Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Rendezvous | Corn Maze

chunky scarf and leopard print om nom corn scarf grab witch's warts GINORMOUS pumpkin princess
Thrifted leopard print long cardigan (from Thrift Town, San Fran) // H&M hunter green skinny pants //
Not shown: Ralph Lauren white cableknit sweater underneath //
H&M camel leather belt // H&M oatmeal chunky scarf // Hot Topic lace up combat boots (old) //
Michael Todd vampy dark lip stain in Disco //

Photography: Tim S. and Erika B (fellow med students!)

AND SO IT BEGINS. The weather gods have a sense of humor, that they do. After teasing us with a week of nice balmy 80-degree weather, things turned ugly and frigid when I finally decide to take a study break. Picture me wistfully daydreaming to be where the people are, staring longingly from a window inside a coffeeshop, library, wherever there is coffee and ample lighting for all-day PowerPoint marathons (most likely staring past the white wall where there is in fact no window) ... and then the oblivious med student realizes that this is all because of Hurricane Sandy. When I think of Sandy with a sour frown I picture Sandy the Space Squirrel from Spongebob. Our puny umbrellas are powerless against her! Stay indoors and safe, East Coasters. Surprisingly Ohio's getting hit too with rain, snow, high winds, and possible power outages (oh please no, my computer-based notes can't be studied with a dead battery by pumpkin-scented candelight)

Layering on the good stuff: tights underneath pants, long sleeve shirt under cableknit sweater under cardigan, massive chunky scarf, combat boots. Thanks so much to Tim and Erika for snapping these photos and helping me pretend I have a normal life, enjoying the finer fun things in fall despite the craziness that is finals week: stumbling through muddy corn mazes, munching apple cider donuts (best.ever.holycrap), trying to choose between really oddly shaped vs ginormously giant vs manageable and cute vs pageant carving material in the pumpkin patch. This semi-makes up for not trick-or-treating or freezing my butt off in a costume. I Tossing a few more mini marshmallows into my hot apple cider and back to the books slides! Normalcy shall be restored after Thursday - wish me luck!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Florals and Foliage | Fall Work Outfit

1 2 3 4
H&M pink ruffle blazer // H&M pastel floral peplum top //
Forever 21 taupe lace pencil skirt // Predictions for Payless low heel black pumps //
Lancome lipstick in Rouge Baroque //

Photography: Cassandra Morecroft King

My bff Cassandra is back in town visiting with creative spark and crazy ideas, like photoshooting in the cold and rain to capture the ephemeral beautiful forest of fall colours down my street. We ran around my neighborhood with 2 cameras, 1 tripod, 2 umbrellas, getting progressively more drenched and frozen while having a blast. This was outfit #2 and what I originally planned on wearing to work on Friday (10/19), but under my white coat the pink blazer and peplum all accumulated to being way too much. The next post will show how I modified this to be more work-appropriate and polished. You can  still be stylin' even when it's pouring (which is all the time in Ohio).

This weekend was a whirlwind of studying for my med block final, celebrating my childhood best friend's birthday at a swank downtown restaurant, dealing with things coming up randomly. Still trying to keep my cool with hazelnut Panera's coffee, spontaneous food outings, catching up with friends old and new. Enjoy your fall foliage! Best part of this season ... besides pumpkin patches, apple cider, cozying up in layers :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mint Tea and Band Tees | Pittsburgh, PA

IMG_7087 ok go ! IMG_7080 shes a hipster step into fashion
Arden B mint green long lightweight cardigan // Lush mint green scallop hem shorts
OK Go band tshirt (gift from friend Don) // Black crossbody purse (gift from JJ's mom) //
Mossimo suede grey ankle boots //

Photography: JJ

THE WEEKENDER. I had a fun and chillaxed weekend in Pittsburgh with JJ, munching on grapes/cheese/cracker/wine and his home-cooked meals, discovering new Indian eats, banana walnut pancakes and Tex-Mex omelettes at Pamela's brunch, watching Looper and old surprisingly campy horror flicks (Monkey Shines), bumping into a Washu friend and catching up, studying in the majestic Cathedral of Learning. The weather was relatively balmy, so out come the shorts and spring mint shades. This OK Go tee is a gift from my friend Don who has sensational fashion sense and was also working a cool internship in the music industry. Been a fan of their videos and music since their infamous treadmill days. A few quick snaps on the windy street near UPitt and we can call this streetstyle.

Yesterday changed things for the better. My Dad tells the most inspiring stories that have helped me keep pushing this entire journey through pre-med and now in the very baby stages of my career. The wisdom he imparted centered my med student tunnel vision back to focus on what I've been missing as I gripe about the monotony of my day-to-day and the endless studying: perspective. The privilege I have to be studying medicine, to be learning this specialized knowledge, the whole future of doing good for people. Thanks Dad :) Taking a good look at the people of this city today was also humbling, and I remembered how my passion for servicing the community brought me here in the first place. I feel re-energized and much happier and driven to succeed for those future people I will meet, those stories I will hear, the hands I will hold.

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.
- "Invictus" by William Earnest Henley

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall/Winter 2012 Fashion Trends | by BecomeGorgeous

Today we have a guest post from Diana of She is reporting fall and winter trends hot off the runway and did her homework! Enjoy the eye candy and inspiration (you can click on any image to see the up-close details). I am definitely cray cray over the beautiful Baroque embellishments //

With summer already a memory, it's time we start thinking about our cold-weather wardrobes. So, new season, new trends! From Asian-inspired and military to statement-making baroque and Gothic, discover the hottest fall/winter 2012 fashion trends!

It seems that designers excelled this season at embellishing clothes with to-die-for details. The result? A look-at-me-now baroque approach that catches the eye from the very first glimpse. You can see it at Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain, Aquilano.Rimondi. (Collage is above)

Yes, the military trend reigns supreme once again and seems to be more fashionable than ever (Altuzarra, Tommy Hilfiger, Moschino, Victoria Beckham, Salvatore Ferragamo). This season, besides the already popular coats, we could also spot some incredibly feminine military-inspired dresses and skirts.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

She Means Business

you go first IMG_6972 IMG_6973 hair flip, cool whip IMG_6975
H&M striped white and black tshirt dress (worn as shirt) // H&M hunter green skinny pants //
H&M black fitted blazer with red satin interior // Mossimo suede black ankle boots //

Photography: self; tripod and remote

What I Wore When I Almost Saw Barack Obama. This is the outfit I would have worn to see President Obama today. As a huge public university with 50,000 undergrads and a major swing state, of course El Jefe himself would come down and get the students revved up. Though I had tickets to elbow it out with the masses, when they opened the doors at 2, the line was at least a thousand people long so I decided to stay inside the tepid med library and duke it out with some studying. Is it silly that I was so happy to find the one cubicle that had an extra bright happy desk lamp? All the small things, guys. Some of my classmates did end up waiting the 4 hours. There will be future chances!

Remember this simple basic striped dress that I got for free from H&M grand opening a month ago? Turned it into a shirt today but tucking the "dress" bottom part of material up and inside, hiding it from view and avoiding the visible-tucking-into-pants-scrunching. Paired it with my favourite crisp, clean blazer and threw on some fall-toned pants to "boot." These skinnies used to be skin tight but maybe after all the stress and high levels of sugar consumption by my brain, they seem baggier (totes matches my eyes). Ran around all day and it was very comfortable and I felt polished. Booked it back from the ultrasound training session to catch the last, last rays in a 2 minute shoot. Curling up with my Powerpoints, pumpkin pie, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on my Nook tonight (it's not as romantic as it sounds) and wondering how it's only Tuesday.

A fall shoot in the autumn foliage? Plotting ways to self-take photos with the fiery scenery and lying in the piles of fallen leaves ...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Moulin Ruche | Cold Weather Work Outfit

IMG_6960 IMG_6966 IMG_6970 IMG_6965 IMG_6952
H&M royal blue ruche button down blouse // H&M eggshell white cardigan //
Ann Taylor Petite dotted vertical pinstripe pants (4P) (from Aunt) // Mossimo suede grey ankle boots //
H&M ultra skinny leopard print belt // H&M plaid tweed coat //

Photography: self; tripod and remote

Today was cold as crap, meaning it was 38 degrees F when I walked out the door. Of course the heating in our lecture hall is the exact opposite of Mother Nature, so sweating bullets through my layers (why isn't my apartment that warm?). So, how do I dress professionally for the colder fall and winter days? Throw on a button down, add on a cardigan, swap out my pencil skirts for pants, and bundle up in a long coat. Snapped these in 5 minutes at sundown while my poor little fingers were turning into popsicles. Definitely not as cozy as these photos look. Details: rucheing on the royal blue button down keeps a feminine shape, as these types of tops tend to cut off our curves. Also, there are mini dotted vertical pinstripes on the pants, which I realize is not the most flattering cut on me (still looking for the perfect loose fitting tapered trousers). Swapped out my brown oxford wingtips too because it made me even more stumpy.

This weekend involved creative use of highlighters (heck yes, Harry Potter lightning bolt scar), singing for visiting alumni who graduated 50 years ago!, slurping pho noodles at North Market with a sweet friend, catching up and thrift-meandering during the Gallery Hop with some old college gals visiting Columbus. Fezes and turbans and mini custard cones were involved. Today I took my unused light and plugged it into my bedroom, brightening up the entire place and making me feel a lot less seasonally affected by the dreary winter greys. Clenching a pen between my teeth helps too (psych tips)

Thanks to all of you - new friends and old, readers and fellow bloggers - for your support and reaching out to me on my last post, offering wisdom, comfort, and starting meaningful conversations. With each day I am trying to be more brave and share why certain jokes and comments hurt me instead of bottling it up to suffer through alone. It is very difficult for me to cross that bridge and openly talk about this big part of my life. The next three weeks in med school will be challenging, as the topic is cancer. It has always been very personal to me, and now even more so. Something that does make my day better is gaining experience interacting with patients and learning how to be a more sensitive, humanitarian person - it reminds me why I am here at the end of the day, beyond the stress of studying all the time and being away from loved ones and friends.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mint & Polka Dots | Heart to Heart

IMG_6914 IMG_6938 sadness in her eyes golden hour walking in the wind IMG_6915
Arden B mint knit long open cardigan // H&M polka dot blouse // H&M black shorts (old) // 
Black sweater tights (old) // Mossimo suede black ankle boots //
Forever 21 gold and silver spike bracelets // Michael Todd vampy wine red lipstain in Disco //

Photography: self, tripod and remote

MOONCAKE AND SUNBEAMS. Heyyyy dudettes and dudes! Long time no see, so let me catch you up to speed. First a few words about today's outfit: wanted to streamline from the waist down so I layered on the black pieces to maintain fall weather and class appropriate (biggest pet peeve: seeing your leggings butt uncovered and hanging out). Threw on a lightweight cardigan sweater in the fresh minty green favourite to add colour (on sale for $7 during Fashion Night Out, and polka dot blouse was free from H&M during the grand opening spree). Thanks goodness because it was hardly fall today and back to  sizzling summer temps - the whole black bottoms deal attracted heat like a magnifying glass laser beam to ants. The leaves are changing! My favourite, favourite time of year especially in the Great Lakes Region. Bit the bullet and reordered these favourite spike bracelets from F21 because I have been missing them ever since I lost them with my purse in May. So many faves - they all get a gold star.

These past 2 weeks have been intro immunology block, and long time readers will recall a familiar shiftshow I suffered through last fall, except ironically that prepares me big time for the real deal in med school. Instead of 3 months to learn everything about everything, we now do it 6x faster. From how I describe my day-to-day in blog posts and schedule my social events, it seems that med school is easy - well, that couldn't be further from the truth. Most days I am pulling my hair and itching to break the monotony, but no one wants to read about my stress when y'all have enough of your own! That's why I try not to complain too much here. On the upside, I am beginning to learn how to focus on chewable chunks, group review, and making sure I go to bed every night inspired by something that happened during the day. Last weekend I was up in Ann Arbor at a conference discussing multidisciplinary issues in Asian American healthcare. Simultaneously, it was a good chance to catch up with some old friends from WashU and it warmed my heart to throw down to Gangnam style and 90s R&B while networking and workshopping topics in humanism. Monday was another test of our skills at interviewing patients and performing physical exams. On Tuesday, I learned basic suturing techniques and fiddled with some pre-surgery dexterity skills (still exploring, by no means committed yet). All week I have been singing with a cappella for a performance on Friday (such good catharsis) and enjoying the classical music blasting through the roof at the local Panera. Tomorrow I'm starting real work as a student doctor at a gastroenterology clinic - nervous and pumped at the same time.

We all have skeletons and it helps to just let loose and spill all the crap that's been piling mile-high on my chest. I find myself bottling up a lot more inside, not being able to reach out for support around me. Maybe it's the new environment, being apart from my long-time close friends, or a fear of a dog-eat-dog world. So, here we go back to the roots of what Pandaphilia is about - to get away from the nasty sides of reality and divulge in happy things. The truth is, I still grieve every day about my Mom and it hurts to hear classmates throw around jokes about death and cancer and comas and not be able to confront them even though I hint, responding with a serious "that's not funny." I feel like there's this huge barrier to sharing because how can I trust this kind of insensitivity when I'm vulnerable, when I'm sitting in lectures about cancer and what families have to go through and hear snide comments about how this is a waste of class time. It pains me to hear how much some people don't appreciate their parents. A lot of these things I am not strong enough to say directly out loud, and I know that people don't intentionally want to hurt me, but with their nonchalant attitudes and frivolity, it stings and it stings a lot. Recently, my family is going through another loss and it's difficult to even know what to think or feel. Every day I wake up and put on my brave face and go out into the world, but I hope that if you read this, you can grasp what I'm going through a little better and let me feel safer opening up to you.

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
[ ... and I will try to fix you ]
- Coldplay, "Fix You"

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