Monthly Archives

July 2018

Health and Wellness

Summertime Essentials

Growing up in South Florida, there is literally nothing I love more than spending a day at the beach, on a boat, or at the pool. Unfortunately though, there are several harmful effects that these activities have on our body. For example, we all know how detrimental the sun’s rays can be to our skin, or how damaging and drying chlorine can be for our hair.

Because of this, I’ve compiled a [short] list for you all to let you know what skin + hair products I turn to to minimize the negative effects of summertime. This post is not sponsored in any way, and all of these items are products that I have used myself and truly love.

Shampoo & Conditioner
I’ve told you guys about my favorite shampoo and conditioner before, but it’s time to tell you again because it’s really that good. I have been using ArtNaturals Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner for about 6 months now and unless you are going to spend hundreds of dollars on salon grade shampoo and conditioner (which I definitely can’t afford) – this is the next best thing.

This particular formula is made with argan oil, aloe vera, green tea, kukui seeds, macadamia nut oil, lavender oil, algae and kelp extracts, which nourishes your scalp while promoting hair growth. It’s also sulfate and paraben free, and helps protect against DHT (aka it helps prevent hair loss). I have been using this to help combat hair dryness from constantly being in the ocean or the pool, and have definitely noticed a difference. It also smells incredible and leaves hair feeling soft and silky. Don’t believe me? Read the reviews.

Hair Oils
Hair oils are great for those times that you just want to give your hair a little extra TLC. My current favorite is the Ulyana Aster Garden Rose Organic Oil Hair Mask. For starters, I am obsessed with anything rose scented. Secondly, this mask is loaded with essential oils (rose, macadamia, camelia, flaxseed and coconut), plus other natural ingredients to moisturize, replenish, soften and add volume to your hair.

I literally only used one of these so far and was blown away by the results. They also make a Raw Youth Hair Mask, and a Summer Vibes Hair Mask. Or you can click here to read the benefits of each of these oils for yourself.

Daily Face Sunscreen
My absolute favorite face sunscreen is The Treatment’s On The Daily SPF 45. I apply this every morning after my face wash routine and before my makeup. It goes on smoothly and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy. It has zinc oxide and octinoxate for UVA and UVB protection, in addition to niacinaminde (vitamin B3), vitamin E, knotweed extract (an antioxidant), and hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated and protected from free radicals and oxidative damage.

Basically it’s a sunscreen that also protects your skin and helps keep it looking youthful. Another plus, it’s very reasonably priced. Head to to see what other amazing products Erin Jensen (@TheTreatment) has created!

Body Sunscreen
Sun Bum’s SPF 50 Original Sunscreen Lotion is my current go to sunscreen for several reasons. The first reason? I like the packaging. The other reasons? It’s oil free, paraben free, PABA free, cruelty free (100% vegan), and reef friendly (oxybenzone and octinoxate free). On top of that it contains moisturizers and vitamin E to promote healthy skin, and it’s water resistance up to 80 minutes. There is a spray version as well if you prefer those to rub on sunscreens.

I used this when Erik and I got scuba certified and we didn’t burn – at all.  They also make a Face Stick that I’m obsessed with (it’s small and easy to carry) and a Mango Chapstick (also comes in Coconut and Pineapple) that keeps my lips sun protected as well.

Face Makeup
I have been using the Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-on Sunscreen for the past few weeks and I am hooked. It’s basically a mineral powder to give your skin a matte finish after you’ve applied your makeup, and it is SPF 30 as well. I use this throughout the day to keep my skin looking smooth and oil free, and to make sure I am constantly re-applying sunscreen.

It not only blocks UVA and UVB rays, but contains red algae extract to provide antioxidant protection as well. It comes in SPF 30 or 50, and in fair, medium, tan, or deep skin tones. They’re $65 each, but if you buy 3 together from their website you get a significant discount.

Face Serum
I truly believe that every single person should be using a face serum, and there are plenty of options out there to choose from. I have 3 that I alternate between, but my favorite right now is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Serum. This stuff is gold. I put this on almost nightly after washing my face and before my night cream and I notice a huge difference in my skin every morning.

Not only does this help hydrate your skin while you sleep, but it also helps improve firmness and elasticity, and reduces blotchy skin for a more even skin tone.  Oh yea, and it smells like heaven.

