Quick Takes: Pink dresses, face make-up, and prego pillows...

Friday, January 31, 2014

 Linking up with Jen for some quick takes (and by the way, hers are hilarious this week).

1. This week started off with Sean and Catherine's wedding Sunday night, which my sisters and I have been counting down for months. It was interesting to say the least. I love that Sean and Catherine didn't live together before they were married and made it clear that they were waiting for the wedding night. Buuut anyone who watched the wedding knows that ABC made such a big deal out of them waiting that it was almost trashy (I know - sounds completely counter-intuitive...but trust me). Anyways, the live wedding made up for the pre-wedding banter (and awkward lingerie shopping). Sean's dad, a pastor, did the ceremony and I loved it when he said "Love God the most and you'll love each other more." Catherine's dress was a gorgeous lace and we have similar taste in bridesmaid dresses:

Ok, I like hers a little better...but same pale pink, wide straps, sweetheart neckline:

2. I still haven't had a chance to watch the Grammy's (actually just the E dress commentary that I recorded) since bachelor wedding > Grammy's but Taylor Swift's dress was oh so classy and beautiful:

3. Hallie's post Love in the Time of Scarlet Fever had me laughing and crying and deeply appreciating my husband all at the same time.

4. The partly sleepless nights have continued as this baby gets bigger and after a week of them (and several of your suggestions to get a pregnancy pillow) I got this email in my inbox:

After confering with Stephen that $79 (!) was worth it for a pillow, it was on it's way to my doorstep. Crossing my fingers that it works (and gets here soon).

5. Grace suggested this acne system from Paula's Choice a while back, and I ordered the trial kit last week to try it out due to the havoc that pregnancy has wreaked on my skin (partly hormones, partly not being able to use my Retin-A). I'm honestly stunned by the difference it made in just a few days (and Stephen concurs). My skin is so much clearer, smoother, and even...it works almost as well or even better than my Retin-A did. 10 dolla off link here if you want to try it for yourself (the trial kit is only $13).

6. Has anyone tried this foundation? I've been using Clinique for years, but I've been looking for something with a little better/more even coverage. The Tarte Amazonian Clay one has great reviews, and apparently it's sold at Ulta so I'm planning to head there this weekend with a 20% off coupon plus a credit that I have been waiting to use.

7. This week marked the end of my Senior Surgery rotation and I was not not sad to scrub my last surgery as a medical student or to take my last oral exam of medical school. I can't believe that my M.D. is only three short months away.

Happy weekend!

24 Weeks

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Well I'm not exactly sure what happened over the last couple of weeks, but hello baby! I really can't believe that 6 months has passed. His arrival seems more real every day.

Just when I think I'm getting used to this pregnancy thing, some new symptom appears. It was lower back pain this weekend, which I think is more from sleeping funny (can't, can't get used to the side-sleeping thing) than from the belly (but who knows). I did start doing this pilates video which seems to be helping.

And a mostly underwhelming What I Wore Sunday outfit:

Tunic: Splendid via 6pm.com
Pants: J. Crew 
Boots: Hunter

J. Crew sale picks

Saturday, January 25, 2014

J. Crew sale

J. Crew sale by emarieh featuring J.Crew

Despite the fact that I can't wear most of this right now, I couldn't resist looking through the J. Crew sale section (all 40-50% off!) this morning. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Crinkle boy shirt in black check: I can think of so many ways to wear this...
2. Merino tippi cardigan: I own this cardi in a couple colors and it's a favorite.
3. Perfect-fit ballet button tee: Such a gorgeous shade of aqua.
4. Skinny calf hair belt: I own a similar one from Ann Taylor outlet and it's a closet staple.
5. Lace colorblock pencil skirt: I can't stop thinking about how classy this would look with a silky black tee and the black suede Etta heels. 
6. Toothpick jeans in dolphin grey: How awesome are these jeans?
7. Double cloth lady day coat: This coat has an Audrey Hepburn vibe and is lined with Thinsulate for extra warmth.
8. Suede Etta pumps: Black heels that are a little more than basic.

What are your picks?

