blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: March 2017

March 28, 2017

What's In My Bag

Hi all!! Today I wanted to do a fun post on what's in my bag! I'm actually just linking up everything here - check out my Instagram story for the full video that features my bag and what's inside!

This bag has really been fantastic and fits everything I need - including my pumping stuff and travel mug and snacks (which were missing from the video because I ate them all hahaha)!

Striped top   //   Pants   //   Flats   //   Bag

White coat   //   Sweater (from H&M but not online, this one is nearly identical, I like this one too)   //  Pants   //   Flats   //   Bag

Inside the bag:
Planner (almost identical, mine just doesn't have exposed rings)

March 21, 2017

Healthy Hair

Happy Tuesday!! Today I’m partnering with Nature’s Bounty to talk all about healthy hair (skin and nails apply too)! But I wanted to focus mostly on hair today. 

As a dermatology resident we not only see patients with skin disease, but also with hair and nail disorders as well! And you’d never imagine the amount of pathology there is out there! But the most common questions I get are always about keeping hair and nails healthy from people with no real “pathology” so to speak of (including mamas who are experiencing postpartum hair loss - which is completely normal/physiologic, and starts right around 3 months PP - I experienced it with all my girls and am ready for it to hit this time too)! Anyway, today I wanted to talk about keeping our hair as healthy as possible!  

I’ll do another post later on some products that can help from the outside in, but healthy hair, skin, and nails, all begin from the inside! And one of the biggest factors, whether we like to admit or not is stress! Stress and bad skin/hair/nails are 100% related! In fact one of the most common causes of hair loss (and breakouts) is STRESS! So finding ways to reduce stress is one of the best things we can do for ourselves (not just for hair, skin, and nails either, it most certainly has internal effects as well)! I know that's much easier said than done, but one way I try reducing stress is by remembering what actually matters in the grand scheme of things - check out this post for a few more tips.

Another thing that helps with healthy hair is blood flow! Many people love scalp massage (which serves three purposes - increasing blood flow to the scalp, breaking up any buildup on the scalp, and reducing stress) and it's one of my favorites. Exercise is another fantastic way to increase blood flow to the scalp, and also a great stress reducer! For both scalp massage and exercise, though, I’d make sure to be careful with oils (oil you may use for the scalp massage and the sweat/oil that we work up ourselves during exercise)! This extra oil can certainly contribute to breakouts, so make sure to wash your hair after your massage and wash your face after workouts (I prescribe clindamycin swabs for a lot of my patients to just keep in their gym bags, but non-prescription face wipes can also be really helpful - I've recommended these over the counter for my patients)! For the scalp I shampoo regularly with an anti-dandruff shampoo (and do a little scalp massage in the shower as well)! Having a clean scalp is also really important for health hair!

Whenever patients come in with hair loss we also want to make sure they’re not vitamin or nutrient deficient. Many are not, but they still want recommendations on supplements to take. Now - there IS NO SUPPLEMENT that's going to make your hair grow faster or give you perfect skin - it just doesn't work that way - there are so many factors in play. But it is certainly helpful to make sure you have all the right building blocks for healthy hair (and skin and nails)! And that certainly starts with a healthy diet - protein and fats are crucial - I try to include lean poultry and meats as well as fish like salmon, and other healthy fat filled foods like walnuts and flaxseed (super easy to add to a cup of greek yogurt and have a great snack)! As far as supplements, lately I’ve been recommending these Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies - one because I’ve tried them and love them (and I really feel best recommending products I actually have tried, I do the same with my sunscreen), and two because they have simple ingredients and not too much “extra.” They provide some of the vital vitamins we need to support beautiful hair, skin, and nails from the inside and out.* They essentially are just Biotin, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which support lustrous hair, vibrant skin and healthy nails.* And they're cute and pink and strawberry flavored, but not everyone cares about that part lol! The only thing I'd caution with these is that while they taste like candy, they aren't, so only take 2 so you don't go over the 2,500mcg biotin dose!* 

As always, anything on the blog is my opinion and not my professional medical advice, make sure to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if you have concerns about your hair skin or nails! But if you just want to make sure you’ve got the right building blocks for healthy hair, skin, and nails, remember to cut out stress, exercise, and pick up a bottle of Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies in the beauty aisle at your local Walgreens!

PS - you can read more about my current skincare and makeup routine here, some of the other hair products I use for curly hair (me and Liv) here (I'd say the only update is that I've switched to an anti-dandruff shampoo like I mentioned above), and how I straighten my hair here (I've updated a few products like my dry shampoo but otherwise most of the routine is the same)! Thanks to Nature's Bounty for sponsoring this post and asking me to share some of my tips for healthy hair!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

March 17, 2017

Back to Work

Happy Friday! Checking in quickly during a busy week - I went back to work this Monday! 

Maternity leave during residency is a tricky thing (read my post on maternity leave in residency which describes how I made it work intern year - but everything is program and resident-dependent). For this leave we were able to work it out so that I could take 4 weeks - technically I could have done 6 weeks paid, but that would take all my sick time and vacation time. I think the most exhausting thing about the arrangement I set up during intern year was that I used all my vacation time for leave (and we all know being home with a newborn after just giving birth is no vacation, add in two other littles and it's a little crazy!) so there was no other "break" during the year. Taking the 4 weeks this time still allotted me two separate weeks of vacation which we used for our cruise in the fall, and will have another one coming up in April (N has off too)! And thankfully my hours even being back to work are much better than they were intern year, no in-house call or nights, etc. 

