Friday, April 24, 2015

diamonds are forever

black cotton dress, denim jacket, and red sandals
In a break from the snow (YES SNOW..okay fine, just a few flakes), we had one really nice day this week - it may have only been 50 degrees, but that is nice enough weather in my books to break out the sandals. 

If I had a choice in life, it would be to never have to wear shoes. Since that is not socially acceptable, I do the next best thing and wear as little shoe as possible. Many people seem to be concerned about my feet in the winter because of hussyankles the fact that I wear non-boots for most of the winter. My general winter rule is that if it's not actually snowing, then the ground will be clear enough to wear flats. My summer shoe rule is that the shoes need to be cute, go with a ton of different things (because I generally only own a few pairs of sandals), and they need to be something I can walk in longer-ish distances. 

So that rules out gladiator sandals for me....

But luckily there are so many cute summer shoes currently out that fulfill that criteria! When I was approached to pick out a pair from Nordstrom for the spring, I immediately picked out these half sandal half espadrilles from Louse et Cie. I loved the pattern, that they were a bit unique, and that I could see it going with a bunch of things in my closet. Unfortunately the fit was a no go as I couldn't tighten the ankle enough - luckily, Nordstrom offers free return shipping, which makes online shoe shopping so.much.easier. The second pair I picked out was this sparkly pair from Sole Society and they more than fulfill the summer shoe criteria. The red color is exaclty what I've been looking for, the crystals make them a bit special, and they are very comfortable. I find that they run very true to size, if not a tiny bit small - I'm between a 9 and a 9.5, and ordered it in a 9.5. They also come in black and gold if red isn't your favorite color (and if it isn't your favorite color, I'm afraid we can't be friends).
Women's Jersey Fit & Flare Dresses; Madewell Transport Tote
Dress: Old Navy [exact]
Denim Jacket: Paige c/o Nordstrom [exact sold out | similar for $75]
Sandals: Sole Society c/o Nordstrom [exact]
Bag: Madewell [save | exact]
Watch: Michael Kors [exact 25% off]
Sole Society 'Angelin' Crystal Sandal
Here are a few more options that also fit those same requirements, all under $100. If you're looking for sandals you can walk long distances in, these Clarks are probably your best bet. These rose gold slides are sitting in my cart though - thoughts? 

Disclosure: thank you to ShopStyle for sponsoring this post! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

knowing when to let go

chambray shirt with striped skirt
No, this post will not be about knowing when to let go of a boyfriend, although trust, I could write a whole book about that topic ;) Instead, it's going to be about letting go of a piece of clothing. Not nearly as scandalous to write about it but maybe a bit more applicable to this here style blog.

So I bought this striped skirt two years. It was soon after I found out I got into school, and I was really excited to get out of my lab clothes and into more "fun" clothes (jokes on me now, I miss those jean days!). I found this skirt on a sales rack at Banana Republic, and bought it in preparation for school. Well, school came, and I found myself never reaching for this skirt. I never really thought about why, until I was doing a bit of closet rearranging the other day and tried to make an outfit around it. The biggest issue for me is that it's actually a navy + cream combo, and that means it restricts what I can wear with it. I would much prefer it to be black and white, because it means I could mix and match it with so many more of the tops in my closet. It is also too large on me. But I still like it enough, so I paired it with my favorite chambray top and cognac wedges, and went on with my day. Turns out, chambray goes with just about everything.

So I have this skirt that in theory I should like (hello, stripes) but in reality I don't. The thing is, I would like to own a striped pencil skirt because I could see it being pretty versatile, but I would never go and buy a new one because I already own one, although it's one I don't really wear because it's not what I want. So the issue is - do I keep a skirt that is fine, there's nothing really wrong with it, or do I get rid of it and move on?

