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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!



Fashion Lifestyle

Holiday Gift Guide

The Holiday Season is [arguably] the “most wonderful time of the year”, for most. For others, it can be somewhat stressful trying to pick out gifts while simultaneously attending classes, studying for exams, and preparing to travel. I usually like to do most, if not all, of my shopping online, so to help you guys out I have put this quick little gift guide together for those of you procrastinators out there (like myself).

I have split it up based on price, so you can easily find something in your budget, and there are things in here for both men and women to enjoy. Most of the links are to things I either own or have purchased before, so I can give you actual information about them. I have also linked mostly to Amazon because of the fast shipping if you are a prime member (I am in no way sponsored by them), but most of the other items will arrive on time as well. I hope that it is helpful and that you all find something to suit your needs!

Gifts Under $25

1. My FAVORITE Slippers: These slippers are hands down the softest things I own, and I wear them all the time. Not to mention they come in a ton of colors and are a really great conversation starter. They have girly options and manly ones too (My little brother got a pair as part of his birthday gift and can vouch for how awesome they are).

2. Watch Display Organizer: This is the perfect gift to give to the men in your life. It’s affordable, classy, and functional for anyone you know who owns watches. If you don’t believe me, just read the reviews on this awesome watch box – you can thank me later.

3. Coffee Accessories: There aren’t many people I know who don’t like coffee, so you can pretty much get coffee products for anyone out there. My favorite is this coffee tumbler from that I bring to work with me daily (you can find it in my Breast Cancer Awareness article as well because it’s PINK!). It comes in several colors (gold and rose gold as well) and is my favorite. Pair it with a nice holiday coffee set for the perfect gift.

4. Tea Accessories: For the few of you who don’t like coffee, or prefer tea to get your caffeine fix, one of my favorite items is this tea infuser teapot. It can be gifted solo, or with different tea sets to make it more personal. If you prefer the quick tea method, this set is super affordable and comes with multiple flavor options. If you like tea on the go, this tumbler is actually pretty awesome (but just over $25), and lastly, this cute little guy is a great socking stuffer for the tea lovers in your life.

5. Natural Deodorant: If you read my article on natural deodorants, you would already know which one won my “sniff test.” If you didn’t, go read it now (or whenever you have time). And also, the answer is Schmidt’s Naturals. Not only do they have an assortment of different scents, but they all actually work. The best part about it is they have a holiday 3 scent pack!  You can also buy the travel size packs so you can test out different scents (both regular and for sensitive skin) – but these fall in the under $50 category instead.

6. MantraBand Bracelets: The MantraBand Bracelets are literally perfect stocking stuffers for everyone you know, especially those in the healthcare profession. It’s always nice to look down at your wrist to find a little encouraging phrase. They come in 3 colors (silver, gold, and rose gold), are super affordable, and shipping is free to anywhere in the US. (P.S. Mug pictured is from Williams Sonoma).

7. Random Awesome Things: If you haven’t heard of Jac Vanek before, now is the time. She is my all time favorite human because she is equally as sarcastic as I am, and it shows in her merchandise. She sells everything from drinkwear, to candles, to clothing (or other accessories)- all of which are awesome. Just look around her site; I’m sure you will find something to purchase (I think I own 30% of her store already).

Gifts Under $50

1. Capri Blue Candle: If you guys have been following me since the beginning, you’ll remember me raving about my all time favorite candle: and yes, it still is. Everyone needs one of these Volcano Candles in their home, so if you don’t have one yet now is the time. Your friends and family will also appreciate you for gifting this to them.  They also have reed diffusers with the same scent, and believe me, I have both.

2. Deborah Lippman Nail Polish Set: I don’t know about you, but when it’s fall/winter – all of my warm nude nail polishes come out. I also can’t commit to one color for more than 2 weeks. So what better gift than a nail polish set with all of the perfect colors. This one is limited edition, and worth every cent. Great to give as a gift (or keep for yourself).

