Closet Edit – Summer Shirt Version

Lately I’ve been in one of my moods where I’m fed up with the excessive amounts of extraneous stuff we (ok, I’m mostly just referring to myself, so I) own.

This usually prompts some massive re-organization or sorting project, filling trash bags in disgust, along with a fervent vow to Keep It Simple going forward.

Last weekend I was sick of looking at my jumbled mess of t-shirts and tanks stuffed into the shelves of my closet, so I dumped them into a pile on the floor.

As I sorted the long sleeved, short sleeved, plain white, striped, and printed shirts into separate areas, I realized that I was still going to fall way short of having enough room to neatly stack them all.

I decided to try an experiment: pare down the stacks into the things I wore the most, creating a seasonal capsule wardrobe, a la the now-defunct but still excellent blog, Unfancy.

Here’s what made the cut:


I kept out a few tanks (top shelf, left and middle piles) in blue, pink, pink striped, black (2), gray, and white (2). Upper right are two sweatshirts (an orange one from Sundry and a light green one from Athleta).

Bottom shelf has long sleeved shirts (left) in striped (I kept three, two from Splendid and one from Target), plus a Gap Perfect Fit 3/4 sleeve V neck in black and another Splendid long sleeve in white.

Middle pile is a short sleeved Splendid stripe tee (I really, really love Splendid), a white one with pink stars, plus neon pink and yellow short sleeves as well as a gray J. Crew V neck.

Final pile is a shirt I got from running a charity 5k race last month supporting the City of Joy, a Fabletics short sleeved hoodie and a Lululemon top I am embarrassed to say I have never worn (I forgot I bought it. Argh).

According to the principles of making a capsule wardrobe, I probably still kept out too much. (To be fair, there are also a few pieces that were in the laundry at the time I was sorting and I didn’t even bother to pack them away once they were clean).

But here’s the thing with casual shirts like this: they have a shelf life.

Even the nicest white tee starts to look ratty after a season or two.

Yet despite this knowledge, I have a hard time tossing anything out, including things that are way past their prime. (Sriracha-stained palm-tree print shirt, I’m looking at YOU).

So while I packed away everything else, I was still too chicken to toss it (yet). However, my big goal is to ruthlessly edit if I get to the end of the summer without feeling like I’m missing out.







Turn of Fortune

I got an email last week from David Yurman announcing a new line of 5 mm stacking bracelets.

Here they are:


Photo from David Yurman

The rose and yellow gold ones are pretty spendy, but the silver ones (I like the tarnished one) are well-priced.

I’m really not in the market at all for another stacking bracelet, and I was a bit soured on David Yurman after two events last year.

Event #1: A bracelet that I’d had less than a year went AWOL. After ripping the house apart, interrogating the children, wondering if someone stole it out of my locker at work, searching high and low in my office, and inquiring at the gym lost and found, I just came to a place where I secretly thought I probably didn’t fasten it quite right and it carelessly slipped off, leaving some incredibly lucky person as a finder on the street. 





I moved on, not in the best way (this is me, after all), by buying an exact replacement.

Plus a few new friends for it.

Event #2: One of those new bracelets was a huge impulse buy. Huge. And in my excitement, I decided to wear my new bracelets right out of the store and forego any and all packaging, requesting that the store email me my receipt.


Except they didn’t.

I had the bracelets, but no paperwork. No problem, I thought (cue foreshadowing).

About four months after this spree, the impulse bracelet broke at the hinge. I wasn’t even putting it on or off; I just looked down and it had fallen apart.

I was too stunned to cry, and I wasn’t sure what to do. My luck with David Yurman was starting to become pretty lousy.

Spouse kindly did the legwork and sent the bracelet off to an official David Yurman repair center. It was gone for four months but came back fixed, and for free! Worth the effort.

Fast forward to last weekend: Trixie (6) was digging in my jewelry box, as she tends to do. She brought out a small box that holds a pin belonging to Spouse from his college days on the crew team. It’s a pin for being a letter winner in the sport, and since Spouse is not a jewelry guy, it’s lived in that box for, oh, nearly twenty years.

I was folding laundry on the bed and she emerged from my closet with the box, saying “I have a little pin and a bracelet.”

A quick glance seemed to confirm that she’d put the replacement bracelet in the box.

Me: “Hey, look out. I already lost one bracelet exactly like that and I don’t want the new one to get hidden in the box so I can’t find it.”

Trixie: “Umm, well, this one was in there already and I may have put it in there a long time ago.”

Could it be? It was!

Lost bracelet found.



I was so happy that I couldn’t even be mad about the whole ordeal.

But I will have my eye on her.












Travel Snacks

Right now I’m trying to avoid airport/airplane and otherwise bad-for-you travel food whenever possible.

This takes some planning, but with multiple trips back-to-back, I need to buckle down on healthy eating.

Here’s the latest crop of snacks that made it into my carry-on.


Mary’s Gone Crackers. These gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan crackers come in seven varieties.


Go Macro bars. Stats: 260 cals, 9g fat, 10g sugar, 10g protein, 1g fiber. The fiber is the weak link here, but I’m ok with this as an overall meal replacement.


The Think Thin name kind of throws me off (seems a bit too Slim Fast-y for me), but I was attracted to the low sugar content of these bars – only 2g! 


This 22 Days bar was an instant favorite. Although I’ve only tried this bar, I’m intrigued by the company’s manifesto. Vegan home delivery meal service? I would actually love to try that.

Other staples: plain water, mineral water (I almost entirely gave up soda six months ago), and my old friend, coffee with a splash of milk.

