Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sweet Patisserie | Pistacia Vera

twirly skirt take a bite macaron shops and gumdrops rainbow macarons little house on the suburb
H&M mint green skater dress (buy) // Goodwill thrifted gold tip white belt //
Forever 21 black wool beret with stud detail // Predictions for Payless white low heel pump //
F21 gold spike bracelet and pearl bracelets // Revlon Lip Butter in Lollipop //
Black faux leather purse (gift) //

Photography: Cassandra Morecroft King

Catching my breath after hours inside anatomy lab to bring you an outfit inspired by my favourite things: pastel mint green & kitschy French things (10/21). This beret my Mom gifted me two Christmases ago as part of a French-inspired outfit, my college graduation dress in my favourite shade mint green, white and gold accents. Committing "me time" is important to enjoy every day even if it's hectic, feel excited about discovery like watching my first DIY crystals grow in elementary school, be thankful for my supportive friends for propelling me forward after setbacks. The best revenge for the baseball cannons pelting you with lemons is to get up, add sugar to the wounds, and live a really good life. There will always be someone who you wish you could trade with because of their success, intellect, birthright, material wealth. But you will get to where you need to be by not forgetting who you already are.

I am grateful for spontaneous giggling fits about wishing our arms were 6 feet longer to avoid smelling eau de formaldehyde, childhood best friends still being here for each other even as we traverse into the daunting new chapters of our lives, JJ coming to visit this weekend and share more adventures, catching up with an inspirational old friend with hovering mustaches and laughter, late night reliving the 90s kid experience of Power Rangers/Ultraman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shenanigans with the best faux-bro I could hope for (conspiracy theory blood relation pending). Cassandra's selflessness and good company, taking the time to drive up and put up with me and my fanciful ideas that usually involve pointing a camera in front of every half-decent tree, house, fire hydrant, younameit. I had been wanting to check out a French pastry shop in German Village called Pistacia Vera to try out their macaron selection, and boy were they tasty! My favourite flavour was their namesake pistachio, sweet but savory. My goal by the end of this first year of med school is to make my rounds in the coffeeshops around town, portals to my happy place.

Laughter, singing, writing are powerful healers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas

Saturday, November 17, 2012


IMG_7336 bird print and checkered converse IMG_7333 IMG_7330 mattress firm lol
H&M chambray denim button down shirt // Forever 21 french toast print tee //
Forever 21 circle scarf // H&M bird print skirt // Forever 21 black sweater tights //
DIY/Converse checkered Chucks sneakers //

Photography: Kristin

Okay, letsbehonest I have been marathoning The Walking Dead the past few days and really needed to get down to business (cue Mulan ballad). It was surprisingly balmy and sunny today so I threw on my cozy casuals and avoided pushing it too far into Hipsterland with my cat eye frames. My friend Kristin and I headed to a Starbucks to grab holiday drinks and listen to Michael Buble piping his heart out overhead while stuffing our brains with more deets about muscles and nerves. Ironically we had to snap photos in front of a mattress store because Starbucks was too bathed in sunlight and overexposed xD Thanks for picking out the "grungy urban" backdrop and playing photographer! Now back to waving my arms around like a looney trying to figure out where all my shoulder anatomy is (if you've ever seen a roomful of students staring quizzically at their thumb, pointer, and middle finger during a physics test, it's the same concept - look up at the ceiling, squint, and flail around your limbs until you understand where A attaches to B). Happy weekending!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tweed Chevron Cape

IMG_7293 IMG_7305 chevron tweedy IMG_7307 IMG_7322
BB Dakota tweed chevron cape (XS) (c/o Jupe Boutique) // H&M ruched bodycon pencil skirt //
Forever 21 black sweater tights // Merona black suede ankle booties //
Michael Todd vampy lip stain in Disco //

Photography: self; tripod and remote

After starting this new med school quest called anatomy, I had forgotten how cathartic getting dressed up and stepping out into the crisp chilly air is. Most of my days involve wearing scrubs (which I vow to make more fashionable someday) and staring at coloured bones and muscles all night. But tonight we had a book club meeting to discuss Ian McEwan's Enduring Love, a bizarre narrative revolving around the reactions of several troubled characters and a strange man with a strange conditions called erotomania. I can proudly say my passion for literary analysis and discussion led some to think I was an English major in college (Neuroscience: like culinary studies for zombies). It's surprising where I find the time or willpower to squeeze in reading a book for pleasure, but the fine art I'm still trying to learn is how to carve out little pockets of free time to enjoy my artsy side.

The recent sartorial highlight was receiving this very weather-appropriate BB Dakota tweed chevron cape from Jupe Boutique. When I opened the package I was shocked at how sturdy thick and form fitting this cute little number was and how it keeps me warm without adding a ton of bulk. The bell shaped sleeves make arm movements comfortable and still allow full mobility - something most cape designs forget about. The length and belt are perfect for cinching at the waist and making sure my petite self wears the cape and it doesn't swallow me. Threw on some black neutral bottoms to keep with the dark sleek tones, messy side braid and freshly cut bangs. It's trendy but very capable of being a winter classic for many more non-Michelin-man chilly days.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Pursuit of "The Happiness Advantage"

"90% of our happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by how our brains perceive the world."