3. S’well Water Bottle: If you are environment friendly and like to help save water bottles, this gift is for you. It can be used to keep things hot, cold, or any temperature in between. I usually take mine with me to work and to the gym so I always have water on hand to remind myself to stay hydrated. They come in a million options, but what’s better than this champagne one for the holidays? Cheers!

4. Decanters: While decanters are typically seen in bars, or on bar carts, they can really be beautiful statement pieces in any kitchen as well. This one is my favorite because you can have it personalized to any letter you want. If you want something a little more festive, this one and this one are absolutely gorgeous (but not monogrammed). Orrr this if you want something for wine instead. Just make sure the check the date of delivery before placing an order if you are planning on customizing something.

Gifts Under $100

1. WearFigs Lounge-wear Set: If there is one thing you spend over $50 on this Holiday Season, this should definitely be it. They have one for women and one for men. Words alone are not enough to describe how ridiculously soft this lounge wear set is. I have already had to wash it twice since receiving it (I might even need to get a second pair, + one for the boyfriend). Get this and the slippers listed above for the perfect cozy Sunday gift set.

2. The BEST Planner: I have been using the Erin Condren Life Planner for the past year and am getting ready to purchase a second one for 2018. The biggest decision I have to make now is what color to get (the options are literally endless). If you aren’t in a rush, you have the option of customizing it entirely, you can even put your name on it. But, if you need is ASAP, they have the hardbound options from other sellers with faster shipping.

3. Outdoor Planter: If you want to plant herbs and vegetables in your backyard, but don’t have someone to help you build one (like I did), Amazon has an identical pre-made raised planter that you just have to assemble. And if you don’t want a raised one but still want to plant some herbs, this planter is an awesome option as well.

4. Amazon Echo: This is one of those things that you don’t think you need until you have one. I use my Amazon Echo all. the. time. It plays music, it tells you about the weather, it even adds things to your shopping cart simply by telling Alexa to add it. It’s currently on sale for 79.99, but if you still want to spend a little less you can always get an Echo Dot ($29.99). I promise whoever you get this one for will love you forever.

Gifts Over $100

1. A New Stethoscope: My favorite stethoscope (which I use daily) is the Medelita ERKA stethoscope. I LOVE this stethoscope because it is less expensive than its Littman counterpart, yet works as good if not better. I have the ERKA Precise and the ERKA Sensitive, so I can attest to the fact that they all work amazingly well. They currently have 25% off everything, and are doing daily giveaways as well @medelita_gram on Instagram.

2. A New Watch: My all time favorite watch brand has new HOLIDAY gift sets (which gives you 10% off what the cost would have been individually). These include a watch + strap, or a watch + bracelet. There are numerous holiday set options, so I’m sure you will be able to find one for anyone. On top of that, I reached out to them to get you an additional coupon code. Use: DOCTORDIARIES for an additional 15% off. You’re welcome.

3. Scrub Set: the best scrubs I have worn this year are the Medelita Element Scrubs. the material is breathable and so comfortable, the color options are great, and the accent ties are super fun. I had mine embroidered with my name and specialty to look extra “official.” As stated above, Medelita currently has 25% off everything so don’t walk, run, to their site to check them out. (TheeMiranda B Lab Coat is also the best out there).

4. School/Work Bag: This Dagne Dover bag has literally been my lifesaver for the past 2 years. It has separate sleeves for my laptop and water bottle, a key hook so I never loose my keys, and a ton of other pockets for pretty much anything you need. The straps are extremely sturdy and have held up to the 30 pounds of random things that I carry around daily. It comes in different colors and different sizes and I honestly can’t speak highly enough of this bag; it’s a dream. Plus they have FREE expedited shipping from now until Tuesday.

I hope this article was somewhat helpful for you all! Good luck shopping and Happy Holidays!


Fashion Out of the Office

These Are Just Summer My Favorite Things

Every year while everyone is celebrating the red white and blue of our country’s independence, I am also celebrating becoming another year older (well, almost… July 5th baby). I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty cool getting fireworks relatively close to your birthday, and on top of that I never have to worry about whether or not people are going to be out celebrating.

