Sunday, December 20, 2015

Travel | Savannah & Charleston

Happy Weekend! I can hardly believe it's more than half way through January. The last couple of weeks have been so much fun, and a much-needed break from medical school.

My favorite part of the holidays was probably my visit to Savannah, GA (with a little day trip to Charleston!). I had never been to the south (well, aside from Florida), and figured it was time. And oh my goodness it was BEAUTIFUL. I felt like I stepped into a Nicholas Sparks movie! The only thing was that stores tended to close early. I'm not sure if that's just the New Yorker in me though haha.

How cute are these bikes in the hotel lobby?!
We stayed at The Brice Hotel; couldn't beat the location! At the corner of Bay and Houston St, its within walking distance to nearly everything.

The Collins Quarter was definitely one of my top picks for food. It's not the traditional southern meal, but everything was delicious nonetheless. I'd never had a coffee flight before!

Wormsloe Plantation

Angel Oak, Charleston


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Planning & Medical School: Erin Condren vs. Emily Ley

I've used the same style BlueSky planner for the last- ohhh 7 years? Since high school. I loved how the covers were sturdy, the size was small, and the weekly layouts were great. I never saw the point in spending a ton on a planner (even though I'm a planning-obsessive), but through out last semester, I noticed that my planner was way too small and I had a ton of sticky notes and lists on the side to accommodate. I figured I'd try a fancier planner that could accommodate my busy schedule, and see what the hype is all about.

And so I purchased the Emily Ley Academic Simplified Planner, and the Erin Condren Life planner. Ultimately I decided to go with the Emily Ley planner because the ECLP just didn't work for my lifestyle. Being a medical student, I need more structure in my day than just a few open boxes, and I love that the Simplified Planner's layout includes time slots that go all day, as well as a box for notes, dinner, and a to-do list. The layout is simple, with lots of white space, and generally lowers my anxiety when I look at it (haha). Also, the academic part really helps, since the planner matches the school schedules.

Don't get me wrong though, I LOVE the Erin Condren as well. I love that there's so much space to decorate, personalize, and my favorite part-the coil; it seems indestructible. I even went ahead and decorated a couple of spreads, but having to be honest with myself, I won't have the time to heavily decorate once classes start. In general, the ECLP looks much busier, with lots of bright colors, quotes, and a lot going on. School has been jam packed and stressful enough that I need my planner to be very straight-forward. I do think I'll go back to the life planner though, maybe once basic sciences are over and I have more control over what I do with my hours. If the Simplified Planner had a water proof cover, a stronger coil, and thicker pages, it would be the absolute PERFECT planner.

I even thought about possibly using both planners together, the Erin Condren for general life things, and the Emily Ley for school- but why complicate things right? I can still decorate the Simplified Planner, and I fully plan on doing so.

Erin Condren Life Planner (left)
  • thicker pages
  • stronger coil
  • laminated cover
  • pockets, mini zip-loc in the back
  • quotes, stickers, etc
  • 18 months
  • a bit heavier
  • customizable and removable covers
  • weekly pages, starts Monday - Sunday. Equal space for each day

ECLP folder, and small calendar 

ECLP in the original packaging
Emily Ley Simplified Planner 
  • thinner pages
  • thinner binding
  • front cover pocket
  • non-laminated cover (hard cardboard)
  • no frills
  • academic (comes in non-academic as well)
  • non interchangeable covers
  • daily pages
  • Sat/Sun are half pages
a front cover pocket!

has reinforced corners

bucket list- unique feature. Probably the only "frill"

As always, I'm happy to answer any questions :) Which planners are your favorite??

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Two Months In

If I've learned anything so far, it's that medical school is incredibly humbling. Not that I was arrogant before, but the past two months has definitely shown me (and probably everyone else), that what you think you know doesn't even skim the top of what you need to know. There's definitely more "growing-up" to do.

There are 4 lectures per day from 1-4pm, Monday through Friday, with mornings reserved for labs and review of the previous days' lectures. The key to Term 1 is a solid study method and time management. Coming out from college, we've all been doing things a certain way. That way probably won't get you too far here, but it really helps to plan every minute of every day, and make sure everything on your to-do list is taken care of and completed by the end of the day. Easier said than done, I know.

So far I've survived midterms, and there's around 50 more days until the end of finals! Oh, and Easter "break" is next week- we get Friday off through Monday. It should be a good break, being that we don't have spring break :-/

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Make Up & Medical School

So now that I'm done with my midterms, I thought it would be interesting to talk about MAKEUP. School has been incredibly busy, and everyone seems to be bumming around in lounge clothes (myself included- yoga pants are my new best friend). However, refusing to let it all go, these are the products that have been getting me through the semester. I know. I've been keeping it (very) simple.

