood is allowed to circulate through the heart again: it was truly amazing to watch. I never forgot when I held a human heart in gross anatomy lab, and I doubt that I’ll ever forget watching a human heart beat.

Days like this are what make me excited to become a physician.

Not exactly what our surgery looked like, but a pretty amazing open heart photo...

Almost exactly what our surgeries looked like! The large tubes are for bypass, and the suture threads are holding the  new valve in place...

5 Favorites

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I've been wanting to join Hallie for 5 Favorites for weeks now, and here I finally am. Five lovely things this week:

1. Leopard loafers. I have a pair of leopard flats from Target, but they kill my feet every time I wear them. I like the loafer design, and these Steve Madden ones are perfecto (now if I could just find a pair on super sale).

Leopard flats have become a staple in my wardrobe recently - perfect, subtle punch!
2. This J. Crew herringbone vest. I've never owned a puffer vest, but I've been kind of obsessed with this J. Crew one ever since I saw it all over the blogging world. I found it used this week for a killer price and I can hardly contain my excitement. 

J.crews classic excursion vest in herringbone

3. Burts Bees chapstick. I have three of them in my white coat right now (and only one pen...priorities).


4. This graphic tee guide. I'm planning to pull out my favorite thrifted J. Crew graphic tee this weekend and try it out. 

5. These words. Now if I could just live them...

saying yes to this.


Boyfriend inspired

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"Boyfriend inspired3" by emarieh on Polyvore

Boyfriend inspired by emarieh featuring Boyfriend fragrance

Alice + Olivia boatneck top / J.Crew j crew boyfriend fatigue jacket / AG Adriano Goldschmied / J.Crew leopard heels / Michael Kors  Hamilton tote / CITIZEN Men's Eco-Drive Goldtone Watch / Boyfriend fragrance

Bloglovin' is sponsoring a style contest based on the new Boyfriend perfume and it gave me an excuse to create a look with J. Crew's amazing boyfriend jacket.

Boyfriend fatigue jacket
I used the J. Crew military jacket and Citizen watch (I got Stephen a similar style for our first anniversary) for my boyfriend-inspired pieces and paired it with a basic black-and-white striped tee/white skinny jeans. The tomboy-ish chunky heel on the J. Crew Etta leopard pumps didn't stray too far from the boyfriend theme, but I had to add a little girly touch with the pink purse (plus pink and army green are a perfect combo). 

You can find Boyfriend fragrance here.

Boyfriend inspired

"Boyfriend inspired3" by emarieh on Polyvore

Boyfriend inspired by emarieh featuring Boyfriend fragrance

Alice + Olivia boatneck top / J.Crew j crew boyfriend fatigue jacket / AG Adriano Goldschmied / J.Crew leopard heels / Michael Kors  Hamilton tote / CITIZEN Men's Eco-Drive Goldtone Watch / Boyfriend fragrance

Bloglovin' is sponsoring a style contest based on the new Boyfriend perfume and it gave me an excuse to create a look with J. Crew's amazing military jacket.

Boyfriend fatigue jacket
I used the J. Crew boyfriend jacket and Citizen watch (I got Stephen a similar style for our first anniversary) for my boyfriend-inspired pieces and paired it with a basic black-and-white striped tee/white skinny jeans. The tomboy-ish chunky heel on the J. Crew Etta leopard pumps didn't stray too far from the boyfriend theme, but I had to add a little girly touch with the pink purse (plus pink and army green are a perfect combo). 

What I Wore Sunday: Mustard + Navy

Sunday, April 7, 2013

So I've been trying to mix colors in my closet that are a little 'nontraditional' for me. And let me just say that mustard and navy were meant to be together. I can't take the credit though, since I was inspired by this picture:

Love the navy and mustard together:)
So pretty. 

This was a pretty un-exciting weekend. I did build a snow cave though (seriously). It was part of my wilderness emergency medicine class yesterday. I told Stephen that now we can sleep soundly in the knowledge that I can build a snow cave for shelter if we are ever caught outside in the middle of a blizzard, but I don't think that he has total faith in my abilities.

And about this perfect, perfect skirt: I tried to resist it, or at least find a cheaper version. I did find a very similar one at T.J. Maxx, but it fit me like most things at T.J. Maxx (as in, it didn't). But then this J. Crew skirt went on sale, and then they had an extra 30% off the sale price...and I can't say that I regret purchasing it since it seems very high quality and fits perfectly. Plus it's beautiful (and navy is so versatile, right?)

The details:

Eyelet skirt: J. Crew (purchased on sale with an extra 30% off)
Mustard sweater: J. Crew (old)
Necklace: Loft (old), similar
Suede wedges: Target

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday! Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple and Plane Pretty.