Since I am insistently studying for boards this year, I decided to save some time and just celebrate my birthday a day early (that’s totally allowed, right?!) by having a Fourth of July beach BBQ with friends. Since my birthday is one of my favorite things, I saved a bunch of my favorite summer items specifically for this day so I could show them off, and share them with you! Like I said in my about me, I’m no fashionista and don’t have a ‘like to know it’ account, but I will definitely show you where to get these items (and similar ones) so you’ll be able to flaunt them all summer too.

Let’s start off with this bathing suit. HFS I am beyond obsessed with it; But not just THIS bathing suit, every single one from Montce Swim (and no, this is #notanad). Literally my entire bathing suit drawer is from them. Soo back to this particular suit… I was looking for something somewhat retro but still modern and had been eyeing their Gingham Cabana Top and High Rise Bottom for some time. I finally pulled the trigger and got it for myself as an early b-day gift and I’m so glad I did.

The bottom is high wasted but can be folded over if you want a lower tan line and the adorable straps can be removed if you’re going for that strapless look. Don’t be surprised if this is the only bathing suit I wear for the remainder of the year. That being said, I can’t say that they are necessarily the most affordable, but they fit amazing and the styles are all awesome. If you keep an eye out and sign up for their emails, they do go on sale a few times a year (and you can get 10% off just for signing up).

Next, let’s talk accessories. This adorable cover up from Echo Design is my absolute favorite right now. It’s simple (which I love) but really great quality. In addition, it gives you the option of leaving it open or tying the front (so I can close it up if I’m going into a restaurant or beach bar). It also comes in a few different colors and isn’t too pricey. While we are on the subject of great things that aren’t pricey, I have also discovered the best sunglasses.

I briefly mentioned these to you guys in one of my previous Instagram posts, but I just got my second pair of Diff Eyewear sunglasses and I’m crushing hard. These Becky’s are their brand new style and fit perfectly with the modern retro look I’m going for this Fourth of July. Side note: for every pair of sunglasses purchased, Diff donates a pair of reading glasses to someone in need, which is pretty great. Check them out to see all the cool styles and colors of sunnies they make, and use ERICADIFF to get 25% off if you want a pair (or two) for yourself.

As far as final accessories go, everyone knows the bag and shoes can make or break your outfit. I’m really liking these new sandals I found from Steve Madden. They’re the Rozie Sandals in cognac and they have a really cute gold accent along the front to make them slightly fancier than your average sandal; and the best part? They’re on sale (seriously, who doesn’t love a good sale item?). Orrr you can get my other favorite pair of sandals (Sorry, these aren’t on sale, but they’re totally worth checking out).

This Tory Burch canvas tote has also been my go to beach bag for as long as I can remember. It was a gift forever ago and I refuse to replace it. I did however just make this cute tassel pom-pom charm to accessorize it with (DIY post coming soon? Or you can purchase a similar one here); I think it really makes the bag much more trendy and fun. There are plenty of other beach bags I found that are super cute if you want something fun and budget friendly. (especially this one).

Lastly, I wanted to talk about something else that my friends just introduced me to and OMG is it a game changer. Did you guys know you could literally get money back on things that you buy for NO REASON AT ALL?! So if you’re late to the party like me, it’s called Ebates, and it’s literally a website that you sign up for and get a certain percentage back on things you buy, from websites that you already shop at. If only I had known about this years ago I would have saved a ton of money by now. If you want to sign up just to check it out (it’s free) use my referral link, and if you spend $25 we will both be rewarded. Sounds like a win-win to me, unless you hate earning cash back and saving money while you pay for things you were going to buy anyway, then definitely don’t sign up.

Now that I have shared my favorite summer fashion items with you guys, and my new-found secret to saving money while you shop, I just wanted to say I hope you all have an amazing Fourth of July! Don’t forget to use sunscreen (at least an SPF of 30) and to reapply every 2 hours! Also, please stay away from fireworks… we don’t want you to spend your holiday in the emergency room.

XoXo -Erica

Fashion Lifestyle

Relaxation Essentials

I don’t know about you, but there are few things in this world that make me happier than bumming around and doing absolutely nothing, All. Day. Long. (aside from chocolate, and maybe Harry Potter reruns). Whether it’s 5 pm and I just got home from work or Sunday afternoon and I just woke up, the first thing I do is throw on a pair of slippers and go digging through my bed sheets for the remote. While I do think it is important to stay active, I also know there is nothing more comforting than having absolutely nothing to do but catch up on the last episode of The Bachelorette, take a soak in the bath tub, and eat some garbage food (it’s ok, it’s cheat day).

Everyone likes to spend their free time differently, but I am pretty confident in saying that everyone enjoys some R&R here and there, amiright? That being said, I wanted to share a few of my absolute relaxation essentials with you guys, ’cause I’m sure you’re going to love them just as much as I do.

There are many ways one can define the term “comfort.” To some it might mean a soft shirt or clean sheets, but to me it means warmth. I have lived in Florida my entire life and I do not think my body would be physically capable of living anywhere up north (that pretty much eliminates the rest of the US). My hands and feet are constantly at sub-zero temperatures, and at times I’m convinced I have Raynaud’s Disease (“cold hands warm heart,” they say). Sometimes socks will do the trick to keep those icicles I call feet under control, but most of the time I have to turn to slippers to keep them in check.

I have recently discovered the most amazing slippers, and the first thing I thought was “I need to share these with EVERYONE,” because they are way to good to keep a secret. Not only are they only $20 on amazon (with free prime shipping), but they are warm, comfortable, AND they come in 13 different colors! I honestly can’t rave about these enough. I’m literally wearing them right now and even considered wearing them grocery shopping yesterday (slippers in public are socially acceptable right?).

If you’re not addicted to binge watching as many television series as possible like I am (please send any personal recommendations my way), then ambiance is super important when taking some time for yourself to relax. My favorite thing to do when not watching trashy T.V. is to light some candles and get in the bath tub. But you can’t just light any candle, and you cant just get in any bath water. Candle of choice (hands down), is Capri Blue’s “Volcano Candle.” Light this baby up and give it 5 minutes until your entire bathroom smells like heaven on steroids. I don’t know exactly what it is about that candle but man is it good.

Next up, bath water of choice? Any Lush Bath Bomb that the company makes is customer approved by me. But that being said, they are not the most wallet friendly of products, so I have attached my next favorite (more affordable) bath bomb set (see “shop my favorites” below). Lastly, no bath session is complete without some good tunes, and by that I obviously mean John Meyer (because nothing is more soothing than the sound of that man’s voice). As far as stereo selection goes, I recommend an Amazon Echo (or if you want to save some $$, the Amazon Dot). You can speak to it like it’s Siri and ask it to change the music for you without having to run through your bathroom like a fish out of water or accidentally dropping your phone in the tub. Huge plus.

I typically like to make sure I am eating somewhat healthy throughout the week (which is not always easy with hospital food but I think I’m doing alright), so on the weekends and my lazy days I like to eat some “comfort food.” This usually consists of my favorite chocolate, the “Firecracker” bar by Chuao Chocolatier, and a glass of red wine. This chocolate bar is made of dark chocolate from Venezuela and contains sea salt, chipotle, and popping candy – need I say more?

Aside from chocolate and wine, I occasionally squeeze in a real meal (JK, I literally eat non-stop). If you live anywhere in Florida or the Northeast US, you should know what Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza is. If you don’t know what it is, I apologize. If you don’t know what it is but you just looked it up and discovered that you live near one, go there, now. My go-to is the pepperoni mushroom pizza with light sauce, the Anthony’s salad with gorgonzola cheese (the dressing is SO addicting), and their coal fired wings or a side of meatballs. Anndd now I’m salivating.

Now that I have let you all in on the secrets to a perfect Sunday, I hope you take some of my advice and try a few of these things out. If you love them, you’re welcome, if you hate them… well, I’m pretty sure you won’t hate them.

XoXo -Erica