blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: December 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
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