blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: 2016

December 30, 2016

A few favorites of 2016

Happy Friday!! Just finished my last dermatology clinic for the year and getting ready to head into a 3 day weekend - so excited!! I usually try and think about all the great things going on when they're actually happening (helps with the whole "living in the moment" effort), but it's hard to not spend a little time reminiscing at the end of the year about the things you loved the most. Today I wanted to round up a little list of a few of my favorite things from this year. It's always hard to pick a "favorite" and I'm sure if I thought long enough about it I'd remember even more, but here are some!

favorite memory 
Family cruise. I just realized I never actually posted about our cruise - but this was huge for us. We never really got a break in between intern year in Boston and starting our advanced residencies here in Miami (and the little break we did get was spent driving down the coast for our move), so our family vacation this fall was so necessary! It's always hard with two people in residency to get vacation time that overlaps, but we made it work this year and our trip was incredible! If you guys have any questions about it I'd love to answer more maybe in a specific post, just ask in the comments section! A super close second was our Barbados trip that N and I took for Valentine's day - it was pretty much the best trip ever and we love reminiscing about it! 

favorite daily accessory
Daniel Wellington watch. This is another one that isn't new for 2016 - last year this was also my go-to. But this year I did switch it up a tiny bit and get a black face watch as well - a fun little spin on the classic. This watch just goes with everything, and I love it because I can even keep track of time when I can't actually check my phone in clinic or mid-surgery (so funny that our phones have become our new time-keepers for most of us as opposed to a good-old watch)! But thankfully I'm getting back to the way things used to be and telling time the classic way! PS - you can still get 15% off with code LAURALACQUER15!

favorite challenge 
The Miami move. We're not growing if we're not challenging ourselves, and while we don't need to be challenging ourselves all the time, we certainly need to now and then! This year's big challenge was our move to Miami (and starting our advanced residencies, but I think the move was harder than the new positions). You can read more about our move here and how I decided to change our situation for the best. We currently love Miami and are even considering buying out here, so the challenge was well worth it!

favorite TV show
Catastrophe. N and I are total "show" people, and we are definitely binge-watchers. We'll go months without watching a good series and then find one and watch it all in 2 or 3 nights. That's what we did with the first 2 seasons of Catastrophe - it's a UK show that is available in the US by Amazon Video (part of Amazon Prime - one of our favorite ways to watch TV - I have all the girls' movies on there)! When the girls are asleep we'll eat some take out and watch hours at a time! I especially loved this show because it was just so damn real, and as opposed to being taken out to some fantasy realm, we were left being able to bring it back to our own lives and talk about it. Anyway, definitely worth a watch, and we'll be on the lookout for our next series to eat up!

favorite beauty product
Cerave sunscreen. This is nothing new for 2016. But I think what is worth mentioning is that this year I did learn a hell of a lot more about sunscreen thanks to dermatology residency and even switched to a different brand for a bit (this one, which I still have a ton of derm friends and mentors who swear by, but it just wasn't right for me), but came right back to my favorite. And at less than $15 (and usually on sale for less) it's the best on a budget! Now I have tons of patients who love it too! Daily sun protection (not just when you go to the beach lol) is a key to flawless skin - especially if you struggle with hyperpigmentation (dark spots) - you can spend a ton on "fading creams" and even lasers but if you're not wearing sunscreen daily it will all be for nothing! And of course it helps with premature aging and skin cancer prevention! For more of my beauty favorites check out my most up-to-date post I did in November on my current beauty routine!

favorite investment
Double jogging stroller. I'm kicking myself for not buying this sooner, but it was a relatively big purchase for me and I definitely don't take those lightly! But our Thule jogging stroller has been incredible, and it's given N another way to spend quality time with both girls, and me the chance to have some quiet time at home now and then. And I even use now and then (not for jogging lol, maybe someday), and it's just so smooth and easy to maneuver for a double!

favorite outfit
Figs scrubs. If I could wear scrubs everyday I would. But sometimes you can feel a little frumpy in said hospital-issued scrubs. But not with Figs. I have at least 4 different sets and will definitely be getting more when I'm baby-bump-free hahaha! I get excited thinking about when I'm actually practicing on my own - I think I'll wear Figs scrubs everyday and have a full closet of them! As will all of my nurses lol! Seriously, though, if you haven't given them a try and have to wear scrubs for school or work, give these a shot. 

favorite shoes
My blush Sofft slip-ons. When I have to dress up for clinic, you all know I've professed my love for these flats. You just will never find anything comparable at that price/style/comfort level. But like I said above, if I could I'd be in scrubs everyday, and with those I've been loving my Sofft slip-ons. They are seriously the most comfortable and I don't think one day goes by that someone doesn't compliment me on them. These were also the only sneaker I took with me on vacation and they never let me down! Perfect with shorts or leggings (my usual weekend go-to) or scrubs! And the color for me is just the best - blush is definitely a neutral in my book, but it's still a nice change from my usual grey black or tan (although they are available in those colors too if that's what you prefer). 

favorite chance taken
Creating an e-course. I pondered doing this for so long, and worked on the content for it for even longer, but it was still so scary to take the plunge and actually release the e-course. But I did this spring and the feedback from most of you was incredible! Not everyone understood, and that's ok, not everyone always will, but those who joined the course with me really took so much from it - the comments and messages you guys sent about the change it made in your lives really meant so much to me. The course is still available now if any of you still want to join, and again feel free to leave any questions in the comments section or shoot me a message! For this week heading into the new year you can get 20% off with code NEWYEAR! I'm really considering creating another course - this one much smaller and focused on starting, maintaining, and promoting a successful blog - would love to hear your thoughts if it's anything at all that sounds interesting to you!

