Saturday, December 20, 2014

All I Want for Christmas

Considering my surgery will have me couch-ridden for a couple days, I thought I'd take the time to share some items that I've found myself wishing for come Christmas.

(And for those of you who are shopping last minute, maybe this can inspire some gift ideas for the upcoming holiday.)

I've had my eye on this jacket for years. The faux leather is made so well you wouldn't be able to tell that it's fake, and the edgy structure and design of the jacket is gorgeous.
($98, Nordstrom)

My recent obsession has been layering simple jewelry, and Dogeared has so many simple and beautiful designs that would look amazing dressed up or down.
($50, Dogeared)

Personally, I'm interested in the new Travel Size options.  I haven't had the chance to personally test the product, but I've heard rave reviews and would love to try out a bold red lip.
($10, Sephora)

As your typical 90's child, I am so unbelievably happy that skorts have been making a comeback.  (Party in the front, business in the back anyone?) I think the style of this one in particular would be great for a night out.
($68, Topshop)

I have a love affair with small, black bags.  This one in particular is the perfect size to hold all necessities, while maintaining a structured and stylish appearance perfect for the night out.
($175, Nordstrom)

The constant struggle with my iPhone has always been it's battery life.  It can't seem to last a day without putting out (and always when you need it most). Case and point, portable chargers are a lifesaver - and this one is so gosh darn cute too.
($30, Nordstrom)

7. MAC Cosmetics 'Syrup' Lipstick
Let's face it, I'm addicted to MAC lip products.  Honestly they are consistently some of the best, reasonably-priced products out there.  I find that this shade in particular goes well with most everyday wear, and just adds that bit of sheen to your lips that can tie together a look.
($15, MAC Cosmetics)

8. Juicy Couture 'Livia' Ankle Boots
Another addiction of mine: black, heeled ankle booties.  This pair I stumbled across a couple months ago and have been waiting for the right price deduction to purchase (because, in case it needs reminding, I'm on a college budget here).  A girl can never have enough shoes and the high heel combined with the structured gold details give this bootie the perfect look to wear on a night out.
($50, Kohl's)

9. Hunter Original High Gloss Boot
I have had my eye on these boots since freshman year (because let's be honest, the first necessity when moving to college is a solid rain boot purchase).  I had opted for something less pricey, but my eye has been on these little lovelies ever since.  Burgundy is one of my favorite colors of the season, and I think it could add just the right pop of color on a cold rainy day.
($99,  Nordstrom)
Note: Unfortunately right as I posted this these beauties sold out, but never fear! A quick peruse of the internet will offer you plenty more options to buy.

What would you like to receive this Christmas? Or even better, what are you excited about giving?



Friday, December 19, 2014


While I was in Turkey this summer I noticed a weird soreness in the back of my mouth.  It was strange to me, mainly because it was hard to classify the feeling; it seemed somewhere between sore and pain; but definitely an annoyance.

The feeling would come and go, but the most certain thing I could understand is I felt a strange necessity to teeth. So when I was given a break during research, I had a call made to my dentist to assess what was happening. He scheduled an x-ray to look into what could be happening.

As it turns out, my wisdom teeth were coming in... and they were not coming in nicely.

Now fast-forward 5 months later, I am bound to the couch with an endless supply of ibuprofen thanks to having the little monsters removed yesterday.

So to answer some of the questions and advice that I never asked for, but should have:

Is there pain?
This is different for everyone. Personally my mouth has just been terribly sore, but definitely not strong enough to use any of the harder prescriptions my surgeon gave me. 

I think the second day is definitely the worse. The first day passes by quickly enough (I slept pretty much the whole day), but the second day is when you experience some residual soreness that might necessitate ibuprofen.

Eat everything hard, solid, and crunchy that you could want the week before surgery.
Clearly I didn't think far ahead, but ever since I've been sitting on this couch all I can think about is eating through a bag of Tostitos. (A big no-no, in case you were wondering).  Since for at least 3-4 days post-surgery you won't be able to eat anything that requires much chewing, you'll need to stock up on anything you might crave.