I watched a TED talk today that opened my myopic eyes up to a simple truth: if we simply change the lens we view life through, we can change our happiness and use so much more of our potential as the human race (yes, there is only one genetically and anthropologically defined race and that is Homo sapiens). Why do inspiring people like my Mom survive living with all the terrible ugliness that is cancer for over a decade longer than the docs said she would? Why do some people have family and friends and community who readily reach out to help in times of need, yet they still feel alone and unsupported? The power of active optimism sounds like it's too good to be true but positive psychology works its magic without us understanding exactly why. It all seems like handwaving and "black box" phenomenon oftentimes, but try biting a pen in between your teeth for 5 minutes. Does your mood feel a little better? Using your body to carry out emotions actually tricks your brain into believing it! That's also why exercise gives you a mood lifting kickstart - because your endorphins teach your brain that your actions matter.

I am still a person guilty of stressing out, getting bogged down by the little details, placing value on things that in the big picture don't matter, setting unachievable sky-high goals and not wanting to settle for lowering my standards. Success --> happiness, catalyzed by coffee, complaints, and cortisol, right? We as a society have been chasing the wrong carrot. The speaker notes, "If happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain will never get there." So as counterintuitive as it sounds, we shouldn't slave away for this moving target called success, and we shouldn't work to be happy, but rather be happy while we're working. I can speak to the truth of this after this first block of medical school, because I realized that just because I don't freak out and stress and worry about something does not mean I don't care about it - it just allows me to focus for once on the plate in front of me - not the plate, the desk it's sitting on, the carpet under the desk, and the walls that intersect the carpet. So I'm going to take on the little quest of journaling 3 new things I am grateful for every day for 21 days until I can teach my brain to see the good before the bad and truly believe it. It took years and years to learn to starve myself of gratification for a job well done for the constantly F5-refreshing goal to do even better, to the point that even a 100% or A+ seemed limiting. I am sure many of you can relate, as we tend to be high-achieving people. The problem is when we turn our heads towards the next achievement without pausing to celebrate and acknowledge the path we laid out behind us.

Life never gets any easier. There is not one day you can wake up and everything will be perfect in the world and you won't have a worry. So it's time to write ourselves some prescriptions for rose-tinted glasses because the principle behind the nostalgia from "the good ole days" can very well be what makes today the best day of our lives, every day.

This is your brain on happiness  :)

P.S. I miss writing these reflective posts: just opening up a fresh page and typing away about a topic that I feel passionate about at this very moment in time. Working on the "just do what you feel" resolution. I also voted in my second election since I became of age today. What makes you unapologetically happy?

Images: and, collage by me

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Plaid and Houndstooth | A Tale of Two Patterns

cable knit houndstooth burgundy holly berries 2 3
Ralph Lauren cable knit sweater (gift from Aunt) // H&M chambray shirt (underneath)//
Forever 21 houndstooth print pencil skirt // Forever 21 burgundy tights //
Target Xhilaration brown oxford flats // 

Photography: self, tripod and remote

True free time in med school doesn't exist. It's like the Tooth Fairy or Santa's assembly line of minimum  free wage elves ... you wanted to believe in them so badly as a kid. BUT when you've finished a block and have a precious 4 days to yourself, you're nearly at a loss of what to do! So far there's been lots and lots of movie watching (Mission Impossible I, III, Footloose, The Little Mermaid), eating, sleeping, dancing, and a big dose of retail therapy with the girls (read: trying on a zillion pairs of pants at LOFT and grabbing everything remotely winter-cute at H&M). Looking forward to thrifting, reading for pleasure (Enduring Love), munching on chewy colourful macarons, revisiting the magical world of Disney via the perspectives of Hercules and Cinderella.

The weather outside is frightful, but certainly less horrible than it was earlier in the week (still shaking my fist at Hurricane Sandy). Best hopes for the East Coast and New York to be back to normal soon - I'm saddened by the destruction and losses. When it's so bloody cold out, I just want to curl up with some dark chocolate hot cocoa, a good read, and fuzzy socks. Alas, adventure out there is to be had, so cable knit sweaters and layering with denim and my trusty coat made getting dresses easier. These tights from F21 have been my cold weather staple - they're lined on the inside with a thick soft fuzzy material, keeping me very warm. This was what I wore on Friday (11/2) to a casual meeting.
{My bangs need some TLC}

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ash-Lee Ketchum

HALLOWEEN ON NOVEMBER 1ST. After 12 weeks of brain-hurt, my first medical school block is over and successfully passed! Since our final exam was the day after Halloween, spooky fun festivities were postponed and makeshift costumes hastily thrown together. I was impressed with the creative DIY characters my classmates came up with - everything from a whole squadron of Beanie Babies to what looked like Miley Cyrus's dad to internet memes. I went as Ash Ketchum (well, Ash-lee since I made no effort to boy-ify my hair) from Pokemon because surprisingly I already had everything in my closet: thrifted Goodwill denim vest, studded biker gloves from a Chictopia reward, the iconic League hat that I stole from my brother a long time ago. I even contoured my nose with eyeshadow and drew the anime cheek squigglies. The only things missing were my giant stuffed animal Pikachu still at home in Cali and state-of-the-art tech: Pokeballs and Pokedex. Hope your Halloweens were just as fun! Photo cred: Marie

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