Zaful: An Honest Review

I'm sure anyone on Instagram or who's been online shopping in the past few years has, at some time or another, come across the online clothing retailer Zaful. With sister sites such as SheIn, Romwe, Chicwish, it's taken the internet by storm with affordable, trendy, and "fast fashion" options that are practically made for the 'Gram. Prior to this collaboration, I've definitely been known to shop at these sites myself when I'm looking for an affordable in on a particular short-lived trend. Faux fur coats, anyone? In Houston? There's no way I'm investing in that. 

I received this lovely top (and another from my wishlist!) of my choosing in exchange for a Zaful review. I thought I'd give everyone an honest review that they can live up to, so you know what to expect. I feel that the clothier fulfills a very specific type of niche that makes them successful, but it's important to know what you're getting before you order.


New Year, New Me: What's to Come

I know, I know. You might be saying: "It's not a new year, what is this girl talking about?!" Guys, it's a metaphor! Sort of. What I mean to say is that the upcoming 9-10 months for me will be fraught with excitement and change, movement and new energy. It's application season for residency applications, and what that means is traveling for interviews (hopefully), more time off from rotations, and also trips that we booked... for fun. Weird, right? Doesn't sound like the medical school life at all.

What does that mean for this blog, you may ask?


Loners 'R' Us: How I Shoot my Photos

I've been on Instagram and blogging for a little over a year now. Over this time, I've learned a lot and grown as a photographer and blogger. I've started shooting with like-minded blogger friends with great results; I've dragged out my boyfriend (achem, "IG Husband") to take cheesy photos during travels and laid-back weekends. The truth of the matter is, however, that everybody is busy, including me. Sure, now that I'm almost done with school, I've got quite a few more days off than I had before, but the problem is those days off don't always line up with other people's plans. For busy girls constantly wondering how to get good photos without the weirdness/conceit of "photographing myself," read on:


Zaful Wishlist and Review

Zaful is one of those brands that has taken the internet shopping game by storm. I've only ever ordered a few pieces from there before, but recently I've been looking for the perfect tank dress and was delighted by a few pieces I found on their website. In the process of browsing, I've created a wishlist of all the things from their website that I'm planning on getting.

Keep reading for links of these items!


Beat the Sunday Scaries

Everybody knows that Sunday afternoon feel: with the day half-wasted and gone, the hours dwindling as the promise of work looms overhead, the thought of another week hangs heavy in our heads and in our hearts. For a long time, I've lived with and accepted that feeling without second thought. My reasoning was, if I really hated life enough, I was in the wrong field, and if not, I could suck it up and deal with it. The problem is, life isn't black and white. I realized that I never really looked deep down and examined why the idea of the upcoming week was so terrifying to me, and I'm finding now that it's a lot more complicated than a simple desire to evade responsibilities. Relinquishing the hold Sunday afternoon has on you doesn't have to be solved by making huge life changes. We can combat Sunday scaries by taking a few small steps to organize our thoughts and regain control over our hectic schedules!


Getting NSane with #NSale: Favorite Picks Under $90.00

Ok, as per usual I'm super late to the game. As much as I tried to steer clear from this hyped up cashfest that is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I buckled and made a flying leapt for the bandwagon in the end. I caved. I mean, on principle, though I love shopping at smaller boutiques and indie clothiers, I have nothing against Nordstrom per se. They carry some of my favorite brands. They have stunning product displays and beauty products. Most importantly, they have really fancy bathrooms.

So in the spirit of compromise, I have linked a few of my favorite picks that I actually plan on shopping (these contain affiliate links). I'm really only in the market for tops (eternally) and I always have a weakness for gorgeous dresses. The dresses linked are all under $90 and the tops are all under $45. Why so cheap? Well, when I shop a sale, I like to feel like I'm getting a deal. With these pieces, I'm actually super excited and hopeful that I get them. As you may be able to tell, I'm on a ruffle/boho lace kick lately. Summer never really ends in Houston so I'm excited to be able to wear these pieces until November, basically.

The sale is open to everybody from July 21st to August 6th


Update: Shoe Picks Under $90

I super-caved and decided I wanted to shop for shoes as well... sales like these are dangerous. And naturally, everything I've picked is pitch black, like my soul. Personally, I'm most excited about that Nordstrom boot on sale for 65$... nobody else buy it please.

Are you planning on shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? What pieces are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below!


How I'm Keeping Cool This Summer

Just as there are many interpretations of the word "cool," there are also many ways to achieve it. It might not seem so easy when the temperatures are in the 90s (Fahrenheit, for all you non-Murricans) and the humidity is 70% and you feel like you're swimming through a sea of hot steam every time you walk outside, but there are means. Here are a few ways that I'm getting through the summer, and keeping things from heating up too much.


Why I'm Falling Out of Love With Instagram

Alright y'all, time to get real. Lately it seems to be the case that using Instagram has caused me more grief than anything else. What with the new algorithm and decreased engagement rates, despondently absent customer service, brands continuously trying to get you to pay them to promote them (no, I refuse to feature your item at a 33% discount off your 133% jacked up price, sorry not sorry), and this pesky little thing called the Shadowban, I've had a rocky few days using the photo-sharing app. It's caused me to reevaluate a few things that are important to me and how I should use Instagram, and whether I should even bother using it, from now on.


Summer, An Ode of Sorts

As my two week Summer vacation draws to a close, I'm overwhelmed by a sense of nostalgia for summers past. Even though I'm technically classified as an "adult" nowadays, there's nothing more I miss from childhood than those dog days of summer. It was a time of true freedom, when I was able to pursue any avenue that caught my fancy--art, skateboarding, or watching South Park all day. Times are different now--even today, nearing the end of my break, I am running around trying to clean and move out of a place that I've called home the past year. Believe me, it is not glamorous, nor is it refreshing. While I'm whiling away the hours scrubbing and vacuuming, I like to think of my favorite summer things...


3 Ways to Wear: H&M Trumpet Sleeve Blouse

It's the eternal fashion blogger dilemma: Do I continuously engorge my ever-growing closet with new, trendy pieces or do I sacrifice the ability to create a variety of new and exciting outfits? Sometimes, the two aren't mutually exclusive. Case in point:

Photo Cred: H&M
This blouse from H&M with gorgeous pleated trumpet sleeves has taken the blogger/Instagram world by storm. It's harder to count the people who I haven't seen it on. And who can blame them? The versatility of this top, even with its gorgeous detailing, is almost infinite. It didn't take long for me to come up with three very different outfits featuring this beauty. And more ideas are constantly churning through my head. This top lends itself to the creative process. Seriously, this blog post is like an ode to this blouse... it's almost weird.


Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies

I thought the Tupac-Lyric-As-Post-Title was funny and fitting because my outfit today is embellished with these huge, ultra-reflective cat-eye sunnies (that I'm in love with). Any lookers on wouldn't really be able to see any real eyes, which is the way I like it anyhow. It got me thinking about the phenomena and power of identity-crafting on social media. Who are we; what is our deepest, hidden selves, and how do we carefully craft our persona on social media to reflect or defer that? Furthermore, how does it translate to how we relate to acquaintances or people who don't really know us but perhaps think they do?

Damn. That's a lot of loaded questions, and I'm sure one could come up with an undergraduate thesis addressing these modern day phenomena. As for me, I'm happy to just write about myself, and share how I'm "different" from how I come across on social media. So stay tuned for a few major ways that I portray myself differently on social media based on what I'm like IRL. And a hint of truth in those lies.


Slipping Into Summer: 5 Ways to Keep Up My "9 To 5" and Blogging

OK, I know it's not summer yet, but in Houston, summer always stretches its own definition into a few extra months. Today it finally felt like the sun was beating down on us, giving way to an inevitably stifling next few months. How will I be coping? Lots of water and ice cream, because duh.