I hope you guys have enjoyed this fun round-up post - 2016 has definitely been a great year and 2017 only promises more to look forward to! You guys know I keep it real - there will be (and have been) plenty of sleep deprived days and arguments and times I want to lock myself in the car, but the beauty in life is realizing that's normal, and to move past those things as quickly as possible (while addressing them of course) and focus on the good. Because there truly is just so much good, so much beauty. After all that's why I started this blog - to put a shiny coat on top of the rough edges and show you that life, even when we make it challenging and go after what we want and take the road less taken, can still be so sweet!

December 21, 2016

Rice Krispie Christmas Trees!

Sharing a super easy recipe (no baking actually required) that Liv and I had a blast making! I got inspired by a random ad that I saw at Target and we put our own little spin on it! For the full recipe check out their site (we basically just used the recipe on the back of the rice krispies cereal box)!
Of course Liv had the most fun decorating the "trees!" And being sneaky trying to eat candy before using it as decorations lol! Hope some of you mamas can have fun with this one! 

December 20, 2016

Being a (Physician) Working Mom

One of the things I get asked most often is how I can handle being a mom and physician. It's a question I appreciate (and largely part of the reason I started this blog way back in the second year of medical school - to show that doctors and doctors in training could actually have lives), but sometimes it gets a little frustrating. Why? Because sometimes I feel like all that I do to show you you can still have a life (I'm a firm believer in actions speaking louder than words) still doesn't seem to convince you lol! I still get dozens of emails daily wondering if medicine is worth it because it's been so deeply ingrained in our beliefs that being a doctor and doing anything else are just incompatible. 

Yes being a doctor (and probably more, training to be a doctor) is hard. But guess what, so is being a lawyer, and so is going into business, and so is working in a restaurant - all of these jobs have things that make them uniquely difficult, medicine usually just gets glorified as being particularly brutal. And it certainly can be if you decide to become a neurosurgeon. But there are many fields in medicine that are much more accommodating to a "normal" life, even surgical fields, and the key is to have the foresight to see how that could work in the future. Medical school and residency don't allow for much autonomy, especially when it comes to your own time, but after that you decide what you want your practice to look like (granted, even practicing physicians nowadays feel like they have less and less autonomy thanks to insurance, etc, but that's another story).

All this to say, though, that being a mom and a doctor is just like any other type of working mom. Is it hard? Well, hell yeah. But when I'm chatting with our department secretary who's got 2 kids or my attending who's got 2 kids, or the cashier at the cafeteria who's got 2 kids, guess what? They all say it's hard! Being a mom in general is hard, and adding on the responsibilities of working outside the home (or from home) is hard for all mamas! Now, it's all about perspective, and I don't think I'd ever stop working - I absolutely love what I do and I love adult time using my brain to help people, so for me it doesn't feel hard everyday, but just know that if you ask the question of any working mom, she's going to say it's hard. So to decide not to pursue medicine because you want to have a family in the future is just plain silly (unless by having a family you mean you want to be a stay-at-home mom). But if you plan on working in any job and having children, medicine can still be one of those choices. 

Phew! With that out of the way, here are just a few things that I've learned along the way thus far, just over 3 years, almost 3 kids, and an MD degree later. 

Accept feeling guilty. And then get over it! As a working mom you pretty much have the chance to always feel guilty. You feel like you're either not giving enough at work, or not giving enough at home, or somehow skimped on something or another to make everything work. Once I realized that I could literally always feel like that I sort of just ignored it. We're working our butts off mamas, and you shouldn't feel guilty about all the hats you're wearing!

Now with that said, there are times (pretty much all the time) that you'll have to prioritize and make seemingly tough decisions. One thing I'll mention is getting good at saying no (hopefully you guys caught this post). The other thing, once you've prioritized your tasks, is becoming as efficient as possible. This means figuring out how to do things so that they are done well, but quickly. It means figuring out what will give you the most bang for your buck at work (and at home). For me, it means learning patient interactions and being a rockstar with them got me the farthest, and while my clinical notes are incredibly important for continuing care and billing purposes, I could automate them in such a way that I spent much less time at the computer and more making my patients feel like they were getting fantastic care from the doctor. It means at home I know my daughter might enjoy 2 hours of me trying to do some elaborate pinterest-inspired art project, but she really loves doing our nails together, and that 20 minutes of time is so much more special to her than 2 hours doing something else. Figure out where you get the most bang for your buck. 

