Hiya! With a new semester right around the corner I wanted to share with you some of my best tips and tricks to get the semester rolling smoothly. Good luck and may the GPA God’s be ever in your favor.**
What am I up to this sem? This semester (Fall 2018) I am taking: PK/PD (pharmacokinetics and dynamics), Pharmacotherapeutics: Cardio/Renal/Women’s Health and Endocrine, Pharmacy Compounding, Pharmaceutical Care, US Healthcare & a Management Class. Although I am in pharmacy school, a very specialized program, these strategies to get organized for the semester are applicable to all students! Happy planning-
Graduate school is hard. I mean really hard. Long days and longer nights, no sleep, too much caffeine, meals on the go, Hulu deprivation, the list goes on… One thing that is really hard for a lot of us is finding ‘professional dress clothes’ and still having money left over for things like– food. Today I will be talking about how to find good clothes for LESS.
Being a busy grad student, I do not have time (unfortunately) for complicated and also expensive meals. Having spent a full year as a pharmacy student I have learned a lot about how to make fast, convenient, inexpensive and YUMMY meals/snacks for myself. In this post I want to highlight one of my all-time favorite options for breakfast.
If you’ve ever seen me in person, you would know that I do not go anywhere without my reusable water bottles. From work to the gym to always having one at my nightstand, my water bottles are like a modern day safety blanket. A safety blanket for our planet, our communities as well as our economy! Today I want to talk about why you should ditch your disposable plastic bottles (if you haven’t already) and swap it for a reusable-earth and user friendly-bottle! I also have rounded up some of my favorite water bottles* along with some of my current crushes! I hope you enjoy this post and are stayin’ hydrated!
6 Reasons to Ditch Your Disposable Bottles:
According to a Food & Water Watch Study conducted in 2009, it costs approximately 1000 times more money to drink bottled water than purified tap water! Woah. Sidebar: if you drink the recommended 8-8oz. glasses of water a day, that would cost you about $1,4000 in bottled water! Save your money-
According to BanTheBottle.Net: making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year.
There are major concerns for the harmful and carcinogenic compounds in disposable bottles like BPA (Bisphenol A) and estrogenic compounds. These are chemicals found in plastics that can actually leach out into our food and drinks through their packaging…yikes. These harmful chemicals, according to NCBI studies, are actually the cause of our endocrine (hormone) system becoming disrupted… that’s how they earned the nickname “endocrine disrupters!”
Dr. Gina Solomon, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, told The New York Times that “there is no reason to believe that bottled water is safer than tap water.
In the U.S., public water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which requires multiple daily tests for bacteria and makes results available to the public. The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates bottled water, only requires weekly testing and does not share its findings with the EPA or the public.
Last year, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38. Source: Here. WHAAAT. This is a sad and shocking statistic. In today’s day there are recycling bins next to almost every garbage can…
3 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a Reusable Water Bottle:
Inexpensive: though the upfront cost of a reusable bottle is going to seem steep, the return rate is much higher than a disposable bottle! Like that statistic above, $1,400 a year on disposables is a lot lot more than the $18 bottle you bought from Target.
Filling Stations: there are purified water stations all over nowadays! Businesses, parks, universities, even on the outside of your refrigerator!
Promotes Hydration: Current IOM (Institute of Medicine) recommends 3.7L for males and 2.7 for females… do you get enough water daily? Water is essential for all of our bodies processes like proper kidney and heart function, as well as transporting nutrients throughout our bodies, and even helping to flush out toxins and waste!
I know I said there were only three reasons: but this one is a possibility for some of you out there. Resusable water bottles come with personality & style. There are thousands to choose from at Target or Amazon or wherever! I love that water bottles are yet another expression of self! I have (too) many water bottles, each I use for different reasons like going to the gym or sitting in class! Staying hydrated is easy when you love sporting a fresh bottle!
How I Hydrate:
I do a few things on a daily basis to ensure that I drink enough water. Being female my recommended daily intake is about 2.7L. Because I work out 4 times a week and maintain a relatively active lifestyle I shoot for closer to 3.0-3.5L, or about a gallon! I also listen to my body, I definitely do not drink the same amount everyday, especially if I have a few cups of green tea!
Sidebar: it is possible to over-hydrate, which can be bad for your body as well! If you have thyroid or heart conditions like congestive heart failure, talk to your doctor about where your hydration levels should be! Also: listen to your body! The darker your urine the less hydrated you are, shoot for a clear or yellow-tinged! You can also perform the skin test: using two fingers pinch skin on the back of your hand and the let go, notice how long it takes your skin to return to normal position. It should spring right back if you are well hydrated! It is amazing what our bodies can tell us.