Face Shield
Remember when visors were in and everyone had one? Well, the Bluestone Sun Shields are the new cool thing to wear this summer. They were created by individuals with over 20 years combined experience in dermatology, cosmetic lasers, and anti-aging treatments, and can be worn either as a visor, or pulled down over your face for maximum sun protection. I personally wear mine when lounging by the pool to make sure I really am blocking as many harmful rays as possible. Here are the different shields they sell.

So, there you have it, all of my summer skin and hair necessities. If you give any of them a shot I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!



Fashion Out of the Office

Saying Yes to the Dress

While I’d love to tell you I’m an expert at wedding dress shopping and I nailed my dress on the first try (or second, or third…), I absolutely did not. What I can tell you is that after going through the experience I went through, I have plenty of advice to give. I guess I’ll say this is less of a “how to find your dress right away” post, and more of a “do’s and don’ts of wedding dress shopping” post.

First things first – if you’re engaged, Congratulations! If you’re not engaged and just reading this because you love me, I appreciate your loyalty :). The first thing I recommend when starting to look for dresses is to find stores around you that have good reviews. Wedding Wire was my best friend for this. Start with places that people like, that are fairly close to you, that have a wide range of dresses in your budget, and most importantly will give you champagne.

Basically, after going through the whole experience myself I realized what I did right and what I did wrong, so I hope these Do’s and Don’ts are helpful to you and make shopping for your dream dress a little easier!

Photo from @DoctorDiaries

DOSet your budget before you start.
This is extremely important because there is literally no limit to the cost of wedding dresses. You can find a dress for $500, or one for $50,000 (if not more). Before you start shopping, decide how much money you want to spend. This way when you start looking around you won’t be stressed about cost and also won’t have to deal with the torture of trying on a dress you love and wondering if you can afford it. Another thing you can do is start at the bottom (those $500 dresses) and work your way up, so you are not only below your budget if you find something you love, but you can put the rest of the money toward something else too!

DON’TForget about extra items.
It’s easy (kind of) to set a budget for a wedding dress. But what about alterations, and a veil, and shoes, and a hairpiece… I think you get my drift. The best thing to do is to set a budget (total) and then figure out how much you want to allocate to each individual item. If you want to spend $2,000 total, you can find a dress for $1,500, shoes for $150, etc…

Photo from @ItsKendraLynne

DO: Make a fun day out of it.
Aside from the pressure of finding the perfect dress, take a step back and just realize that you’re going WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING (yes, caps was necessary). This is supposed to be exciting. Bring your mom, your MOH, your sister (if you have one)… and just have FUN. Go to a few dress shops and break for lunch (or brunch + mimosas) in between; But try to go somewhere you don’t have to make a reservation, so you don’t feel rushed through dress appointments.

DON’T: Get overwhelmed or discouraged.
There are a LOT of different dresses, and to be honest after a while they all start to look the same. Don’t get overwhelmed. Take your time trying dresses on and think about what you like or don’t like about each dress. If you try something on that doesn’t feel right, just let it go and move on. Try not to get discouraged if you don’t find the “one” right away. If you start feeling negatively about dress shopping, take a break for a few weeks and then start back up again.

Photo from @NurseClara

DOFind Sample Sales and Trunk Shows.
There are some dress shops that only sell sample dresses. This means you can find expensive designer dresses for up to 50% off! The only downside to this is the size they have is the size you get, so you are a little limited in that regard, but you could get lucky and find something perfect and super affordable. Another good thing to do is to find out what dress shops are holding trunk shows. This is when a specific designer brings their entire line of dresses to the shop and they usually offer 10-15% off during the show. These are very helpful if there is a specific designer you have been eyeing,

DON’T: Try dresses on above your budget.
Why tease yourself? When I called dress shops I specifically asked what the price range of their dresses were, and skipped two shops that told me their starting cost was $5,000. Thanks but no thanks. Unless for some reason your budget changes (like if you win the lottery, or find a lucky pot of gold at the end of a rainbow) don’t go somewhere you know you can’t afford. It’s not worth the torture if you end up finding something you love but really can’t afford.

Photo from @NurseClara

DOStart looking early.
How early is early? I would honestly say 10 months is ideal, so you’re not stressed about it at all. Most places will tell you it can take 4-6 months for the dress to come once it’s ordered, and 1-2 months for all of the alterations; Aka 8 months total worst case scenario. That being said, try to get a head start as soon as you can so you don’t have to worry about getting it in time for the big day. This will also give you extra time to try on more dresses before you have to pick one.