I've had a lot of people ask me how to do a closet clean up. Between the time I found out I got into school and before I moved two years ago, I got rid of a lot of clothes in my closet. It was right around the time that I was getting better about figuring out what worked on my body, what I wanted in my closet, and what I didn't, and so I got rid of the clothes I had accumulated over the seven years I lived in Madison. Over the past two years, I have really honed in on my style, and realized that works for my dress code and what doesn't. I've held on to quite a few pieces over the last two years that I bought before I started school because I thought they would work in my current lifestyle, but I realize now that I never ever reach for them. With another move coming up, I've been slowly working my way back through my closet. There's definitely certain items that are easier to let go - ones I haven't touched since moving, or ones that just aren't as nice as they once were. I've either passed them on to friends/family members, sent them in to ThredUp, or donated them. 

The harder pieces are ones that you just don't wear as often although there is nothing really wrong with them. I have a really hard time letting go of those pieces. I paid good money for them, I should make it work somehow! But because I have clothes I like a lot more, I wear those instead, and occasional try to make something work that I'm just not as excited about. So when a closet clean up comes around, and I come across something that I haven't worn in a while, I try to make it work. I tried this skirt with three or four shirts before I found one where the colors worked together, and a belt that kept the skirt from falling off. While I like this particular outfit, I don't think that getting dressed should be such a hassle. I've spent years trying to build a closet with clothes I'm excited to wear, so holding on to something because I paid $20 for it two years ago is not a good enough reason to have it take up a hanger. 

So to wrap up this novella about a striped skirt....I'm selling the skirt. I know that once it is gone, I won't even miss it. And then some day, when I come across a striped skirt that is in the colors that I want, in a size that fits me, I won't feel guilty about buying it. Or I'll never find one I like, and that's okay too. 

What tips do you have for getting rid of those pieces that are fine, but not great? Do you hold on to them in hopes you fall back in love, or get rid of it and move on? 
j.crew keeper shirt

Chambray: J.Crew [exact]
Skirt: Banana Republic
Belt: Gap [very similar]
Shoes: Frye [exact, some sizes on sale]
Watch: Michael Kors [exact currently 25% off]

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

a survey, a giveaway, and a thank you

Three years ago today I started my blog. Like most people, I stared it on a whim - I took a picture with my computer, used a nickname my friend Lizzi gave me, and somehow here I am, three years later. Blogging has been such a blessing - it's kept me in touch with my family, I've met some of the coolest people, and it has given me the opportunity to do things I wouldn't have been able to otherwise.

Monday, April 20, 2015

how to not look like an undergrad at the library

Because our own library has too many rules (including no drinking of water or coffee), we spend a ton of our study time at the more relaxed local college where CR's sister goes to school. We sit in a beautiful large open room with natural light and big wood tables where four of us can sit comfortably with about 15 books and electronic devices between us. Many times we have the room to ourselves early on Saturday mornings, and it's really the place I get the most work done.

I'm close to a decade older than some of the undergrads who study there though, and I think at this point I don't think I can get away with pretending I'm 21 anymore (but please, tell me I'm wrong ;) ). As a general rule, I try to look presentable when I go to the library. I've always been a person who has to change out of pajamas and put myself together before I can be productive in the morning, and since studying is kind of my job right now (one that never seems to end), I put on real clothes. I got this open cardigan a few months ago, and it very quickly has become my most worn item in my closet. I wear a variation of this outfit probably 3 days a week and it's the perfect medium between see through leggings and mini skirts and tube tops (both of which I've witnessed at the library...). 

Oh college, I miss you ;)

Sweater: c/o Shopbop [love this zip-up version]
Tee: Everlane [exact]
Pants: Paige c/o Zappos [exact]
Shoes: Tory Burch [exact]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
Bracelet: gift from my friend Lizzi [very similar]
Nails: Essie [exact]
Ring: borrowed from Rocksbox [use code franishxoxo for 1 free month]
On a side note, Ann Taylor currently is offering 50% off everything! While I don't shop there often because their clothes are typically a little more pricey, I did order several items with such a steep discount. A few of you 3rd and 4th year medical students have recommended a few sleeveless tops for under the white coat in the summer, so I ordered this pretty linen shell (with a high neckline, which is definitely a necessity). I also couldn't resist ordering this dress to at least try on's just so pretty! The practical side of me ordered these grey ankle pants too, just because I am determined to find a pair I like!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

top three [04.19.2015]

a striped tee for all season: one | two | three

  • While electroconvulsive therapy ("electroshock therapy") seems like it's something that no longer exists (it's over 80 years old), it's actually still a pretty common tool used in the treatment of depression or mania with over a million people receiving it yearly.  It's actually one of the safest options for severely depressed pregnant women! Great improvements have been made in the past few decades with the use of anesthesia and muscle relaxants to make it a less terrifying experience for the patient.
  • Many performers in "freak shows" of the past actually had medical conditions that predisposed them to their talents. An example of this is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which due to a defect in connective tissue, and leads to hyperflexibility and stretchy skin. Here's a short video that shows a couple of examples. 
  • The various vasculitis syndromes are some of my favorite pathological diseases. Kawasaki Disease is pretty interesting disease because it happens in young children. Due to an autoimmune reaction, vessels in these children's' bodies become inflamed, with the most serious of these vessels being the coronary arteries. This can lead to fatal coronary artery aneurysms but don't worry, with the right treatment, mortality is less than half a percent. The treatment is also interesting, as it includes aspirin, which is hardly ever given to children. 

on the internet

  • Helpful hints for buying on eBay - take it from this lady, she has ninja eBay skills!
  • Are you guys participating in Sarah's Top 10 Remix? I'm not getting dressed/blogging consistently enough to do it this time around, but I've loved seeing all of your takes on it!

  • I've seen this beautiful midi skirt on several bloggers and just fell in love with it. It's way too expensive and it wouldn't really be something I can wear to work, but a girl can dream, right? (please say right)
  • Peplum was something I haven't really gotten in to, but I would love to try on this beautiful lace peplum top. Maybe as a post boards present to myself? 
  • I love the color of this sheer lipstick - it just looks like it would the prettiest color for spring...and summer...and really, whenever.
  • P.S. Don't forget that the Lilly x Target line came out today! I'm stopping by my Target early just to take a look - I have my eye on the wine stoppers, the blue tassel shorts, and the starfish cuff :) This article on the collaboration was also an interesting read - I love that the brand says that everyone should get to enjoy their aesthetic, which is so refreshing. 

on franish
  • on the blog: a review of some hits and misses lately 
  • on the instagram: what's your favorite flavor? 
  • on the twitter: my fantasies include early morning "fun" reading, an afternoon nap, and a movie on the couch with white cheddar popcorn

notable sales
  • Ann Taylor: 40% off select styles
  • Loft: 40% off everything (code: SHAREIT)
  • Kate Spade: 25% off everything (code: DEAREST)

  • We ordered our couch this week! Thank you for all of your suggestions on instagram - we ended up going with the middle color because it's dark enough to hide any stains and floating pet hairs (although it will firmly be a NO PETS couch) but is still a very neutral color.  Now I get to start imaginary decorating it and the surrounding space! I love the idea of this ink dot pillow with this gold pillow just because it's a little girly but something that CR will still approve of. Now I just need to figure out how to convince him that this gold coral is a necessary part of that vision...
  • We're at the part of board studying where the days are starting to run together and I'm just kind of numb to the amount of time we spend studying. On Wednesday we spent 12 hours at the library, and then studied for another 3 after coming home. It sounds nuts, but the hours just kind of fly by.
  • Spring is officially here! CR and I went on a three mile run yesterday by the lake, and it was so nice to be outside for a little while. I haven't ran in a while, just ellipticalled all winter, and yesterday made me realize how much I miss running. We are thinking about signing up for a half marathon sometime this summer! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

little red dress

red sleeved dress with long necklace I've been looking for a sleeved red dress for ages (does it feel like I say that about a lot of things? I'm always looking for something...), but apparently they are much harder to find than one would think! A few weeks ago I was perusing Nordstrom's dress section (a weekly habit) looking for a dang dress for that wedding next month, and I spotted this one. The ratings spoke very highly of it, so when I had the opportunity through ShopStyle to try out a dress from Nordstrom, it was the push I needed to order it because what's the worst thing that happens, I use the free return shipping and send it back? 

