Sunday, March 1, 2015

top three [03.01.2015]

my favorite gold watch [save | exact] : one | two | three

  • Buerger's Disease is a form of vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels) that affects mainly medium to small vessels in the hands and feet. Almost all people who get this are smokers (the treatment is actually to stop smoking!) but what I found most interesting is that it can lead to auto-amputation (because the blood isn't circulating correctly, so fingers / toes / feet become gangrenous and die). This video (warning! it's pretty graphic) shows just the extent of what this disease can do. 
  • I'm sure you've heard stories about people who found tumors in their bodies and claimed that they were their "twin" that they ate in utero, because the tumors had hair and teeth. Those are actually teratomas - they are tumors that contain parts of what look like normal components of the body (hair, teeth, bones). When we were in cadaver lab, we would find these random pieces of dark hair throughout our cadaver's body (like we put cut into a muscle, and pull out hairs) and we would joke that they were "two cell teratomas". There are some pretty gnarly pictures out there, so google at your own risk! 
  • Endometriosis is a fairly common condition where endometrium (the cells that line the uterus) implant in areas they shouldn't. This can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on where the endometrial tissue is. I think the most interesting case is when implants in an ovary. Like regular endometrial tissue, the transplanted tissue still responds to hormones and will undergo the same changes as uterine tissue does during the menstrual cycle. The growth and sloughing off, with no where to go, eventually leads to something called a "chocolate cyst" in the ovary - it really does look like melted chocolate. 

on the internet
  • more instagram tips - while technically for small businesses, you can totally use these for your own "blogging" business
  • winter whites, done right (plus her bag is like my dream cognac bag!) 
  • I love when I can see different ways to wear the same piece, so I loved Jean's 10 different outfits with one of my favorite pieces of hers. I know I wouldn't be able to wear the necklace much once rotations started, or else I would totally have purchased it. 

  • I've been a little bored with my neutrals + neutrals + neutrals routine lately, and so I'm trying to step outside of my normal stripes, whites, tans routine by ordering this colorblocked lilac shirt. Who knows, maybe I'll end up hating it, or it'll be the shirt I can't stop wearing this spring and summer. I also added on a pretty salmon bow blouse (it comes in talls!), just to really get spring started...with the several feet of snow we still have on the ground ;)
  • Thoughts on this dress for a spring wedding? I've always wanted a pretty maxi dress!
  • This is the cutest tech gadget ever. Gold polka dots!

on franish

notable sales

  • Things are looking a little different around here! After a very frustrating initial experience with finding someone to do my re-design, I found Maru on Etsy and I just can't say enough good things about my experience working with her. She was such a professional and such a joy to work with - prompt with emails, totally willing to make the smallest of changes, and we were just very much on the same page about what I wanted my blog to look like. If you are looking for someone to do the same for you, really go check out her Etsy shop. She offers everything from social media buttons to template designs to custom designs (the option I chose) at a very affordable price. 
  • While I refused to read the books, my roommate wanted to see 50 Shades of Grey for her birthday so we all went a few weeks ago. It was ridiculous (although entertaining!) but the best thing in that entire movie was this song. I can't stop listening to it! Second best part was the few snapshots of Seattle - I'm already looking forward to the next time I can go back.
  • CR's family came down to visit us this weekend, and it was so great to hang out with them for the evening. My family is currently spread out all over the world - from South Africa (my sister) to Hungary (my brother) to Alabama (my mom) to Jakarta (my dad) - so it was nice to have "family" time with people who are a bit closer to my current home. I would love for my own family to come visit though (hint hint ;) )

Friday, February 27, 2015

february budget

J.Crew Factory Tee: originally $50 + 50% off = $26
Frye Wedges: originally $227, on sale for $113 + $50 giftcard = $63

February budget: $89   (left for this quarter: $411)

So not exactly a big spending month! You guys know I love cooler weather, but it's been negative degrees here for most of the month, so I've been very anti clothes and pro heating blankets instead. I do really enjoy the two pieces I did buy though. I added a striped shirt to the donate pile and added this one into my closet - it has a lot more structure and just fits me better than the previous shirt did. The wedges were something I've had my eye on for a month, and went my size popped back, I ordered them. I've only had a chance to wear them once, but they feel really great on, and I can really see them getting a ton of wear in the next few months once it warms up.

I was also very lucky to receive the following from my sponsors. I've been saving Shopbop credits for the past three months to buy these shoes - they are even prettier in real life. I put them on every morning just to wear around my bedroom (you can't tell me you haven't done that!), but I won't actually wear them until all of the snow melts. The earrings were also a fun addition to my jewelry collection - I think they are just so cute! I seriously would be an astronaut if I could, but I think these star earrings are probably as close as it's going to get. I also received a free three month prescription to Rocksbox, which you'll see more of in the next couple of posts, but if you've been interested in trying it out, you can get your first month free with code franishxoxo.

