fall additions

9.17 fall additions

one | two *| three | four

five *| six | seven | eight | nine

ah, fall. my favorite season. it’s also my favorite season to dress for – I love a good knit. I always spend the most on clothing in the fall, and this year is no exception, although it was a bit more tempered by the fact that I’m still on the job hunt. all in all, I’m really pleased with the handful of things I’ve purchased so far. I’m particularly digging that blazer cardigan from j.crew factory (it’s 100% cotton, thick, and well-made) and the michael kors loafers (like butter on my feet…I might need them in black, too). have you picked up anything for the new season?

I’ll be sharing pics of our apartment soon, now that we’ve settled in a bit. have a good week!

*these links will take you to my personal thirty-one website. I make no money from clicking through the link, only if you were to place an order through me. just fyi. :)

city apartment

IMG_5435it’s official: we have an apartment! I’m half excited and half still in shock over the cost of rent in this city (it’s bananas, y’all!). the rent is eye-watering, but we’ll be right in the middle of the city, blocks away from fenway and the famous citgo sign above. I’m incredibly grateful to my in-laws for letting us stay with them while we were apartment hunting. our move-in date is next friday.

since we drove out to boston with only the things we could carry in bess, our buick century, we had next to nothing in terms of furniture/household items. I’ve been shopping for the apartment over the past couple of days, being intentional in buying only items that we need AND love. it’s got to work for us on all levels – function, style, quality, and price. if something’s not quite right, it doesn’t come home with me.  I’d love to share some of the items that have made the cut in upcoming posts. it’s been several years since we’ve had our own place, so I’ve definitely been stockpiling ideas on how to decorate our new home!

here’s a before photo in the meantime:IMG_5433it’s small and I’m not digging the wall-to-wall carpeting, but it’s ours and we’re together. plus, I did say I wanted a white kitchen… ;).


a new adventure

hello from boston! we arrived in town last thursday night after driving through indiana, ohio, new york, and pretty much all of massachusetts. there’s nothing like a road trip to remind you how big & wide this country is!

we decided to make a little trip out of it instead of just powering through the 16-hour drive. we stopped for lunch in toledo, oh and stopped for dinner and the night in buffalo, ny. the next day we visited niagara falls (it was james’ first time!), stopped for lunch in utica, ny, and made it to boston in time for dinner at my in-laws.

I’m so glad we did it that way – we were both in need of a little break, and it was nice to be able to take our time and let ourselves take in the scenery along the way.

IMG_5378img_5393.jpgour little buick, packed to the brim

IMG_5381IMG_5380IMG_5379IMG_5383a food coma at tony packo’s (still dreaming about that stuffed cabbage!)

IMG_5391IMG_5413IMG_5402IMG_5401IMG_5404IMG_5411the original buffalo wings by night, niagara falls boat tour (aka, the site of jim & pam’s wedding) at the falls by day

IMG_5415amazing pad thai at a gem of a restaurant we found in utica

IMG_5416nothing says ‘welcome to massachusetts’ better than a bottle of polar



may clothing budget

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven


st. james x j. crew shirt: $89 $40 on sale + student discount

lauren ralph lauren crossbody: $168 $75 on sale

madewell necklace: $45 $10 on sale + student discount

j. crew factory skirt: $79.50 $32 on sale

j. crew factory tee: $29.50 $11 on sale

j. crew cap-toe flats: $118 $41 on sale + student discount

sperry boat shoes: $90

total: $299

remaining budget for june & july: $201

we’ll be moving to Boston in the beginning of August, which means we need to get serious about planning our move and all of the costs associated with that. to help keep our spending on the lighter end for the next little while, I’m going to start listing out my monthly purchases here on the blog, to keep me accountable and also to share with you guys the things I’m loving & buying. 5% of my present income is about $2000, so that gives me about $500 per quarter to play with for clothing, which is a category that includes everything that I wear (clothes, shoes, accessories) but not makeup.