I was inspired to talk about a few tips that I keep in my pocket to balance my "9 to 5" and blogging. To be fair, it's not exactly a 9 to 5, which is why I keep it in quotations. Sometimes it's 7 to 7, sometimes it's 3 to 11, sometimes I work 6 days a week as opposed to 5. It all depends on the rotation that I'm on and whether or not we get admissions at 5 in the afternoon (lol please no). So it's as good as full time, but it's not always the most reliable schedule. My friends in medical school understand this, and usually ask questions along the line of "how?" How do I take pictures so often (and does it involve a constantly doting Instagram boyfriend)? When do I find time to fit in photography, planning, editing, and writing amongst studying, cleaning, errands, and other important life stuff? These are all great questions, and I thought I'd clarify some things I need to do in order to balance the two.


Morning Glory

In case it's not yet obvious, I enjoy "experimenting" with my style and really could not describe in less than a few hundred words. There are times when I'm uncharacteristically super girly and proper, and other times I'm just a fan of wearing baggie hoodies, ripped jeans, and tennis shoes... for like 5 days in a row. But when there's a holiday, you know I'm going to dress accordingly!


A Matter of Time: Giveaway with JORD

You know how some people measure their lives by the passing of the seasons, the X's on a calendar, in coffee spoons? Well, lately it feels like I've been measuring my time by the passing of each clinical rotation, each month a chapter I'm eager to skim through. Just get through this, I tell myself, and then I will be free... until I hit the next "road block," that is. A cycle of stop and go, quiet and chaos, tension and relief. So it goes, they say, but I'm not so sure.


The Ides of March

I would have posted this earlier, around the actual Ides of March (or the 15th), but life kind of got in the way. Mostly, I wanted to share my excitement for Spring with you guys! Who doesn't love this enchanted season? Horrendous allergies aside, an eternal spring would totally be up my alley, if not for the flowing, floral, pastel-colored outfits alone. When you add all the wonders of nature, i.e. flowers and bright colors and relatively moderate temperatures, etc etc it's really quite the package. Stick around 'til the end for a short DIY on how to make your own quintessential Spring accessory!


Physician, Heal Thyself: 5 Ways to Stay (Relatively) Sane in Medical School

Physicians want the best for their patients, but when it comes to their own well-being, they sometimes overlook the best practices that they recommend for others. I definitely see this trend in medical training, from fellow medical students all the way to grown-ass doctors: skipping meals, losing sleep, emotionally burning out, binging on Netflix, junk food, misery etc. I definitely have no authority to speak to how those further in their training should handle stress--the workload only grows as one advances.

However, these are 5 ways that I (a medical student not applying to a cut-throat specialty) like to attempt that elusive "work-life balance." But if you live to work, or if you're gunning for that super competitive specialty, then perhaps this list isn't 100% right for you. And that's fine. I'm a proponent of doing what makes you happy. I am thankful for all the people who fully dedicate their lives to helping other people and are genuinely happy in doing so--y'all are the real MVPs.


Favorite Rompers of Spring 2017

Aren't rompers just perfect for Spring? I love the versatility and movability of a good playsuit. There's also so many different designs that work better on the romper than on a traditional dress silhouette. Color me excited for the upcoming warm weather, but I've already gotten a start on my romper shopping. Below I've posted my favorite picks Under $50, $50-$100, and $100+, so there's something for everybody! 

I should note that none of this is sponsored, just taking y'all through my shopping process! 


The Starting Line

I can't believe it! Official "first post" of my blog, where I'll showcase OOTDs, lookbooks, all that good stuff. Of course I'll also have some (unsolicited) advice on my unique situation: being a medical student? I guess that's unique? I don't really know. Also, I'm not qualified to give advice to "model" medical student citizens, but I can at the very least share my experiences and mishaps. Hopefully this is of some value to somebody somewhere!