Stock up on soft foods.
Apple sauce, yogurt, pudding, mashed potatoes, and ice cream.  These five foods will be the only staples of your diet for a couple days, so be sure to stock up your fridge with them.

Drink lots of fluids.
Swallowing is pretty weird for the first couple hours (same with eating), but the only sure way to a quick recovery would be to make sure you're still receiving nutrients.  Make sure you stay true to timed water consumption and attempt to eat yogurt and other soft foods.

Personally, my surgery went by without a hitch.  I had probably everything they could offer me anesthetically during the procedure, which means I was out like a light and woke up with no wisdom teeth and only very slight pain.  They gave me a small dose of Vicodin before the procedure, a bit of laughing gas immediately before the procedure, followed by an IV that knocked me out within the first 30 seconds of it's injection.

All in all, wisdom teeth removal is something that should not be stressed over.  The procedure itself is something that you honestly will have no recollection of, and the post-procedure really is more of an annoyance than anything truly painful. 

(Oh, and no worries. You'll inevitably look like a chipmunk for about 24 hours post-procedure. Embrace it.)

Do you have any questions for your own procedure? Or any advice for others if you've already had yours removed?


Friday, December 12, 2014

Flashback: Ayvalik

Before we reached our destination, Bursa, our group was scheduled to pay a visit to Lesvos, Greece in order to research a series of flora found on the island.

In an unexpected turn of events, the ferry that was supposed to bring us to the island was running a couple days late. (This is a common occurrence when traveling from this area to the islands, if you are planning on a certain boat ride be sure to have cash handy in case this happens.)

So, we were left to stay and explore the beautiful city of Ayvalik for a span of two days.

It always amazes me how small some of the streets can be.
We took a small boat over to another portion of the city (it seemed much better than walking).
Stray cats could be found lounging literally everywhere around the city.

It never ceased to amaze me just how friendly everyone I encountered in Turkey was.  Honestly, people would go above and beyond just to help you find your way somewhere or to give you a sample of what they were cooking.

We stayed at a small bed and breakfast located just a block from the coast, and the hospitality of the owners was absolutely outstanding. He even went so far as to spend the day giving us a personal tour of Ayvalik while his wife cooked us dinner.

It was very clear when exploring that the small port town had a strong European influence (thanks to the close proximity to Greece), and as such a majority of the buildings were constructed to European architectural ideals. This in no way takes away from the setting, it simply adds an interesting flair in association with the recent outcropping of Turkish design.

Overall the city was absolutely gorgeous and will remain one of the highlights of my trip.

(I will mention that if you're traveling in the summer, expect it to be hot. When we were walking through a tour of the city it had to be at least 98 degrees, so be prepared and bring a hat or proper sun protection.)



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Procrastination Nation

I am one of the worst procrastinators.  Honestly, if procrastinators formed a faction I'd be their Katniss Everdeen.

How do I know this?

Because it's currently three in the morning and I still haven't started an assignment due tomorrow night, not to mention I haven't even considered touching my finals material.

It's something I've been constantly trying to work through. Though clearly I've missed the mark on that front this week.

So instead of continuing with my work, like the quintessential procrastinator I am I'm going to list everything I've done instead of my work.

Here goes:

Watched 2 complete seasons of Gilmore Girls on Netflix
(then proceeded to watch 5 Chopped episodes for a change of pace)
Ate through 2 and a half bags of Tostitos
Attempted to paint my nails without looking
Went to a formal
Redesigned my blog
Re-read Bel Canto a third time
"Purchased" at least 3 closets worth of clothes
(as in placed items in my shopping bag and never actually committed)
Rearranged my room
Cleaned my room

... and basically anything under the sun besides studying for my finals or my MCAT.

Considering it's been all but a week I'd like to believe this list is looking pretty impressive... though I'm pretty sure it's size isn't actually a good thing.

Well, I've promised myself that I would finish at least a chapter in my neuroanatomy book once I published this.  I'll keep you posted how that goes.

