Penny pinching

I'm getting a new mattress delivered tomorrow (for free - perks that came with the boyfriend) and I decided I needed to buy some new bedding. I bought a new down comforter and a duvet cover from But being as indecisive as I am about bedding for some reason, I bought them in two separate installments, a couple of hours apart. The shipping is only $1 for each item, but I decided to try and get both delivered for $1. Why? I'm not sure...maybe I need help. Nonetheless, I thought it was pretty funny and so did the boyf. It really wasn't very hard at all. Here's the online chat convo I had with a customer service rep:

Nancy: Hi, my name is Nancy. How may I help you?  
Aki: hi nancy 
Aki: i just made two orders today 
Aki: within a span of couple hours 
Aki: maybe less 
Aki: just wondering if i could package them together and pay shipping for both 
Aki: instead of separately 
Nancy: I am sorry, we cannot make any changes to an existing order. 
Aki: really? 
Aki: u cant refund me $1? 
Nancy: I will see what best can be done about this. 
Nancy: For security purposes, could you please verify the full name and billing address, including the city, state and zip code? 
Aki: ____
Nancy: Thank you. 
Aki: you're welcome 
Nancy: As we value your business, we will issue the shipping fee of $1 to your payment method used once the order is processed. 
Aki: thank you!! 
Aki: I appreciate that! 
Nancy: You are most welcome. 
Nancy: Once refund is issued, you will receive an email confirmation to your email address on file. Nancy: Any other concerns?

This is where I got distracted making this blog post due to encouragement from the boyfriend. 

Nancy: I’ll remain available for another minute or two if you need further assistance. 
Aki: oh no that's it 
Aki: thank you!

I'm a penny pincher, what can I say?


9.11.01 - Remembrance

Sept. 11th Memorial -

The saddest day I've ever experienced.

Saturday Morning Breakfast and my Diet

I always make my Saturday morning breakfasts a bit special since during the week I only get to have cereal. This is what I had yesterday:

I am also currently on a diet. Ive been using this website called available through my local gym (the YMCA) to keep track of my my exercise regimen and my food! If you have this available at your gym, you should definitely do it (you can check if you do here)! It counts my calories for me and depending on the amount of exercise I've done (or not) that day, gives me the total number of calories I should eat to still keep track of my goal of losing 1lb a week. It also keeps track of my nutrition and tells me if I've had too much cholesterol and not enough protein, etc. My total goal is to lose 8lbs but I'm more concerned with toning my body to the point that I'm satisfied than the number of pounds I lose. 

Yesterday, I worked out for an hour at the gym so I had 1400 calories to spend (today, since I didn't go to the gym, I have 1175 calories to spend). So, this is what I had for breakfast on Saturday!

Breakfast (approximations):
One scrambled egg with onions: 100 cal
One 8 grain tortilla heated: 100 cal
A few sauteed potatoes w/cumin seeds, red chilli powder, salt and pepper (DELICIOUS btw): 100 cal
1 cup of skim milk: 90 cal
1 banana: 100 cal

TOTAL: 490 calories

That was about a third of my daily allowance, so I still had 2 meals to go! Also, they say breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day, then lunch, and finally dinner should be the lightest. Counting calories can be a bit difficult to keep up and it requires discipline but it keeps me from overeating (which I do a lot) and even eating for no reason or out of boredom (which I also do a lot).

What do you guys do to keep fit and healthy?


Happy Labor Day!

Hope everyone's enjoying the 3-day weekend (if you have one)! I know I am. 2nd best part of 3-day weekends? 4-day weeks. Yessss. 3rd best part? The sales. I did some shopping this weekend. Did you?

I tried to find some business outfits I could wear to clinical meetings and patient interactions which is at least once a week. Here is some inspiration I have found on pinterest (these are all in my "Clothes" board). LOVE pinterest, btw.


Aren't they gorgeous? I wish I could afford all those direct from the source! But these are my inspiration and I will strive for them!


Current obsession

Since this past year I have taken a keen interest in buying nail polish and painting my nails. Two years ago, I didn't care about my nails and I didn't really own very many bottles of nail polish. I had gotten a $7 manicure in Manhattan a couple of times when I lived there but other than that I don't think I felt like I had the time! However, last year, during my difficult and at times miserable year in grad school when all I did was study, I felt like I needed a little pampering. So, I started painting my nails! It was a great way to chill out and make myself feel polished and pretty at the same time. I couldn't afford to go get a manicure regularly so I did it myself at home. This is my current nail polish collection to date:

As you can see, most of my collection is made up of the NYC brand. This is probably the cheapest nail polish out there and for me it works quite well. You can get them for under $1 at Target most of the time. For a girl like me, who's on a budget, they are perfect and a lot of the brighter colors are quite trendy right now too.  The Revlon nail polish on the far left is probably my most expensive (around $4) and my momma bought that one for me =).

This is the color I'm wearing today, NYC's Times Square Tangerine Creme. It's a bright reddish orange:

It's really fun and summery and totally trendy right now. Seeing how summer is officially over after this weekend, I decided to wear this color to prolong it as long as possible!!

What's your favorite brand of nail polish? What's your favorite color?


Thrifting Fail + What I left behind

I went thrifting yesterday for the first time in a few weeks (since school started) and I found diddly squat. It was disappointing but still great to get out and back into a thrift store! I actually enjoyed it a lot. I did find these two items which caught my eye (I left them behind) but I have no idea what they are! I'm guessing some kind of accounting/billing thing? Anyone want to enlighten me?

They look pretty awesome don't they? Would you have bought one or both???

Happy September!



Hurricane Irene aftermath

Well I'm back in town, Irene is gone, and school is on! In case you were curious, the following pictures describe what Irene left around my neighborhood. It got much worse than this around other parts of town so I consider myself pretty lucky. I never lost power or water and though cable tv/internet was gone for a night I have it back today.

This fish got left behind after the flooding receded.
Concrete steps got knocked around by the flooding and wind.

I hope others who were affected by the storm are safe and sound and don't have to deal with too much damage!


Hurricane Irene is coming

Waves break on the beach at Buxton, NC on Friday, August 26, 2011 as Hurricane Irene approaches the Outer Banks. (Steve Early | The Virginian-Pilot)

I was evacuated out of my city on the Southeastern coast of Virginia. Actually I left before the mandatory evacuation was even called....and I'm so glad I did! Thanks to encouragement of my boyfriend and parents. I kind of wanted to stay to ride out the storm and experience the rush, but it's probably more smart to leave. The storm surge is expected to be up to 9 feet, and living in a flood zone, it just didn't make sense for us to stay.

Those who are riding out the storm out there, stay safe and Good luck!


School is kicking into high gear

and I'm afraid I won't have time to do....ANYTHING! I don't want to have that approach though. I'm a bit more mature age-wise than at least half the students and I don't want to fall into the old undergraduate pattern of studying and going to class that so many people do (which is: study all day and night, maybe go to class, get very little sleep and then do the same the next day until the weekend when steam is blown off by getting trashed at a bar).  I need to have some semblance of a life outside school. Something to do besides study and I'm going to try my darndest to do it. I mean, I have a boyf and little doggie (this sweet face was waiting for me when I got home)

to take care of and spend time with too. Some (or many...ok, most) medical schools will make it hard for you to do this. However, I think it's important to realize, it's not about the grades. It's about what you learn. In medical school you study for your patient, not your next test. I will not embrace gunner status. I will do the best I can with the resources and time I have and still maintain my relationships and my sanity (and this can apply to anyone who feels busy/overwhelmed/everyone!).

There are med students in my class who are married and have kids, too. More power to them. It's gonna be rough but if they can get through it and still make time for their kids, I can get through it too.

My pretty flowers need my time too! (this sunflower just bloomed - after FOREVER)

(sorry for the grainy pics - I lost my camera battery charger and my phone camera sucks!)


My new little craft corner

Yesterday I promised a picture of my new craft nook. In a corner in my living room there's a sweet little table where I can look out the window, bask in the sunshine, and not worry about a thing =)

By the way, that's the tiny little sewing machine made for babies that I wrote about many moons ago!


It's Saturday

and I'm still tired. Yesterday I took the hippocratic oath and received my white coat. I nearly lost it on stage and started tearing but I got a hold of myself. It's been a long journey 'til this point and I guess it's overwhelming that I'm finally here. Most of my class is straight out of undergrad - maybe they lost the sense of accomplishment and significance of the moment. But it was definitely not lost on me. I'm three years out and it took me 2 attempts to get into medical school. I entered the workforce for a couple of years and even got a Master's degree on the way. Boy do I understand the privileged position I'm in. My parents came down for the ceremony and I was glad to share it with them and the boyf. It feels like my life is finally beginning!

I missed a thrifty Thursday edition this past apologies! But, medical school kind of took over. I did go thrifting today but sadly, I found nothing. I went to a couple new stores but it seemed like everything was way over-priced. Sometimes I want to go up to management and say, "Do you realize you run a thrift store and not a designer boutique?" I mean where do some of these prices come from? I should have taken a couple of pictures but I definitely was not expecting a beat up side table to cost me $100. Frustrating doesn't even begin to describe the situation.

In better news, I was finally able to set up my new little craft nook. I had bought a table from Ikea up near my parents' house. But when it came time to come back here, it wouldn't fit in the car with all my other luggage! So, when my parents came down for the ceremony, they graciously brought it with them for me. I'll share a pic of what it looks like tomorrow when I have some natural light to take good photos. Hope everyone's relaxing during this weekend!



First day of the rest of my life

First day of med school today. It was pretty boring....learning about loan disbursement and repayment, where to park, getting IDs, etc.

Thinking about starting an etsy shop because I'm having a bit of a surplus in thrifted items/pyrex.

Pretty tired right now....can you tell? I'm still planning on doing a tutorial on how to make some thrifty artwork. Stay tuned! It's coming, I promise =)


Thrifty Thursday on Friday

Yes, I'm still alive!

We just got back home from:

1. Renovating a house with the boyf's parents
2. Visiting my parents
3. Having a reunion at the beach with some college friends!

We had a great time but I'm ready to stop hopping around the east coast. Plus, school starts Monday....dun dun dun! First day of the first year of medical school! Am I excited? Mmmm....kind of. I'm excited to begin the first steps in my career as a doctor but I'm not excited to start cramming a mountain of information into my tiny wittle brain...

Anyway, on our way home from....everywhere, I totally made a few stops and collected some thrifty items! Take a look see:

I found this hounds-tooth fabric and thought it'd make some fabulous, modern throw pillows for the living room couch. 

I was collecting these pots for three succulent plants I got from Ikea. As you can see one of them (on the right) died a little while we were away. Yes, I killed a succulent - the hardest plants to kill =(.

I thought this table cloth was pretty. I wanted to use it outdoors on our new balcony (which I'll share later) but it might have to stay indoors.

Last, I saw this tray and I couldn't look away. It has no markings and I have no idea what it is...anyone is welcome to let me know. But the colors are awesome.

Here's the grand total: