August 2, 2018

Empowered Voices

I’ve written before on how much I value mentoring and how much it’s contributed to my success. Now as a doctor, wife, mom of 3, and blogger, most days I don’t have time to sleep as much as I should, and meeting one on one with mentees has become nearly impossible! 

But through this small blog and social media I have been able to reach SO many of you and the messages I get from you are more motivation to keep posting and sharing snippets of my life - the good and the not-so-good! Sharing not just the rewards of the work but the HUSTLE it takes to get there! As a kid growing up that was what we never saw - we saw lots of immediate satisfaction and flashy diamonds and new sneakers glorified all the time, but I never saw any doctors who looked like me. I searched for mentors and just had to accept that they were out there, they had to be, and continued on my path convinced that I’d find them eventually (which thankfully I did)! 

Not everyone has the faith or the ability to search for those mentors, though, or to believe they’re there if they’re not easily visible. That’s why I love companies like Uber who are making it a very clear goal to highlight and promote diversity in their company. It’s there, it’s visible, and it’s attainable for our youth. With groups like Women of Uber, UberHUE, Los Ubers, UberPride, and more, they are highlighting the power of diversity in their company. Keep it up Uber and let’s keep positive and empowering messages going and continue working to increase diversity in all fields!

July 17, 2018

New Shoes Dance

Nothing makes me smile more than watching these girls play together. Of course, 75% of the time they’re fighting with each other or telling on one another or at least one of the three is throwing a tantrum. But the sunshine wouldn’t be as beautiful if it weren’t for the rain! 

These girls were celebrating having just gotten happy mail ­ new clothes for the new school year! I ordered it a tiny bit big in hopes that it will still fit them by the time September comes around ­ they are truly growing like weeds and I’m constantly donating their clothes (eh, that’s not true, I let their grown­-out clothes pile up taking up precious drawer and closet space going unworn until I can’t take it any longer and then donate bags and bags)! But I digress. Gymboree has totally reimagined their brand and we are loving their adorable line! 

Liv immediately put on her glitter skirt and started twirling around, Elli put on her “princess dress” and headband (she refuses to let me put it on and this is how she insists on wearing her headbands lol) and Ro just couldn’t stop running around in her new sneakers! Adorable and them teaching each other dance moves and showing their favorite flowers just had me smiling ear to ear #madeyousmile. I’ll take Elli’s dress in my size asap please ­ it’s so soft and stretchy and even has pockets! All of the clothes seems so well­ made and is just too darn cute ­ love! Check out their new line here!

June 29, 2018

The 3 Skincare Ingredients You Need Now

Today  I  wanted  to  do  another  post  on  skincare  –  I  think  one  of  my  most-requested  posts  is  my  skincare  regimen!  Today  I  wanted  to  do  something  a little more  than  that,  though,  and  really  get  down  to  the  most  important  skincare  ingredients  you  need.  

The  backbone  to  any  skincare  regimen  consists  of  the  following:  
  2. Vitamin  C  
  3. Retinoid  
Ask  any  dermatologist  and  they  will  say  the  same.  I’ve  been  slowly  perfecting  my  skin  care  regimen  and  think  I  finally  have  my  holy  grail  routine!  If  you  guys  have  been  following  my  skincare  posts  (see  the  last  one  here),  you  know  that  the  one  key  I  was  still  on  the  hunt  for  was  a  good  Vitamin  C  serum.  I  tried  some  of  the  best  ones  and  they  still  broke  my  sensitive  skin  out!    

Well  I’m  proud  to  say  that  I  finally  found  one  that  I  love  –  Clinique’s  Fresh  Pressed  Vitamin  C  Booster!  Stay  tuned  for  more  on  that!!  