Does anyone else think Netflix is just an abnormal anagram for "finals week"?


Friday, December 5, 2014


Notice anything different?

Something that had been on my mind for a while was a way to spruce up the appearance of this blog. Not that there was anything wrong with it's previous look, just that I was looking for a little change.

I can't quite remember how, but at some point a couple months ago I had the fortune to stumble across a template design site called pipdig.

I was instantly in love with the template that you see now.  It was just so clean and fresh to me, I thought it would be the perfect addition.

The template itself downloaded with a very easy and straightforward step-by-step guide. Though even if you can't figure out how to work blogger (which let's be honest can be pretty confusing), they offer to install it for you for free.

Needless to say, the biggest of thank yous to pipdig for making an amazing template and simple set-up!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Flashback: Gallipoli Coast

After a day spent exploring the ruins of what we assume to be Troy, my group spent the night in Çannakale before embarking on a tour of the Gallipoli Coast.

As I've said, my historical knowledge is very slim.  I've never been much of a history buff but I do appreciate visiting historical sites, there's just something intriguing about standing where years ago others had made an impact on the course of the future.

Even so, with what was imparted by our tour guide I was able to gain an understanding for the significance of this area.

We took a boat from the coast of Çannakale.

The view from the final cemetery site.

The tour was something both haunting and beautiful. It was amazing to see the care taken to preserving each site, and the story behind each stop along the tour was a worthwhile experience.

I'm not sure if you're granted the opportunity of a self-tour, but I personally loved the bus we travelled on for ours.  It was nice to have the historical background provided at each site, and it offered an opportunity to meet other people traveling to the location.

I'm not sure about you, but when I participate in tours or any group tourism activity I purposely will deviate from the group I've come with to meet others that have traveled.  I just love to hear people's stories on why they've traveled and where they come from.

For instance, during the trip I sat next to a lovely elderly woman from New Zealand. She told me that it was her second time coming out to the Coast, and that she comes to pay respects because one of her relatives fought in the Battle.  She had plenty of interesting stories to coincide with this (but I'll refrain from sharing so this doesn't become a novel instead of a blog).

The only thing I will say, is that I wish we had more time at each visit.  We were granted maybe 15 minutes per stop to look around, and with the breathtaking scenery and symbolism it was difficult to take it all in in such a structured time frame.

Needless to say, I've definitely been inspired to brush up on my World War I history.

Has anyone else traveled to landmarks or historical sites? What drew you to them?


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sunday Shopping

My school is a little different than most colleges, as instead of Columbus Day weekend off we are given the weekend before (for Yom Kippur).  This is both a blessing and a curse.

A blessing in the sense that this is around mid-terms and being home before everyone else means that we actually might get work done.

A curse because, despite our best efforts, we won't get work done and are thus left with nothing to do.

So what do we do when all our friends are still at school? Shop.

This past Sunday I made a trek out to the Lee Prime Outlets for a bit of shopping. (Mainly because there's a J. Crew Outlet down there... and everything in the store was at least half off.)

So, naturally, I bought a couple things.

(Just a side, I splurged a little more than what you see above throughout my trip, but it was mostly on interview outfits and such. These couple here were my favorite purchases so I'd thought I'd share.)

This has been something I've actually been eyeing for a couple years now, I just couldn't justify the price tag.  After a couple discounts however, I'm now happy to say it's a staple for my fall wardrobe.

Admittedly, this was more of an impulse buy. I already own a chambray shirt in a lighter denim color, however I loved the cut of this shirt and have been wearing it constantly over just a basic scoop-neck shirt with leggings and converse.

Let me tell you, I am addicted to buying cozy sweaters. As much as I love dressing up, more often than not you will find me in a cozy sweater and leggings because I love feeling comfy more. So, naturally, a nice warm sweater made its way into my list of purchases.

Now that my wallet has officially trimmed a couple inches, I will make my way back into the hectic life of college mid-terms.  (Which, if we're being honest, I 100% follow the conspiracy that teachers scheme to make one week of the semester living hell with projects and exams.)

