Hey everyone and welcome back! I know, I know. I’ve been MIA for a while now and it feels like forever since I have put up a new blog post. The last month has been extremely hectic from bridal showers and birthdays, settling in with all the things I need to do before med school starts, yada yada… the list goes on. That being said, I am back now and wanted to share with you guys something I’ve have been working on recently.

Dun Dun Dun. I opened my own shop on Etsy! It’s called LovelylacecoAlthough nothing major, it’s filled with some original artwork and printables ready for download. They are super cute and available to be printed, framed, or used as a background for desktops and mobile phones. 

You can scroll through all the newest collections and see what you like. Check it out! 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LovelylaceCo?ref=search_shop_redirect

Additionally, I just wanted to update you all on where the blog will be headed for the next few months as the summer is approaching. Last summer, I started a “Travel Series” leading up to and including my trip to Greece and I want to bring back that series for my trip this summer. The new destination will be revealed in the next weeks so stay tuned for that and make sure to check back for updates. It should be extremely fun and exciting!

I hope to see you soon!

Until then,

xoxo

 

 

 

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Hey everyone! I don’t know about you, but breakfast is the meal that for me sets the tone for the rest of the day. When I have a tasty and healthy breakfast, I usually feel better and have more energy to tackle my tasks than if I had a breakfast loaded with added sugar and carbs. Now don’t get me wrong I do enjoy pancakes and waffles occasionally, and I am a total sucker for buttery flaky croissants (my fav!), but these options don’t seem to provide me with the necessary energy to go about my day leaving me hungry after a few hours have passed. My go to options, as I’ve tried to eat healthier this past month, have been smoothies and omelettes. Thus I am sharing two quick and easy breakfast ideas that are not only delicious but you can also feel good about eating! So without further ado lets jump right into it.

Berry Kale Protein Smoothie

 

What you’ll need: 

1 blender

1/2 cup frozen berries ( I get the Wyman’s brand with Strawberries, Blueberries, Cherries and Kale)

1 scoop protein powder (I use Vega One shake in Vanilla)

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

A couple of ice cubes

Coconut flakes (optional)

Blend and you’re done!

This is a pretty quick and easy option if you have very little time in the morning, or are lazy (like me) to whip up a larger meal for breakfast sometimes 🙂 The next recipe is:

Spinach and Onion Egg White Omelette

What you’ll need:

1 frying pan

3 egg whites

1 pack spinach leaves

1/4 onion chopped

Cooking spray

Heat the pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add the spinach to the pan and saute for a moment until the spinach starts to wilt. Add the onions and the egg whites. Cooked until eggs are no longer translucent. Remove from pan and serve with roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, or avocado!

And there you have it! Two quick, easy, and healthy breakfast ideas for someone constantly on the go. I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to subscribe and check out my previous article about How I prepared for my MCAT exam!

Until next time,

xoxo

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Aaaahhhh! Time just keeps flying by so quickly. I cannot believe in less than 6 months I will be heading to medical school…CRAZY!!! Everything has just been so surreal and amazing, and I am so grateful. Currently, I am really taking a moment to enjoy all this free time that I have before med school 🙂 And while I am slowly preparing mentally and physically for this new chapter in my life, I am aware of those of you out there who’s shoes I was in just one year ago. THAT’S RIGHT! Last year at this time I was prepping for the dreaded MCAT exam. Dun, Dun, Dun. While I mentioned in my 3 things I wish I knew as a premed post that I do believe the MCAT is a necessary evil and extremely important for admission, the process of obtaining your goal score can be difficult and stressful. There were definitely times I felt overwhelmed and discouraged, so I can absolutely relate. But in the end my hard work paid off and allowed me to attain the score I desired. 

So in order to help those of you who are prepping for the MCAT at this moment, I am going to share with you my MCAT story, how I studied, and some tips that helped me.

First let’s start with a brief background. I took my MCAT in early June of 2016, and started my prep fall of 2015 by signing up for an MCAT prep course. I used KAPLAN but I know the Princeton Review also has one. There are also many private MCAT prep courses and tutors available. Although I attended the classes, I did not begin doing formal content review for the MCAT until my winter break in the beginning of January 2016. I focused primarily on the subjects that needed the most refreshing; for me this included General Chemistry, Psychology, and Biochemistry since it had been a while since I had taken those courses in school ( I actually hadn’t taken Biochem yet, but was going to take it that semester). 

