Women in Medical School

The best kind of friendships are fierce lady friendships where you aggressively believe in each other, defend each other, and think the other deserves the world. -Unknown

Another friend of mine who I just adore to pieces, is Mary Ella (you can call her Ella). Ella is in medical school at Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, she’s a blogger on all things medical, fashion, travel, and wine, and she has the cutest pup named Stan. While conquering all things science related in med school, Ella shares tips and tricks on how to get through late night study sessions, how to spice up your closet via White Coat Wardrobe, and wine reviews on her blog.

If you are interested in medicine, fashion, and/or wine, I would check out Ella’s Instagram for some fabulous content and her blog, SSSyrah. But for now, enjoy meeting Ella!

 

XO.

-Lex

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What made you want to go to medical school? I always loved science, and I knew I wanted to have a career that required critical thinking (such a nerd). However, I didn’t know I wanted to be a doctor right away! I switched between nursing, medical research, physician assistant, or working for the FBI before I finally worked my way back around to wanting to go to med school. I think what finally solidified my decision was realizing that I love learning, and if I was going to be in the medical field, I wanted to choose a career that would allow me to learn as much as possible.

How did you decide what your focus would be? You actually don’t decide your focus until after med school! So you do four years of medical school (every doctor does the exact same schooling) and then you do 3-5 years of residency after medical school to specialize. Right now I am thinking emergency medicine and possibly taking that further to do global health or wilderness medicine (2 subspecialties of emergency medicine). I love the variability and fast pace nature of the emergency room.

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You love fashion. How do you keep up with day to day trends between school work and studying? I use Instagram mainly! It’s a fun and fast way to stay in the loop with my busy schedule.
What do you love most about fashion? I love that it’s constantly changing and a universal way to connect with others. You don’t have to speak the same language to appreciate someone’s sense of fashion!

Favorite wine. I know you have one.. or two. That is definitely a tough one. My favorite reasonably priced table wine would be Bridlewood’s 152 Blend. You can get it at pretty much any grocery store for around $15. Other than that, any wine from Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula. There is just something about their wines that makes me fall in love with every sip.
Name three things you can’t live without other than your furry friend Stan of course. (Does coffee and wine count?) Right now, in the mist of board studying, I am going to have to say a specific text book (so boring), but its called First Aid for the USMLE Step 1. Other then that, my computer and cellphone. I would not be able to keep up with school work, blogging, my AMSA duties, or keeping in touch with people without them!

Tips for balancing blogging and schoolwork? Scheduling and planning EVERYTHING. I even have to schedule time for working and friends (the life of a med student). Luckily all of my friends are in the same boat, so we are all understanding if plans fall through and studying starts to take over.

What is your lipstick/lipgloss of choice?Hands down, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. I love all the bold colors, and it really does stay all day.

News outlet that you read on a daily basis? I use 5 different (competing) news apps and get notifications sent to my phone. I like to hear the news from many different biases to get the whole picture. I also like having the apps on my phone so I get anything important as a notification!

 

Have any questions for Ella? Comment below and she will be happy to answer.

The Hemingway Daiquiri

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Ernest Hemingway was a smart guy for more than his gifted writing abilities…he also loved a great cocktail. More specifically, Hemingway had a love for daiquiris. According to “The Complete Cocktail Manual,” the Hemingway Daiquiri is a traditional daiquiri with a splash of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.

This past weekend I went to Chicago’s most loved tiki bar, Three Dots and a Dash. Three Dots transports you to an island bar far, far away from the chilly city of Chicago. Their drinks are fruity and pack a big punch with different rums. Admittedly, one of my favorite things is the presentation of the cocktails that are WAY over the top! I was a dork and picked up one of their souvenir mugs, but you can also get them here for much less! I can’t wait to break it out for long days spent on our rooftop deck in the sun!

The Hemingway Daiquiri

 2 oz White Rum

3/4 oz Lime Juice

1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice

Combine all of your ingredients in a cocktail shaker or cocktail mixing glass. Add ice and shake or stir for about 15 seconds. Strain into a preferably cold coupe glass and garnish with a strip of grapefruit skin or thinly sliced lime wedge.

The Hemingway Daiquiri is very spirit heavy so I would recommend splurging on a good quality white rum. Since the amount of juice is so small, you might as well go all the way and freshly squeeze your own grapefruit and lime juice. Personally, I needed to add a little bit of sweetness to my cocktail so I splashed in a half ounce of simple syrup. It helped to make the cocktail palatable for a slow drinker such as myself!

I used these coupe glasses from William Sonoma, but I love these simple, modern ones from my favorite place for quick, chic staples: CB2!

❤ Al

Women in Business

Sometimes I sit in awe when I think about the wonderful friends I have in my life. They teach me, they inspire me, and they unconditionally love me. Even when I have friends who have completely different career paths than myself, they still inspire me to succeed. I wanted to share a spotlight on one of my closest friends, Gabi, as she is someone who I admire and inspires people on a daily basis.

Gabi works in the finance industry with lots of experience in real estate too. Might I just add she is killing it, and she is only 25! (She deserves to be on Forbes 25 under 25 in my book!) She was the graduation commencement speaker for her class, she has traveled to numerous places during her career, and if something is thrown at her, she never gives up.

I sat down with Gabi and asked her if she would share some insight on finance, lifestyle, and of course her favorite product must haves. I hope you enjoy meeting someone new and she inspires you just like she inspires me.

 

XO.

-Lex

 

Gabi

Finance. Tell us finance and non-finance friends what we need to know about it. Lots of numbers! I work in the financial markets space, which means that I deal with investment securities, the stock markets, and extremely smart people. It’s a lot of interpreting different numbers and manipulating them in different ways to show trends, any anomalies, etc. I’ve always loved math and numbers, so I geek out over it.

What news outlet should everyone read/watch on a daily basis? I read CNN, WSJ, and DailyMail. It’s a great way to be well rounded about your news. DailyMail is the guilty pleasure I scroll through on my way into and out of work.

Tips to anyone looking to get into the finance space? Take as many excel classes as you can, read up on what’s current in the market, read Liar’s Poker, have extracurriculars, and this is an overall tip – always know the company you are looking into. Read everything possible, meet as many people inside as possible so that they can tell you what you can’t read about in books. It’s really important to understand the business you are trying to get into, and not all this information is readily available online. Also, it’s great networking for you. Always remember that your network can be extremely incremental to your success.

There’s the stigma that people who work in finance have zero work life balance. How do you balance your life between work, friends, love and fun? It’s hard. I work a lot of hours during a week, and the last thing I want to be doing is entertaining, exercising, etc. I want to go home, eat, and sleep. But, I force myself to go grab dinner with friends once in a while, or give them a call on the way home because it’s going to keep me sane. I’m blessed to have an extremely amazing support system around me consisting of a supportive family, loving boyfriend, and the most amazing friends a girl can ask for. I love having people around me that check up on me, that say “hey let’s just grab a quick coffee so I can see you,” and even friends who motivate me to work out (pointing fingers at Lex!)

I don’t have time to do it all in one day, but being able to combine all the things I love into one is great. Weekends, I try to squeeze as many things into the two days that I can, but I of course also need “me” time. Being able to turn off from work for a few hours (although I’m guilty of always checking my blackberry), is what helps me balance my life. I’m a libra, so all about balance. There are weeks where I can’t see everyone, but again, having my core group of people that understand when I’m busy or overwhelmed, is key.

Favorite thing about Chicago? Everything (except winter). I adore this city. I’ve traveled a ton, and never found a place that feels as homey as Chi town. I love being able to go to the park, the beach, eat some great food, run by the lake. There is so much history and so many things to do here. Also, I love the people. I think everyone here is so nice and helpful, it’s contagious.

Favorite restaurant in Chicago? This is a hard one, I love so many. I’m celiac, so I gravitate towards restaurants that are gluten-friendly. For a good burger, I love Grange Hall Burger. There’s a completely gluten free restaurant that opened up right next to my place, it’s called Little Beet. Amazing! Same with True Food Kitchen – it’s all organic, and lots of gluten free options (Pizza is amazing!)

Favorite kind of work out class? Something really intense like boxing. I love the quickest workout that is at the highest intensity and I can feel it after.

Favorite kind of work out? I do 20 min of cardio, squats, some arms. I like using just body weight to do workouts. and of course some abs when I’m not being lazy.

How do you drink your coffee? Strong with some coconut milk – and honey on a good day.

Lipstick/lipgloss of choice for a date night? IT Cosmetics “Your Lips But Better” Buff Nude Lip liner all over with a Buxom “Alyssa – shimmering cloud” gloss over them! Something subtle but makes all the difference.

Favorite Spotify playlist? The Cardio Playlist on Spotify that I listen to during every workout. Has super fun, newer songs! Also, love a good Mumford and Sons and Vance Joy mixed playlist 🙂

 

Have any questions relating to business, fitness, healthy eating, or fashion? Comment below and I’ll make sure Gabs is able to help.

Black Tie Inspiration

 

 

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These three gowns are some of my favorite pieces that I have seen this season: La Femme | Ieena | Cushie et Ochs

 

In the next few months, Chicago is booming with black tie fundraisers, galas and events. The feeling of getting to dress up in a floor length gown is one that I have always loved, but comes few and far between. I wore this Parker zing-zag skirt two years ago to Snowball which is quickly approaching at the end of January. This year, I am wearing a floor-length dress in a classic silhouette that I picked up in Milan. Specifically when making a big purchase like a floor length formal dress, I look for something timeless that I can wear again in many different ways and fits me well.

This year, I am topping my dress off with an All Saints leather jacket to give it a little “oomph!”

❤ Al

A Crudité Platter Your Friends Will Actually Want To Eat

Crudité plate at Soho House Chicago

Crudité plate at Soho House Chicago

 

I have always been a veggies over meat kind of girl. I love the crisp crunch of a fresh veggie so naturally vegetables and dip is a staple in my diet. When Soho House in Chicago first opened, they served a gorgeous crudités plate with fresh heirloom carrots, radishes, cucumbers and other bits of colorful goodness alongside freshly smashed avocado. Since I do not go to an office, I often work out of Soho House and the crudités plate has remained one of my favorite things on the menu.

I love to entertain and am always looking for quick but satisfying bites to serve guests. Plus, if you prefer to ditch most of the prep work the day of, you can pre-chop your veggies the day before. The platter is all about presentation and it looks like you put in more effort than you actually did. Freshly chopped vegetables and dips is the perfect, simple and always beautiful appetizer to accompany a few cocktails (try this super easy vanilla Moscow mule!)

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Essentially, the dip that I serve with crudites is a simple guacamole. I smash an avocado with a fork until it is a smooth consistency, squeeze in half a lime and add salt and pepper to taste. If you like spicy dips, add in some red pepper flakes.

 

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I love this little marble serving tray to serve colorful veg on. Would love to hear about any other quick, easy entertaining recipes you may have!

❤ AL

 

Let’s Play with Eye Shadow Clay by Laura Mercier

I seem to go through phases when it comes to eye shadows depending on my mood. Lately, I go for a peachy sparkle all over my lid for a toned down day time look or a flared smokey eye and shimmery browns to transition from day to night. Recently, Laura Mercier’s Editorial Eye Palette Intense Clays showed up at my door to play with and the palette is just as dreamy as I imagined.

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What I love most about these six highly pigmented clay-textured eye colors is that the colors are easily blend-able and you can soften or heighten them depending on what kind of look you are going for. All of the colors are soft and go on as almost a liquid shadow, if you will. Personally, I think they are super smooth and easy to work with- exactly what you want in a palette.

I loved when I first put on the Metallik Platinum color as a base- my brown eyes quickly became bright and fun, a more natural look, but just right if you want a little color on your eyes.

At first glance, I was concerned that the Editorial Eye Palette Intense Clays  shades would be too shimmery or overpowering, but was quickly proven wrong at my first test blot on my arm. I really honed in on blending the darker metallic shades (Metallik Pewter and Metallik Rust) in my crease and on the outer edges of my eye to give it that smokey, intense look. (If you aren’t a pro at blending- here is an easy one brush tutorial that I find easy to follow!) swatch2

I then used the matte clays, Blackened Black Clay and Blackened Blue Clay just in the outer corners and lined the bottom of my eye with the Blackened Blue Clay. It went swimmingly with my NARS Larger than Life Long wear Eyeliner in Rue St. Honor. I used to only wear black on my water line but wanted something a little less intense so I went with this navy blue liner. It sways towards black but when I put it with the Blackened Blue Clay, it has a navy glow and different than the black smokey eye.swatch1

I ended up mixing all of the blackened clays in the corner of my eye by pressing my fingertip into the clays and applied it in a tapping motion onto my lid. I applied the metallics in the crease and outer edges by using a crease brush. As a final touch, I used the Air-light Setting Powder  to prolong the colors and avoid creasing.

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I would recommend a deep berry lip color like “Love Bite” from Kylie Cosmetics  or even a dark red/brown to compliment this makeup look for fair skin.

I had so much fun playing with this palette and would recommend it as a versatile palette to create an abundance of looks! You can easily find the Editorial Eye Palette Intense Clays at Nordstrom or Sephora.

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XO.

-Lex

 

 

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Winter Street Style feat. Kenzo

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I was feeling a little fierce when I saw this cute sweater by Kenzo. What I love most about it, is that it’s not something Kenzo usually creates with its repeated pattern and more vibrant colors. Don’t get me wrong, Kenzo pieces are definitely for those looking to make a statement. I thought I would make it a little more street style with high waisted jeans and sneakers. I would definitely check out their sweaters via Nordstrom because their ‘Nagai Eye’ is just a piece that matches the epitome of street style topped with a beanie, ripped jeans and kicks.

Sweater: Kenzo // Jeans: TopShop @ Nordstrom // Shoes: ALDO @ Nordstrom Rack // Lip Color: Chanel, BabioleKENZO KENZO

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XO.

-Lex

Photography by Theresa Ferrell.

My Favorite Parrot Dress

 

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If you are anything like me, you hate the frigid weather that the Midwest (Chicago, I’m looking at you) brings in the Winter months. With DJ getting his MBA at Booth and working full time + me getting my Masters and working part-time, we decided that a mini-vacation to a warm place was much needed. We wanted to try a place neither of us had ever been before so we settled on Amelia Island, more specifically the gorgeous Ritz Carlton.

I posted this same photo above on my Instagram a few days ago and got some questions on my dress so I thought I would share it here! While this dress isn’t current season, it will always be one of my favorites. We weren’t expecting to take any (professional) photos on our trip, but spontaneously decided to last minute and this playful parrot print dress worked perfectly! I don’t often wear tight pieces, but I love how Milly makes dresses for women with curves.

 

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On DJ: Lacoste for JCrew White Polo | JCrew  404 Stretch Jeans | Sperry Boat Shoe

 

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Dress: Milly (Similar: here, here!) | Wedges: Tory Burch (Similar: here, here!) | Bangle: Hermes | Watch: Rolex |

 

If you have any suggestions on some fun, form fitting Summer dresses- I would love to hear them!

❤ Al

Girls Night At Celeste With Crown Royal

Crown Royal Vanilla release at Celeste

Crown Royal Vanilla Moscow Mule at Celeste

One of the first drinks that truly helped me to begin appreciating a quality cocktail was the Moscow Mule. While most spirit experts would scoff at this- I do not like the “taste” of alcohol but appreciate a flavorful drink profile. I am a self admitted sissy pants!

Towards the end of December, Lexi and I had the chance to experience the new Crown Royal Vanilla whiskey at a tasting in Chicago as a little “girls night.” You can probably guess that I am not a big whiskey drinker based off of my previous drink recipes ( I typically prefer gin or clear spirit based cocktails.) Shockingly, I enjoyed the Vanilla flavor of the Crown Royal Vanilla and it paired nicely with all of the cocktails I tried. While it is still a bold flavor, the hint of vanilla adds a complex taste to the classic Moscow Mule that I did not necessarily expect.

Crown Royal Vanilla is a great, versatile whiskey for all seasons- it tastes great when mixed with sodas (for a Vanilla take on hard sodas), or when used to create a Vanilla twist on classic cocktails (like a Vanilla Old Fashioned and Vanilla Hot Toddy) or simply sipped on the rocks if you are stronger human than I! Crown Royal Vanilla begins with aromas of rich vanilla bean and delicate hints of oak. The taste opens with a delicious, not-too-sweet vanilla flavor followed by Crown Royal’s signature smooth finish. The aftertaste is best described similar to crème brulee.

Crown Royal Vanilla release at Celeste

Crown Royal Vanilla release at Celeste Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 in Chicago, Ill. (Taylor Glascock)

Crown Royal chose the perfect location for the tasting- Celeste. The bartenders at Celeste were phenomenal and made the Mules with real, fresh ginger (I included that recipe below) but if you want to break this down into a simpler concoction, I altered the recipe as well. While you do not shake a Moscow Mule because of the bubbles in the ginger beer, I do recommend stirring the Crown Royal over ice to keep the drink cold. I like this modern cocktail spoon from CB2 and this sleek cocktail mixing glass from Crate & Barrel.

Vanilla Mule (Crown Royal + Celeste)
1.5 oz. Crown Royal Vanilla
2 oz. Ginger
1 oz. Soda

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Vanilla Mule
1.5 oz. Crown Royal Vanilla
3 oz. Ginger Beer
1 oz. Lime Juice

 

 

A few months ago, I was researching the “best new restaurants” of 2016 and Celeste consistently popped up on every list. Celeste described itself as a “modern American cocktail bar” and I would have to agree- every drink we had was equally as tasty as the one before it and the little bites at the party were delicious. Hoping to make it back soon for a full meal! The fried chicken is calling my name.

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Try these cute cocktail glasses for your next recipe: Smoke Grey Cocktail Glass | Light Pink Juice Glass | Classic Highball Glass |

All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Crown Royal Vanilla for working with us on this recipe!

Weekend Trip: Denver

Welcome to Denver

Happy New Year. I was reminiscing this morning about one of my weekend trips to Denver and how fun it was and how I have to start planning another quick weekend getaway. I found a round trip ticket to Denver for $80 flying United and American Airlines. No joke, it was round trip. I didn’t do anything special other than play around with Google Flights – highly recommend starting here first when looking to book a flight!

I had my lovely friend show me around Denver (thanks Taylor!) and we had a wonderful time. From checking out the kitten cafe (so many cuddles),  to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, the cutest little town of Boulder, the champagne bar Corridor 44 and more! Try taking a weekend trip to visit a friend or take a friend with you! Pack light, be open to everything, and have fun! 

 

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Sweater: Free People // Jeans: Citizens of HumanityDenver
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Shoes: Nike // Leggings: Lulu Lemon // Sweater: Lou & Grey // Hat: Nordstrom

Champagne in Denver
Denver
Top: The Loft // Jeans: The Loft // Shoes: Steve Madden // Coat: Burberry
Denver
Denver
Coat: Free People // Scarf: Burberry // Dress: Forever 21 // Shoes: Sam Edelman // Shades: Ray Ban

 

XO.

-Lex