Quick takes + life lately

Friday, January 24, 2014

This past week was not my favorite week. It started off by an email saying that fourth year medical students don't have spring break this year (although first, second, and third year students do) which put a sad end to our well-planned and almost-booked babymoon to Florida in March. I'm embarrassed to say that I almost cried (preggo hormones? or not) and maturely proclaimed that I would probably never go on a vacation again (residency + babies + life). Next was an announcement that both senior surgery oral exams and our powerpoint presentation was moved up a week (with two days notice). And what followed was a lot of little things gone wrong, which don't really matter but weren't well-received by my already cruddy week (and I know that I shouldn't complain since nothing truly bad happened and there are people with so much worse things to worry about). Add to the mix some crazy pregnancy dreams and residency decisions that I'm not quite ready to make looming over my head.

Anyways, joining Jen for some Friday quick takes.

1. Possibly the highlight of my week (shows you what kind of week I had), these cookies. I found them by googling "chocolate chip cookie recipes with one egg" but they also come up under "best chocolate chip cookies ever." Anyways, they're so.good. Stephen even said they're the best he's ever tasted (high praise coming from him).

2. Some good and not-so-good dinner attempts lately: Stephen and I made this honey pretzel chicken together and it's amazing (easy too!)

And I made this meatloaf the other night. It was my first attempt at meatloaf, which seems easy enough to make, but it was absolutely terrible (just as bad as my attempt at pot roast). That's what I get for googling "easy meatloaf recipes."

3. I was deeply moved by this post by Dwiija. Absolutely beautiful and great food for thought for pregnant moms.  

4. I just love Princess Kate (I can't get enough of her classy outfits and gorgeous hair) and rather enjoyed this article entitled "Kate Middleton is just as awkward as the rest of us" (although looking at the pictures I kind of disagree).  

5. Some super sweet reader nominated me for a Sheenazing Award (love that these are named for Fulton Sheen) for Coolest Blogger. You can vote (and check out a bunch of better bloggers) here

6. I am officially 24 weeks today, which is unbelievably exciting because it's widely considered the point of viability, so this little guy has a decent chance of survival outside the womb. Funny story this week, apparently my 11 year old sister Maria came home super upset when her friend from home school group claimed that one of the moms from our church (pregnant with her fourth) who is 9 weeks behind me is "waay bigger than your sister." Maria was apparently very defensive, but I took it as a compliment since I'm starting to feel pretty big (although I will admit that I went home and measured my uterus to make sure it was on target #medstudentissues).

7. How cute is this onesie that my sister Ilsa sent me? Stephen wants it.

This is a big weekend: Sean and Catherine's wedding and the Grammy's (more dresses!). Who else will be watching?!

Five Favorites: Wearing lately

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'm in this awkward phase at 23 weeks/5 days where my noticeable bump isn't quite right for some maternity clothes but very little of my pre-pregnancy wardrobe looks or fits right (including my ultra-warm winter coat which is getting ridiculously tight over the belly but I refuse to give up in this arctic weather). Also a disclaimer that I didn't want to turn this blog into all things baby/maternity...but blogs follow the relevant things in our lives I guess. Before I was pregnant I *mostly* ignored blogs that went the baby/maternity way but now I've been eating them up and many of the blogs I followed religiously pre-pregnancy have gone unread for months...

Anyways, on to what I've been wearing lately:

1. J. Crew Maternity Minnie (non-maternity version): I purchased a pair of these at 30% off early in the pregnancy. They are definitely a splurge, but I think will end up being worth it because of how much I've worn them. The best part about these pants is that they worked for me in the first trimester before I gained any weight but my normal pants were uncomfortable against my sensitive stomach, and they still work now as I approach the end of the second trimester. I wore these to lots of pre-interview residency dinners and they're great for everyday too. I also think I'll be wearing them post-partum (thanks to the versatile side panels). The burgundy color is gorgeous.

2. J. Brand Mama J jeans: My other maternity splurge (and I don't plan to splurge on anything else...not worth it for clothes that can be worn only temporarily). These were worth it since I literally tried tons of other maternity jeans which either slipped right down (those darn over-belly panels), didn't fit right, or looked like mom jeans (no pun intended). These jeans are practically better than my pre-pregnancy jeans and the side panels are so much better for jeans than the over-belly ones (at least for me). These are also something that I should be able to wear the rest of the pregnancy and afterward.

3. J. C. Penney wide leg trousers: These were a Christmas gift from my mom and I love them. They fit perfectly, the panel is comfy and doesn't slip, and they look like my pre-pregnancy work pants. I wore them with my suit blazer to my last few residency interviews and I wear them to the clinic constantly. Actually, I wore them 6 days in a row last week (I did wash them in between) because they are just so darn comfortable.

4. Stretchy long sleeve tees: The striped one is from Gap (non-maternity version) and the solid is from Motherhood (I own four of them - buy one get one free). These tees are nice and long and have been a wardrobe staple for me. The Gap one is arguably my favorite maternity shirt and the solid ones prompted my sisters to ask if they were J. Crew (they are a maternity replica of the J. Crew gold button painter tee).

5. Non-maternity staples: I owned lots of open cardis before pregnancy which has definitely come in handy (I own and recommend these J. Crew Factory ones). The grey tunic sweater is from Vicky's and a great length for leggings with plenty of room for a preggo belly (these run huge - I originally ordered one size up and had to exchange since Stephen said they looked like a tent). 

I'm sure that as I grow some of my staples will change (one of my friends told me that to enjoy the 'cute belly' stage before it gets huge) but I'm happy for now that most of these are similar to what I wore pre-pregnancy and super versatile to mix and match.

Linking it up with Hallie on this frigid Wednesday morning.

23 weeks + what I wore Sunday

Monday, January 20, 2014

A few pregnancy updates: 23 weeks and he apparently is the size of a grapefruit or an eggplant and as long as a green onion. He moves around constantly, which I love (maybe I won't love it as much when he starts kicking me in the ribs). I've gained about 10-12 pounds and even though the baby was a small-ish 19th percentile on his 20 week scan, I'm positive he's had a growth spurt since then. I had a really easy second trimester until I ended up in the hospital with the flu at 19.5 weeks, and I feel like it's kind of been downhill from there. I still have sinus drainage and a sore throat (although whether the sore throat is from the sinus issues or the awful acid reflux I've been having is up in the air). I'm also overwhelmingly tired which I thought wasn't supposed to happen in the second trimester? But it started with the flu and hasn't gone away and now that I'm just a few weeks away from the third trimester, I guess I'm resigned to it just being part of the pregnancy.  Also sleeping has started to be difficult...I'm a diehard stomach sleeper which is not working out so well anymore. I'm contemplating getting one of those pregnancy pillows to keep me on my side...but enough complaining. 

We did have a little scare last week where I started having intermittent cramping. I gave it an hour and a half and then called my doctor, who sent me to the OB floor. They monitored the baby, who looked just fine, and monitored me for signs of labor progression. Fortunately the cramping stopped after about 3 hours...but I've kind of been ill-at-ease since then. Part of the problem is that I know too much (influenza A puts pregnant moms at a higher risk of pre-term labor). They did do another ultrasound at the hospital and got the most beautiful profile of our little babe:

In other news, I *think* I'm done with residency interviews (I still have one more scheduled but will probably cancel). I haven't written much about it partly because I was struggling internally with my decision and partly because I'm leery to put anything on the blog until my rank list is due at the end of next month (in the off chance that some program should stumble on my little corner of the internet). I definitely will share more about it when the time is right. I think that my decision (which is really just as much Stephen's decision - he's been so supportive) for my top four or five programs is pretty much made, which is exciting but frightening all at the same time. I also got my Step 2 boards score last week, which far exceeded any of my expectations and I'm just thanking God and St. Gianna because I know that I couldn't have done it on my own.

On to what I wore Sunday (linking up here). I probably changed my outfit three times yesterday, sigh. But neutrals are always a good decision, and tops that drape in the right places are a lifesaver while my body changes in ways I didn't know it could. This top was a deal of the week at veryjane.com, and even though it isn't maternity it's long enough to work right now. It does have dolman sleeves, which I didn't realize when I ordered it and have always thought look sort of like bat wings...but it was cheap enough and fits well enough that I'll accept the bat wings. Funny sidenote about mass yesterday that when I knelt I felt like I barely had enough room between the kneeler and the pew in front of me for my uterus (which apparently is almost the size of soccer ball). Even funnier since I know it's about to get much bigger....

 Infinity scarf: J. Crew (old)
Denim skirt: Noppies via Amazon (but I should have waited because I spotted a perfect maternity one on thredup.com)
Boots: Frye

5 Favorites: Golden Globes edition

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Like many, I watch the Golden Globes for the dresses. I don't really care about the awards, since it's guaranteed that I haven't seen most of the TV shows or movies that are being awarded. Also, I'm clueless enough that Stephen and I had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: What are the Golden Globes for anyways?
Stephen (watching football): Not sure.
Me: What's the difference between them and the Grammys?
Stephen: The Grammy's are for music.
Me: No wait, I meant what's the difference between that and the Emmys?
Stephen: I think you mean the Oscars.
Me: Yeah that one.
Stephen: Not sure. Wiki it?

The only part that I really care about is the E News fashion commentary, and the football playoffs won over that this year (what can I say, I'm a good wife...and that's what the DVR is for). 

On to the dresses though! There were some really beautiful ones this year, and was it just me, or did they seem overall classier than usual? My favorites gravitated towards classic lines, shimmery neutrals, or pops of color:

1. Guiliana's was my absolute favorite: a beautiful shade of burgundy, A-line skirt, and classy sheer top instead of strapless. Loved it.

 2. I thought Zooey Deschanel looked fun and chic but still formal enough (and the shoes!):

3. I'm generally not a fan of strapless, but Taylor Swift pulled off her dress perfectly. It was just simple enough and the skirt is so, so pretty.

4. I had to google who this girl (Tatiana Maslany) was (apparently she played Mary in The Nativity and guest-starred on Parks and Recreation). Anyways, her dress was minimalistic and classy and I love the way it draped.

5. While I'm not a fan at all of the plunging neckline, the silhouette, cap sleeves, and perfectly placed gold pattern make Julianna Marguiles dress a favorite.

Two more that I personally liked but got mixed reviews: Julia Roberts and Clare Bowen. It was risky but I think that Julia Roberts pulled off the shirt/dress combo; I like that she modified a strapless dress and I also like the black/white combo and sparkly belt. Clare Bowen's dress was really unique with a fun color combo and flattering fit.


And since preggo looks are relevant to me right now, here you go. Kerry Washington looked beautiful but I thought her dress was too matronly (kind of looks like a mother-of-the-bride dress with the sleeves cut off?) Olivia Wilde is the clear winner of the three in her flattering, form-fitting dark green dress (also we are due around the same time). Drew Barrymore's dress was such a gorgeous pattern/fabric/color combo but the shape ruined it for me; I think that something to define her waist above her bump would have transformed it completely.

Linking up with Hallie. What were your favorites?

All images via huffingtonpost.com and latimes.com

What I wore Sunday + 22 weeks

Sunday, January 12, 2014

22 weeks! There's no hiding it now; two people asked me about the baby this week which is exciting and a relief at the same time (no more wondering if people can tell or not). It's kind of interesting being pregnant as a fourth year med student. People seem to have varying thoughts, but I do feel like there's an attitude that pregnant physicians-in-training aren't quite equivalent to non-pregnant ones. Maybe it's just me (too much watching Grey's Anatomy aka the Christina/Meredith feud?) or maybe it's the fact that I am 50% more exhausted than normal at the hospital...

The most exciting moment of the weekend (and one of the most exciting of the pregnancy so far) was Stephen feeling the baby kick! It's so nice to be able to share it with him instead of only feeling him move myself. And the baby wriggling around along with my growing bump makes everything that much more real...

I was doing a mixture of elliptical, Zumba. and this video before I got sick, and I definitely feel like I need to get back to exercising (I got the ok from the doctor on Thursday). I was planning on going to Zumba today, but then I remembered that a trip to Target yesterday completely exhausted me so an hour-long Zumba class was probably not smart. I'm hoping to sign up for a prenatal yoga class next week, and also considering this prenatal pilates video (it has mostly good reviews on Amazon and is divided into 10 minute segments, definitely a plus). Suggestions are welcome...

Grey cardi: Banana Republic outlet (old)
Lace top: A Pea in a Pod (recent but I can't find it online anymore?)
Pants: J. Crew
Shoes: Madewell skimmers (old)

On to what I wore Sunday: this lace top is probably my favorite maternity purchase so far (I've worn it three times this last week). I cleaned out my closet today, banishing the majority of my pre-pregnancy wardrobe to the basement (almost all of my shirts are either too tight in the chest area or too short at this point). It was a nice relaxing weekend overall; Stephen and I went out to dinner Friday night, watched The Great Gatsby, and did a few things around the house. We also made a little trip to the baby section while we were at Target just for fun :) We're headed to my last couple of residency interviews on Tuesday (I'll be breathing a sigh of relief when it's all over).

Happy Sunday!

On maternity jeans, snow boots, and cardiothoracic surgery...

Friday, January 10, 2014

Joining Jen for some Friday Quick Takes.

1. We live way up north and I needed boots that were a little more heavy duty after almost slipping on the ice a few times. I found these last month and stalked them online until I found them on sale in my size (the style is Sorel Joan of Arctic). I love them. They couldn't come fast enough with the crazy cold we've been dealing with...happily they are rated to -25 (and it came dangerously close to that this past week).

2. I finally found maternity jeans!! The credit goes to Grace and Britt because I never would have found them if Grace hadn't worn them on her blog (and Britt hadn't sent them to Grace). Anyways, they are this style and I found them for more than 50% off at Pea in a Pod...they only had one size left (mine). They were more then I wanted to spend on maternity jeans, but they fit better than any others I've tried (and I probably tried and returned 12 different pairs). I think what made the difference is the side panels instead of one huge over-the-belly panel. They still slip down a little but not as much as the others I've tried (if anyone has found maternity jeans that don't slip down at all, I'm shocked). My sister was super surprised to see me in jeans: first time not wearing leggings in three months people. I was so ready.

3. Hello almost-6 month baby bump!! I got asked yesterday for the first time when I'm due which, frankly, was a relief (I kept worrying that people just thought I got fatter). It seemed to take forever for a for-sure bump to appear and I was worried that the babe wasn't growing enough...well, Stephen informed me yesterday while looking at my stomach that "I definitely don't think you have to be worried that the baby isn't growing enough now." Ha.

4. I underestimated how hard cardiothoracic surgery would be while pregnant. I was originally supposed to have this rotation in April (when I'll be 9 months preggo) and I'm so glad that I switched it. I've hardly had any aches or pains during the pregnancy so far...but standing for 4+ hours holding retractors and organs and scopes has brought out new back/leg pains and exhaustion. I do think that I'm still getting over being in the hospital a couple weeks ago (they told me it would probably take 6-8 weeks) which might be the reason for the fatigue. Cardiothoracic surgery is amazing though; I've gotten to scrub in for a couple open heart surgeries, and hold a live heart! So it's been worth it overall.

5. I'm feeling the baby kick and move around so much!! He especially seems to kick while I'm standing in surgery (I don't think he likes when I stand in one spot for too long) and he went crazy when I didn't get to eat lunch yesterday (or maybe it was just my imagination, haha). I finally felt him kick from the outside too, but Stephen has yet to feel it. I can't wait until he does...

6. My last two residency interviews are this week. I'm definitely ready to be done interviewing, but it also means that I have to make a decision on what to rank programs. Unfortunately, the ones closest to family haven't been the ones that I've liked the most (so far) so it's not going to be an easy decision. One of the residency program coordinators at a place I interviewed said that one of the most important parts of the decision is to sit down with your significant other, look them in the eye, and ask where they think the two of you would be happiest. Residency is especially tough on spouses...

7. I finally got to go through thousands of wedding pictures over my break (our photographer edited around 300 but gave us all of the pictures). I found some really amazing shots in the unedited files, including this one:

I just love him :)

Happy Friday!

21 weeks + what I wore Sunday

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bridget did these letters to baby/bump pictures and I thought it was so sweet, so I'm going to *try* to write one from now until week 40...actually, hopefully until week 37 or 38 since I am praying this little guy comes a tad early so that I can have more time with him before I start residency...

I kept worrying that I wasn't showing enough, since until week 19 or so there wasn't much of a bump to speak of. But now there's no doubt and I'm quite happy with my little-ish bump since I know it won't be long before it's much bigger...

We got the full results of our 20 week ultrasound last week and the baby looked good (despite all the meds I was given in the hospital, poor little guy). They did see a marginal placenta previa, which will mostly likely resolve with time as my uterus grows. I'll need to have extra ultrasounds to follow it which is just fine with me :) He is measuring just a couple days smaller than he should be (and I know that it is not because of dating since because of NFP I'm 100% confident in our due date)...I'm telling myself that this is probably a good thing since I've assisted with enough births of 9 pound plus babies to be afraid of them.

Tomorrow is day one of a month of advanced surgery. I haven't had a rotation since October because I've been off taking boards and interviewing for residencies, and I'm starting this one off with a bang consisting of two weeks of cardiothoracic surgery. I feel kind of rusty, and honestly not really ready to go back. I've been fighting a sort of overwhelming exhaustion lately, which I'm pretty sure is residual from my influenza A/severe asthma hospital stint. Maybe it's pregnancy too, but before I got sick I was feeling mostly great (they do say that the second trimester is the best).

In other (not really) exciting news, Juan-uary starts tonight (I've been waiting months for this). Best of all, my sisters are all still on college break so we will hopefully be partaking in the Bachelor premiere festivities tomorrow together.

And what I wore Sunday (linking up with FL&P):

Cowl: Nordstrom (old)
Dress: H&M maternity clearance rack (I scored some major finds there on my trip to Baltimore)
Belt: Ann Taylor outlet
Boots: Frye

New Year's Round-Up

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

We had a quiet New Year's Eve last night with my family. Even if I hadn't just gotten out of the hospital a few days ago, the sub-zero temps outside would have been enough to discourage us from going out anywhere. I did pretend like we were going on a New Year's date: curled my hair and wore a new-ish shirt that I found on clearance at Anthropologie (it has a nice, forgiving fit for a 21 week baby bump). I barely made it until midnight, falling asleep for an hour on the couch while my family was watching Monster's University and then waking up just before the countdown (I'm pretty sure that Stephen took a little snooze too, we're definitely a lively couple in our [late] 20s ha).

2013 was mostly good to me and definitely a year that I won't forget. It wasn't always easy, with almost 5 months of med school rotations away (I appreciate Stephen now more than ever), 2 board exams, and a slew of residency interviews at the end. It was a year of big decisions (OB/GYN or emergency medicine) and monumental life changes (I still am trying to wrap my finger around the fact that we are going to be parents...so unbelievably exciting). I learned more about marriage, mostly just that it's better than I ever thought it would be (although of course not always easy).

Some noteworthy happenings:

Our Chicago trips....

Niagara Falls getaway...

A newfound love for running (although I never got to do my 10K, I'm sure that it will happen in the future...and then hopefully a half-marathon?)...

A wonderful month rotating in St. Louis, helping bring beautiful babies into the world...

A life-changing announcement...

This little guy...

And my entire family together for Christmas...

On a more superficial note, some of my favorite outfits of 2013:

(Notice how I'm wearing these shoes with almost every outfit?)

Four more favorite outfits: onetwothree, and four

And some outfits that I'd rather forget herehere, and here

I really enjoyed working with Dansko here and here...

My most viewed posts of 2013:
1. How to Date (or Marry) a Med Student (although granted a lot of the hits came from searches titled something to the effect of "I want to date a med student").
2. What to Wear for Residency Interviews (I still need to follow this up with a post on what I actually wore to residency interviews).

And my own favorite posts of 2013:
1. An Announcement (kind of goes without saying)

So there it is, 2013. 2014 is sure to be an exciting year, with May bringing both med school graduation and a new baby! We are most definitely blessed. Happy New Year!