While it’s still healthier to make your own food and eat at home, I still figure I’m better off with these choices than, say, the Panda Express at Gate 75.



The Costs of Working

So, it turns out that your job is really costing you more than your health or sanity.

Tim Grant’s recent article added up the “hidden costs” of working, and it gave me pause.

Here’s the idea: a typical workday is loaded with fixed expenses (parking fees, bus pass, tolls, etc) as well as small, insignificant purchases (umm, daily coffee?) that can really add up.

Thus, the true cost of holding a job is rarely appreciated.

Where the money goes, on average, per week:

  • Gas and transportation: $67
  • Lunch: $29
  • Coffee: $10

In a given year, that tallies to nearly $3500 on gas, $1500 on lunch and $520 on coffee.

Men also appear to be bigger work-related spenders (i.e. less cost-conscious on work-related spending) than women. Huh.

I’m lucky in that my current commute is a mere 3 miles (the huge improvement in my overall wellbeing from my former 45-90 minute commute – each way – cannot be overstated), I have free parking, and I bring my lunch every day.

But that coffee cost is real. 

While we do have free coffee at my workplace (doctors love coffee and all), it is pretty lousy. So I hit the coffee place across the street from my building every day for a fix.

I save money (a dime, but hey! It adds up) by bringing my own travel mug, and it’s a nice break during the day to take a few minutes to go over there. Given everything, I can live with $10 a week.

Tax Surprise


Never ones to rush tax season, Spouse and I filed our returns this year on April 14th.

Or so we thought.

A panic-inducing email from our accountant at 9 PM that night indicated that our tax returns were rejected because the IRS indicated that they had already been filed – by someone else.

Tax related identity theft occurs when someone else steals your social security number and files a claim with it – usually early in the tax season – and scoops up any refund that you may have coming.

This crime is also on the rise – up 60% in recent years.

The super tragedy: this was the one year where we were slated to get a federal refund instead of paying more. D’Oh!

Spouse spent the morning of the 15th scrambling around to get paper taxes filed and sent, filing an affidavit with the IRS for identity theft, and reporting to the police. I contacted my employer’s office of physician staff services and they informed me that I was in good company: dozens of doctors where I work were also affected. We seem to have been targeted as part of a large scam. Argh.

Here are the steps we were advised to take:

  • File current taxes on paper by April 15th
  • Contact the IRS Identity Protection Unit
  • File an Identity Theft affidavit with the IRS
  • File a report with the local police
  • Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission
  • Contact the fraud department of all major credit bureaus
  • Contact the Social Security Administration
  • Report to our local Social Security office (show up in person)

What a pain.

Just Breathe

Oh, my.

This past week was just a roller coaster, even worse than usual.

Having people quite literally put their lives in your hands is an incredible privilege, but sometimes it just shatters you in the process.

I was reminded of this over and over, especially when midnight found me fighting hard in the OR.

I cried three times with patients this week, which is way, way out of the norm and definitely something not usually taught in medical school.

Granted, once was a happy cry but the other two took me right to the edge.

I thought about it a lot, and my final analysis is this: if I ever get to a point that things don’t affect me to the core, I should probably quit being a doctor.

Hugging my own family extra tight this weekend.




Sayonara, C. Wonder and Piperlime

I was surprised to learn this week that two retail haunts on my usual rotation were going out of business.


First up: C. Wonder.

A quick check showed they’re already gone. The link above just gets you to a brief “We’re Outta Here!” message.

C. Wonder founder  Chris Burch – ex-spouse of classy Tory – describes the downfall here.

And in the Number 2 spot: Piperlime.

While I didn’t hit up this site as much as the other brands under the Gap umbrella (Athleta and Banana Republic are particular weaknesses), they would occasionally run some decent sales on brands that usually weren’t discounted (Clare V., I’m thinking about you).

Still, I miss you both already.




Rotten Apples

First world problem, I know, but all of my Apple products are dying at once.

rotten apple

It started with my phone, an out-of-date and uncool iPhone 5.

The battery life is rapidly dwindling, even with no apps running the background. I’m getting about 5-6 hours, tops, before it gets down to around 20% and then abruptly shuts off.

Now that’s annoying.

But it seems to be a common issue.

My five-year-old laptop’s battery is also waning, giving me maybe two hours of power even if it’s fully charged.

There spinning rainbow icon is also popping up everywhere these days. It’s unpredictable enough that I can get some work done, but it’s also becoming so frequent that it’s slowing me down time and time again.

spinning wheel

And now my iPad is getting in the game.

I have an iPad 2, which is slightly more modern than an abacus, but it’s served me well. There was an unfortunate incident about three years ago with a shattered screen, but we’ve moved past it and the band is back together.

Here’s the dilemma: I need to replace all of these items relatively soon, but I’m in constant Fear Of Missing Out on the Newest Apple device.

Apple is so darn secretive about their new products, and while I do not wait in line for the latest and greatest of anything, I will be pretty ticked if I get a new laptop and a brighter, shinier model comes out a few weeks later.

A bit of detective work on Apple rumor sites suggests that 2015 *may* see a new laptop with a retinal display arriving sometime in the summer, a larger screen iPad model and an iPhone 7 in the fall.

I’m already overdue for a phone upgrade according to my contract, so I think step one for me will be getting an iPhone 6 (Gold, please!), and then I’ll limp along with my laptop and its power cord until the hoped-for new MacBook Air shows up (which work will hopefully support, since I’m overdue there, too).

Regarding the iPad, does anyone like the mini? The rumored larger screen device (nearly 13 inches) doesn’t really seem like something I want, but maybe a mini would be a compromise.

Or maybe I’ll go backwards to one of these: