30 Jul 2017

my week #276

This week felt very strange - we had four intense and long days of induction and it felt much more than four days. It was an interesting week though and it was nice getting to know the other foundation  year 1 doctors who we will be working with over the next twelve months.

This weekend has been filled with life admin and just relaxing while I still can...! Tomorrow and Tuesday are 'shadowing' days before the fun and fear sets in properly on Wednesday...

How has your week been?

27 Jul 2017

my study week #25: an old pre-clinicals notebook, part II

This may be my last study week for a while! Though the learning never stops in medicine, because I'm not technically in full-time education anymore, it's quite hard to make it a monthly feature without the guarantee of decent content.

Anyway, last month, I talked about a similar notebook and here is another from the same pre-clinical year. These notebooks were from Artbox. Again, this was used for problem-based learning (PBL) but this one is a lot more colourful with a few more embellishments in the form of cute sticky notes.

25 Jul 2017

my desk: and the studying continues...

Though medical school is now over, the learning and exams never end in medicine. As my elective was in paediatric surgery, it was a good opportunity to revise some embryology and one of the senior doctors I had the pleasure of working with recommended the textbook in the photo below to me. He said it was a basic textbook but that's what I wanted at the time.

This summer has seen a few heatwaves and that's why there's so much water on my desk! I try and make sure I drink at least 2.5 litres of water a day as when I don't, I feel faint and ill. There's also a guilty pleasure in the form of crunchy nut cornflakes in the top left corner...!

How do you like your desk to be?

23 Jul 2017

my week #275

This week has been super hectic - it's the week before work starts on Tuesday (with an induction week) - and it was all about life admin with a graduation ceremony on Thursday.

Graduation was at the Barbican Centre in London - very different to the (ahem, humble brag time) Royal Albert Hall which was my first degree's place of graduation. It was much smaller and more intimate. Now that medical school is pretty much done and dusted with this ceremony, the feeling of being let loose on the wards is scary and exciting in a 50-50 split. Can I please go back to Vancouver where I didn't think about this madness once?!

As a bonus, here is an Instagram photo of myself and two friends at graduation on Thursday :)

How was your week?

20 Jul 2017

ten highlights during the first half of 2017

Now that more than half of the year has passed, it felt like a good time to review the last six months and record ten highlights from this period.

1. Skin goals achieved (for the most part!)

My skin goal this year were to tackle my main complaints (visible pores, breakouts, scars/hyper-pigmentation and dullness). By fine-tuning my skincare routines in the morning and evening, something seems to be working! For the first time in my life, I'm actually happy with my skin in its bare state.

2. A feeling of maturity towards spending

At the beginning of the year, I put myself on a spending ban which meant I couldn't buy anything new until I was on the last of that certain type of product. I've tried these challenges in the past and this is the first time where it has lasted beyond the three months. This is not to say I don't treat myself from time to time, but it has meant impulse purchases have decreased in number dramatically.

3. Reading as many books as nine months' worth compared to last year

Either procrastination got the better of me or I actually dedicated more time towards reading!

4. Stuck to my goal of journaling once a week

One of my '101 in 1001 days' goals was to journal at least once a week. I've kept this up since the start of that challenge and don't intend to stop this anytime soon.

5. Acquired a Lamy Safari Petrol Blue Fountain Pen!

A picture is worth a thousand words and that definitely rings true for this Lamy Safari. I love everything about it!

6. Decluttered most of my life

After exams, I recycled a whole load of stuff, gave a bunch of stuff to charity and threw out things that couldn't fit into the previous two categories. And it felt really good. I still have some other things to clear out (either through eBay or donating to charity) though.

7. Got a job offer for rotations and hospitals I actually wanted!

When applying for the Foundation Programme (the first job most doctors do in the United Kingdom - it is a two year programme designed to equip doctors with the basic skills for whatever specialty they choose at the end), I had an idea as to the hospitals and the job rotations I wanted. Somehow, what I wished for came true which has made me even more excited to start work!

8. Opened a bank account where my salary will be paid in...

This feels and sounds awfully mature so maybe I'm finally growing up a bit now! You know what they say: better late than never...

9. Spent many hours playing pool with friends!

As my time as a student comes to an end, my friends and I have taken to playing pool in the Student Union. I've never been particularly good but the many hours spent playing it over the last few months have seen a little bit of an improvement! Plus, it's really fun to accidentally pot something and see the look of horror on your opponent's face :)

10. Made it through medical school with all examinations passed :)

Not even sure where the last four years went and how I did it but somehow, I did. Being a doctor has been a goal of mine for a long time and I genuinely couldn't imagine doing anything else. There will be a lot of social life sacrifices (some of which have already happened) but based on the last four years at medical school, it looks like I'll continue to feel fulfilled on an almost daily basis. (At least, I hope so.)

18 Jul 2017

planning a summer holiday to... Vancouver, Canada!

Last summer, I made the decision to get a British Airways American Express card for which I'd use for my usual spends. Each £1 equated to one Avios point and I accrued enough for me to afford a ticket to Vancouver (with the help of a few Avios points from my mum too)! With this likely to be my last 'big' overseas holiday for a while, I decided that a little bit of overdraft debt would be worth it as I'll be able to pay it back over the course of the first two months of work. 

So how did I plan this holiday? Well, after the destination was decided, I had to think about how long to go for, where to stay, what the budget was for each element of the holiday and what my itinerary would be. For this, my Pantone notebook from aaaaaages ago was put into good use, along with a guidebook borrowed from my sister's trip to Vancouver a little under a year ago. 

After that, my packing list had to be written along with a flight plan. For my outbound flight, I needed to think about food and snacks along with what to bring in my carry on and also what to wear. Comfort is an essential for a long-haul flight, as are entertainment options! 

In order to write my packing list, I categorised everything. Having a list like this means that when I'm packing for my return journey, it means I can check things off again to decrease the chance to leaving something behind. 

With regards to my actual holiday? Sit tight for a full debrief in another blog post (or two, depending on how long it is!).

16 Jul 2017

my week #274

Yesterday, I returned from a holiday in Vancouver and it was a pleasant relief from the craziness of everything else going on back here in the UK. My planner this week is very bare because I bring a separate notebook when I travel. I'll do a proper write up of the holiday soon as I did have an amazing time :)

Now that I'm back, my to-do list is as long as my arm... Can I go back into holiday mode, please?!

How was your week?

12 Jul 2017

fountain pen ink: de atramentis archive ink

Have you ever tried this ink? If so, what's your opinion of it? It's definitely on my 'to purchase' list :)

9 Jul 2017

my week #273

This week was all about getting as much life admin done before I go on holiday! On Friday, I jetted off, away from the United Kingdom, for a week's holiday. Graduation is the week after, and then work starts the week after that (eek!). For now, I'm just going to relax and forget about everything else :)

How was your week?

6 Jul 2017

book: goodnight mister tom by michelle magorian

One of my '100 tasks in 2017' is to read three classic books and that's why I picked up Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian. I have a vague memory of reading it, or at least attempting to, when I was in high school.

Goodnight Mister Tom is about a boy called Willie who has been evacuated from the city of London to the countryside. There, he stays with an old gentleman called Tom.

After finishing this book, I did wonder why it took me so long to pick it up! Although aimed at a younger reader, it is quite a harrowing read. The life Willie is used to in London is very different to the one in Little Weirwold with Mister Tom and as you progress through the book, you see a change in Willie's character. From being a timid boy, not used to being shown affection, to a confident and charismatic young man who lives his countryside life to the full.

At first, Mister Tom seems like your typical grumpy old man but when his past is drip fed by Magorian throughout the book, it's obvious that he's not grumpy; he's just heartbroken and Willie did a lot in helping to mend his broken heart.

Overall, Goodnight Mister Tom gets 8/10 for me. I raced through this book and although older than the target audience, really enjoyed it!

4 Jul 2017

graduation gifts to mark a milestone

With graduation just around the corner now, I thought it would be nice to do a mini graduation gift guide. For this gift guide, I decided to look at pricier items (sorry, not sorry).


1. A luxury diary from Smythson
Hit the ground running in your new career with a Smythson planner which'll keep you organised and looking chic. With its cornflower blue pages and contrasting bright orange colour, you'll never forget to take this everywhere with you. The only problem will be that once the year is over, you'll really want another one...

2. Pelikan Souveran M400 Fountain Pen
So I'm slightly biased here as I have this pen (it was a 25th birthday gift to myself!) and it's such a lovely pen to use. It's beautiful, sophisticated and feels like such a luxury each time you use it.

3. Smythson Panama Cosmetics Case (can also be used to store stationery!)
I love Smythson goods (can you tell?) and this cosmetics case would be just lovely in your handbag. It is versatile and if you'd prefer to keep pens and other stationery items in, I'm sure it'll last you a good many years.

4. Pilot Capless Decimo Fountain Pen
Another fountain pen, but this time, a capless one! This is the more lightweight version of the original Capless and if the reviews are to be believed, just as dependable and smooth a writer.

5. Aspinal of London Organiser
If you prefer to customise the contents of your daily planner, this might be the one for you. You can also have the option of having it engraved with your name, initials, your pet's name... Pretty much anything you want!

6. Midori One Year Diary
Finally, a one year diary. When I start my job in August, I plan on writing a few lines every day as an emotional outlet. Also good for those who like keeping a journal :)

Beauty and Fashion

1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit in Surreal Light
A popular palette in the beauty world and a nice luxury gift for someone into their make-up. It also looks very pretty with its marble pattern packaging.

2. Liberty London Silk Scarf
The iconic Liberty scarf :) Good for someone into their fashion and labels!

3. Mikimoto Pearl Earrings
Pearl earrings are a timeless classic and these ones have a clover design to them just above the pearl. A good gift for pretty much anyone who has their ears pierced! They are work safe and will also look good for an evening/night out so they'll get plenty of wear.

4. Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb Perfume
I'm biased here as I've been wearing this perfume for the last six years and it is my go-to fragrance. However, alternatives could be a Jo Malone perfume or even a custom one made at a boutique perfumery.

5. A Tiffany Necklace
A classic graduation gift here and only included because its so cliché! I'm not a fan of them personally but their simple design means that they are also timeless and go with pretty much any outfit.


1. Fornasetti Profumi Sol Di Capri Scented Candle
Whilst browsing the Harrods website, I found these candles from Fornasetti Profumi. The packaging is just so pretty (there are many other designs) and once the candle has been burnt, they can be re-used for something else, such as storing little trinkets in.

2. Johnston's of Elgin Cashmere Throw
A soft throw is an excellent addition to a bedroom or a living space that is crying out for something a little extra. This cashmere one will keep you warm and look good while doing so.

3. Neom Happiness Reed Diffuser
If candles aren't your thing, how about a reed diffuser? Great for those of us who are too lazy and accident prone to burn a candle!

Note: there are no affiliate links in this blog post. I will not receive commission for anything purchased through these links.

2 Jul 2017

my week #272

So my planner pages are really plain this week which is usually a reflection of how busy I've been. With it now being just over three weeks until the foundation programme starts (eek!), I'm preparing for that, preparing for my holiday (I leave the UK for just over a week on Friday!) and just sorting some general life admin. Everything seems to have come at once which has made things even more stressful!

How has your week been? And how do you cope with times such as these?