Friday Quick Takes

Friday, April 5, 2013

**Guest posting today at Stephanie's blog. Click here for some DIY wedding ideas and pictures of our wedding decor :)

Joining Jen for another Friday Quick Takes.

1. Isn't this scarf gorgeous? The best part is that it's made and named after a woman in Africa (and the proceeds support the women that make them). I have one scarf from FashionAble and love it.

2. This man skirt made my April Fools Day.
Mens Marylebone Skirt

And these girlfriend jeans were pretty funny too. 

3. My friend Danielle shared this article by a female physician expecting her fifth child with me and I couldn't agree more. My favorite part: "Here’s my question: why can’t we look at children as future contributors to society, not burdens on society?  My children are the best gift I have for society.  Children bring hope for the future and model unconditional love.  Have we forgotten?  It is the sign of a dying society when we see our children as burdens rather than beacons of hope, future innovators." 

4. This is my car one morning this week...also, the temp was 12. Where oh where are you spring?

5. I'm not sure why I thought this was so hilarious.


6. I ordered this Chevron dress with a Piperlime coupon and got it this week. I then promptly shipped it back because as cute as it is, it's too short for work or church and the only occasions I could think to wear it for were date night or girls' night. And since those occasions happen once per month max, I just couldn't justify keeping it. But if you have more possibilities to wear it than me and a Piperlime coupon, it's darn cute.

7. And a quote for your weekend. Happy Friday!

Pinned Image

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


So far, this is not my favorite week. Monday was surgery clinic, which basically means 8 hours of "butts and guts" (the fond phrase describing much of general surgery) and weird lumps in weird places (which I admit can be sort of interesting). Tuesday was our research presentation day. Our research project did not go so smoothly, particularly our data collection, and I honestly thought that my project partner was going to stroke out right before we presented. And once we finished the presentation and thought we were home free, one of our administrators walked into the room and told us that our medical school had decided to give us a surprise test on research methods right then and there. Not a good surprise. I think my last 'pop quiz' was in 9th grade.

So anyways, let's talk about better things, like this Aztec sweater. I would say that in general I gravitate more towards classic preppy pieces (J. Crew) than trends, but I've fallen head over heels for geometric and tribal prints. Also, my dad actually complimented me on this sweater. I can't remember the last time (if ever) that my dad noticed anything that I was wearing so this sweater must really have something going for it.

Cardi: Urban Outfitters (color sold out), another almost identical one
Shoes: Madewell (I wish that I could own them in every color)

And to try to make up for our mediocre research project, I wore my favorite sweater for our presentation. If I could keep only one top in my entire closet, it would be this one. I've worn it way too many times to count since I got it last year. I layered it over a ruffly button-up top that I looooove but is way old and starting to look a little shaggy. Also, I blame my research project induced-stress for my frazzled hair (and the dark circles that Stephen commented on when he got home from work).

 Sweater: J. Crew (old), similar-ish options here and here
Shirt: J. Crew Factory (old), similar here
Pants: Loft clearance (old)
Shoes: Jessica Simpson via TJ Maxx (old)

 Apparently Katie Holmes agrees that this sweater is the best. Also I'm sure that this is the only item I own that resembles anything in Katie Holmes closet.

Katie Holmes Suri Cruise

Happy Wednesday! Is it the weekend yet?

How to date (or marry) a med student....

Monday, April 1, 2013

Joining my second Medical Mondays today (I loved meeting fellow med students, docs, and medical families last month!). For the first Medical Mondays, I recapped a day on General Surgery; this month I decided to give my take on what dating (or marrying!) a med student is really like (adapted from this article). In the near future, I'm hoping to write a series on my journey through med school (applying, first year, second year, Step I, third year, residency applications...) 

At my white coat ceremony almost three years ago (poor guy had no idea what he was in for.)
Shortly before I started medical school, I came across an article on "How to Date a Med Student." Reading it now, at the end of my third year, I have to admit that it was pretty accurate.