So now that spring clothes are something I'm actually allowed to think about a little bit (even though it won't be above 35 degrees for at least another month!). I did order these pants the other day, but since they haven't arrived yet, I don't know if I'll keep them. I do think they'll be a good way to mix it up a bit - I'm so bored with black pants! In addition,  I've wanted a jean jacket for years now, but just never found one I really liked. I swear I probably tried on a hundred when I still had time to go thrift shopping! I do have my eye on a few online, with this one from J.Crew being my favorite. Maybe during the next great sale I'll finally order it (along with this shirt - I love the pipe detailing!).

So that was me - how was February for you guys? I'd love for you to link up below - just please remember to link back to this post so your readers can find other bloggers who share their budgets!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


herringbone vest and striped shirt
I feel there are certain very clear blogging trends that emerge every year - things that you see all over Pinterest that may or may not be normal things people wear in real life - and I feel that in 10 years, you'll be able to look at certain outfits and know what year they are from just based on the trendy items in the outfit. 

For example, the herringbone vest is very 2013-2015 (is it bad that I also want the red gingham version? It doesn't help that it's also on sale...). The large oversized scarves (which, side note, I hope never go out of style because I love them) are also a pretty big thing this winter. While I try really hard not to get suckered into every trend out there, sometimes I just can't resist the really good ones - like black and white vests, or scarves that double as blankets at the library. 

So maybe in a few years this will look super dated....but today I like it ;)
herringbone vest
herringbone vest with a striped tee
Tee: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Vest: J.Crew Factory [exact]
Scarf: gift from Steph [similar]
Pants: Gap [similar on sale]
Boots: Vince Camuto [exact on sale]
Watch: Michael Kors [save | exact]*
Nails: Essie [exact - love love love!]

*as I was looking for inexpensive options, I stumbled across this (not inexpensive) watch - how cool is it?! I don't need another watch, but I think this one would make such a fun conversation piece.
what to wear with a herringbone vest

Sunday, February 22, 2015

top three [02.22.2015]

Franco Sarto Women's L-Motor Motorcycle
OTK boots (that also come in this amazing maroon color): one | two | three
  • Did you know that there are a very small percentage of women who have two uteruses (uteri?) - some even have two vaginas! Most aren't discovered until infertility problems appear, although many are still able to carry babies to full term. 
  • Hermaphroditism is a condition I still have trouble always wrapping my head around. Basically, a hermaphrodite is someone who has both ovarian and testicular tissues. There are various forms, but the basic concept is that there is a discrepancy between the genetic sex (so being XX or XY), the gonad morphology (testes or ovaries), and the external genitalia (penis or vagina). This documentary goes into it more and a few people's experiences with being born a hermaphrodite. There is also a woman Olympic runner who was found, after testing, to be externally female but had no uterus, and had undescended testes instead. 
  • Learning about the process of baby making (mmhmmm) is both inspiring and scary. There are SO many things that have to happen to 1. get pregnant, 2. keep the pregnancy, and 3. have a completely healthy child. It's shocking that the human race even exists because so much can go wrong at any point along the road from conception to birth. 

on the internet

  • I stumbled upon these pewter chinos and have fallen in dress pants love. Wouldn't the coral pair be fun too? 
  • I got my sister this to-go palette for Christmas, and now want it for myself. It would drastically cut down the amount of makeup I have to schlep back and forth between my house and my boyfriend's. Think he'll notice if another product shows up in his medicine cabinet? ;)
  • This sweater would be a great alone or layered over a button up...and with it being under $20, you can even pick it up in two colors. Looking to add something to your order? How about this amazing stacked ring (it does all the hard work for you) or this double zip shoulder bag?

on franish

notable sales

  • SPOILERS for GoT: A couple of years late to the game, but CR and I have been watching about 20 minutes of Game of Thrones every night before we go to bed. We just finished season three, and you guys, I don't know if I can continue! The "red wedding" was so horrible, and I can't stop thinking about it. I know it's just TV, but as George M.M. Martin said, you should grieve if a fictional character is killed. Good thing I get more of Robb's beautiful eyes in the upcoming Cinderella movie. He's just so dreamy. 
  • I, like probably a lot of women, am constantly growing out my hair only to cut it because I got bored. This is how long my hair was before I cut it off three-ish years ago, and I've regretted it a ton since then (also it's kind of fun to look back at early blogging Fran haha). I am getting my hair cut on Tuesday (it's been four months...) and while I'm kind of bored with my hair currently, I will NOT cut it off...but I do want to change something. I'm thinking something like this - just a little different without chopping all my hair off! 
  • After a very frustrating initial attempt to start a blog redesign (the person apparently dropped off the face of the planet after I paid her...), I have found a new designer and I'm so excited to spruce things up around here. No major changes, just a few updates since everything you see on this oh so professional blog has been done by me, someone who has very little computer or design training. I'm also debating replacing the traditional blogger comments with Disqus - I think it would be better just because you get notifications if I or someone else responds to your comment. Anyone feel strongly about it either way?

Friday, February 20, 2015

review: j.crew factory boatneck tee, old navy chambray dress, and more

Happy Friday! I'm popping in to write a quick post about a few things I've tried in the last few weeks. A couple of duds and a keeper for sure :)
First up is the J.Crew Factory striped top I mentioned when I reviewed the Everlane striped tee. I saw this on Jess, and ordered it as soon as a good sale came around (which as always, happens every other day). While I have a few various striped shirts, I also like having my options ;) Striped tops are my favorite because it's just so easy to look pulled together, plus it adds interest to any outfit without any real work. This one is just about as classic as it is going to get. The fabric is a thick cotton that just feels really nice on and is something that will hold its shape well. Like the Everlane tee, this also has side vents, full sleeves, and a boat neck. I like this one a lot more though because it has normal shoulders (no dropped shoulders), the neckline is just a little bit lower so it doesn't feel too tight against my throat, and I know that a cream/dark navy (almost black) will be worn a lot more. If you've been looking for a classic striped shirt, I don't think you'll find one more classic than this one. For reference, I'm wearing a large here.
v-neck sweater | cardigan
J.Crew Factory was having a 50% off everything sale when I ordered the striped shirt, so I threw in a few other things to try out. I really liked the idea of the green sweater - green is actually CR's favorite color so I've been looking for a nice green sweater for a while. I wasn't a huge fan of this particular color on me, and with it being too big on me plus dropped shoulders, it's going right back. Over this past winter I've become very aware about how few cardigans I own, which is why I tend to wear the same two over and over again. This one is nothing special, just a plain dark grey cardigan, but the pockets killed it for me. They were so baggy and really added a bunch of weight to my hip area. I was debating maybe sewing/glue ironing it shut, but I would rather just find one I actually like rather than trying to make this one work.
Old Navy Women's Chambray Shirt Dresses
I stopped in at our local Old Navy a couple of weeks ago just to walk around a bit and look at things. I tried on a bunch of stuff, but nothing really worth writing about. I did fall in love with the idea of this chambray dress though - wouldn't it be so versatile? The left and middle picture are of a regular large in store (my giant belt looks a bit silly...and phallic... but it was all I had at the moment). It was way too short on me though, so I ordered a tall medium online (picture on the right). That fit me quite a bit better, but I'm not convinced I love it. The fabric is a bit thin, and I don't like the dark blue stitching on it. Too bad, because otherwise it would have been a fun dress to have! Old Navy does have a ton of cute stuff out currently, including this adorable dress (shocker, right?), these patterned flats (if the snow ever goes away!), and this crossbody purse, which bears a striking resemblance to a much more expensive madewell bag.
Women's Plus Size Denim Shirt Dress Light Blue-Merona®
left | right 
So as I was strolling through Target last week to pick up a few Valentine's Day treat making supplies, I just happened to walk through the clothing section (weird how that happens...) and saw these two chambray/denim dresses. I figured I might as well try them on too, just in case either turned out to be the chambray dress of my dreams. The one on the left (it seems to only be available in plus sizes online, but this was just a regular large) is clearly more a dress of my nightmares - I'm not cool enough for the low-high hem, the pockets add so much extra fabric to my waist and hips, and the slit on the side makes in pretty inappropriate for most of my daily activities. The dress on the right isn't as bad, but it was a bit too short on me, and again while I love the idea of pockets, it doesn't do me any favors. I swear, one of these days I will make something from Target work for me!
Salvatore Ferragamo Varina Patent Flats
On a final note, if you follow me on Instagram you'll see that I did order the Ferragamo flats  (c/o Shopbop) earlier this week. They arrived yesterday and are absolutely beautiful. I won't be wearing these until the ground is perfectly dry, but I'll do a full review once I've actually worn them for a while. I can't wait for all this snow to go away!

Have you found any real winners lately? I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

try, try again

Do you have clothing in your closet that you consistently don't touch because you had a bad experience with it? I do, and for me it is this dress. In theory, this dress was made for me - black and white, sleeves, polka dot - what's not to love? Well on the two separate occasions I've tried wearing it, I ended up hating it. It came with this horrible slip that fit wrong, and so I have just shied away from it every since. There is nothing wrong with the dress, it's just those two experiences of trying to make it work and having it fail that have left it sitting in the back of my closet since then.

As I'm trying to declutter my closet before I move in May, I've been making an effort to wear some of those less worn items to see if it's me or them. In this situation, it's a me problem, I just didn't have the right undergarments. I purchased one of these slips at Target, and the problem is no longer a problem. Now it just needs to warm up above negative a million so I can wear it with flats and no tights!
Dress: Gap [really cute similar]
Scarf: Banana Republic [exact in grey....tempting!]
Belt: Everlane [exact]
Earrings: c/o BaubleBar [exact]
Tights: Target [exact]
Boots: Franco Sarto [exact]
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington [exact]
Bag: Kate Spade [save option]

Monday, February 16, 2015

review: one love organics cleansing sponge + skin savior, and more

It's -15 degrees today, and so I've been fighting the good fight against my dry and flaky skin. Here are a few of my recent hits and misses when it comes to skin care for dry skin and acne:  

Amore Pacific Exfoliator: makes your face feel squeaky clean
One Love Organics Skin Savior: for those dry patches that won't go away
One Love Organics Cleaning Sponge: HIGHLY recommend this one!!
Kiehl's Spot Treatment: drying but works to bring breakouts down a notch
Peter Thomas Roth Mattifying Gel: for post break out, pre make up skin fixing