The transition hasn't been too bad - my co-residents have all been awesome and really supportive, and when I saw my program chair for the first time since coming back, his first words were "welcome home." And I love what I do, so hopping back into clinic and surgery was nice (although don't get me wrong, I would have preferred a full 3+ months at home and then come back to work just like any other new mama, this just isn't a real option for everyone - but I love this speech by Anne Hathaway, check out the article if you want a little extra reading today)!

On top of heading back to work I also had a presentation to give yesterday that's finally over (and went great - thanks so much for all of your good luck wishes)!! It was a last minute thing because someone else couldn't present so I agreed to, but it all worked out! But definitely added to the stress factor of coming back. Now that that's over I can finally get a little bit of my rare "free time" (basically when all the girls are finally asleep - I always feel guilty doing work if they're still awake!).

Anywho... I posted this pic on instagram yesterday and many of you had outfit questions so I'm linking everything up here! I'll be posting soon about everything I bring in my tote bag for work (can you believe it's only $40?!?) and pumping (although I did a huge pumping post here - I use the FREESTYLE pump for those who asked), etc. and hopefully working on a few other posts as well! Thanks for all your support guys!! 

White coat (I'd read the reviews on Medelita website, this coat is amazing, 3 of my co-residents have already ordered one after trying mine on!)  //  Sweater (from H&M but not online, this one is nearly identical, I like this one too)  //  Pants  //  Flats (one of my go-tos for work, they are so comfortable!)  //  Tote bag (Incredible. that's all I can say.)

In the scrubs picture I'm wearing my FIGS scrubs, white coat, and these sneakers.

Hope you all have a great weekend! And happy Match Day to all my fourth years!!!

March 8, 2017

Strong Women

Women are like tea bags. You never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water. 

Being strong is hard. But the more I put myself in situations (or am put in them without choice which still happens, albeit not as often as it did growing up) where I have to be strong, I come out even stronger every time. I find so much inspiration from other strong women - women who have the strength to speak out, women who have the strength to stay quiet to protect something else, women who have the strength to go after their dreams, women who have the strength to sacrifice their dreams, women who have strength to love who they want, women who have the strength to love even if it wasn't their choice - you see, we as women need to see and respect each other for where we are - we all make choices or take actions based on things someone else will never understand.

In a similar fashion we need to remind ourselves not to compare or compete with other women. There's enough room for us all to shine in our own ways, and we'll only get there faster by supporting each other. 

I hope I can raise my girls to be strong, and to find inspiration and camaraderie from other girls and women. And to not be afraid of a little hot water. 

In something that probably makes more sense than my sleep-deprived rambling, the folks over at Sofft reached out to me as they wanted to highlight me for International Women's Day (so humbled!) so here is a tiny bit of my interview with them. Make sure to hop over to their page to read the rest

Having three young daughters and a very demanding career, how do you balance it all?
I think the illusion of "balance" is an unfair one that so many women try to achieve, when the truth is that although we may have many roles, we're only playing one or two at any given time. Now - I may switch hats about 24 times a day - from mom to wife to doctor and then back to mom for a pumping break at work and then back to doctor, then to mom again, then to wife when the kids are asleep - I think that's a more realistic way to see the "balance," not expecting that at any given time we're actually playing all of those roles. With that said - it takes a village! When we had our first during medical school we had daycare and a nanny (a sweet college student was what we could afford at the time!) - now with three we actually have my mother-in-law who we moved in with us and take care of so that she can help out with the girls, and my oldest is in pre-school now. I also have a supportive work environment - once during clinic I had to bring the girls (even with childcare and backup childcare there are still emergencies!) and my nurses took turn watching the girls so I could see the last few patients! 

You are inarguably a huge inspiration for other young women. What’s your advice for those who need a little bit of motivation to keep reaching for their goals?
The biggest motivation always comes from within, so that is always my message to young women. You need to know why you want it, I mean really know, really believe it, and be able to pull those feelings up when times get hard - because they will! I also truly believe in the power of mentorship - having a mentor who can tell you "you'll get through this, I did" is also sometimes the little bit of reassurance you need to keep pushing. I didn't always personally have it but I searched online for people I could look up to even if they didn't know I existed!

Some of us have the tendency to steer towards negativity when life becomes overwhelming – what is your strategy for staying positive when things get a bit chaotic?
Life's way too short. I grew up with constant reminders of how precious life truly is and what problems are actually real problems - from having family members murdered, to not having money for medical care, to seeing classmates put in jail - things that truly put what my current problems are in major perspective. That perspective has always reminded me to count my blessings and be grateful for what I have, and not sweat the small stuff. I also allow myself that time to be negative - just because I say don't sweat it doesn't mean you shouldn't react to it or be this perfectly positive person all the time. No! Get angry, cry a little, have a minor panic attack, sure! But don't dwell on it - give yourself that outlet and then pick up the pieces and deal with it! Because life truly is too short. 

Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

Thanks to Sofft for helping inspire this post, and coffee, all the coffee. 

March 2, 2017

Quick Home Post!

Happy Thursday all! I wanted to do a quick post on some of my home pieces as it seems to be a commonly asked about topic nowadays! Hoping to do a true home post with nice photos at some point before I head back to work but until then here's some info below!

I get asked all the time about all the white in our house, especially with 3 little ones (and a husband, and a dog, who probably contribute more to the mess than the girls lol)! Slipcovers! The entire couch - seats, pillows - and our corner chair have covers that can all be zipped off and thrown into the washer and dryer at home. Toss in a little oxiclean and everything stays white! Of course it's not always that way, right now everything is starting to get a bit dingy which means this weekend I'll be washing everything! 

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