Tracking Water Intake:
The easiest way to track water intake is by buying a reusable bottle with measurements on the side, or drinking the entire bottle before refilling- that way you can track based on the size of the full bottle. Common sized of bottles are 500 and 1000mL, these are great for tracking! You can also use apps offered for Android and iPhone that allow you to actively keep track of how much water you intake. Some apps even remind you periodically to drink up! My favorite app is “My Water Balance” It is a free app for iPhone that allows your to track your hydration on a daily basis. It has a feature where you can actually add other drinks too, considering most liquids contain some water. You can also sink this with Apple Health! It also sends you reminders every few hours to stay hydrated and makes water tracking easy and fun!
Round Up: The Best Bottles Revealed
Below I have come up with a list of bottles/companies to fit every lifestyle and budget! I have noted the ones that I own personally and others which I have done some research on! Enjoy-
Nalgene: these are great ‘active’ bottles. Made of BPA free and dishwasher safe plastic, these are a great steal. At around $9-12 dollars these are a great fix to your #waterbottleproblems. Click here for my favorite.
S’well: this is a more #instagrammable bottle for sure! With popularity at yoga studios and the like these are awesome bottles for those looking for personality in a bottle. With a wide range of sizes, patters and colors, S’well bottles would made an awesome addition to your fam. Here is the one I have! What I love most about these bottles is the dual insulated material: it can keep liquids hot or cold for over 12 hours! Great for long days in the heat or winter weather. For my wine lovers out there: the 25oz. holds an entire bottle of wine- great for picnics! Prices vary but range from 25-45$. #WorthIt #TreatYoself
Healthy Human: This is a new found favorite of mine! I currently use a tumbler and am eyeing up a few of their larger bottles. These are gorgeous Instagram worthy bottles great for the everyday active! Use my link for 15% off your purchase! These eco-friendly, BPA free bottles NEED to be in your life.
Camelbak: I have two camelbak bottles and I love them! They are great for outdoor activities because they are tough and can handle a few bumps and bruises. These bottles are extremely similar to Nalgene in my opinion but most camelbaks offer a built-in straw which is great for running or outdoor activities. Here is a personal favorite. Prices range from about $10-$15, a very affordable, eco-conscious buy!
Hydro-Flask: I haven’t personally tried this brand but I have many friends who love theirs! After a little research I think that the Hydro-Flask is comparable to Healthy Human in terms of style and price! Here is a great option.
Contigo: These are great, wallet friendly options for both water bottles and travel tumblers! There range between 10 and 20 dollars. Target has a wide variety, check out my favorite right now.
BKR: If you are like me and have a slight obsession with aesthetics, this bottle is for you. I got this on my birthday last year and I still swoon over it everyday. This silicone wrapper glass bottle is perfect for a diva bunny like me. They are pricey but I personally feel that the design, as well as the glass bottle itself makes it worth it. Though stainless steel is also great to drink out of, glass is easier to keep clean and will never give that slight aluminum taste you can get with certain canteen style bottles. Shop my BKR here.
Purist: These bottles are great for high intensity workouts when chugging out of a wide-mouth bottle just won’t do. Purist offers special caps that turn the bottles into high-flo squeeze bottles perfect for running or HIIT! Purist bottles are customizable too! You will often see them sold by other companies with their branding on them. I own two Lululemon bottles and pretty much only use them for workouts! They were $9(sale) and $18. I would highly recommend this bottle for those of you that like to get your sweat on! Here is a favorite of mine on Amazon.
Well there you have it! My round up of (reusable) water bottles. I hope that you spotted one that you like, and that if you are not already on the #reusable water bottle bandwagon, that you get on it ASAP.
What is your favorite reusable bottle? Let me know in the comments below!
As always stay connected! Follow me on Instagram and twitter (@blondiepharma) for more fun and tips!
*Blondie Pharma is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Please visit ‘Legal’ for full disclosure.