The reviews say that if you are between sizes, which I am, to size down, so I'm wearing a 10 here. It's a beautiful thick fabric that isn't stiff at all. The lining helps hold the shape of the dress, and I think the cut is so flattering. It's form fitting without being tight. I wore this on a quick dinner out with CR before settling down at the library (after changing into yoga pants...). I loved having a chance to get just a little dressed up by pairing it with my favorite wedges and tassel necklace (I felt very Joan) but I do think it's a bit short on me with heels in more professional settings, so I'll be wearing it with flats at school. It's like the perfect dual occasions dress!
Tahari Seamed A-Line Dress
red dress
Tahari Seamed A-Line Dress (Regular & Petite)
Dress: c/o Tahari dress [exact - comes in a bunch of colors!]
Necklace: Forever 21 [exact]
Wedges: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
Below are a few more "dual occasion" dresses - I adore the polka dot wrap dress!

Thank you to ShopStyle for sponsoring this post!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

purple rain

chambray blazer with a striped top for work
If my flattened hair didn't give it away, it just started sprinkling when we started taking these pictures. I kind of forgot that with the beautiful spells of sun and 65 degrees comes random thunderstorms...

On a completely different, non-boring weather, topic is the subject of Rocksbox. If you guys follow on instagram, you've probably seen that I've been wearing various pieces of jewelry from them lately. There are literally hundreds of different subscription boxes out there - make-up, nail polish, clothes, snacks, you know the drill. I've tried a couple of them, like Birchbox and Le Tote, and wasn't the biggest fan. The concept of Le Tote is wonderful, but if you are outside of their standard sizing, the clothes didn't fit all that well - everything was always shorter than I wanted it to me, so it wasn't worth the cost of the box for me.

You know what looks good on everyone? Jewelry. Rocksbox asked me a few months ago if I wanted to try out their jewelry subscription box, and hey, who doesn't like to wear free jewelry? The concept of Rocksbox is for $20 a month, you basically get an unlimited amount of jewelry - well, you really get 3 pieces at a time, but if you don't like it, you can send it back and have a new box at your house in just a few days. Rocksbox gave me a subscription for three months, and I was thinking about if I would spend my own money on it, and you know, I really would. I have a large collection of necklaces I don't really wear. I wear them a few times and then I'm kind of bored with them. There are definitely exceptions - certain items I wear over and over again, but I definitely have more that I don't wear. When I got this Juliet + Co. necklace in a recent box, I was so excited because it's so pretty...but it's also a very "statement" pieces that I know I wouldn't wear as often as the cost would make me feel like I had to. So I wore it with an outfit I loved, and then sent it right back. Best part is that now I have a new box coming my way with a few pieces I think I will really love, and if it turns out I want to wear them again and again, I can buy them from Rocksbox at a discounted price (plus they give you $10 every month that goes toward a purchase, so it's even cheaper). 

Rocksbox isn't paying me to say any of this, but I wanted to share my thoughts on their subscription box. If you'd like to give it a try, you can get a free month with the code "franishxoxo". If you've signed up, or do in the future, I'd love to hear about your opinions on it! 
Juliet + Co Brilliance Necklace
Loft Chambray Blazer
Blazer: Loft [exact | review here]
Tee: Boden [exact]
Pants: The Limited [exact]
Necklace: borrowed from Rocksbox
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
Shoes: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Nails: Essie [exact]
what to wear with a chambray blazer