Outfit details: tee shirt  //  sweats  //  sneakers

Another key lesson I learned is you don't need to be there every second of your kids' life for them to know they're loved. I partly learned this lesson as I grew up - my mom always worked outside of the home (she was a nurse), and we'd go to school and then my grandfather would pick us up and we'd go to our grandparents house after-school until my mom got out of work. I never felt like my mom didn't raise me, or that I somehow developed less of a relationship with her. If anything I appreciated our situation more because I developed such a strong relationship with my grandparents. Kids have an amazing capacity to love, and you better believe they will love you. They of course will go through phases - there are random weeks where one seems to want daddy more or times when they seem to prefer grammy - don't take those times personal, it really isn't. When they get hurt or they're particularly tired they run to mom! And it's even sweeter when they're a little older and you catch them talking about you - Liv is always saying the cutest things about me and it just melts my heart (I'm sure this will change when she's actually older and I catch her talking about me haha, but we'll soak this up for now)! As long as you put in the effort when you are home and are doing your best and have a village that also loves them, your kids will be just fine. Read more here about how I found my village. 

Another huge help is simply always being prepared (which is much easier said than done)! For me this means my work bag always has a few diapers in it and kids snacks, my diaper bag has vials of lidocaine (all of my bags have vials of lidocaine lol), and I'm hopefully wearing shoes that can take me from surgery to running around the playground with no problem. I've lately been wearing these Nursemates Lacey sneakers nonstop - both in clinic and on my downtime! Love that they go with everything! 

There's way more I could say about this but I've got to get ready for work (I woke up at 4:45 to type this!), including picking the right partner which is just about the most important part of the whole thing, but we'll save that for another time! Cheers (with my coffee mug)! PS - I posted a Youtube video not too long ago about perspective that ties in a bit with this as well, and I also love this youtube video on being a working mom - I tear up every time!

PS - if you enjoyed this post and want more like it, I think you'd love my E-course! It's all about balancing it all, and still finding happiness and joy even on the days we can't (because let's face it, some days are just sh** shows)! Enrollment is open for good and I'd love to see you there!

December 8, 2016

Awesome Deal for Christmas!

Just wanted to quickly share a sweet deal from Amazon (since I definitely took advantage for Christmas shopping)!

Today they're offering up to 50% off Melissa & Doug toys -
Both Livi and Elli love their toys, and they are at a crazy price right now! I picked up this cookie set to go with the cupcake set we already have and is one of the toys they play with the most! Their pots and pans set is also half off right now from $30 to $15!

December 3, 2016

Getting into the (Miami) Holiday Spirit

Happy weekend everyone! I hope you all are enjoying it - it's so weird having weekends off like a "normal" person again! Although poor N - he's working a 24 hour shift today covering the eye hospital emergency room. But me and the girls have already cleaned the entire house (ok, most of the house) and gotten some Christmas shopping done - we even made it out to a reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! So much fun! 

It's been easier than expected to still get into the holiday spirit here in Miami despite not having the cold temperatures and necessary bundling up. The temperature is still a little bit cooler than it was in the summer months, and the key is dressing in easy layers! I can still get away with wearing a cute ankle boot (I shared these on my snapchat last week and so many of you wanted to know where they were from - they're by Sofft and on sale 25% off right now)! They've also got great cushion and a nice chunky heel that makes them totally reasonable for clinic days! 

Throwing on a light sweater still gives me that cozy feel, and usually it's needed in the air conditioned indoors anyway! If I'm out near the water the sweater is definitely necessary since there's always a breeze, and if the sweater isn't necessary, I always make sure to have a tank top underneath so I can take it off if need be! 

Boots  //  Sweater  //  Leggings  //  Bag  //  Glasses  //  Watch (get 15% off your Daniel Wellington purchase with code LAURALACQUER15)

On top of what I wear, the city itself has been getting dressed up for the holidays too! 
This is actually my hospital campus with lights that they put up!

This is the tree at the shopping center near our house! And that's Livi standing in front of it in the turquoise shirt if you can spot her!

I drive by these flashy palm trees every evening picking up Liv from preschool!

Some of my favorite lights in Coconut Grove (with my favorite people - this was on Elli's first birthday last week)!

It's been really nice, we're getting the house set up too! More on that to come in another post ;)

PS - There are tons of great sales still going on this weekend! My entire outfit is all on sale, most pieces are at least 25% off or more! Check the rest of the sales below! 

West Elm - 20% off all in stock items // no code necessary

MAC - 25% off entire order // no code necessary

Asos - 30% off party wear // no code necessary

Anthropologie - extra 40% off all sale items // no code necessary

Lands' End - up to 60% off // no code necessary
and 50% off all kids, 30% off EVERYTHING else // code KIDS, PIN 2977

Banana Republic - 40% off entire purchase // code BRGIVE

Coach - extra 50% off sale // no code necessary (OBSESSED with this crossbody - it's sort of my style though lol, nearly identical to the one I already have! But at less that $150 it's so tempting! This one is also really tempting, ugh, I need to just stop scrolling the sale)!