DON’T: Travel too far for your dress.
You should be able to find plenty of dress shops in your area that carry different designers and styles. Before traveling super far, give the dress shops that are close to you a shot. Remember that you also have to go back for alterations, and the final fitting. When I couldn’t find a dress I liked I almost went to Kleinefeld in NY, but the thought of spending thousands of dollars on flights and hotels for multiple trips just wasn’t worth it for me.

Photo from @ThePolishedPA

DOFigure out what theme you’re going for.
For me, I knew I wanted vintage (to go with the Venue we chose). Other themes include Bohemmian, Whimsicle, Modern, Rustic, Garden/Floral, Romantic, etc. Yes, of course, some of these themes can overlap. It will definitely help you limit the number of dresses you are interested in if you have an idea in mind of what theme you are looking for. You can also bring dress photos from online for inspiration.

DON’TBring too many people with you.
It’s definitely fun to have a bunch of people with you on this special day, but more people also means more opinions and more confusion. I started off with my mom, MOH, and grandmother, which I actually thought was a perfect amount. Eventually I started going with 1-2 people at a time (just one bridesmaid, just my mom, etc.). While I absolutely loved getting honest feedback from different people, this made it easier for me to focus on my own opinions instead of those around me. I did end up bringing the whole crew once it was time to make a final decision.

Photo from @DoctorDiaries

DOTake Pictures!!
I cannot emphasize this enough. There were so many dresses that I thought I loved in person, but absolutely hated how they looked in photos (which is actually a pretty big deal since that is all you are going to have to remember your wedding by). There were also some dresses that I didn’t think I liked in person, but kept ging back to when looking at photos. So trust me, take as many pictures, and from as many angles, as you can.

DON’TPick something uncomfortable.
Unless you are going to get one dress for the ceremony and one for the reception (which I am not), you’re going to be wearing this dress for a loooong time. Probably around 8 hours, so make sure it’s something you are going to be comfortable in. Make sure you can move around and dance in it, that the straps aren’t cutting into your shoulders (if there are thin straps), or that it wont be falling down all night (if its strapless).

Photo from @_DorothyFaye – Photographer @CompassWeddingCo

DOBe open minded.
For me, wedding dress shopping was stressful, mostly because I had a specific idea in mind of what I wanted and nothing I tried on matched it. Try NOT to do this. If I could go back and do it again I would have been much more open minded from the beginning, because the dress I ended up picking looked nothing like the dress I originally had in mind. I totally would have saved myself a ton of time (and headaches) if I just tried on different dresses from the get go.

DON’TLook at photos of other dresses once you’ve decided on the one!
Once you pick your dream dress, DELETE every other dress photo you have on your phone. Delete them from your saved photos on Instragram. Delete them from your memory. DON’T look at dress photos anymore. All you are going to do (if you’re anything like me) is drive yourself crazy wondering what if there is a better dress out there. There isn’t. So lay back, relax, and focus on what shoes you want to get instead.

   I sincerely hope this post helps you in your dream dress hunt, and that my tips make your dress shopping experience a little more enjoyable. If you have questions or want to know more about the dress I chose or why I chose it, feel free to send me a message!



Health and Wellness Lifestyle

Self Care Summer

I’m sure you guys have (at some point) heard someone say they were getting their ‘summer bod’ ready. Well, as a physician, it’s my job to make sure you are staying healthy year round. That being said, being healthy doesn’t just mean you are exercising from time to time, or eating right – it also has to do with how you treat yourself mentally and emotionally. I put this post together to give you all a few of my best tips for making sure you are not only staying healthy, but also staying happy this summer.

1. Set Goals for Yourself
The best advice I can give when it comes to staying on track is to set goals for yourself. These can be anything from how often you’d like to go for a run, how many times a week you want to cook at home, or how much weight you want to be able to lift at the gym.

Setting goals will help keep you accountable, and will make you feel so much better about it when you achieve them. Give yourself a time frame of when you’d like to reach your goals by. BUT don’t set too many goals at once, it will only make you feel discouraged if you don’t attain them.

2. Make Good Food Choices
I always encourage patients to cook for themselves at home because it’s much easier to eat healthy when you know what you are putting in your food. It’s obviously not as easy to eat “healthy” when eating out. And lets face it, between summer vacations, BBQs, and just plain life, we need to make a conscious effort to watch what we eat.

Some advice that I often tell people is to try to be more mindful when eating out. Pat attention to what you are ordering and the foods you are choosing; I usually try to go for foods that are higher in fiber (salads with clear dressings), and I avoid fried items, or things that are high in sodium (salt) or fat content (like cream sauces).