How To Stay Sun-Damage Free While Still Achieving Bronze Goddess Status:
Hello and welcome back to BlondiePharma! Today we need to talk, some serious bizz. Sun damage, and more importantly skin cancer are nothing to take lightly. I think our generation has totally missed the boat on this… lots of us love the tan physique in the summer months, and who can blame us, right? wrong.*
Among obvious reasons, un-protected sun exposure is bad for you, your skin and your overall health. High on our radar– melanoma and other skin cancers like a squamous cell carcinomas. Un-protected skin exposure also causes age spots (solar lentigo) as well as premature aging in skin, like wrinkles. If those aren’t reasons enough to stay in the shade, here is one more… many people claim their reasoning for unprotected exposure is their “VitaminD daily requirements.” Vitamin D is absolutely important to us. Our body absorbs VitD through either our skin or from foods we eat, it is transported through our body to our liver, where is it ‘activated’ into calcitriol, the most active form of Vitamin D. Calcitriol is a steroid hormone very active in mineral homeostasis, or the balance of minerals in our bodies! Vitamin D will aid mainly in intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphate. These processes are crucial for bone/teeth health and development, our immune and nervous systems as well as aiding in regulation of insulin levels (the hormone that regulates our blood sugar.) Though you can get Vitamin D from the sun (cholecalciferol), it is not a reliable nor healthy source, especially in climates far from the equator! Here are some dietary ways (ergocalciferol) to get your recommended daily amount of 600 IU (Source: National Institute of Health) of Vitamin D: egg yolks, wild-caught fatty fish, yogurt, shitake mushrooms, orange juice, oatmeal, spinach and kale! The government recommends talking to your doctor about supplementing your diet with VitaminD, especially in climates with minimal sun exposure. When it comes to supplementing Vitamin D, make sure you take the tablet/capsule/gummy/drops with food becuase Vitamin D (like Vitamins: A, E & K) are fat soluble vitamins, so without a meal consisting of some fat, your body will not be able to absorb the vitamin! If you have any questions reach out to your pharmacist of primary care doc for more info.!
So, that’s great and all; it is easy to see the harm associated with unprotected sun exposure, but that doesn’t really do my german and irish decided skin tone any justice. So I, and I am sure many others, have a problem, but know that there is a solution, and it is a good one!
Yes, self-tanner. Yes there are myths and negatives associated with self-tanners but I am here to ‘myth-bust’ them all for you. First the basics:
Self-Tanner Pro’s: Easy! This is so easy you won’t believe it. Another pro is that if you are fair skinned, you may actually see more color from a self-tanner rather than baking out in the sun. Also, when I lay out in the sun for an extended period of time I get blotchy and hot and sweaty and that is now a problem of the past!! Another positive is that most self-tanners have good moisturizers, fresh scents and built in SPF! Triple threat say heeey. Maintenance and removal are also a breeze, lately I apply Bondi-Sands ~once a week, using a gradual tan moisturizer during the week. I also love the self-tanner allows me to feel confident, and now I can spend my time outside being not only protected but also doing what I love, instead of baking like a cupcake.
Self-Tanner also allows you to layer up the SPF 55 (or greater), focusing on protecting your skin while still feeling confident in the summertime! You can focus on the best parts of summer: friends, family and all the adventures, instead of wasting time laying out and increasing your risk of skin cancers (and wrinkles.)
Self-Tanner Cons: It requires a decent amount of preparation to ensure a streak free, non-orangey tan, but let me tell you it is worth it every single time. (I also consider this skin-prep a form of self care! It feels good to take care of my body more than just doing the bare min.) Self-tanner can also be pricey if you use it all the time (I have attached some really affordable options though!) It is possible to stain clothes if you don’t allow yourself to dry completely, a hard lesson to learn…
Some people may experience Contact Dermatitis (skin rash, allergic like reaction) due to ingredient(s) in the self-tanner. If you know what ingredients you are sensitive to avoid those in a self-tanner by checking the ingredients on the label! I am severely sensitive to Benzoyl Peroxide, a common ingredient in acne mediations and products, so whenever I try something new I always avoid that ingredient. I recently found an AMAZING, and I mean amazing app, for skincare and makeup junkies concerned about their health and products that they choose to use in and on their body. This App, Think Dirty (Free App!) allows you to search everyday products that you use and get feedback on the chemicals and ingredients in the product. I will link an example below of my tried and true Cetaphil Everyday Moisturizer. Disclaimer: I definitely do not treat this app as the ingredient-safety bible, I do however try to stay mindful of what products I buy and which ingredients are inside, see the example below!
Okay so I have rounded up a few products which I have personally tested. I rated each item based on a the categories: ease of application, color/darkness, scent/irritations & longevity. Keep reading to find out the winner!!
This product was the first self-tanner I ever tried!
What I Like: First impression is a very rich consistency and a subtle scent. After applying generously I noticed no change the same day. The second day I noticed a very subtle glow! It was definitely noticeable more so after another application. Overall I think it did a nice, but very subtle job at tanning my skin. This would be great when you just want a little boost to a current tan, or using the day before a party!
