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Friends, in advance of Black Friday, I did something radical: I unsubscribed from over 50 automated shopping emails.

Yes, there is a part of me that has FOMO for 25% off candles, cosmetics, home goods or designer duds, but if It’s Out of Sight, It’s Out of Mind.

I’m trying to be more intentional with my purchases for 2020 and starting now feels right.

Will I probably still buy a few too many holiday gifts for myself?

Most definitely.

I’m still me.

My Solo Thanksgiving

Friends, I spent Thanksgiving alone this year.

Ok, the dog was here with me, but otherwise Fancy Pants Ranch was deserted.

Spouse – who is such a wonderful person – took the kids to his parent’s to celebrate and spend a few days with them.

Was I sad that we weren’t together? Yes and no.

Yes, because I felt like I was missing out when Spouse texted me a picture of the kids.

No, because I spend almost all my time overextending myself, and having a day alone to exhale was heaven.

I stayed behind because I’m leaving bright and early Friday morning for a weekend in Las Vegas with my dear friends J. and B.

The three of us have a history of epic girls’ weekends. We haven’t done one since 2017, and we were all feeling overdue.

When we compared schedules earlier this year, we were out of luck until B. suggested Thanksgiving weekend, and we were all able to make it work.

How I spent my Thanksgiving:

  • Exercising at the gym
  • Coffee, coffee, coffee
  • Perusing the Black Friday ads in the newspaper
  • Watching the Macy’s parade on TV
  • Packing, under Penny’s watchful eye
  • Watching one of the best “Friends” episodes ever, the one where Rachel makes an English trifle with a layer of meat and sautéed onions
  • Folding a mountain of laundry (Before and After, below)
  • Catching up on “Below Deck” and various other Bravo mind escapes
  • Overall feeling beyond grateful for a day like this.

OOTD, Friday

Greetings from my 10 year old daughter’s closet.

The one with the giant mirror.

Here’s what I wore today in clinic, minus personalized white coat on top of it all:

Ok, let’s get this out of the way: the sequin rose gold Minnie Mouse backpack is not mine. #tweendaughter

Let’s start with these J. Crew pearl hoop earrings that are currently on sale:

Next up:

Friends, these Jeffrey Campbell booties are amazingly comfortable, bridge the gap from work to weekend, and they are subtly brown, versus a black-and-white snake print. The pair well with so many colors, including blush pink.

And can we talk about the pants?

The Spanx Perfect Black Pants are not hyperbolically named.

I’d suggest sizing down. I am wearing a medium in the above picture (for reference, I am 5’9″ and weigh 155#).

And lastly, a confession.

That sweater?

It’s old.

Old. Old.

Practically vintage.

I checked the label and it is from the Banana Republic Holiday 2012 collection.

But I still like it.

Have a great weekend!

The Poppy Seed Sandwich

After an embryo transfer, patients often wonder the following: Is my embryo going to fall out?

I think it’s a natural fear, especially since so many hopes and dreams are riding on the outcome of the embryo transfer.

Even though an embryo transfer is a highly technical procedure, one thing is certain: You can’t cough/pee/sneeze/squeeze/jostle an embryo out of the uterus.

Nearly fifteen years ago, when I was a new Reproductive Endocrinology fellow, someone explained an embryo transfer as “Throwing a velcro ball into a shag carpet.”

While I got the analogy because I’m old enough to remember the 1970s, it didn’t resonate with me.

So I thought of my own: Placing an embryo in the uterus is like putting a poppy seed in a peanut butter sandwich.

The embryo is tiny. The lining is thick and sticky. There’s no way that poppy seed is coming out.

Over the years I’ve explained an embryo transfer this way thousands of times. If you’ve ever worked with me, heard me lecture or been a patient or trainee, you’re probably sick of hearing it.

To wit: a patient told me about a year ago that she shared this on a huge fertility support group site and now I was famous as the Peanut Butter and Poppy Seed Doctor.

I can live with that.

Stick and grow embryo.

Stick and grow.

Holiday Prep – Part 1

Let’s face it: We will forever be the family buying the sad Charlie Brown tree on December 23rd, but this year I’m trying.

Winter comes early here and lasts forever, so I wanted something pieces that could bridge November to March, not just the unofficial holiday season.

I went with two themes: cozy and buffalo plaid.

I share this perfectly imperfect shot to showcase the overall effect, but wow! Painful reality. Two kids and a dog seem to continuously rearrange my pillow fort, push apart the sofa sections and make the blinds quite janky.

These cuties are from Crate and Barrel:

The plaid pillow covers are straight off of Amazon. I slipped them over pillows we already had.

Ditto the plaid throw; it’s Amazon:

We have six fireplaces but I don’t decorate all of them. Here’s the start of the mantle in the main floor family room:

Please excuse the tape. This was a trial. That failed. Re-taping subsequently commenced.

I found these two cute garlands at Michael’s, a craft store that overwhelms me and I try to avoid. There was some weird promotion going on and they gave me the nutcracker for free at the checkout.

