Hi there! Thank you for stopping by my blog! I’ve been blogging for the past few years and I still have a hard time figuring out what to write on this page! I always start off with the basics: My name is Amber. I’m 29. I was born and raised in Wisconsin and I moved to Minnesota in 2013 for my internal medicine residency training. Residency was a busy, stressful and emotional time. And while I’m extremely satisfied with the training I got, I’m also extremely happy its over! I finally starting to get my life back. I’d be happy to answer questions about medical school or residency if you have any, don’t hesitate to ask anything!
Let’s see. Other things about me…
I’m currently pregnant with my first baby! Its a girl 🙂 Ben and I also have two cats and a dog.
I love working out… or at least I love what it does for my body and mind. I prioritize working out every day (or at least 5/7!).
Learning about Buddhism, yoga and mindfulness has been a passion of mine for years… and is a serious work in progress.
Money and finance is another one of my interests. Its so important, but not super exciting to learn about.
I’m obsessed with Indian food. And wine (miss it). And coffee.
I like traveling, but I also love to be at home! I miss home when I’m away.
Tidbits from childhood: I’m the middle child. I have an older brother and a younger sister. And a million pets of all varieties. Both my parents worked and I went to daycare. I played soccer (from age 6 to college) and dabbled with swimming, gymnastics and volleyball. I went to public school and was a bit of a slacker until my last year of high school.
Like I say often, thanks for stopping by this blog and spending some time here. It means a lot to me. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask!
My first eBay purchase was over 10 years ago. Things were different then. Most eBay sellers were just regular people, not huge re-sellers or consignment stores. It was a friendly, personal and stress-free experience. Then came the age of small consignment sellers. Then huge consignment sellers. And then came the fake items, fraud and other hassles I now know to be a permanent risk of the eBay shopping experience. I’ve had my ups and downs with eBay. At times I though I would never buy or sell again. But with some extra precautions and acceptance of occasional pain-in-the-ass transactions, I decided to continue to buy pre-owned. I’d estimate about 50% of my wardrobe is from eBay.
Very few bloggers talk about buying things pre-owned. There are two main reasons for this. The first reason would be the obvious one… they don’t buy pre-owned. This may or may not be tied to reason number two, which is the lack of (at least perceived) money-making potential from pre-owned purchases.
I want to be clear. Blogging actually brings in a good amount of money if you put some time into it. Even on this teeny tiny blog, when I was blogging regularly, I’d easily make $1500-$2000 per month. Not bad for a hobby! The best way to make money blogging is to subtly convince others to buy what you’re suggesting. And you can’t exactly convince someone to buy something that isn’t available. Most bloggers realize this quickly and forgo posting outfits featuring not-currently-selling items, whether this be no-longer-available retail purchases or pre-owned purchases. Its logical, and I did just that for a while. But I didn’t enjoy it. Everyone was buying the same items and posting the same (or similar) outfits. I felt like I was competing with “professional” bloggers, who, for some reason, always seemed to look 100x better than I looked in those exact same items. I didn’t actually want to wear most of the stuff I bought, so I felt like I needed to keep buying more (leading to a wardrobe full of stuff I didn’t want to wear). Pointless, huh? Don’t get me wrong, the extra money was nice. And if I can link an item I’ve bought or am wearing, I certainly will (like below!). But blogging isn’t my full-time job, and I don’t do it for money. I do it because I enjoy it!
There are some things that are totally worth buying pre-owned. I’ve found absolutely amazing deals on so many current-style maternity clothes (hence my inspiration to write this post). Especially designer jeans ($178 COH jeans for $60, $189 Paige jeans for $40, $265 AG jeans for $30…) and dresses ($88 Ingrid and Isabel dress for $20, $159 Isabella Oliver dress for $40…). If you know anyone who is struggling with the cost of maternity clothes, I’d definitely recommend at least trying eBay! There’s a similar theme for non-maternity clothes. Designer jeans are always easy to find and are super cheap. And the same goes for dresses (if you need a dress for an event, try eBay before a site like Rent-the-Runway… it’ll likely be as cheap or cheaper and you get to keep the dress). You can find good deals on lots of other stuff, too, but it can take some work.
I debated whether or not to talk about my pregnancy on this blog. On one hand, its a huge part of my life, and all I really do on this blog is blabber about whatever’s on my mind. On the other hand, most people aren’t currently pregnant, and likely couldn’t care less about my prego blabberings. So, I compromised (to myself…) and decided to do intermittent (monthly?) pregnancy updates. Honestly, I likely wouldn’t be successful with weekly updates anyway. So here we go.
How Far Along: 20+3
Weight Gain: Assuming I started around 111lbs, I think I’ve gained about 7-8 lbs so far…
Diet & Exercise: I’m not crazy strict with myself about diet and exercise, but I’m not letting myself go, either. To be honest, I have body image issues to begin with, and I know those are unlikely to go away as pregnancy progresses. The easiest way for me to stay on track (at least right now) is to continue doing what I did before I got pregnant (because it was working!). Essentially, I try to make healthy food choices when I can, and I track everything I eat on the myfitnesspal app (adding calories per OB recommendations). It works, it just takes commitment. As for exercise, I’m still able to do my pre-pregnancy workouts (with the exception of crunches and such). They’re getting harder, but I’m not ready to give up on them just yet!
Maternity Clothes: I’m in the minority here, but I needed maternity clothes (especially for work!) before I even had a bump (I got wider before the bump grew outwards)! Little did I know how expensive maternity clothes were, and how hard it was to come by something decent! I first turned to J. Crew, who (thank goodness) didn’t let me down, despite their small collection. The Maternity Martie Pants seemed the most promising, and I didn’t hesitate to get myself a pair (on sale for $46!). I’d never tried the non-maternity Martie Pants, although now that I look at them I don’t know why not (they apparently come in cotton or wool and a ton of colors… they actually look quite lovely). Anyways, the Maternity Martie Pants were lifesavers. They fit beautifully in my regular J. Crew size (OP) and are perfect for work. I’ve worn them over and over (and they have room for growing). After that little success I turned my focus to eBay. I’ve mainly searched for maternity jeans (like the AG ones I’m wearing). I typically pay $30-50 per pair, which isn’t too bad considering the retail price for these things. I’ll start to search for dresses and shirts as the bump grows (either maternity or sized up non-maternity)
Rants: Just a few. First, back pain. I have been dealing with this for months and I think its finally starting to get better. Or I’m getting used to it? I dunno. Second rant is sleep, or lack thereof. It sort of goes along with the back pain, but not totally. Its just so hard to get comfortable! I think I need a pregnancy pillow or something. And a foley, because I have to get up to pee about 3-4 times per night. Maybe overactive kidneys and bladder is rant three.
Raves: I’m finally showing a bump! You can’t really tell in these pictures, but its there… just a little bit. I’ve finally had people comment on it, so I know its not just in my head. And my other rave (for now) is feeling her move. Yes, its a she! 🙂
Happy or Moody: I’m typically pretty darn happy. I sometimes struggle with stress and moodiness, but that has nothing to do with being pregnant.
Preparation: As for tangible preparation, I’ve done absolutely nothing. Instead, I’ve been working on… myself. You know, working towards being the “best version of myself.” That’s been a focus of mine for a long time, and its too complicated for this already-too-long post!
Looking forward to: Hmmm, lets see. We’re in the midst of house-hunting and I’m pretty excited about that! I’m also looking forward to starting some DIY projects, reading, blogging, cooking… you know, having hobbies again! Oh yes, and we have a mini-vacation coming up to California for a family wedding! So many things!!
I think those are going to be my main topics for “bump updates.” I’m leaving out things I find boring, like what my belly button is doing or if I’m getting stretch marks yet. Your welcome.
Its been a long time since I’ve done a review post! Nothing was really catching my eye for a while there. At least at a reasonable price. Until these. I adore so many of my J. Crew shoes. They are my daily go-to work shoes. Especially the Sloan flats. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed when I saw the Sloan flats were being phased out. They were replaced by the Sadie flats, which honestly didn’t impress me at first. But when I saw the snakeskin version, I knew they were worth a try.
Style: These flats were designed beautifully. The colors are stunning and go so well together. It really makes them quite versatile and trendy, but classy at the same time. I love the sleek style and minimal embellishments as well. The deep V vamp does shoe a little toe cleavage, but not too bad. Very wearable.
Quality: I’ll be the first to say that J. Crew shoes (and everything else) can be hit or miss as far as quality goes. These are quite a hit. At least the pair I got. They are a tasteful snake-embossed leather. The lining is leather and the sole is man-made. The seams were well done and completely smooth. No irregularities or weird issues. Really, nothing to complain about.
Sizing: I’m a true to size 6, but often size up to a 6.5 to allow for swelling feet! I was really quite tempted to size up to a 6.5 for this pair, especially being pregnant, but I stuck with the 6. And it was a good decision! These run totally true to size, not small at all. My feet had the perfect amount of room to swell, lol.
Comfort: And the most important thing… comfort!! This is why I buy J. Crew shoes. Any brand can make an attractive shoe, but not a comfortable attractive shoe. These are a bit stiffer than the suede versions, but that’s to be expected. As such, they do take a bit longer to break in. But the break-in period isn’t bad at all. Mild rubbing, but no blistering or anything like that.
Overall: Recommend! If you like the style of these, I’d give them a go. If you’re not into the snakeskin, they also come in a basic suede and a leopard print (more of a loafer version). But those are pretty basic and you could probably get something similar for a bit less (although they do go on sale intermittently, making them a better deal).
That’s all I got. Let me know if you’ve found anything good lately!