DISCLAIMER: This is the strategy and approach that worked for ME! Things may be different from person to person.

My strategy was:

  1. Review my weakest subjects first: General Chem, Psychology, and Amino Acids, pH topics of Biochem
  2. Brief Content review of Body Systems (cardiovascular, immune, excretory, respiratory)

My methods included:

  1. Kaplan review books
  2. Making flashcards
  3. Making review sheets
  4. Review videos
  5. Listen to the audio book my friend shared with me

In addition to content review practiced for the CARS section by doing 1-2 CARS passages a day throughout the month of January (more on the side of 2 per day). I started untimed to get the feel of the types of questions asked, and then later timed myself per passage. I limited myself to 10 min per passage although I typically finished reading and answering in 7-8 min.

This is what I did for all of January and February 2016. While my focus was on content review, I slowly incorporated timed passages for each test section until I did more timed questions and less content review. Sounds good, right?

Now it’s STORY TIME!

At some point during your MCAT prep you will have to take your first full length practice exam. When I was prepping I read online that the ideal time to take your first full length practice was 4-6 weeks before your scheduled exam date. So me not having any prior advice or knowing anyone who already had been through this process with the new 2015 exam (I had a friend who took the MCAT but she had taken the last of the old exam which didn’t include Biochem or Psychology and was only 4 hours long as opposed to 7 hours), followed the online advice and planned to take my first Kaplan full length 6 weeks before my test date. I walked into the library at my university early on a friday morning in mid-March, and spent 7 grueling hours taking the exam. When my score appeared on the screen at the end, my jaw dropped. 498. I was devastated. All the hours I had just spent on this practice exam, and studying, and this was my score? Why did I get so much wrong? My test is in about a month, how will I bring this score up to my goal? Everything at that moment felt impossible. It felt like I had failed and I was lost in terms of what to do next. I remember planning to meet up with my boyfriend that afternoon after I finished the practice test. When I walked outside of the library to meet him, I broke down. I was so overwhelmed and disappointed and worried that I couldn’t contain myself. I basically hyperventilated and cried for a good half hour to my boyfriend in the cold as we sat in Washington Square Park. After a bit of encouragement from him and some thinking, I ultimately decided to push my test back to June so that I could give myself more time to prepare and feel comfortable.

Side note: apparently Kaplan scores its tests really low so if you end up getting a 506-507 on the Kaplan practice tests, you will most likely end up with a score around 5-10 pts higher on the actual. Just an FYI to keep in mind!

I personally think postponing was the right decision for me, as it allowed me to re-evaluate how I was studying and adjust my methods. I focused on reviewing topics I was still weak in, and thoroughly went through each question to see what I got wrong and why. Finally, I stepped away from content review and just focused on completing as many questions as I possibly could by doing full length sections, test bank questions when I had a moment of downtime, and full length practice tests almost every week until exam day. I truly believe doing a lot of practice questions helped tremendously and I think I learned more from those than I did from straight up content review. By my next full length I started to see results. My practice scores on Kaplan went from a 498 to 502 to 504 to 505 to 507. On the AAMC practice full lengths taken right before my exam I scored a 512 and 513 respectively. 

So if you’re at that moment in your prep where you are feeling overwhelmed, disappointed, or discouraged, my tip to you is to re-evaluate your situation. If you would be more comfortable pushing back your exam, then push back your exam. If you are not seeing results in a particular section, then find out why. Determine if you are a visual learner or auditory learner, or if you would benefit most from just doing loads and loads of questions. If you put in the time and effort and I promise you, you will see results!

Anyway that’s my story and MCAT experience!

Hope you enjoyed this post and hope to see you in the next one!

Until then,

xoxo

 

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Hey Everyone and welcome back! In the past few weeks I have been incredibly busy and under the weather so I’m sorry I haven’t posted as much as I would have liked. Nonetheless I am back now! As we head into our third month of the year I am beginning to get spring fever, especially with the weather in NY already starting to creep into the 60s. While I’ve been browsing online sites during my free time in the last couple of days, I’ve noticed several trends that I am slowly becoming obsessed with. These are trends I believe will be perfect for the upcoming months and will be huge this spring and summer.