3. Do Things You Enjoy
We are all so busy working year round, that we sometimes forget to set time aside for us to have fun. I fully believe in the importance of work-life balance, especially to avoid burnout.

For me, this means being around water (going on a boat, or going to the beach), or some form of activities (my new favorite bar is full of arcade games, but I also love bowling, bike riding, etc). Whatever it is that you enjoy – just make sure you are fitting fun into your schedule as well.

4. Relax
Aside from doing things that you enjoy, I also believe it’s important to find time to relax your body and your mind. I will usually take a nice hot bath to unwind at the end of a long day. Some people use yoga to relax, but there are apps like “Calm” and “Headspace,” which are good ways of meditating and clearing your mind too.

Find something that makes you feel relaxed, and try to do it once a day if possible.

5. Stay Hydrated
I don’t know about where you live, but summers in Florida are hottt. There are plenty of negative effects of dehydration that we can easily avoid by making sure we are drinking enough water throughout the day. I usually recommend 4-5 full (17 oz) water bottles, but this is something that should be discussed with your PCP if you have any other known medical conditions. (more on this to come!)

I hope these tips are helpful to you guys, and if you have any specific questions for me, my doors are always wide open. Stay healthy, and stay safe this summer (and always).




Our Engagement

Our Background:

So, I know this is a little past due (5 months to be exact), but I wanted to share the story of mine and Erik’s engagement with you all; He did such an amazing job that the least I can do is give him a blog post about it. I’m going to start off by giving you a little insight into our relationship. We met for the very first time on May 28th 2015 (I remember this because I basically mauled him at a bar after recognizing him from a dating app). A few days after that we spent the day together at the beach with some friends, and the following week we had our first date.

Photo from one of our first dates – Look at those baby faces!

We moved in together after a year (mostly because he travels for work and we could never agree on whose house we would stay at for the weekend), and have been dating ever since. After another year or so I started to show Erik rings that I liked, just in case. He always told me he would never propose anywhere I would be expecting it – so when he had the perfect opportunity to do it in Greece, I knew he wouldn’t. That being said – on New Years Eve he promised me that he hadn’t started looking at rings yet. I have since forgiven him for lying about that.

The Proposal:

Fast forward to February 2018. We do a yearly ski trip with our friends from all over the country, and this past year’s was in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We got there on a Wednesday night and were trying to decide when would be the best night to do the Sunset Happy Hour at the top of the mountain. After what I thought was a little strategic planning on my part, we decided to do the Strawberry Park Hot Springs on Thursday and the Sunset Happy Hour on Friday (little did I know this was already planned, and the actual sunset happy hour for the public is only on Thursday nights).

After a full day of skiing on Friday, we went back to the house to get ready for happy hour. Erik is in the travel industry and frequently gets things comped for us, so when he told me he got us 4 free tickets and a bottle of champagne, I didn’t ask any questions. I did however try to recruit the rest of the group to join us, but sadly only got “No’s” in response (one person was napping, the other had “altitude sickness,” and the rest had “other plans”).

We made our way to the gondola (me, Erik, and both of our old roommates), and up to the top of the mountain. Once at the top, the restaurant was completely empty and I asked Erik at least 3 times if we were in the right place. The lights were on but the chairs were stacked, there were no bar tenders or servers anywhere, and it just felt wrong. After much hesitation from my end, we found a small table in the back with a bottle of champagne and 4 glasses (and me, still clueless).

We poured the champagne and went outside to take some photos overlooking the mountains. Mind you, its absolutely freezing, and windy, and I’m from Florida, so I quickly told Erik “O.k. no more, lets go back inside,” to which he asked for just one more photo.

This is when he reached into his pocket and got down on one knee and started saying a bunch of things (which I absolutely do not remember), and I might have cursed once (or twice) before actually saying yes (sorry, Mom). We hugged and cried, called our friends and families to tell them the good news, and finished the bottle of champagne before heading back down the mountain.

All of our friends were at a restaurant waiting for us to celebrate together. Turns out no one was sick or sleeping. Looking back on that night there were so many red flags that I just completely missed along the way, but everything happens for a reason and it truly was the surprise of my life.

P.S. I want to thank The Knot‘s How He Asked for publishing the shortened version of our story on their website! I love reading other people’s proposal stories, and it’s so exciting that others get to read ours and share our excitement as well. I hope you enjoyed it!