Too Faced Hangover Rx Primer
I've been using this one as my moisturizer in the morning. It's slightly sticky/tacky texture after you apply it makes a perfect base for foundation, BB cream, whatever else. Oh, and it smells amazing.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream
Shades Light and Light/Medium
I've been mixing the two to come up with the "perfect" color. Being in such a super sunny and humid environment, I needed something that won't clog my pores, or allow me to look like a huge ball of grease in the facial area! I'm happy to say that this product does both.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation (long enough name right?)
Shade: Light-Medium-Neutral
I don't use this product on the daily, but for those days when I don't feel like mixing BB cream, I'll go for this. It definitely isn't full coverage by any means, I'd say the coverage between this and the Smashbox BB is similar- unless you build it up. I do like that there's a little net in the product that keeps the powder from getting everywhere, but it is a little difficult to get to the product at the same time. I've been using this with the accompanying brush.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Diffused Light
This has been by go-to setting powder this term. It brightens up the complexion and gives a "soft-focus" effect. It goes beautifully over the BB creams, and keeps things matte a little bit longer. I also love how you can't over-do this powder, and it's been going strong regardless of how tan (or not) I am. I use this with my Real Techniques Powder Brush.

Charlotte Tilbury Bronze & Glow
Love love love this. I'm sure you've heard about this before, as everyone seems to be talking about it. Besides the fact that the packaging is absolutely gorgeous, the product in it is amazing as well. The bronzer looks a little bit shimmery in the pan, but does not apply that way. It's perfect for warming up the face, or in my situation- evening out the tan on my face!

Nars Lipstick - Cruising
This has been my favorite lipstick since forever. It's a pinkish nude that perfectly compliments everyone's lips. You don't need a mirror to put it on, and it feel like a chapstick. Perfection in a tube.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Today was day 2 of orientation. We started off the day with a great breakfast at the Radisson. It's probably the first legit meal I've had since I got here on the 11th!

As for orientation, it all started yesterday with welcome notices, things we need to know, a crash course on society, laws and customs of Grenada, and health and wellness lectures. Today they went over how to use clickers, the medical school curriculum, educational services, financial aid, and the day ended with a little ice cream social to showcase all of the clubs on campus. I signed up for the surgery club, mostly because it was interesting, but I'm not sure if I should be spending extra time doing things that don't pertain to the curriculum just yet. Oh well, I can always ignore the emails. Or maybe I'll like it and participate, we'll see.

They really have orientation week completely packed up until school starts on Monday. Tomorrow we've got a lecture on how to use the exam software, health insurance, and some info on housing, followed by a party.

Don't know how nervous I should be, pretty much everyone was freaking out over all the material. Maybe they're trying to scare us, we'll see. I can tell that losing self confidence will be detrimental here, so I'll probably do what I always did. Just my own thing.

I went and printed out my schedules- we've got so many of them! I'm going to compile them all into one, or copy it into my planner. The longer I look at it, the less intimidating it is, so that's good.

On a brighter note, here are a few pretty photos from the day.

Black sand beach (on campus)

goodnight then!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

This Is Grenada | Errands, Radisson, Umbrellas

We're all going to be SUPER appreciative of all the amenities of the United States. At least I will be. Across the street from the Grand Anse dorms is a plaza with a grocery store, gym, hardware store, shoe store, KFC and I think something else. We had to stop by the grocery store for some food (campus doesn't feed us well) and the hardware store for some storage bins and boxes, and a transformer to convert the electricity to the proper voltage.

Notice the prices!! ($1 US = $2.6 ish EC)

IGA- The grocery store looks pretty much like a US grocery store, only more expensive and less choice. It's also common for them to run out of things...for weeks or months at a time evidently. We got eggs yesterday! Which was exciting because they sell out, and weren't available when we went a couple of days ago. I heard that we should get fruit from the fruit lady or the locals instead of the grocery store. It's insanely expensive at the grocery store. I saw a handful (literally) of cherries for $12 US.

More grocery store

The flowers are pretty though!

The hardware store next door is called Creative something or other, and they sell anything you might need in that department- key rings, hangers, tupperware, plastic drawers, transformers, etc. The latter two is what we went for. Nearly had a heart attack when I saw how much those plastic drawers were. You know- the ones you can get at Target for $15. They were $50US. Omg. We got two for our stuff, and probably will get one more to share and store cookware, etc.

Hardware store


The transformer was necessary though. People say we can purchase them from upper-termers but we couldn't find anyone selling them and couldn't wait any longer to charge our electronics. I was initially pretty worried about the voltage conversion because I had absolutely no idea how it works. The store employees didn't do a great job explaining, but I got it eventually. They really do want to help which I appreciate though.

Transformer/converter thing

Transformers Explained- The max wattage of your appliance must be equal or less than the maximum the transformer can hold. For example, the transformer we got can hold up to 1500W (it's written on the box). My electric kettle requires 1500W (again, written on the box or appliance) so it works. Anything that heats up cannot be run simultaneously; I cannot run the electric kettle and the coffee maker together, HOWEVER using the kettle or coffee maker along with charging the ipod/laptop is fine. Does that make sense? Set the transformer to 220V (to convert down. if you set it to the 120V, it'll convert it to a higher voltage). You plug the transformer into the wall + plug a surge protector into the transformer + plug your appliances into the surge protector. Voila.

Pool at the Radisson

My roommate's parents stayed at the Radisson, and so I took a couple of pictures. The beach view is gorgeous! The hotel is maybe a 5 minute walk from our dorm.

Radisson Lobby

Lastly, we went to grab dinner at a popular student local called Umbrellas (It seems that these places are all named after inanimate objects- Umbrellas, Bananas, etc). Here's a few pictures of the view.

Umbrellas Restaurant/Beach Bar

The view from our table

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

LOST: Arriving Pt 2

The day wasn't over. We went over to campus to pick up our textbooks, get our IDs, pick up our white coats and have a look around. Oh, and a campus tour. I guess this post will be more of a photo diary, but you'll get the picture (hah).

The books weighed at least 30 lbs..

It didn't take long to register, and even less time to print our IDs. My photo came out awful, but who's didn't right? The books however, were something else. They seem pretty interesting though. We picked them up and waited for the bus to head back to Grand Anse. It took 1 hour and 15 minutes to get on that bus. Oh! and evidently we went on the wrong bus (we took the one that said Grand Anse/Grand View Inn or something like that) and it dropped us off down a LONG road away from our dorm...yes. With our books. And our bags with laptops and other things. I guess we learned our lesson- only take the bus that says True Blue/Grand Anse.

The far end, and around the corner is where the bus dropped us off. With our books.

The campus tour was alright though. I was way too tired to pay attention, but did grab a couple of photos of the ocean. The view is gorgeous on top of the "hill". The hill is apparently a "landmark" around the back of campus. There's a little gazebo like place where there's locals who sell food, fruits, and baked goods.

This is the view from the top of "the hill"

 It started POURING right after I took these. And they call it the dry season. A couple of people told me that the weather hasn't been regular though (I can see that haha).

Monday, January 12, 2015

LOST: Arriving in Grenada

Alright, so it's my first day on the island. I packed up the last bit and headed to JFK last night for a 12:25am direct flight to Grenada. JFK was a complete zoo. Everyone seemed to have flights on Saturday night/early Sunday morning. When I arrived at the gate, it was pretty obvious that pretty much everyone is a student, or accompanying a student. I met a couple of people, and also met my roommate and her family, which was nice. Our flight got delayed until about 1:30am- something about being unable to find the passenger who owned a particular bag that was already loaded so they had to unload everything and find said bag. Womp.

ANYWAY, the temperature on the plane was SUPER high for whatever the reason, and so I barely got any sleep. Customs took about an hour and a half, starting with an unorganized baggage situation. The airport is quite small, so you walk off the plane, then into the airport. Bags are strewn everywhere in the baggage claim area, and everyone is left to fend for themselves. A couple of people were unlucky and couldn't find their bags. I personally didn't have an issue getting through customs. Everyone had their electronic customs form, regular customs form, school letter, acceptance letter, and passport. I didn't have my electronic customs form and it was fine anyway, but I heard some people having a difficult time with that. I was told not to claim anything, so I guess it worked. There were people from St. George's that met us on the other end of customs who were organizing taxis to take us to our respective dormitories.

I tried to take a couple of pictures while in the taxi to the Grand Anse campus- the driver was really nice. I did notice that the driving isn't nearly as regulated as it is in the US, but somehow it works.
We got to our dormitories, and retrieved the key from the RA. Opened the door, and was less than pleased. I mean, the photos make the place look much nicer than it is. There's a moldy and damp smell, super rusty bathrooms, a dingy cheap-motel style carpet and twin beds. The only upside is the size. It is quite large for a dorm, but I'd rather a smaller and more reasonable place to reside.

There are also these creepy stains on the side of the bookshelf. They kind of look like little heads with hair and no faces. Right??

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

On Packing

4 ish days until school!! Guess it's time to get packing.

Being the obsessive organizer that I am, I've compiled somewhat of a packing list. This isn't comprehensive or anything, but it's what I've come up with in preparation. Some of it's taken from the SGU website's suggested list, and others I've added on my own, or suggested from other blogs/advice pieces that I've read.

For those who's significant others are joining, here's a significant other packing list.

Backpack/Tote bag
External hard drive
Calculator (with the sq root function)
Latex gloves
Desk lamp (with replacement bulbs)
Stapler (and staples)
Sticky notes
Index cards
Sharpies/dry erase markers
Small whiteboard

Extra chargers for phone/laptop

**SGU covers the duties for 3 electronics (but they must be laptop, phone, tablet), and the student is responsible for any others. Here's the Travel Folder section of the SGU site. Students are required to bring receipts for the electronic items that aren't covered by school (otherwise it will be at the discretion of the customs people)

Pepto Bismol, GasX, Immodium, etc
Tylenol, Advil, Aleve
Any prescription medications
Face products
Contact lenses/glasses/solution
Body wash
Bug spray

Light jacket

Yoga/exercise mat
Travel clock
Laundry bag
Sunglasses (2)
Laundry detergent

Drinking glasses
Brita & filters
Cups, bowls, mugs, utensils
Electric kettle
Can opener
Dish detergent/sponges
Ziploc bags

I'm also trying to pack a few bins and things to store all my stuff. I don't quite like the dump-it-all-in-the-drawer look. Let's hope all of this fits in two suitcases and a carry-on.