At least now when I spend the next week in the library it'll be in style.

How was your Columbus Day?


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Autumn Morning Walks

Autumn has finally arrived! And with the sudden presence of pumpkin-based everything and people breaking out their cozy clothing - it's no wonder it's my favorite season.

Since my classes this morning were cancelled (my teacher emailed us from DC around 4:30 in the morning), a couple of my friends and I decided to take a walk through the park nearby campus.

Needless to say our hike really got me in an autumnal spirit, and now I'm excited for everything that I associate with the season.

Hot Cocoa
Pumpkin Picking
Apple Pie
Raking Leaves
Wool Socks
Candles and Baths
Carving Jack-o-Lanterns
Scarves and Mittens
Pumpkin Spice Everything
Riding Boots and Puffer Vests
Going home for the Holidays

Out of everything wonderful about autumn, I have to say that the colors are my favorite.  Almost overnight everything is painted into hues of red and orange, and the result is always beautiful.

What do you love about Autumn?


Saturday, October 4, 2014


In the off chance that you've spent this last week under a rock: Emma Watson, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, made an amazing and thought-provoking speech regarding a new campaign for gender equality.

"I decided that I was a feminist, and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, I am among the ranks of women who's expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men, unattractive even. Why has the word become such an unpopular one?"

For the longest time, before I moved into my university, I was under the same belief that Watson condemns in her speech.  I had unknowingly drawn the association between feminism and what Watson dubs as "man-hating".  I was afraid to associate myself with feminism.  It wasn't until I entered my college and introduced myself to the greater academic community that I learned about the ignorance of my own past association.  Feminism is, at the most basic level, supporting the belief that women have a right for political, social, and economic equality to men.

This is uncomplicated.

This is straightforward.

And much like my decision to be a feminist, this is simple.

Even simpler is the active commitment to change our language, as language is the first and foremost hurdle to any issue.  We need to actively focus on reducing the stigma associated with the word "feminism", as it is one of the greatest adversaries to progress.  We need to promote both equality and individuality.  We need to not be afraid to consider ourselves as feminists.

Now I am still nervous to post this entry, as though my personal thoughts, I still feel uneducated in the proper diction and lacking in experience talking about the present gender inequality.  This is something I intend to continue to work and develop on my own, to listen to opinions with an open mind and find my own voice.

Who knows? A year from now I might look back on my own writing with a completely different viewpoint, but that's the beauty of documenting the process.

"Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are."

I believe that Watson draws attention to important points in her speech.  Gender is too often perceived  in black and white.  However, as she points out, we cannot limit us to this binary measure.  As a society we need to view gender on a spectrum that is not limited in the extremes to a single sex.  As people we need to understand the importance of gender equality, and how this is not limited to either sex.

Given that a week or so has passed since she made her speech, people have clearly stepped forward with criticisms of her delivery.  Personally, while I find that there are base to these claims, I think that her speech has at least drawn attention to the issue at hand (though some may argue not in the light it deserves). The matter of the fact is that she has drawn worldwide attention to her cause, which simultaneously brings attention to the points made in any criticisms it may have.  Inevitably her speech has brought more people in to the conversation of gender equality, and encourages individual self-motivated education on the topic.



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Flashback: Troy Excavation Site

After departing Istanbul, our group travelled to Çanakkale where we stayed for the night before taking a day tour of the Troy Excavation Site.

Now to be honest, outside of your basic rendition of Greek mythology I knew very little about the ancient city of Troy.  However, the sheer history behind every effort made to uncover this city could be seen in it's unique beauty and peaked my interest.

We had a lovely tour guide who walked us through the area, though honestly if you have the chance to take a self-tour it will work for you just as well.

She explained the nuances that related their archaeological findings to the famed city, which was helpful in constructing an idea of what the city may have been like.  Truthfully, I just found the tour enlightening and thought the views from the sites were gorgeous.

The architecture of the walls match those described in Homeric legend.
Red poppies were in bloom.

If you're ever planning to visit there or have any questions, let me know!

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