JCPenney - up to 30% off sale items  // code 44BUYNOW

Ann Taylor - extra 50% off all sale // no code necessary

Ann Taylor Loft - extra 50% off all sale // no code necessary

Pottery Barn - up to 30% off select items // no code necessary
also - today, 20% off one item + free shipping // code GIVEJOY

Baublebar - 25% off 2 items or more // code GIFT25 (I wish I knew what the initial for our 3rd baby would be because I would totally be asking Santa for this special necklace with all 3 of my babies' initials)! 

Enjoy the rest of your weekends everyone!! xx

November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday - Amazon

Happy Monday! just sharing a few of my picks from Amazon's Cyber Monday sales! They have some incredible deals, make sure to check them out! All of the clothes, accessories, and luggage I have linked up is an extra 30% off as well! 

calvin klein set  //  men boxer briefs  //  kitchenaid (60% off!)  //  carry-on luggage  //  gold flats  //  sperry's for kids (or adults if you've got small feet!)  //  crossbody bag  //  full length hooded cardigan  //  twinkle lights  //  simple necklace  //  cozy sweater  //  wreath  //  burts bee's PJs  //  baby pram (and magnetic buttons omg yes)

These are just a few of the sales! My favorite way to shop is just type in what I'm looking for (making sure I'm searching through the "cyber monday" sales section - like this!)

November 27, 2016

Black Friday Beauty and More

Checking in with another Black Friday/weekend post! Wanted to share some of my beauty picks (basically my entire beauty routine lol) as well as a few fashion picks, and what I actually bought on Black Friday if you're curious!

Beauty Routine on Sale
A couple of months ago I completely changed my makeup routine (well, my favorite mineral makeup was discontinued when I went to stock up again), so it was time to try something new! I converted to Bare Minerals and won't be changing anytime soon!

Right now you can get 20% off your purchase of $100 or more on their site! SO worth it if you're gonna try out their products since they almost never go on sale!

My current makeup routine that leaves my face GLOWING is:
Their original foundation (I wear shade golden medium), stroke of light eye brightener (in luminous 2 - it's not full coverage for undereye, but I find it actually brightens my face more than a typical full coverage undereye concealer would), and bare minerals blush (in golden gate). I apply the foundation with the beautiful finish brush and blush with their blooming blush brush. Other important keys not to forget are eyebrows (I use this NYX pencil that's so much cheaper than the Anastasia pencil I used to use - AND is currently buy one get one half off!) and lashes (currently loving this mascara, but I'm always on the hunt for a better one! Or strongly considering eyelash extensions again since they were so easy)!

Of course makeup is only as good as the skin underneath it, and for that my current regimen (which I'm SO happy with) is Lush coal face as a cleanser (the best face wash EVER), tea tree water as a toner, my cerave SPF30 AM moisturizer in the morning, and Korres brightening facial at night (have fallen in love with this treat at night and what it's doing for my skin)! I've heard Lush products only go on sale the day after Christmas, no black friday sales there unfortunately. But the cleanser and tea tree water are also available on Amazon (at a steeper price), but I always mention that because I love that I can use Amazon gift cards there or credit I've built up - maybe you can do the same!

Fashion Picks 
I love love love this olive tunic - and it's on sale from $42 to $22!

I have to always mention when Hunter boots go on sale - especially when it's the classic black and other colors that tend not to ever go on sale - they're 25% off now!

This weekender bag has always caught my eye whenever I see it on social media, and right now it's only $49! If I weren't being good and trying to buy things I really need this would definitely be on its way to my house!

And coats. I'm not buying any darn coats in this weather, but if I were still up in Boston these two would be mine! This adorable tan peacoat is only $30, and this grey wrap coat is just everything, and 50% off with code CELEBRATE!

What I actually bought this Black Friday (all online):
This double jogging stroller. Now that we're in Miami N uses our jogging stroller SO much more than he did in Boston, and we know he'll continue to be able to use it all year. Both girls love going on runs with him but he always has to pick one to bring along! Now he can take them both (which will be huge for me too)! I've been staring at it for a while and a little hesitant especially because of the price, but at 20% off I had to go for it - it will be a Christmas present! For those curious he currently uses this single jogging stroller and loves it (it's also almost 40% off right now)! I didn't go with the double version of this one mostly because I liked the look of the other one a little more, loved the zippered storage at the bottom and the easy recline feature, and the total weight.

This copper cookware set - it was on sale from $179 to only $79! It's still on sale but only $40 off (but you can still also get an extra 20% off with code DEALSEEKER).

This little patio set (times 2). We're in dire need of furniture for our back patio, and while this likely won't be the permanent solution, I think these will definitely do for now since I don't plan on truly tackling that space for some time - with these we can actually start spending time out there though!

These maternity ankle pants and a few of these shirts - the deal was buy one get one 50% off; plus an extra 20% off with code THANKS!

Hope you guys are having wonderful weekends with the ones you love! 

November 25, 2016

Black Friday Picks!

Happy Black Friday all! I'm heading into work early this AM (but thankfully only a half day of clinic, yay!) but woke up even earlier to round up the best deals online for Black Friday!! I tried to organize them by type of store - scroll through and snag up gifts at crazy steals for everyone on your list (and for yourself too)!!

PS - Don't forget about the other Black Friday deal so near and dear to my heart! My E-course!!
Get 30% off with code BLACKFRIDAY good Wednesday 11/23 - Monday 11/28

Women/Men Fashion
Ann Taylor  // 50% off site + store

ASOS // 30% off sitewide and In Store
code: THANKFUL30

Banana Republic // 50% off sitewide and in Store
code: BRFIVE

Barneys New York // 40% off select styles
no code required

Chicwish // 25% off sitewide
code: BLK25

CHRLDR // 40% off sitewide
I had honestly never heard of this site before until searching for sales, but they have some of the cutest workout gear and other goodies

Daniel Wellington // 15% off entire purchase, PLUS a complimentary strap of your choice with purchase
My code will be good until January, but the complimentary strap offer is only good this weekend! I love how easily interchangeable the straps are to give my watch a different look!

Express // 50% off everything In Store and Sitewide
no code required

Nordstrom // Take an extra 20% off selected sale items
no code required

Saks 5th Avenue // Up to 40% off
no code required

Sole Society // 30% off all footwear, select bags, and accessories
no code required

Steve Madden // 30% off

Talbots // 50% off one item until noon, 40% off entire purchase until midnight

Things Remembered // Buy one get one 50% off
no code required

Tory Burch // 30% off any purchase of $250+, plus tons already discounted
code: THANKS
Let's just say these got got this morning - gorgeous riding boots normally $495, for $207

Urban Outfitters // Buy one get one 50% Off ALL apparel
no code required

Abercrombie & Fitch // 50% Off Sitewide and In Store
no code required

American Eagle // 40% off almost Sitewide
no code required

Hollister Co. // 50% Off Sitewide and In Store
no code required

Carter's //  60% off entire site + store
no code required
We absolutely love Carter's and they've always got good deals

Charlotte & Asher //  50% off their gorgeous bags
no code required
One of my favorite diaper bags, hands down, and it's never been at a price this low. They also sell without the changing pad for those without babes!

Gymboree // 50% off sitewide
no code required

Folica // 30% off sitewide PLUS 40% off Sedu and Solia
I get asked a bit about the hair tools I use - well this is my flat iron that I use not only to straighten my hair but also for waves, etc. and it's on CRAZY sale right now! I think I may buy it again since mine is nearly 6 years old (and still going strong, but who knows how much longer it'll last)!

SkinStore // 25% off Sitewide

Pottery Barn //  Up to 50% off sitewide
no code required

West Elm //  Up to 30% off sitewide depending on total purchase price

Serena and Lily // 20% off Sitewide

Happy shopping!!

November 11, 2016

A Day in the Life: Dermatology Resident

Hi all! I've been meaning to do a post like this for a while now, they've always been some of my most-appreciated posts (at least that's what you guys tell me hahaha)! For those who have missed prior ones, I've been doing them since med school - you can catch a day in the life on surgery (as a med student), on medicine (still as a med student), on night float (as an intern) and on medical wards (as an intern). And now it's time to get a peek into my day as a dermatology resident!

As you guys may have gathered by now, much of medical training happens in blocks - regardless of your training, we're almost always learning based on a rotation schedule to get the most out of training. So just like in medical school where you may spend a month or two on medicine, and some on OB-Gyn, and some on radiology, etc, and intern year where (despite being all "medicine") you spend a month on wards, and a month on ICU, and a month in clinic, in dermatology (and all other residencies) it's again more of the same rotation schedule. In dermatology some of the rotations include the VA (the Veteran's hospital, which for us is primarily a surgical rotation where we remove a ton of large skin cancers), inpatient consults (where we get consulted on dermatology cases for hospitalized patients), clinics (which vary from general to pediatrics to wound to cosmetics and more), and even a Hansen's disease clinic! The list seriously goes on and I am so spoiled at my program with the amount of amazing things we get to see and do! So with all that said, the day really varies based on what rotation you're on - if you're just doing clinics you can usually be done by 5 most days and have weekends off (incredible) - if you're inpatient you may be there until 8 wrapping up consults and then are carrying the consult pagers over the weekend as well (not so incredible, but seriously good teaching).

Ok. Whew that was a big preface. Now let's get into the day. For this post I'll share a more typical day of clinics that includes some surgery as I think it gives a nice example of some of the different things we get to see and do in dermatology!

4:45 N's alarm goes off and he hops out of bed and starts getting dressed for his run (I have a crazy husband/fitness freak who jogs 6 miles to work nearly every morning). I stay in bed just a tiny bit longer.