The candle is from Crate and Barrel and smells wonderfully like winter. I bought several to (hopefully) last until spring.

The last thing I did, for now:

I bought two faux boxwood wreaths at Target last year and I swap out the bows depending on the season. For someone who is generally lazy, this has been a great decorating hack.

But I’m not done! There is more coming. Will keep posting the updates.

My Fall Uniform

Friends, I can’t stop wearing this fall uniform. 

When a look works, I tend to fall back on it.  

Often. 

This ensemble has made five appearances already this fall. It may reach the point of needing to go out of rotation due to over-exposure, but I’m not there yet. 

From top to bottom: 

J. Crew pearl hoop earrings 

J. Crew slim turtleneck 

Veronica Beard dress  (similar)

Layered pearl bracelets (Arm party!) 

Tights 

Chanel boots – Check out the detail on the heels:

Can also be paired with a fitted leather jacket: 

Canyon Suites Review

Now this is a view.

Spouse and I escaped the Frigid North last weekend for some R&R, Vitamin D, Vitamin Champagne and Friendship in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

Typing this brings psychic pain, since the current windchill feels like six degrees below zero in Minneapolis.

I wish I was being figurative with my language.

A few basics: The Canyon Suites are a distinct part of the (much) larger Phoenician Resort, a Scottsdale classic property nestled into the side of Camelback Mountain.

Seriously, I don’t think current zoning laws would allow a build like this, because it is not just at the base of the mountain but abutted right into the side.

The Phoenician proper is already a great resort, but the Canyon Suites take it up several notches.

From the hotel’s website:

Here’s the lobby:

Check in was seamless. We stayed in a one bedroom suite on the first floor. There was an entry with two closets and a powder room (LOVED the marble sink), a living and dining room, enclosed patio, separate bedroom with a king bed and a master bath.

Not sure if the video tour will work, but here it is:

A few stills:

Here is the marble sink I loved in the powder room:

And the patio:

Added perks to staying at the Canyon Suites included free breakfast, a private pool for suite guests, valet parking and free shoe shine services. I sent some Gucci loafers off and they returned quite spiffy.

For fellow toiletry hoarders, the amenities are Byredo Le Chemin and include face wash, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and soap, plus lip balm and bath salts.

We arrived Friday and went for a run, went for a swim, soaked up some rays and had dinner at the on-property J&G Steakhouse, where the weather was so fine that we ate al fresco.

Then we waddled back to our suite.

Saturday consisted of more running, breakfast (free and still delicious – the Nutella mini croissants should be illegal, but at least the fancy fruit art slightly balanced it out).

I was *so* excited for Saturday night, where we’d planned dinner with my dear friends R. and J.

I brought a hostess gift and I could hardly stand to wait for them to arrive:

We had a drink at their beautiful house in Paradise Valley (the name! I want to live there for the name alone), met their dogs (and I almost stole the tiny one), had a fabulous dinner at Eddie V’s and I smiled so much that my face hurt.

It was a perfect night.

Sunday required burning off Saturday night via a long run, undoing that with the Nutella croissants, then some serious pool time.

I was super jazzed that afternoon because I’d also booked a deluxe facial. The Spa at the Phoenician is located in a building adjacent to the main hotel. As far as hotel spas go, I would rate this a 9/10. The common areas were recently re-vamped and felt peaceful and modern. There is also a really well-curated spa boutique and a separate Dry Bar.

I loved this piece of art in the waiting area so much that I tracked it down and ordered it for Fancy Pants Ranch:

My 80 minute facial was top notch. The only problem was that it was so good that when I was done, I was done.

All I wanted:

I didn’t make it far beyond relaxing on the patio, but that was just fine for our last night.

We returned home Monday, another seamless but sad affair.

Final thoughts: Spouse and I had a serious debate about The Canyon Suites versus The St. Regis. My best St. Regis comparison would be the one in Bal Harbour (Miami), which also involves a single flight (for us) and affords both sun and city amenities. Overall, I would give the nod to the St. Regis, since some suites there have their own private elevators (THE THING I DIE FOR) and there is the winning element of the ocean.

But.

The Canyon Suites were also really, really spectacular. The view of Camelback Mountain was something special and the on-site restaurants and spa give the Canyon Suites an edge. Adding the opportunity to spend time with our friends really makes the two properties a push in the end.

Which means I need to visit both a lot more to collect additional data.

It’s called research.

Pink + Red

This color combo is having a moment.

Image via Vanity Fair

These are all red carpet looks from the Emmys (Vanity Fair wrote about it here), but mass retailers also got into the game for Fall/Winter 2019.

This is from Trina Turk’s Instagram feed, but I can’t find it online. Yet. #Stalking

From the available now files: This Boden sweater is my favorite of the bunch.

This silk blouse – also Boden – is an alternative:

J. Crew adds a few other colors to the mix, but pink and red are front and center:

Coats from – again – Boden and J. Crew, respectively.

And now this.

Georges BB bag, $2140, at Louis Vuitton.

My take on the trend:

Nylon bucket bag with an added Salt strap. This adds a punch of color to any outfit.