But  first,  a  bit  on  each  of  these  key  parts  to  your  skincare  regimen:  
  • Sunscreen  –  Whether  or  not  you  realize  it,  the  sun  wreaks  havoc  on  our  skin,  and  you  can  spend  all  the  money  you  want  on  fancy  creams  and  supplements  and  laser  treatments,  but  if  you  are  not  regularly  wearing  sunscreen  you  are  throwing  your  money  down  the  drain.  I  mean  it.  Same  thing  goes  for  smoking  –  if  you  ask  for  skin  care  advice  and  you  smoke  my  number  1  one  tip  will  be  quit  smoking.  Not  just  for  your  skin! Wearing sunscreen will not make you vitamin D deficient (most of us are deficient anyway), and I recommend everyone get enough vitamin D through their diet and they can add a supplement if they're concerned. Read more about sunscreens and which would be best for you here
  • Vitamin  C  –  Vitamin  C  is  an  antioxidant  that  works  fighting  free  radical  damage  caused  by  stressors  on  our  skin  like  the  sun  and  environmental  pollutants,  protecting  our  skin  from  these  insults.  It’s  anti-inflammatory  (meaning  will  reduce  redness  and  irritation),  decreases  melanin  synthesis  (meaning  it  can  help  fade  dark  spots  from  old  acne  and  even  help  melasma),  and  can  help  in  keeping  our  skin  firm  (vitamin  C  is  an  essential  part  of  collagen  synthesis).  In  non-scientific  speak  –it’s  the  bomb.  If  you  want  a  little  more  science  you  can  read  this  article  via  PubMed.  A  special  note  that  since  vitamin  C  is  such  a  potent  antioxidant,  it  actually  degrades  very  quickly  once  exposed  to  oxygen!  This  is  why  packaging  is  key  for  products  like  these  (and  of  the  things  I  love  about  the  Clinique  product)!
  • Retinoid  –  Retinoids  are  another  key  to  keeping  skin  clear  and  youthful–  derived  from  Vitamin  A,  they  directly  increase  collagen  synthesis,  increase  hyaluronic  acid,  decrease  creation  of  enzymes  that  break  down  the  skin  (things  that  normally  increase  with  aging),  they  speed  up  epidermal  cell  turnover  (one  of  the  key  ways  they  smooth  out  the  skin  and  treat  mild  acne,  as  well  as  dark  spots),  and  more.  Retinoids  should  be  a  part  of  everyone’s  skincare  regimen  UNLESS  you  are  pregnant  or  trying  to  become  pregnant  (high  Vitamin  A  is  a  teratogen)!  In  which  case  I’d  temporarily  swap  for  a  mild  acid  like  glycolyic  acid  or  mandelic  acid (this was my favorite during pregnancy and I continued using it while nursing, even though retinoids should technically be safe when nursing)!    

When  is  it  best  to  start  a  regimen  like  this?  If  you’re  a  teen  or  older  and  have  mild  acne  then  starting  now  and  continuing  pretty  much  forever  will  be  of  most  benefit!  If  you’re  young  and  don’t  have  acne,  you  may  not  need  it  yet,  but  most  women  with  no  skin  problems  start  a  regimen  like  this  in  their  20s.  By  30  you  should  DEFINITELY  be  using  a  regimen  like  the  above.    

With  all  of  that  said,  here  is  my  current  skin  care  routine!  

  1. Gently  wash  with  Clinique’s  Fresh  Pressed  Renewing  Powder  Cleanser.  I  just  wet  my  hands  and  pour  a  packet  onto  my  wet  hands,  rub  to  get  a  lather,  and  gently  apply  on  my  face  and  leave  it  on  while  I  brush  my  teeth,  then  rinse! 
  2. Apply  base  moisturizer  (I  use  La  Roche-Posay’s  Toleriane  Double  Repair  Moisturizer)  with  2  drops  of  Clinique’s  Fresh  Pressed  Daily  Booster.  This  booster  is  INCREDIBLE,  and  I  love  that  I  can  add  it  to  a  moisturizer  I  know  already  works  for  my  sensitive  skin.  Literally  within  days  you  can  already  notice  that  your  skin  is  brighter  (and  dermatologists  typically  don’t  like  promising  things  within  days,  most  products  need  at  least  6-8  weeks  to  start  seeing  any  differences).  But  this  is  days  y’all.   
  3. Apply  my  sunscreen  –  for  me  I’m  not  a  huge  fan  of  layering  too  many  products  (simplicity  is  key)  so  you  if  you’ve  read  these  posts  before  you  know  I’m  obsessed  with  Avene’s  High  Protection  Complexion  Correcting  Shield.  It’s  actually  a  full  coverage  makeup  and  SPF  50+  (mineral  based)  and  I  love  it.  Have  gone  through  tubes  of  this  stuff.      