5:15 I get up and make a cup of coffee on our Keurig and get back into bed with my mug and my laptop. Usually in the mornings I'll try to get through a couple emails, check my calendar and to-do list, and get a few minutes of studying in. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to study for dermatology, especially since with our schedule right now (ie busy as hell) we don't have much time. The best thing I've found so far is reviewing old kodachrome lectures - depending on the cases it only takes about 10-15 minutes but is really high yield, especially in developing our differentials!

5:45 Hop in the shower and get ready for work. Stay tuned as I'm currently working on a new daily skin care and makeup routine post that will be up very soon!!

6:15 I hear Elli start fussing so I make her a quick bottle and give it to her and she dozes back off.

6:30 Leave the house. For the most part it's only a 10-15 minute drive to work, but you really can never estimate Miami traffic, and God forbid it rains, the entire driving community acts like it's a blizzard or something - so I usually try to give myself plenty of time to get in in the morning!

6:50 A good traffic day - I pick up some breakfast from the hospital cafeteria (we have a meal card there so it's "free" - yay!) and walk over to lecture.

7:15 Our AM lecture starts. Nearly every morning at from 7:15-7:50 we have either resident lectures (where a fellow resident lectures on a chapter or chapters from our derm textbook, Bolognia) or pathology sessions where one of the dermatopathologists will sit with us at the 12-headed microscope and go through path slides. Today's lecture is by a co-resident on connective tissue diseases.

7:50 Lecture wraps up and we all part ways - I'm headed to our AM surgery clinic. On this current rotation we do surgeries every Monday and Thursday morning.

8:15 Our first surgery patient arrives - I get them all checked in, ask a bit of history and contraindications to surgery or any reasons I'd have to operate a little differently (it's always helpful to know if a patient is on a blood thinner or if they have a pacemaker) and decide whether or not they'll need prophylactic antibiotics. It's a 60-something year old Hispanic woman with a large squamous cell carcinoma of the upper arm. Should be an easy enough case - just take it out with margins and do a repair in a linear fashion - it gets way more complicated in troublesome areas of the body or when the tumors are really large - that's when we start doing flaps and grafts if need be. But this is nice and simple and I get her consented and prepped for surgery. Meanwhile some of the other surgery patients come in who the other residents grab - one is a cyst excision and the other is a Mohs closure (it's common practice that one surgeon will do the Mohs excision but not the repair, so they come to us (planned of course) with a hole in their face that needs to be closed)!

8:40 The attending comes in and we present the mornings surgery cases. We go to each room and talk about the surgeries and then each grab a procedure room and get started! We'll typically have 3 cases running simultaneously and the attending and chief resident in and out as needed for guidance. It's nice though, because once they trust you, you can pretty much do everything independently which I think is incredible for training and really perfecting your art!

9:30 As predicted, it was a really simple case with nothing unexpected so I had the patient in and out in less than an hour. She'll come back in 2 weeks to have the sutures removed and see how she's doing. I wrap up my surgical note and pathology form and then start seeing wound checks (people who come in for their post-op visit and suture removal 1 or 2 weeks after surgery - typically 1 week for the face and 2 weeks for the rest of the body).

11:40 All of the cases for the morning are done - it's always nice when we finish on time! Sometimes we have really long excisions or Mohs repairs that take hours! On almost all of my surgery days I wear scrubs and my Nurse Mates ALIGN Dash sneakers. They're cute and sporty feeling but also provide incredible support - think like an orthotic clog without the orthotic "look" - I've even worn them with workout leggings! Anyway, we get out with enough time to walk together as a team to pick up some lunch (to go) from the cafeteria.

12:00 Back to our derm library/conference room where we now have our PM lecture. Today we have one of our dermatopathology attendings giving us a talk on psoriasiform disorders.

12:50 Wrap up lecture and head back to the hospital for our PM clinic. I'm currently rotating at our public hospital that serves patients with no health insurance and many immigrants from other countries, and it's pretty much one of the most rewarding clinics I have (other than the clinic we sometimes run at the homeless shelter). Not only are the patients incredibly grateful, but the pathology is unlike anything you'd see in the US.

1:00 First patient - a gentleman who comes in with a "growth" that's been getting bigger and he finally decided he wanted looked at. It's in his groin and actually about the size of a large head of broccoli, and we decide to shave it off and send it for path (probably just a really large acrochordon - ie skin tag - or maybe even a neurofibroma; whenever we remove anything off of anyone's body we always send it to be looked at by a pathologist even if we're sure it's benign). I numb up the area with lidocaine and take it off by cutting it at the base with a 15 blade, then use my electrocautery to stop the bleeding and bandage him up. A little procedure heavy for PM clinic, but also not something I want to make him schedule a surgery appointment for. Definitely happy I'm wearing my ALIGN sneakers and have been comfortable on my feet all day! I also love that they're really easy to slip on/off so I can slip out of them while I'm charting hehe!

1:35 - 4:45 Go through clinic seeing the rest of the patients. We essentially just have 4-5 residents working and pulling charts from the one (seemingly never ending) pile of patients until we see the last one. As first year residents we almost always have to present our cases and what we want to do to either the attending or the third year resident, who can then add in their teaching! The cases for the afternoon ranged from an incredible case of leukoderma of (undiagnosed) scleroderma, many many likely basal and squamous cell cancers, some ulcers, a potential macular amyloidosis and a TMEP, and a few allergic/irritant contact derm cases. It's always an interesting range of common derm and really interesting stuff.

5:00 Head out and off to pick up Liv. I had a little time before leaving so I picked up a small coffee on the way out - I call it my fuel up for the "second" shift - ie getting home and being mom!

5:20 Get to Liv's preschool and pick her up. I love how excited and happy she is when she sees me - she always runs full speed into my arms and then runs to show me her art project of the day.  We grab her backpack and get in the car and she gets her afternoon "treat" that keeps us all sane on the sometimes long drive home (traffic is always unpredictable) - today it's a caramel apple pop.

5:50 Get home and get to see my Elli-belly (who during the day stays home with Grammie who lives with us). I get some snuggles in and then head into the kitchen to whip up a quick dinner. I boil some whole wheat pasta, cook some ground turkey and pasta sauce, and then through in some fresh chunks of buffalo mozzarella and we have our dinner. I usually eat with the girls all together, but N almost always is home later than us thanks to their schedule that requires them to work at the eye ED at the end of their clinics almost every evening!

6:45 Playing with the girls on the floor for a bit as we all relax and wind down for the night. Liv throws a fit here or there about whatever it is she's upset about for 30 seconds and she gets sent to her room twice, but ends up getting over her attitude and we enjoy the rest of the night together lol!

7:45 Get the girls into the bathtub for bath time! They both adore bath time. Daddy gets home too while the girls are in the tub. After both girls get into PJs

8:30 Make Elli a bottle a get her down for bed. Liv stays up a little later, I've found that she (and I) really appreciate the alone time. We play a game together on her iPad (a tea party!) and chat and then by 9 I get her into bed too.

9:15 Grown up time - I catch up with N about our days and then we both usually study on the couch (or if was a particularly hard day we'll just pick a movie or show to watch)!

11:00 Calling it a night - wash my face, brush my teeth, and snuggle up under the covers to get some rest for tomorrow!

I hope you guys enjoyed this peek into one of my days! Like I said before - everyday is different - there are days PM clinic runs until 6:30pm and my mother-in-law has to pick up Liv, or days that I'm definitely not cooking dinner and Liv and I pick up Pollo Tropical (rice and beans and chicken is a no brainer in this house lol), you get the idea! 

PS!! - For those of you who wonder how it's possible to "do it all" - be a full time working mom and in a happy relationship and have kids and still find time for yourself, I strongly encourage you to check out my E-course that I've now opened for enrollment again! It's an incredible series of 30 10-minute videos that address all of the skills you need to get to where you want to be professionally, family-wise, and with your self that I think every woman can use! Read more on the course page and make sure to use the code GIVETHANKS for 10% off, that will be good all throughout the month of November. **UPDATE - For Thanksgiving and Black Friday we'll be having an even bigger discount - get 30% off with code BLACKFRIDAY good Wednesday 11/23 - Monday 11/28)!**

And a special thanks to Nurse Mates for sponsoring this post! Their ALIGN Dash shoe really is one of the most comfortable I've worn (although they've got another shoe that might take the cake - I'll be talking about that one soon too)! 

November 7, 2016

Deal on Mama Necessity!

Ok super quick post just to share a deal I just found today - N picked up this handheld vacuum about 2 years ago and I remember being annoyed thinking he wasted his money (we needed a real vacuum, not a little dinky one) - and while I still fully believe in the power of a "real" vacuum, this baby should not be underestimated. This is quite possibly our most-used household item - with kids (and who am I kidding, a husband) there are always little spills in the most convenient or inconvenient of places. This sucker has picked it all up and then some - it's great for getting stuff that has accumulated behind couch cushions and in the car, and when Liv decides she wants to pour the sugar herself. Anyway, not even sponsored, just sharing the love because this little baby really has been one of our greatest purchases and it's nearly 50% off today only! I just bought a second one :)

October 30, 2016

Goodbye October!

October has been a fun whirlwind of a month - those of you who follow on Instagram and Snapchat get a peek of it all but I figured it'd be nice to post a little update on the blog too!! 