So without further ado let’s jump right into them! 

Ruffles

One of the biggest trends of the last few months has been ruffles. They’re girly and feminine and can really make a typical outfit stand out. And they are EVERYWHERE… from dresses, to tops, to skirts, you name it! I strongly believe ruffles are here to stay at least in the upcoming spring and summer months as I don’t see them disappearing both online and in store. Here are some of my favorite pieces that I’ve seen recently:

Striped sweater // Off shoulder ruffle top

 

Straight leg jeans

This is a trend that I think is slowly but surely winning people over. Gone are the days of super tight skinny jeans that you could barely button up. I’m not saying go out and toss all your skinny jeans and jeggings in the trash because granted there are times where skinny jeans just make sense (like when you’re wearing a flowy top or sweater). However, I am definitely seeing more and more people embrace the more relaxed straight leg trend and I think this will continue in the following months. Topshop makes some great pairs.

Topshop straight leg jeans // Straight leg jeans

 

Embroidery

I am OBSESSED with this trend, which is funny because I actually hated embroidery on my clothes as a kid growing up. I always thought it looked childish (LOL) so I would avoid wearing all the clothes my mom bought me that had butterflies or flowers sewn on. Boy how times have changed. There is something about little delicately embroidered flowers sewn onto everything from denim to shirts to dresses that strikes me as incredibly cute and even sophisticated. Although I don’t see this trend having the same longevity as let’s say straight leg jeans, I do think it’s something fun to try out while its still around, especially in the spring and summer. Some of my favorite items are:

Striped embroidered top // Embroidered denim skirt // Gucci loafers // Off shoulder embroidered dress

 

Slides/Mules

Now this is a trend that kinda grew on me as I kept seeing more and more people styling the Gucci loafers last year. Initially I thought that I wouldn’t be able to pull off the somewhat masculine loafer/ slide trend, but after trying out a few pairs I seem to really like the effortlessness of wearing such a shoe. Instantly you look put together, sophisticated and chic with a pair of loafer slides or mules. Listed below are some alternatives to the Gucci loafers since many of us probably don’t want to drop $500 to try out this trend!

Gucci classic slides // Marc Fisher mules, Blush // Silver loafer slides

 

Bell Sleeves

Last but certainly not least, the bell sleeve trend has quietly made its way back into fashion. My love for this trend began last year when I purchased my first bell sleeved top from Zara and fell in love with how great the top looked on me. No matter how I wore it, the blouse was so slimming and stylish. Ever since, I’ve been itching to get my hands on another bell sleeved top for this spring. I think the bohemian look is super cute paired with some distressed denim and nude sandals.

Grey bell sleeve sweater // Yellow bell top // For love & lemons dress

 

I can’t wait to try out these trends for spring/ summer 2017 in the next few months and I hope you give them a go too! I hope you enjoyed this post and stay tuned for more coming soon!

Until next time,

xoxo

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Hey everyone and welcome back! It was only a year ago that I was finishing up my last semester as a pre-med in college. Boy how time flies! So much has happened in the past year that it almost seems as if it happened years ago. I’ve been at my job for one year, took my MCAT, applied for medical school and was accepted. It’s really crazy how so much can happen in what seems like a short period of time. That being said I want to discuss on the blog today the top 3 things I wish I knew earlier on as a premed. So without further ado let’s jump right into it!

Grades matter, but they’re NOT everything.

I couldn’t be any clearer with this one. We all know that grades are extremely important when applying to medical school. After all the average GPA for someone applying to an MD program is around a 3.6-3.7; it is only slightly lower for a DO school at 3.5-3.6. This means that a lot of emphasis is put on pre meds to maintain stellar grades thought undergrad, particularly in prerequisite courses such as biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. I personally remember stressing out in several courses because I knew how important it was to have a competitive GPA when I decided to apply. And when I received a B- in one of my courses as a freshman I was devastated. I thought at the time that I wouldn’t have a chance at getting into med school with a grade like that and began to start doubting myself and my capabilities.That being said if I could go back in time and tell freshman me one thing, is that grades only make up one component of how an admissions committee evaluates you. So one or two “bad” grades may not be the end of the world. My tip to you is to do your best in every course and put in as much effort as you can. Much of the time if you put in your maximal effort then you will succeed. And I know it sucks when you get a grade you’re not happy with even after putting in a lot of time for studying (BEEN THERE…I’m looking at you physics!) But just remember you are not defined by that one bad grade. Try to continue improving and do better on future courses!

The MCAT is a necessary evil.

First off, the MCAT is no fun! Everyone I know and have spoken to despise studying for the MCAT. It’s tiresome, time consuming, and at times, frustrating. Many people get discouraged when they put in hours and hours of studying to only see their practice score jump up one or two points. Furthermore, with the new 2015 MCAT the test itself is 7 hours long, making it a test of endurance and stamina more than anything else. However despite the criticism, the MCAT is the only method that admissions committees have to directly compare students from different universities across the country since everyone takes it and receives a score. Admissions committees can then use that score to compare applicants across the board because in reality a 510 is a 510 despite which college they attended. As a result the MCAT is not going anywhere anytime soon; therefore premeds have to accept this reality and find a way to incorporate MCAT studying. It might not be the most enjoyable thing to do but it’s best to just suck it up because doing well on the exam will just get you one step closer to your dream. I’ll be sharing my story and how I studied for the MCAT in another blog post!

Don’t do something because someone says you have to!

This is perhaps the biggest thing I wish I had known as a premed so this section will be a little longer than the others.

Throughout your premed life you will be having people tell you that you need to be doing certain things to get into med school. This includes professors, premed advisors, and even fellow peers. Many of you may not know but I did not initially start out at the university that I ended up graduating from. I transferred from a school in Boston to a college in New York City after just one semester. However when I wanted to transfer I was discouraged by premed advisors at the university from doing so because they claimed transferring would diminish my chances of getting into med school. And while I considered what they said, I knew in my heart that I wouldn’t be happy at my current school for the next 4 years and so I transferred mid year as a freshman. And you know what? It was the best decision I ever made and don’t think for a second that impacted my medical school chances.

There was another instance as a premed where the head of the Biology department was pressuring me to repeat introductory biology by claiming that medical schools would not accept my AP Biology credits from high school. He basically tried to scare me into taking the course by telling me that I will not get into a medical school if I didn’t re-take it. After doing my own research, I discovered that A LOT of medical schools, including my university’s own medical school, accepted AP credits for biology as long as students supplement the credits with upper level biology courses. As a Biology major this wouldn’t be an issue. To me this was a no brainer; if I was going to get the information in more detail and depth from upper level courses then why would I re-take Intro Bio if doing so would set me back a year (the first part of the course was offered only in the fall). Despite the pressure, I decided to not repeat intro bio and just took upper level bio courses. I truly believe this was the right decision for me.

Finally the biggest thing I was told as a premed, especially by my own peers, is that I needed to do research and publish papers to be accepted to medical school. People would tell me all the time I needed to do research to get in and that I cannot get in without it. Let me just say something…THIS IS THE BIGGEST MYTH! You can definitely get into medical school without research. I did contemplate doing research and applied for several positions as an undergrad. But I was never truly passionate about it or inspired by the projects available to me at the time and I think that showed during my interviews. I always envisioned myself as a physician who provided care directly to patients, not someone working in a lab. And although I applaud those who have a passion for their research, and think research is important for medicine as a whole, it just wasn’t the right path for me. So instead I decided to gain a lot of clinical experience ranging from volunteering and shadowing, to working as a medical assistant and scribe because that was the environment I saw myself in and WANTED to be in. I believe everything worked out in the end.

So my suggestion to premeds is take the advice you get from different people with a grain of salt. Consider it carefully but don’t be afraid not to take it or to deviate from the traditional premed mold. After all the right med school will see how great you are and want you there in the first place so don’t sacrifice your wishes or what you enjoy doing in order to be a cookie cutter premed version of yourself 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post and stay tuned for more!

Until then,

xoxo

 

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