Thursday, August 31, 2017

ThredUP


I've tried a little bit of everything when it comes to ways of getting rid of gently worn and used clothing.  Whether you go with consignment, EBay, Poshmark, or thrift store donation, there are advantages and disadvantages of each.  While Poshmark has become my favorite method so far (allowing me to flip some major thrift finds into a wedding band for my fiance), it takes a little more time than I have right now.  For greatest ease and in the interest of reclaiming my time I've decided to try out ThredUP.


What could be better than a massive prepaid bag to fill up with things that could use a new home and make me a little cash?  You can read more about the details of how ThredUP works here, but so far I'm sold.  At this point I care less about the money and more about reclaiming the space in my home; I'm happy to see things go.  Maybe I'll share another post once I learn the fate of my items (consigned for cash, store credit VS donated and recycled), but so far I'm pleased with how quickly the bag was delivered as well as the size.  For now, I give the service two thumbs up; I'm reclaiming my floors and closets one bag at a time. 


What's your favorite way to clear your closet of unused and unneeded items?  Have you tried ThredUP?  If so, what was your experience like?  If this sounds like something you're interested in, use this link for a $10 credit for us both when you try it out.
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Friday, August 18, 2017

inspiration (wedding): Registry Guide


Apart from marrying my best friend and a much-needed honeymoon vacation, the registry is one of the most exciting parts of the wedding.  After years in apartments thousands of miles away, my fiance and I are looking forward to building a place of our own with new home goods and furnishings.  Especially when you're combining the items of two households, you quickly learn what you need, what you want, and what you have space for (especially in a small apartment).  While we're far from close to a finished registry, whether you're buying from a registry or adding to one, here are a few suggestions from what I've learned so far: 


What to Pick (Bride/Groom)

How much room do you have?  How much space do you have on and in your counters, cabinets, and closets?  As exciting as it is to add "all the things" especially when it's free of charge, consider the space in your house or apartment.  It may be tempting to add all of your dream items; however, if those items are not compatible with your current living space you may end up with more than you can handle.  In our immediate future, we'll be cooking just for two, most likely in a modest apartment; we expect to do little to no entertaining with a medical student and resident schedule.  We also value coming home to cook and live in a space that's functional and not crowded in the free time we do have.  Considering this we've decided to wait to get the formal dining sets and serving trays until we have the need, in a larger place with a larger family.

Is this something I currently use?  If you don't use it now, don't buy it just because it's free.  Save the "gift money" for things you actually need.

Is this something I would buy?  Registries are a great time to upgrade appliances.  However, beware of the temptation to go crazy buying gadgets and random products.  If you would buy it now, but it's currently a stretch for your wallet, add it!  If you like the idea of it but probably wouldn't buy it or never thought of it, I would pass!  How likely are you to really need that pineapple corer?

Include items at a variety of price points.  Another option is to add items that come in sets, listing them as separate items.  Depending on what it is some sets can be expensive; this will allow guests to buy you exactly what you want no matter what their budget without feeling bad.


What to Buy (Guest)

How much do I spend?  However much you have.  My parents have always set an example that weddings are a time to be generous, to be a blessing as the bride and groom start a new life together.  At the same time, spending money is personal.  The same way I don't advocate spending money you don't have for yourself, outside of emergencies, I don't believe in spending it for someone else either.  If you're in a pinch, I think a good rule is at least the estimated cost of your seat at the reception.  But it also depends on the item's they've added.  You can always make things easier on yourself by buying a single, higher priced item.  But you can also purchase several lower priced items or go in with several people to buy a big-ticket item they really want.

Stick to the registry? Unless you're giving the couple money or a surprise vacation, I don't recommend going off the registry.  They've most likely put good thought into what they need, what they don't, and what they have room for.  Yes, they can always return it but that only creates more work for them.  On the occasion that you really want to get the couple something "off registry" but don't know if they would want or could use it, just ask!  The whole idea of the registry is that the couple already knows what they are getting, so resist the temptation to want it to be a surprise like a birthday or Christmas present.  Focus on what they want and could use.

Bring the gift to the wedding?  Most places that offer registries allow you to ship the item free of charge to the couple.  Most couples spend the wedding night in a hotel.  Many leave for their honeymoon quite soon afterward.  Bringing the gifts creates another task for them to coordinate, having to figure out how to get them home after the reception.  Depending on the size of the gifts and the amount, organizing several cars may be involved.  At the same time, I recommend checking with the couple first to see what works best for them.  Some people live in a place that allows packages to be kept safely, while others live at a place where packages are left at the front door; this can create another potential problem with delivery complications or even theft. 

Whether you are creating a wedding registry or buying from a registry, I recommend checking out the registry website Zola.  While we'll be sticking with the popular registry retailers for the universal ease and convenience of all our guests, Zola is a great tool for special items and trips.  They have a special browser add-on feature that allows you to add items from any online retailer to a registry, which will be great for small shops and others that don't offer registry options.  As medical students thousands of miles away, my fiance and I were determined to make everything about the wedding planning process as stress-free as possible.  Zola is another option for those who want to organize items from multiple websites into one place eliminating the need for the fun but time-consuming in store registry process.  

You'll find many different opinions on how to approach this topic.  Ultimately, you should go with what works best for you, but here are a few more suggestions from Zola that can help make this process easier for you!







I was not paid for this endorsement; all opinions are my own.  I just learned about this service, and it's become another great resource for me that I wanted to share with my fellow brides and grooms to be!   Checking another item off the wedding planning list!    

Do you have any other registry tips or tools? Share them below! 

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Life Lately: All the Emotions of Fourth Year


Happy.  Tired.  Thankful.  That pretty much sums up my experience as a fourth-year medical student so far.  It's one step closer to the beginning of my formal medical training, and despite the responsibility that lies ahead I'm happy to know my time in school is finally coming to an end.  Without class or the chase of an exam every month, it's been great to re-embrace old hobbies and spend more time with family and friends.   

I've also been a little tired lately.  I'm sure a large part of this is from the stress of the residency application process.  At this point everything is ready, and all I can do is wait.  Between taking my second board exam during my emergency medicine rotation and varying elective schedules, I've also yet to settle into a new personal schedule.  I've said this before about the third year, but as a fourth year, I find myself in the same position constantly adjusting to a new system and work day every few weeks.  However, I also know that I'll have a bit more energy once I get myself back into a routine that includes regular physical activity and self-care balanced with the things I want to learn and review.  It's important to rest, but it's also important to use this time wisely to develop good habits, read and study topics in depth while I can before I have an intern schedule.  At times I feel like I have a lot more time on my hands, but the reality is I don't.  I'm still very much a student, and there is still plenty for me to review on a daily basis.

While there is much work ahead of me as I apply for a position as a training physician, it's also amazing to think of how far I've come.  When I consider my journey and the past three years and the years leading up to them, I can't help but keep it all in perspective.  I can't help but be grateful for making it this far along and think of the blessing of where I am.     

I started this blog years ago when I worked in research as an outlet for some of the things I enjoy: writing, photography, crafting, style, and decor; over the years I've shared tiny bits of my life, my med student journey, and things I've tried, visited and learned along the way.  As I continue to define what this space is and where my voice is best used, my hope is always that there is something here that can help someone else whether it be one or thousands.  For those who have been reading for some time and for more recent visitors, what kinds of things are you interested in reading about?  Is there anything you'd like to know from a non-traditional medical student in her last year?  How to dig yourself out of struggle and overcome challenges?  Balancing school and relationships, especially long distance?  Practical living, creating, and defining personal style in a very consumer driven world?  Please don't hesitate to let me know what you think via email at inspirationeleblog@gmail.com or comment below!           

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