  1. Wash  with  a  gentle  cleanser  –  I  love  Cetaphil and Cerave,  but  there  are  many  brands  that  make  mild  cleansers.  This  is  key  especially  when  you’re  using  a  retinoid.  Stay  away  from  exfoliating  cleansers  and  anything  with  beads  or  scrubs  –  your  skin  gets  aggravated  and  inflamed  and  this  can  lead  to  irritation,  breakouts,  and  more  dark  marks. I've used them in the past but only when I WASN'T using a retinoid (ie while I was still breastfeeding) and linked up some of my favorites, but again, would not use if you're using a retinoid. 
  2. Apply  pea  size  of  my  prescription  Tretinoin  cream  (if  you  can’t  get  a  prescription  for  this,  Differin  is  a  prescription-strength  retinoid  that  is  now  available  over-the-counter).  You  should  always  start  light  with  this  –  every  other  night  (or even less) to  begin  until  your  skin  gets  used  to  it  –  if  not  it  could  cause  redness, peeling  and  irritation.   
  3. Finish  with  my  La  Roche-Posay  moisturizer  and  my  Epionce  eye  cream.  Then  get  some  sleep!    

That’s  it!  I  hope  you  guys  found  this  post  helpful  and  now  understand  some  keys  to  a  good  skin  care  regimen!  These  are  just  the  products  I  use  but  I  wanted  to  make  sure  to  give  the  important  ingredients  themselves  so  you  can  find  what  works  for  you!  A  special  thanks  to  Clinique  for  sending  me  their  Fresh  Pressed  Vitamin  C  treatments  to  try  and  finally  ending  my  search  for  a  this  key  ingredient!  They  also  sponsored  this  post,  but  as  always  opinions  are  completely  my  own. Take their 7-day challenge and thank me later ;)  

May 31, 2018

Liv's Preschool Graduation

Time  is  flying  y’all,  and  I  feel  like  not  long  on  this  blog  I  was  announcing  my  pregnancy  with  Liv  – and  just  last  week,  she  had  her  preschool  graduation!!!  Can  you  believe  it?? 

It  was  the  most  adorable  thing  ever,  but  one  of  my  favorite  parts  (besides  their  precious  graduation  song)  was  a  video  segment  her  teachers  filmed  asking  all  of  the  kids  what  they  wanted  to  be  when  they  grow  up.  There  were  plenty  of  the regulars - firefighters,  teachers,  doctors,  police.  But  then  there  were  the  unexpecteds  –  the  zoologist,  the  civil  engineer,  and  the  dermatologist  (can  you  guess  who  said  she  wanted  to  be  a  dermatologist  hahaha)?  All  of  those  came  out  of  the  mouths  of  little  girls!  And  I  was  just  so  proud!  

I  know  she’ll  change  her  mind  a  million  more  times,  and  if  she’s  anything  like  me,  she’ll  get  to  be  my  age  and  still  not  be  completely  sure  of  what  she  wants  to  do  with  her  life.  But  the  point  is  that  she  never  limits  herself.  The  point  is  that  she  believes  she  can  be  anything  she  wants  to  be,  as  creative  as  she  wants  to  be.  Heck  it  may  be  a  job  that  doesn’t  exist  yet.  I  know  when  I  was  her  age,  blogging  wasn’t  a  thing  (heck  internet  was  barely  a  thing)!  Her  and  her  sister  have  proclaimed  they  want  to  be  singers  (especially  after  watching  the  incredible  women  on  stage  at  the  Billboard  Music  Awards),  face  painters,  drivers  (thanks  to  our  female  Uber  drivers),  ballerinas,  moms,  horse  doctors,  pilots,  and  I’m  sure  they’ll  come  up  with  more!  The  thing  is  that  they’ve  seen  a  female  in  every  one  of  those  roles  (whether  in  person  or  in  a  book  or  on  TV)  and  that  is  just  so  dang  powerful!!  

So  here’s  to  all  YOU  women  in  those  incredible  roles!  Let’s  keep  YOU  in  the  spotlight  and  keep  your  presence  visible  for  all  of  the  young  girls  to  see!  Here’s  to  women’s  empowerment  and  companies  that  are  making  an  effort  to  actively  promote  it.  Uber  is  one  of  those  companies,  and  I’m  so  grateful  to  be  collaborating  with  them  on  this  post.  Maybe  I’m  corny  but  I  feel  sisterly  pride  when  I  get  into  an  Uber  and  a  woman  rushes  out  to  help  me  get  my  bag  in  the  trunk  –  she  pushes  aside  her  baby’s  car  seat  that  was  in  the  trunk  and  gets  me  to  where  I  need  to  be.  I  see  the  hustle.  Or  to  my  Uber  Eats  driver  (I’m  a  multiple  times  weekly  user  when  times  get  hectic)  who’s  making  deliveries  with  her  kids.  I  see  the  hustle.  Here’s  to  more  companies  like  Uber  to  help  empower  those  women  with  work  that  fits  their  life.  Thanks  to  Uber  for  sponsoring  this  post.  As  always  thoughts  and  opinions  are  my  own.    
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