blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: September 2013

September 30, 2013

Applying to Medical School

If you're like me, you will likely already know all this stuff before reading the rest of this post. But, if you're also like me, for some reason you like to hear about it from as many sources as possible and put together you're own way to tackle on the huge issue. So today, in the midst of medical school application time, I decided I'd list some of the basics on applying to medical school (in no particular order) and a few of my thoughts about it all. All of these are completely my opinions (and not Harvard's) so take it with a grain of salt, just as you would any other sole source!



Grades
It's no secret that medical schools care about grades and your GPA. The transition to college classes is tough, so try to figure out a system of organization and studying that works for you quickly, then make sure you continue on an upward trend. Easier said than done, especially when you start getting into higher level courses, but remember this key point: medical schools have no idea how difficult a class is at your school. BIO 273 could be a million different things and probably is, we all know the grades depend on the workload, the professor, even the TA. So do your research before choosing classes and pick the ones that satisfy requirements and interest you the most (or are just easy if the subject matter doesn't interest you). Not the ones you think will impress med school admissions committees. I had no problem taking my year of physics at my local state school instead of my own undergrad. I hate physics, and at my school it involved hours and hours of work outside of class plus ridiculous labs, etc. Easy A at my state school with minimal time investment (and still learned what I needed for the MCAT).

MCAT score
This is really just the beginning of a long series of huge standardized exams if you decide to pursue the med school/physician pathway. Lots of people like the review courses, but if you don't have the time or money, and do have the self-motivation and organization skills I'd study solo. I used the ExamKrackers series of review books primarily, supplementing with textbooks for concepts that I really didn't understand. I took my exam March of junior year - I started studying in January when we have a month off, using that month to intensely review all of the material, then during spring semester I took an official practice exam every week up until my exam, going over all of the answers I had gotten wrong and making sure I understood why. No cheating yourself when it comes to studying for these exams. I took the last week to re-memorize the little things, solidify my most challenging topics, and the day before treated myself to the spa and an early movie night :)

Extracurriculars
These are big. Anyone can get straight A's and ace an exam with nothing else on their plate. Find what you're passionate about and start pursuing it early and deeply. It doesn't have to be medicine related (but if it's not make sure you do have some medical related extracurriculars as well). My thing was research. I loved it, loved going into the lab, sitting at the microscope, planning experiments. I stayed in the same lab all four years of undergrad and was able to present multiple times at national conferences all over the country and have a first-author publication. I was also very much into women's health, especially minority women's health, so I worked at a women's health clinic as a medical assistant and counselor primarily dealing with a Spanish-speaking only population. One other thing I did junior year was serve as president for our minority pre-health organization on campus (shout out to any MAPS members out there)! Whatever you do, make sure it's something you can speak about passionately on interviews - and you can't fake that.

Letters of Recommendation
I've spoken to many admission officers and their opinions really vary on how much letters matter. To be on the safe side, get to know a few of your favorite professors early and don't be afraid to ask them if they feel like they could write you a strong letter of recommendation. Thankfully at my small undergrad I knew many of my professors so well that we had been out for drinks/I babysat their children/etc. I loved my letter writers!

Life Experiences
So this you can't change much, but it's likely that something in your life made you want to pursue medicine. And maybe the road was easy and your physician parents helped you out along the way with their connections (and people - there is absolutely nothing wrong with that). But maybe you're like me and it was a little tougher. Don't be afraid to discuss the adversities you've overcome, or the long and indirect path that led you to where you are now.

Personal Statement
This is where a lot of you're life experiences can be highlighted. Make it an easily readable story, that says why medicine without sounding like everyone else. We know you want to help people (and you can mention that in a sentence, just don't make it your whole essay), and we know your extracurriculars - so don't just list those. Talk about an experience, or have a theme. The personal statement was my favorite part of the application process and on interviews I got great feedback about my piece.

I hope this was somewhat helpful, I wanted to do this quick post as it's time sensitive, stay tuned for the long-awaited study skills post and tips for interviews!! Happy Monday!!

September 27, 2013

About to Pop in Plaid

Happy Friday! I figured I'd share one of my last looks that I had snapped pics of before going into labor! I had worn this Thursday (scroll down to see what I wore Friday), and went into labor at 4am Saturday morning! Sort of sad to see the bump go... maybe it's weird but I'm gonna miss it! Although now we have baby girl instead which makes up for it and then some. Hope you all have lovely weekends, and as always thanks so much for reading! 

JCPenney plaid top and jacket (similar top here and jacket for less than $20 here!), Gap striped tank (similar here), Old Navy maternity jeans (here), DSW ankle booties (here), two-toned tote bag (similar for less than $40 here), Relic watch (here)

A crappy selfie of the outfit I wore to work on Friday the day before going into labor! So weird but that day in lab I decided to make sure all of my things were in order, everyone knew where I was with experiments and where to find my specimens, etc. Maybe I subconsciously knew what was going down that weekend? Even Friday night N and I nixed our plans to go out, opting to order takeout and cuddle watching Netflix instead. Weird!

September 25, 2013

Welcome Olivia

Happy Wednesday!! Today I just wanted to quickly share a few of the photos I have posted on Instagram of baby Olivia! She arrived early Sunday morning, September 15th at 3:24am (after being in labor for 24 hours!), weighing in at a whopping 7 pounds and 15 ounces (no one thought I was carrying an 8lb baby!) and measuring 19 inches. I'm still debating whether or not I'll write her birth story on the blog, it was definitely not an easy one! But momma and baby are home doing well and I can't believe how quickly she's stolen my heart ❤ Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments and messages!


September 23, 2013

Guest post: Coffee Beans & Bobby Pins

Hello everyone and happy Monday!! I hope you all had great weeks last week - I know N, my mother, and I had fun at home getting to know baby girl. This week I'm on my own with N back in school and my mom back at work, wish me luck!! Today I'm bringing you another guest post from the lovely Amy of Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins! And don't worry, we'll be back to our normal schedule shortly! Make sure you're following me on Instagram @lauralacquer for quick updates that don't make it to the blog!
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Hey all! Im Amy, and I blog over at Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins! I am excited to be guest posting today for Laura as she spends some quality time with her new little lady! A huge congrats to her and her fiance! I just wanted to take today to introduce you to my blog and show you some of my favorite looks from the past year and more recently. I hope you pop over to my blog and say hello! Also, be sure to follow me on instagram @amy_cbandbp

Enjoy your time with your new little bundle Laura!


Thanks again for having me Laura!

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September 16, 2013

Guest Post: Franish

Hi lovelies! I'm actually writing this quick little intro from the hospital, as this weekend N and I finally welcomed Olivia to the world! Check out my instagram (@lauralacquer) for a pic and I will of course update the blog relatively soon. But for now while we get settled I've got a few lovely posts from some of my favorite bloggers prepared for you, I hope you enjoy them! The first is Franziska who writes the blog Franish! Keeping up with the theme of Med School Mondays Fran is the sweetest medical student with a knack for great style - I'm sure you'll love her blog as much as I do!! 
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I've been reading Laura's blog since I was in college studying biology. I was in awe of how smart, gorgeous, and stylish she is - she seemingly has it all. As I went through the medical school application, and now the beginning of medical school, I've come to realize how much Laura and her blog helped me adjust to and be successful in this crazy journey to becoming a physician. Here are just a few things she has taught me:

Organization is the key to everything


what comes with me everyday
I LOVE planners, and so I was really happy to see how much Laura uses hers. Having a place to keep track of all the exams we have, and then all of the other activities we as students participate in, has been so helpful. It was so helpful to know that it's okay to block off little bits of time here and there for "me" time just to help keep our sanity...and to make time for blogging ;)

that the days are going to be long and no longer your own

I worked for two years at a 9-5 job. My life outside of work was my life - I got to nap, eat, blog, do whatever I wanted when I wasn't at work. Because of Laura's documentation of her journeys through school (see this post as an example of her day!), I knew to expect that my life wasn't going to be all my own - when I have time off from class now, it is going to be spent learning. I'm "on" 8 AM to 10 PM+ every day learning all about the human body. We (Laura, me, every medical student) are spending all of our freedom learning to be the best possible physicians we can be for our future patients.

that it's possible to be a medical student and stylish

If you are a reader from my blog visiting, let me introduce you to why you should be an immediate follower of Laura's blog:


See why I'm such a fan? Classic looks that are modern, on trend without being trendy, and so chic. I can't wait until it's a bit colder so that I can recreate all of her fall looks - I think number 4 is my absolute favorite. Laura has taught me that being a medical student isn't all about yoga pants and school sweatshirts (which I couldn't wear to school anyway) but that it's possible to look pulled together and professional, but still have fun with your outfits.


that there is life outside of medicine

I've had a bit of a hard time adjusting to this new life I'm leading. I'm separated from my boyfriend of five years by 600 miles. I have a whole new way of having to deal with money, being far away from my family, and living my new day to day life. If nothing else, Laura has taught me that there is more to our lives than medicine. We have to look for the little bit of shiny in our lives, to make time for love, and to make time for family (current and future, human or animal).

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! We all can't wait to meet Miss Liv - best wishes to your adorable little family!

September 13, 2013

Push Present

If you're like me, this is the first time you've heard of this so-called "push present." Otherwise maybe you think I've been living under a rock? According to Wikipedia, it's "a present a father gives to the mother to mark the occasion of her giving birth to their child." Not going to lie... it sounds sort of silly ("that's a scam for rich people" was my immediate reaction). I mean, isn't the push present well, the healthy baby? But this push present thing is for real, so I figured why not come up with a few things that would be nice after pushing that baby out (or having it cut it out, that's no fun either). For a real, almost-wish-I-didn't-read-that list of things you will actually need for after pushing baby out, check out this awesome post by 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic. But now for the fun stuff - push present ideas from realistic to total fantasy.


  • Jewelry: Google image search "push present" and most of what you'll see is jewelry. You can never go wrong with a classic pair of diamond studs, or you can make it even more special and get a necklace with your new baby's initial - I'm loving this Maya Brenner "O" necklace for baby Olivia. 
  • Mani/Pedi: Nothing like giving mama the chance for some "me" time (which can really just mean watching the baby so she can enjoy a shower), but take it a step above and offer to watch the baby while she enjoys a mani/pedi on you. Mom, go with this Essie polish in Glamour Purse.
  • Housecleaning: If you've got the time and are short on funds, offer to keep the house clean for a month or two (you can use these awesome Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products), or even better, get her a gift card for a few cleanings from a professional house cleaner. Here in Boston I've had great experiences with Homejoy
  • A new bag: It's no secret we love our bags, get her the one she's been wanting but (responsibly) putting off for baby expenses. Bonus if it's one that can actually fit baby's stuff in it too - a chic diaper bag! I would actually be upset if N spent this much money on a bag like this Miranda Studded Tote, but it is gorgeous, isn't it?
  • First family vacation: Book a trip for your now +1 family and enjoy some time away. The cherry on top would be this GiGi New York Passport case.
  • A new TV: Go ahead and be that guy, it's ok. With all the time that mom will be spending at home with baby, you both will appreciate a new flat screen like this Samsung 40 inch HDTV. Unless of course you're the type of family that doesn't watch TV. Then this would be a horrible idea. 
So what do you think of this "push present" idea? I'd love to hear! Happy Friday!

September 11, 2013

Leopard Love + A Giveaway

I love leopard. Not in the hot pink leopard pillows and Lisa Frank notebooks kind of way (although I did love Lisa Frank back in the day), more like the muted, refined pointed toe flat or luxurious scarf kind of way. Especially as fall approaches I'm craving more and more of it. Since my elefeet prevent me from fitting my leopard flats, this favorite scarf of mine will do for now :) Bonus that I was able to just throw it over my support tank with a cardi and have an easy (and super comfy/supportive) look for this ridiculous belly.

Old Navy cardigan (similar here), BLANQI support tank (c/o, here), Asos maternity jeans (here), leopard scarf (similar here), Calvin Klein Modena tote (here), Aldo flats (similar here), Relic watch (on crazy sale right now here)

I've been loving this BLANQI support tank the last few weeks! I paired it with real maternity pants here, but usually I wear it with my non-maternity jeans unbuttoned - it holds them up better than the belly bands I was using earlier in the pregnancy! It also lifts up my belly (which is such a relief when I'm walking as baby girl has this belly hanging lower and lower each day). On top of all that, it wraps under my bra letting me wear whatever cut shirt I want and giving the girls an extra lift! Bonus: N thinks it's sexy. I can't say the same for the belly bands hahaha! I'm in love and truly think this tank has made these last few weeks a little bit easier. 

Even better - the BLANQI team is giving one of my lucky readers one of these support tanks! Check out my instagram (@lauralacquer) for more info!

September 9, 2013

Medical School Timeline

Happy Monday everyone! Today I wanted to share with you all something that seems to confuse a lot of people - the timeline of what actually happens in medical school. All medical schools have different curriculums so I can only share the way it works currently at Harvard, but for the most part the first two years are spent learning from books and professors, the last two are spent learning from patients and doctors (and nurses!). 


So there you have it! A rough idea of what goes on each year. N and I were both already planning on doing our 5th years; I did a ton of research in undergrad, missed the lab setting big time, and am interested in immunology and dermatology which meant getting some protected research time in was a priority for me. It just happened to work out that we'll have baby girl now, which is perfect because I don't have to take any type of leave and have an incredibly supportive P.I. (principle investigator,  or the head researcher of a lab, mine is an incredible MD/PhD supermom with an infectious curiosity for what we study). 

Let me know what you guys think of the post! I try to keep my "medical school" related posts relatively few and far between as I thought the readers interested in it were equally few and far between, but I'm thinking that is changing? Make sure you comment below so I can know! Have great weeks guys. 

September 6, 2013

On getting dressed

Simple outfit I wore for work and my 38 week appointment. My OB still can't believe that I come into each appointment "dressed;" I want to tell her I can't believe some women come in not dressed, but I get it, pregnancy is hard. After my time working on OB during clinical rotations it has definitely not escaped me that I've been blessed with a relatively easy pregnancy - add a positive outlook and no toddlers at home to care for like many expectant moms have and getting "dressed" can still be something I can put a tiny bit of thought into. I'm also the type who gets dressed when I'm sick because it makes me feel better, so carrying baby girl isn't gonna force me out the house in sweats! Inside, of course, is a different story ;)

JCPenney top (similar here), Old Navy cargo vest (similar on sale here), Old Navy maternity jeans (here), Calvin Klein Modena tote (here), Aldo flats (similar here), Relic watch (here), Tan leather bracelet c/o Inpinkstyle (here, make sure to use the code LAURALACQUER30 for 30% off of your order all this month!)

Happy weekend!!

September 5, 2013

Dressing the bump: fall edition

Labor day has passed, pumpkin spice lattes are taking over Instagram (and I'm not above it), and the temperatures are starting to drop (if only the teeniest) - it's almost fall! And as much as I want Olivia in my arms I almost wish I could keep the bump for just a month or two so I could have fun with fall fashion. The layers, cardis, knits, tall boots, scarves, I love it all! 

{moi, Marion, a totally not pregnant Helena, Delmy, moi again}

For more on dressing the bump for fall, check out my guest post over at Well Rounded NY

September 3, 2013

Hospital Bag

Hello lovelies! Hope you all had great labor day weekends! In preparation for Ms. Liv's arrival, I finally put together my hospital bag for her delivery! Here's what's inside:


the bag: Lo and Sons OG bag, a trusty favorite of mine
the hospital stuff: a cozy robe and slippers, a pretty nursing bra, my iphone and charger, and toiletries and makeup in a truffle bag
my going home outfit: an easy chambray top (cheaper one here), comfy leggings and easy suede flats
Olivia's going home outfit: a simple white onesie with pink pants and matching hat and bib

For you gals who have been through it before, anything you would add? 
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