blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: October 2018

October 13, 2018

Fall Nails

Want to get back into sharing little things that I get asked all the time and stopped posting about on the blog (really just posted on Instagram), but it's hard to search for things I've shared there! So i'm getting back to my roots and blogging more! Super excited because I've been working really hard on a new blog, so stay tuned for that announcement coming later this month!!!

For now, I'm sharing this color I recently did my nails - obsessed!! It's the perfect dark tan to almost chestnut brown and just gets me in the fall mood! It's OPI A Piers to be Tan and I've loved this shade for years!

Nail polish linked here (with prime shipping) and here (no prime shipping but 10% off) 

Another close shade to this is OPI The Isabelletway!

For those who may have missed my post on how I do my home "gel" manis (posted way back in maybe 2015?) here's a quick rundown (I try to stay away from true gel manicures as I've seen some horrible reactions now as a dermatologist and permanent nail damage)

  1. File and shape nails, wash and dry. 
  2. Apply base coat of Gelous polish (this is a strengthening polish that has keratins and cellulose to naturally strengthen the nails without acrylate products - it's definitely helped me grow my nails!)
  3. Apply coat of nail color polish.
  4. Apply another coat of Gelous polish.
  5. Apply 2nd coat of nail color polish.
  6. Apply one last coat of Gelous polish.
  7. Top with Seche Vite polish (apply to still wet nails, do not wait to dry).
As I type that out it sounds like a lot, but I barely give any drying time in between coats (just the time it takes me to finish both hands). With the Seche Vite as a top coat my nails really are dry to touch within a couple of minutes and completely dry (like I can go to sleep and not wake up to destroyed nails) within a half an hour, plus have a beautiful shine. The best part is that with this routine my nail polish really does last at least 2 weeks (through all of our clinic hand-sanitizing and washing) without chipping at all. Usually after a week I'll add a fresh coat of Seche Vite to get the shine back, but that's about it!

October 8, 2018

Clinic Shoes - Patent and Studded

Happy Monday! Headed to clinic today but snapped a quick shot of the shoes I have been loving the last couple of weeks! 

My requirements for a good clinic shoe are that they are comfortable, able to be worn all day while I run from room to room, and stylish. These fit the bill and were a good deal at under $70

Leggings (size XS short - crazy steal at $22)  //  Top (size S)  //  White coat (size XS)
Flats (size 6.5, fit true to size)

Also including my outfit info above! For clinic one of my easiest pairings is professional looking leggings with a tunic (and comfy flats)! This goes really well with a white coat on top! 

PS - Please excuse the dark background, lol, staying at my parents' house while I work with a few dermatologists up in the Northeast!

October 7, 2018

Spooky kid-friendly sleepover treats

Happy weekend! I'm still on a high from an incredible girls weekend I hosted here at my parents' house in Massachusetts! I had my best friends over and all of the kids (all girls too lol) and we had some halloween themed fun! 

For dinner I stocked up on frozen personal pizzas and we decorated them - I think the mummy was my favorite (and I love extra cheese so it tasted the best) - but we made ghosts and jack-o-lantern faces too using cut up cheese and pepperoni! It would be fun to add black olives and use those as hair and make a vampire or something else as well! It would definitely be nice to make the pizzas from scratch, but we had a full night of activities planned so I used my absolute favorite frozen pizzas (and I've tried a ton - these are great to have on hand in the freezer)! 

As our pizzas baked in the oven we got together our sugar cookies! Again, sure, it'd probably be nice to make these from scratch - but for us the fun was in decorating them not making everything from scratch! So I used this pre-made dough (they taste delicious, plus no preservatives, artificial flavors, or dyes), and then just sprinkled flour on our cutting board and hands to roll new balls. I found that 2 of their "squares" rolled together made the perfect size to flatten and cut into our own shapes! We found these adorable cookie cutters for our ghost and pumpkin shapes (only $2.99 and they came with a candy corn too we just didn't use those)! 

Our pizzas were done in 20 minutes and we started eating those, with apple cider to drink (hard cider for the non-pregnant adults lol)! We used clear glasses and these eyeball ice cubes I had made earlier in the day (another cheap find that the girls LOVED)! 

Finally it was time to decorate our cookies after letting them cool down a bit. I had made the royal icing earlier in the evening and stored the different colors in zip-lock bags - the recipe is really easy - just 2 cups of confectioners sugar, 2 egg whites, and a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract - and scale up as needed! I split them up into smaller bowls and then added a couple drops of food coloring to get our orange and green!


The girls absolutely loved decorating their cookies (the frosting was really fun, but the sprinkles and candy eyes were the best part - loved this bottle of sprinkles because it included eyes)! They would have decorated cookies all night lol! 

I hope you enjoyed this post - tag me on social media if you use any of these ideas - I LOVE seeing how you all make it your own! 

October 3, 2018

Productivity Hacks

Now more than ever I need help when it comes to getting time to getting to my never-ending to-do list. But when I am blessed with that time (and trust me it feels like a blessing), I was having a hard time actually using that time to be productive and start tackling the things on my list! These are some hacks that have been GAME CHANGERS in terms of increasing my productivity and I hope they can help you too! None of them are novel ideas, they're all pretty much variations of things I've done in the past, but it's amazing how little shifts can increase productivity!

  • Lists lists and lists (but not *too* many) - lists keep everything accounted for so I don't have to remember so much off the top of my head. I use these daily pages for my daily to-do list and jotting down times/appointments/meetings on the right side. They are thick pages and the best quality I've found - my favorite. The back is a grid layout "braindump" that is perfect for random notes (I find my mind needs that empty space to right things out that may not fit any place particularly *yet*). 
  • Use alarms. I'm embarrassed to show you my alarms on my phone. So I'm not lol. But I have at least 30 alarms in there. While my mind (and sanity) need everything written out as above, once I actually get my day going, it's rare that I actually have time to reference the sheet! Anyone else have that problem? So one thing I do (particularly for things that should be done by a certain time), is set alarms for my to-dos. So I'll set an alarm at 9am to send an email, an alarm at 11:55am that I have a conference call at noon, an alarm at 5:20pm to get ready to leave to get the girls -you get the idea! It might seem crazy but when you get to a certain level of busy this trick is a LIFESAVER. 
  • Set a timer. When I actually have an hour or two (or even a rare whole afternoon) of free time, this is when this hack becomes critical for me. If you guys have read my productivity posts before then you know this is nothing new (based off of the Pomodoro technique)! What is new though is the app I use that helps me organize things even more. I recently started using the BeFocused app (not gonna lie picked it because I loved the colors) but thankfully it's also proven to be a very powerful little timer app (even if you don't pay for the upgraded version - I use the free version and the ads aren't too bothersome at the bottom). With this app I can set my designated time to work (small chunks are how I get to work) - so I set it for 15 minutes and GET TO WORK! A few things about this app that I really like that take it above my usual timer I was using on my phone
    • Break up a large task (like "make powerpoint presentation" - which is a huge task) into many small, identifiable steps. In the pic below you can see the start of my presentation, which I broke down into multiple tasks that you can list in the app. This makes even the most daunting to-do's feel manageable (after all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a simple step).
    • Built in chronometer with sound. You guys may remember I love white noise (and this is still my favorite study/productivity "music"). But nothing says "get your a** to work" like a ticking timer. This might be too stressful for some, but for me sometimes when I'm really having a hard time I put this feature on and it really turns on my productivity! 

  • The right soundtrack. I mentioned the chronometer above for when I really need to light a match! But my usual preference is white noise (there are plenty of apps and playlists and youtube videos with tons of options for white noise). When it's break time, I switch to something motivating and upbeat and very likely inappropriate for work (think Two Chainz, Pitbull, and the likes). This always keeps me going! Get asked about my bluetooth headphones all the time, these are the ones I use (and that are photo'd above). 
  • Snacks and staying hydrated. This one gets forgotten easily, but never underestimate the power of staying fueled! I like to remember to drink water (this is the stainless steel water bottle I usually have with me) and have high protein snacks within reach - protein bars (these are my favorite), P3 packs (recently did a collaboration with them and I'm even more in love), and my chia pudding/overnight oats (mentioned the recipe in this post)!

I hope these tips helped!!!

October 2, 2018

A Little Pampering with L'Occitane

Finding time to actually treat and pamper myself is something I have always struggled with - it was of course easier as a single college student (though even then as a bright-eyed pre-med I had so many things I thought I should be working on instead), but now as a full-time resident physician (with board-certification exams approaching), wife, mom of 3, and blogger, there are literally a dozen things at any one time I can convince myself I should be doing instead of treating myself.

But I've figured out that one of the easiest ways for me to get better about self-care and building in "treat" time is to truly make it a part of what I already do everyday. So in the morning instead of having my first cup of coffee while scrolling through emails and prepping lunches (which I eventually do), I start with my first few sips outside on my balcony just taking in the fresh air and views. And at night, I've transformed my nightly skin routine into a truly pampering experience (really hitting the reset button)!

I've started using L'Occitane's Immortelle Overnight Reset Oil-in-Serum, and it feels like such an indulgent step in my nightly routine. And the true bonus is that in the morning my skin is glowing and refreshed (even without the recommended amount of sleep, though I'm trying to work on that too)! I love that this serum really helps combat all of the stresses from the day - both mentally and environmentally! From their website, here are the top 3 active ingredients:

  • Immortelle Essential Oil, encapsulated in golden bubbles, is known for its anti-aging properties and helps fight visible signs of aging.
  • Acmella Oleracea extract is known for its immediate smoothing properties.
  • Marjoram extract helps reawaken skin for a radiant and refreshed glow.

Another bonus step I've started incorporating is cleansing with their Shea Butter Cleansing oil (it's literally like a face massage every night) prior to washing with my normal gentle cleanser. Both of these have really made my nightly skin care routing something I look forward to after getting the girls to sleep! Stay tuned over on Instagram where I'll be giving away these L'Occitane products and more to one lucky follower!

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