All bullets in quotation marks taken from this article
  • "Don't expect to see them. Ever."
    • Not completely true...Stephen lived an hour and a half away from me during my first two years of medical school and would come visit me most weekends. Unfortunately, most weekends during first and second year were spent studying like a fiend, so he ended up spending more time watching TV with my aunt (who I lived with) than me when he came to visit.
  • "Accept the fact they will have many affairs. With their books."
    • Probably true. I have a gazillion boxes in our basement right now of books and notes (something in me just cannot get rid of my notes from first and second year even though Step 1 is over and I most likely will never, ever look at them again).
  •  "Learn to hide your “ew, gross” reactions when they tell you all the stuff you never wanted to know about your bodily functions."
    • This one's definitely true. Starting in gross anatomy lab, continuing through all aspects of human physiology, and culminating in my OB-GYN rotation. I loved OB-GYN, so Stephen got to hear about pretty much all.of.it. At least he'll be prepared for our future first babe.
  • "Support them when they come home after each test, upset because they failed—and gently remind them after they get their well above passing grade how unnecessary the “I’m going to fail out of medical school and never become an MD” dramatics are."
    • Ha. This was me after most tests (I blame it on my very first anatomy written exam which destroyed many previous years of test-taking confidence). Stephen actually started to get concerned when I didn't come home after a test freaking out. The worse of this was after my Step 1 exam. I honestly cried several times per week about how terrible I did for the entire month after the exam while I was waiting to get my results. And it truly speaks to Stephen's character that after I finally got my results (in the top percentage and average for plastic surgery/derm) he didn't say one word. I love that boy.
  • "Each week they will have a new illness. Some will be extremely rare, others will be more mundane. Doesn’t matter. They will be certain they have it (no second opinions necessary.) Med school can, and will, turn even the sanest into a hypochondriac. Date them for long enough, and you’ll become one too."
    • Since I worked as an ER nurse for two years prior to medical school, I thought that I would be immune to Med Student Syndrome (a.k.a. thinking that you have every disease). Nope. I would give you the list of diseases and syndromes I have diagnosed myself with in the last two years but it would be kind of embarrassing. Also, I have diagnosed Stephen with everything from lymphoma to Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Opthalmic Outburst syndrome. 
  • "They'll make you hyper-aware that germs are everywhere and on everything. Even though you used to walk into your home with your shoes on, and sit on your bed in the same clothes you just wore while riding the subway, or sat on a public bench in, you'll become far too disgusted to ever do it again. Believe me, it's going to get bad...you'll watch yourself transform into the anal retentive person you swore you'd never become. And when you witness others perform these same acts that, before you began dating your med student, you spent your entire life doing too, you'll wince and wonder, “Ew! How can they do that? Don't they know how many germs and bacteria they're spreading??!”
    • I was weird about this before med school, and I'm still weird about it. And yes, now Stephen is weird about it. Our kids are going to be total germ-a-phobes.
  • "Romantic date = Chinese take-out in front of the TV on their 10 minute study break."
    • True that. 
  • "A vacation together consists of a trip down the street to Walgreens for new highlighters and printer paper."
    • Office Max, but okay.
  • "Their study habits will make you feel like a complete slacker. For them, hitting the books 8-to-10 hours a day is not uncommon, nor difficult. You'll wonder how you ever managed to pass school on your meager one hour of studying per night."
    • Well, I don't know if he felt like a complete slacker as much as 100% grateful that he wasn't the one studying 8, 10, or 12 hours a day. We did study together when he was finishing his paramedic, but unfortunately that meant 2 hours for him which was only a dent in my weekend study marathons. And I have to say that since med school, I have wondered how I got through college and MCAT studying on an average of an hour of studying a few times/week (a little more on the weekends). Those days are long, long gone.
  • "They're expected to know everything. Everything! The name of the 8 billion-lettered, German sounding cell that lives in the depths of your inner ear, the technical term for the “no one's ever heard of this disease” disease that exists only on one foot of the Southern tip of the African continent. But ask them if your knee is swollen, or what you should do to tame your mucous-filled cough, or why the heck your head feels like someone's been drilling through it for oil for two weeks straight, and they won't have a clue."
    • Hilarious, but kind of true. First and second year especially were full of obscure things that we had to memorize (all the cytokines, rare parasites, bacterial genetics, that little teeny tiny nerve in your left pinky toe, the list goes on). And if it weren't for my prior nursing knowledge, I wouldn't have had a clue on common/basic medical questions. Actually, the further I got into first year, the less I remembered about the things I saw every day working in the ER.
  • “My brain's filled with so much information, I can't be expected to remember THAT!" will be the standard excuse for forgetting anniversaries, birthdays, and, if you get this far, probably the birth of your first-born."
    • It's unfortunately ingrained in my memory the first birthday that I forgot, my little sister's 8th. The sad thing is that I remembered it two weeks later. And then I cried. Twice. I wish I could say that it never happened again after that, but I have forgotten my close friends' birthdays multiple times since (and I probably would have forgotten family members again too except that now my mom calls and warns me before each one).
So medical school is crazy. Any significant others/spouses of med students/residents/etc. can attest to that. But in case I've scared any potential future medical students, the bright side is that things do get better (well, after the first two years of medical school at least...I can't speak to residency). And ultimately, being in medical school actually strengthened our relationship (we got married at the beginning of third year!) because I realized that Stephen's love and support was unconditional.