may was a bit spendy – graduation + all the sales + some actual time off of school over the holiday weekend made for a costly combination. but still, I love what I ended up getting. the purse was a bit of a splurge, even at such a steal of a price since I didn’t really need it and wasn’t looking for a new bag, but I couldn’t resist the classic, timeless shape and ultimately bought it as a graduation present.


what fun stuff have you found lately? have a good weekend!





presents newly graduated nurses would love




after 3 years of intense study, I am 6 weeks away from finishing nursing school! I cannot wait. after getting asked so many times by family and friends about graduation presents I’d like to receive, I figured it was finally time to go ahead and do a legit visual gift guide for the new nurse. here’s what made my list:

healthy snack subscription | as a nurse, every day is unpredictable and taking a break to eat sometimes gets pushed back for awhile. to fend off getting hangry/hypoglycemic, I always keep snacks on hand. I’m not above snacking on the occasional candy bar, but I try to keep my snacks somewhat healthy. having snacks delivered to my door has been a lifesaver for the rotations when grocery shopping was next to impossible. healthy & convenient = great gift.

fancy stethoscope | this was the gift I requested from my parents. I had a perfectly good stethoscope that I used all through nursing school, but getting a more sensitive stethoscope is probably the most classic graduation present for someone in health care, and my parents wanted to gift me something substantial. I had my married name and future title engraved on the bell for that extra touch.

apple watch | any watch with a second hand will do, so this is definitely not a necessity but would make an awesome gift nonetheless. I actually got the apple watch 2 Christmases ago from James, and I have loved using it on the floor. I love being able to quickly and discreetly scan texts and emails without taking out my phone, and I like that it keeps track of my activity level throughout the day as well. I use mine with a silicone band (tons of options on amazon, no need to buy the $50 version from Apple) to make disinfecting after a shift as easy as wiping with an alcohol swab.

portable chargers | of course, what good are fancy gadgets if they don’t have any power? this portable charger is the size of a tube of lipstick – perfect for scrub pockets! – and this keychain makes charging the apple watch on-the-go a breeze. don’t forget the lighting cable!

fleece jacket | hospitals/clinics tend to be cold, so I always like having an extra, no-fuss, versatile layer hanging around. I love these jackets from Columbia.

no-sweat tumbler | for all his/her hot/cold beverage needs. I love that I don’t have to worry about condensation and that it keeps my coffee hot and my water cold for hours. get it in stainless steel for 25% off through June 4. you can also personalize it here (free with purchase through 6/4) or make it part of a set by tossing in a gift card and some reusable straws.

phone wallet | nobody has time to look after a wallet while on the floor. I keep my license, my debit card, and my gas card in this case in my daily life, but on the floor, it comes in super handy whenever I make a quick coffee run down to the cafeteria.

compression socks | because standing on your feet for 12 hours is no joke. my legs feel so much better after a shift when I wear these, but they’re expensive. gifting a pretty pair or two would be a surefire hit.

lunch box* | ironically, eating healthy isn’t exactly my forte. I’ve worked on eating better by bringing my lunch most days. I love this lunchbox – it’s big enough to hold 12+ hours worth of food containers. I can easily fit 2 average sized glass containers, 3 or 4 cans of sparkling water, some snacks and pieces of fruit, with room to spare. plus, I love that they can be personalized!

something snarky | because to do nursing day in and day out, you have to be willing to laugh – and at yourself, too! :)

ID reference cards | handy for reviewing some concepts, especially when you’re new to the floor and trying to find your bearings. love that they just clip on to your ID badge for whenever you need a little bit of a refresher.

fellow nurses, any gift ideas I missed? let me know below – I’d love to see your recommendations!

enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!

*full disclosure: I am an independent consultant for thirty-one, but I loved and bought their products before I became a consultant. short&lovely readers can receive free shipping and 10% off their order placed here through May 30. send me an email at shortandlovelyhes@gmail.com after you’ve placed your order, and I will apply the discount retroactively.

wearing my heart on my sleeve


the future is female | woman up (similar) | introvert!

…or chest, rather. I’ve been wearing statement sweatshirts nonstop the past month or so. not only are they insanely comfortable, they’ve also been a way to let a little of my personality & thoughts shine through.

they’ve been the sartorial edition of conversation starters. I’ve gotten so many compliments from and engaged in conversations with so many people I don’t know. in these challenging times, talking to each other more can only be a good thing.

what have you been loving to wear lately?

p.s. the ‘introvert!’ one just kills me! I call it my ‘quiet jazz hands’ sweatshirt (said with the aforementioned jazz hands) , which makes my husband laugh like crazy. I’m totally digging the subtle irony. how very introvert of me. ;)

p.p.s. these shirts are great, too, and incredibly relevant.

clinical rotation essentials


one | two | three | four | five | six | seven

eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen

I now have less than 6 months of nursing school left, and I figured it was long past time that I compiled a list of the things that I’ve found to be essential while on clinical. with every clinical rotation I’ve completed, I’ve taken a look at what supplies I ended up using the most and what I didn’t use at all. 6 clinical rotations in, these are what I never go without.

one | you never know what the temperature will be like on the floor, but I’ve found that I prefer having a base layer underneath my scrub top. not only does it give me a little warmth, I also like having something soft against my skin instead of the stiff cotton of our student scrub top. these tops are made of jersey-like material, which makes them soft and stretchy, but they also hold their shape and fit close to the body so that I don’t add unnecessary bulk up top. they come in a dozen different colors, hold up well in the wash, and have gotten a ton of rave reviews.

two | aside from your stethoscope, good shoes are probably the most important thing to have on clinical. I started out with a pair of regular leather sneakers, but then upgraded to these as I found the sneakers didn’t have enough support for an entire 8 or 12-hr clinical day. they do need a little breaking in, and it took me a minute to get used to the fact that my heel was supposed to go up and down with each step, but now they’ve molded to my feet. I can’t imagine spending hours on my feet in anything else. some of my friends don’t like them because they do add a little height (about 1.5″), but to me, that’s a plus! :)

three | ok, ok…an apple watch is not an essential, but a watch is, specifically one with a second hand. I put the apple watch in the collage because it’s what I personally use when I’m on the floor. I pick a face that has a second hand and make sure that I use a sport band that’s made of easy-to-clean silicone. it’s also a nice way to keep connected to the outside world on break or when I get a moment (in the bathroom…ha!) without having to take out my phone.

four | compression socks are amazing. that is all. I’ve tried several kinds but I’ve found these have a good amount of compression, stay up, & are pretty (equally important). I never thought I’d buy $25 socks, but they’re worth it in my book.

five | I’ve quickly learned that it’s never a bad idea to have a snack in your scrub pocket in the event that you have a crazy busy day and don’t make it to lunch until 2 p.m. (if ever). I tend to get hypoglycemic, so I always make sure to have one of these bars on hand. they’re delicious & fit perfectly in my scrub pocket.

six | a pen light is super important when doing physical & mental assessments. I found this one in the hardware/automotive section of target of all places, but I like it way better than any “medical” version I’ve found. it has a clip, shines brightly, and it has a click mechanism that isn’t easily engaged, saving your batteries for when you’re actually going to use it.

seven | most patient rooms I’ve worked in  have these dry erase boards that are used to communicate some basic important information – the patient’s name, goals for the day, nurse, nurse assistant, schedule for pain meds, etc. the markers that come with the boards are prone to go missing, so I’ve found it best to have my own so I can update as necessary without having to hunt a marker down.

eight | it’s always good to have a pair of scissors on you. whether it’s to cut some tape or bandages or to open a stubborn pill foil, they’re a life saver. plus, you’ll look really prepared when the nurse/doctor fumbles around for one and you can lend them yours. ;)

nine | I’ve come to be really well-versed in a lot of the medications I see given to patients, but of course, every once in a while, there’s a drug that I’m not familiar with. this pocket drug book is perfect for those situations when I don’t have time to log in and look up the drug information on the computer.

ten | I carry two pens with me when I’m on shift – one with black ink (for official documentation) and one with colorful ink, like purple (for making easy-to-spot notes on my copy of the patient’s chart at report). click pens are best because no one has the time to recap or look for caps, plus the little clip lets me anchor it to my top or pants easily. I’m partial to these from muji. I also like to keep a cheap pen on hand (usually given by the hospital/clinic) in case I lose my pen or, more likely, for when a doctor or friend asks to borrow a pen. this way, I don’t feel bad if that pen never gets returned.

eleven | I must wash/disinfect my hands at least 50 times per shift, and it shows. my hands get very dry from all that scrubbing & alcohol, so I make sure to regularly use some hand cream. this one from l’occitane in the original shea butter is my go-to. it’s rich without feeling greasy, it absorbs and gets in really deep, and I find the scent to be soothing and subtle. I keep a travel-sized tube permanently in my nursing bag.

twelve | nursing involves a lot of paperwork. this folding clipboard has been great at keeping all of them together. I love that it folds so that I can put papers away in my pocket but then can take it out and unfold it to a regular clipboard for when I have to  do some documentation. it is expensive for what it is, but the folding feature is so convenient.

thirteen | this one’s obvious: a stethoscope. I have 2, one from Littmann and one from MDF (pictured above). there’s some debate as to which stethoscope brand is the best. I think if you invest in a good quality stethoscope (any brand), I think the better stethoscope is the one being used by the clinician with the better ears. clinically, I’ve been happy with both of my stethoscopes, and I think they’ve both been more than sufficient for nursing school. I’ve been using the MDF one more often lately because it’s slightly longer than the Littmann one, making it easier for me to reach farther parts of the body without bending quite as much. I also like the all black aesthetic of it (my Littmann one has green-blue tubing). for graduation, I am asking my parents for an engraved Littmann cardiology IV stethoscope that I’ll use in my professional career.

fourteen | lastly, every nurse needs an id badge…why not make it fun? I have this one that I’m excited to wear in my OB rotation, but for other floors, this is my go-to. I do love my coffee, which is absolutely essential for all nursing activities. ;)

fellow (student) nurses, what are your go-tos? any big ones I missed? let me know in the comments!

new year, new post(s)



one | my goddaughter turned 1. where does the time go?!

two | a little slice of country in the city.

three | found a new little coffee spot near my work.

four | go-to date night: sushi!



one | hit the books hard.

two | coffee. always.

three | asian smorgasbord at h-mart.

four | alcohol-filled chocolates at christkindlmarkt.



one | my current closet (aka, 50 shades of grey).

two | powerful read.

three | the best ramen of my life.

four | my life philosophy.

it’s been a few months since I’ve posted around these parts. here’s a quick summary of what I’ve been up to the past 4 months. I hope you all had a lovely holiday season and a wonderful new year so far. one of my resolutions? get back into updating my blog. :)

I plan on making some changes, in addition to some of the ones I’ve done already. I’ve added a little “ask me anything’ widget in the top & right menu bars, so if there’s a question you’ve been dying to ask or a topic you’d like me to address, ask away! also, I’ll be posting more nursing-related things since that’s a huge part of my life these days. anything else you’d like to see? let me know!

and as always, you can follow along on instagram: @lovelyhes.

five things for fall


one | two | three | four | five

can you feel a hint of fall in the air? we’re still getting oppressively hot days in chicago but today and a day earlier this week, there’s been a bit of a snap in the air. I’m pretty good to go for this season clothes-wise, so the items I’m eyeing to add are accessories or the super luxe versions of the basic items I love in my closet.

these shoes are just so, so good. the color blocking is so chic, and I would instantly feel put together if I had those puppies on my feet. I love that they’re responsibly made to boot.

this might be the year that I spring for a cashmere cardigan. I love the color on this one, but I’m keeping my options open.

one of the best things about fall is how rich & cozy the season is. as the air gets chillier, everything intensifies with it. I’m looking forward to returning to heavier scents and layering it with this lotion. it’s apparently the brand’s best-selling scent, and I can see why. it’s warm and sexy and sophisticated and a little bit mysterious.

lastly, I’m excited to add this to my rotation of fall lip options and to finally snag this little guy.

what’s on your fall wish list?

the capsule wardrobe | fall 2016: clinicals


it certainly doesn’t feel like fall at all, but my academic year starts a week from today so I had to get started on a portion of my capsule wardrobe earlier than seasonally-appropriate. for this rotation, I’ll be required to wear business casual clothing at my clinical sessions. for my program, ‘business casual’ means no jeans, closed-toe shoes (with hosiery), and a semi-dressy top with a conservative neckline. keeping these requirements in mind, I took a good look at what I had in my closet and then pinpointed some pieces I needed to buy: some dressy shells, top layer options, more professional-looking flats, and a good pair of black trousers. some of the pieces above may look familiar because I highlighted them as things I was eyeing during the nordstrom anniversary sale. obviously, some things worked out!

one | the only item I purchased that wasn’t on sale were these pants. they were more expensive than I wanted, but they fit perfectly, are machine-washable, have good stretch but still structured, and highly recommended by my boss and several friends. I had planned on buying two pairs of trousers but ended up just buying just this pair because of the price and because no other pair came close in comparison.

two | I finally found a blazer that works for my body, so I bought it in three colors! they wouldn’t work for a completely business-attire environment, but for business casual, these are perfect. the knit is comfortable, and the open front is really flattering on me.

three | these flats are fierce, and I’m so glad that I guessed the right size before they sold out. this pair was a 2-for-1: I was looking to replace my pair of smoking slippers and for a pair of dressy flats.

four | these tanks are long enough on the bottom and high enough on the neckline to be appropriate, and I plan on wearing them underneath a cardigan or a blazer. they are a bit sheer open in the lower back, but I’ll have a layer on top to cover that detail during clinical. plus, that lets them be a great going-out option, too.

five | I was so pleased to find a long-sleeved blouse in a mixed-media design – the knit back is great for comfort & ease of movement. the neckline doesn’t come down too low (no hint of cleavage), and the tunic length & long sleeves make it a great piece that doesn’t require a top layer.

six | as for this cardigan, I wasn’t sure about the ruffles (I tend to like pieces that are a little more streamlined), but I was surprised to find that it looked really good on and added just the right amount of unexpected detail. the sweater part is the perfect light grey and is ridiculously soft.


these are the pieces that I already had, rounding out my 16-piece clinical capsule wardrobe.

seven | I couldn’t find this exact turtleneck online in the black but it comes in a bunch of other colors, and this is a thicker option. I like the tissue weight because it lies flat and makes it really easy to wear under other pieces of clothing.

eight | this cashmere sweater is actually from the men’s section. I prefer the way their version drapes on me as opposed to the women’s version.

nine | this cardigan is a great basic and is a workhorse staple in my wardrobe in general. the wool is warm but thin enough to not be too bulky.

ten | this is an old pair from via spiga that I scored at a great price at nordstrom rack a couple of years ago, but this is a similar pair in classic leather with a work-friendly kitten heel.

eleven | this coach bag was a christmas present a couple of years back. it’s such a great classic shape in a not-too-big but not-too-small size. sadly, coach no longer makes this exact style, but this, this, and this are similar.

twelve | aside from a watch and my wedding band, the only jewelry I’m allowed to wear is a pair of stud earrings. these are one of my favorites. I love that the raw cut of the herkimer diamond gives a little edgy twist to an otherwise classic earring.

thirteen | every nurse needs a watch with a second hand. I prefer to wear a watch with a metal or silicone band because it’s easier to disinfect and I don’t need to worry about getting it wet every time I wash my hands. this watch has a really versatile shape, and the pink second hand is a nice touch.

are you ready for fall?