We moved! And I seriously could not be happier. I've alluded to the Miami move being harder than expected, I pretty much dislike Miami very much lol (although I should say disliked). The area we moved to though just wasn't right for us - full of lots of rich privileged flashy people who will beep at you when you're crossing the street with your children (and have the walking sign)! And we didn't have a car yet either which meant I was relying on Uber to get to work (which was actually super cheap with Uber pool, usually $2-$3 a trip), but led to so much daily frustration! And our condo itself was just not right for us - it always felt cold and outdated and no matter what changes I made my feelings about it weren't changing - never mind all of the necessary repairs that were promised by the property manager and never taken care of - needless to say we had every right to terminate the lease early and we did. And found the most perfect house in the cutest neighborhood with a huge playground across the street (and a shopping center, etc). And got a new car! The move was a bit hectic since we could only move out of the condo on weekdays (the condo rules are ridiculous), but even in the chaos it's already been such a relief! I'm calling it our #freshstartMiami and so excited for it all! And in case you missed it in the midst of it all the girls and I made a super special trip back home the week before the move that was the perfect recharge we needed before taking on the move! 
Our kitchen! I love it! And a front view of our cute little bungalow the day we first saw it! It definitely needs some yard work but we love it! And below our living room (and all the boxes surrounding us lol)!

Dressing the bump has been fun; for most of the month I was still on my inpatient rotation (read more below) which meant I had to dress in business-casual every day! Which honestly gets a little tiring when you have a special accessory like a 6 month baby bump! My favorites were comfy pants paired with easy tops, and especially sleeveless stretchy sweater dresses! Sweater because it's technically fall, sleeveless because it's still like 80 degrees hahaha (although we have had a few "cooler" days where the humidity has let up and the breeze kicks in and it honestly is glorious)! Loving the price point and fall color options of this dress (and this grey one is almost the exact one I have)!
Left: top, pants, shoes, watch; Right: top, leggings, shoes (I am obsessed with this pointy-toe version leopard flat and it's been taking all of my powers of minimalism to convince myself not to buy them - they look really comfortable too)!

This month I wrapped up my inpatient rotation - my program is the only dermatology program in the country where dermatology actually admits patients (not only inpatient consults) - we admit everything from infected wounds from our wound clinic to drug reactions to scheduled admissions for photophoresis for cutaneous T cell lymphoma or IVIG treatments. It was a great month full of learning (we also handled all of the hospital consults, and over the weekend carried all 3 pagers for 3 separate hospitals, so it was always busy)! My first year as a dermatology resident was very front loaded - I started with our VA rotation which is where we get most of our surgical training (and the first year carries the VA pager 24/7, so you can never leave town), and then I started inpatient, the other heavy month! But this week I started one of our "normal" rotations that means I'm pretty much just in clinics during the day with a couple mornings of surgery, and then I'm free on the weekends! It's a nice change that's for sure! Sharing a few photos below from some interesting consults - warning some of it may be graphic so don't scroll down if you may be squeamish! All of these are photos I actually took from online and not my actual patients to protect their privacy, but these are nearly identical to the presentations I saw!
The first case on the left was probably the craziest - I got a consult for a patient who came to the Emergency Room for right sided weakness, imaging of his brain concerning for metastasis, and a growth like this on his back. I biopsied it and sure enough it returned as an amelanotic melanoma (pretty much one of our scariest diagnoses). The top right was a woman who came in admitting to recent cocaine use - this was levamisole-induced vasculitis - levamisole is a cutting agent in some cocaine that can cause this horrible vasculopathic purpura. The bottom right was a classic case of erythema multiforme, likely from HSV infection (herpes simplex). We see so many cases it's insane! Hope you guys enjoyed it! 

October 21, 2016

A *Real* Fall Weekend

Last weekend was pretty much the best weekend ever because not only did the girls and I get to travel back up to Mass and stay at my family home, but my bestest girlfriends in the whole wide world met up with us too! It was a wonderful reunion of family and friends, and beautiful fall weather that made for the perfect weekend! It was a little crazy traveling with the girls solo (and those of you who follow me on snapchat might have seen they even had to spend some time with me in my afternoon clinic on Friday before we left for the airport which was pure madness!) but it was SO worth it.

This weekend I'm on call at the hospital which likely means I'll be at the hospital for most of it, but I have plenty of beautiful memories to get me through it (and lots of fun to look forward to as well)! Sharing some pictures and of course outfit information below!! Hope you all have wonderful weekends! (Warning: totally photo heavy!)

Top (similar)  //  Jeans (50% off right now!)  //  Boots  //  Bag  //  DW Watch (almost 50% off!)

Elli-belly was such a trooper even though she was getting over a yucky viral bug!

Livi loved picking pumpkins (and tipping over the big ones lol)

Yeah we're still washing hay out of Liv's hair at bath time, but totally worth it! 

My screensaver on my phone ❤

Elli, my sister Lili, mama, Kellie, me, and Janice (and Liv tipping pumpkins)

Liv wanted all the gourds!

Besties finally reunited! This is the longest we've ever all been apart!

Me and my siblings - it's been too long since we've all been under one roof! My mom was over the moon. 

Our (or more accurately, just my) incredible brunch at Jakes in Northampton (my college town)!

Simple cozy outfit perfect for the temperature! Sad I can't wear them in Miami! 

Sweater (legit $10)  //  Cardigan  //  Jeans  //  Booties (run to get these, they're $35 and basically the cutest ever)  //  Bag

Love these ladies SO much and was so happy they traveled to meet up with us and make the weekend extra special! Love you girls! 

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