What I Do Not Like: The tan was too subtle for my liking. I think this product is a better adjuvant to another tanning system. I originally liked the rich texture but when applying once a day to the whole body, it becomes more of a back and bicep workout.
Final Verdict: I would rate this a 7.5 out of 10 overall but a 8.5/10 if you just consider using it as a touch-up or everyday moisturizer to enhance another tan.
I also tried the Jergens Oil-Free Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer w/ SPF and liked it a lot. It was $8 at Walgreens but here is the link. Great supplement product as well, much thinner and silkier consistency than the ‘for body.’
What I Like: This is by far the best application style ever. I loved it! It was easy to use the towelette, and it helped to make sure you didn’t miss any spots or get streaky! I really liked the subtle scent and how clean the application process was. I noticed a few hours later a subtle tan and the next day even more so. I used 3 towelettes for a pretty decent tan.
What I Do Not Like: These are PRICEY. I first tried these as a gift w/ purchase from Ulta for spending God knows how much money… They are too expensive for me to use all the time but great for on the go! I could totally see taking a stash of wipes with you on a vacation to avoid TSA issues with a tanning bottle! Again like the Jergens, I felt the tan was really subtle, if this is what you are looking for then BINGO. I would ultimately use this product in between a darker spray tan or self-tanner.
Final Verdict: This has the best application process, I was so impressed. I would love to see more color after application but this is so innovative I can’t help but to love. I also have used SunBum Sunscreens and lip protectants and love them!! You can purchase at Amazon.com or Ulta.
What I Like: Application was easy. This product is a thinner more workable texture, reminded me of an oil rather than a lotion. It had a slight shimmer which I didn’t mind because it did not look like glitter. I did see immediate color.
What I Do Not Like: This was an expensive splurge product, I was disappointed because the bang for buck was minimal at best. This was super orange in my opinion. I prefer a more beige/brown undertone, to prevent the Jersey-Shore circa 2009 look…
I would definitely not recommend this product, save your dollars people.
What I Like: The application process was pretty easy. I originally bought the starter kit (highly recommend) and used the mit from the kit to apply to foam. I let it sit for about 6 hours then showered off the excess, voila! a gorgeous dark and natural tan. I was so impressed I had to show everyone my natural new tan. This was the darkest any product or any amount of time in the sun had given me to date.
What I Do Not Like: This is a time consuming process, but stay tuned for a way to shorten it! This is a little pricey but a little goes a long way! That being said I would definitely recommend this product!
What I Like: This is a spray application process! I loved the easy of applying right after the shower, letting dry for about 20 minutes and off you go! I also LOVE the scent, it’s a warm blend of vanilla and coconut. It lasts about 6 days before need for reapplication but overall love it! This is a shorter less time-consuming version of the tanning foam talked about above. Scroll down for my full routine!
What I Do Not Like: Honestly, not much! This product is my go-to all summer!
100% recommend to a friend (and I have and will continue too!)
Here are some step-by-steps and pictures of how to self-tan with the dry oil, and how it turned out!
First I shower, shave and exfoliate. I use a dry-brush to get off all the dead skin cells, paying special attention to my elbows, knees and ankles.
I then moisturize the palms of my hands, my ankles/feet, knees and elbows.
Next I use the Bondi Sands Dry Oil and spray it evenly all over my body. I try to do this relatively fast to prevent any splotching.
In long circular motions I use a tanning mit to spread the tanning oil
I let myself dry for a few minutes and then dress in loose old clothing to avoid any stains. After 24 hours the tan will develop to its darkerst shade.
To help keep the color as long as possible I apply to gradual tanning milk w/ SPF every morning. I am also careful to not scrub at my skin too hard in the shower! My tan usually look great until day 4/5 depending on how much sweating and showering I do. But it looks pretty good until day 7 or 8.
This was a gifted product as part of my Influenster program. Though this product was gifted my thoughts and impressions of this product are my own. I would never be paid to say this or that about a specific product. I judged this product as I did all the rest!
First Impression: this is a GREAT product when you are in a pinch! It takes less than 5 minutes total and boom you’re ready to head out the door. Considering how immediate this product worked I was very impressed by how golden, and non-orangey it was. I also found that it covered up some little imperfections too, always a nice bonus! I would consider this more of a makeup than a self-tanner, but still loved it.
My thoughts: I really love that this product is so user friendly, I first showered and exfoliated, held the can a few inches from my hands, sprayed on, and rubbed onto my legs (and arms). You can also spray onto a mit and apply that way..I love how fast the tan develops, immediately! I also really appreciate how this product it not sticky for more than a minute or two! Lot’s of instant tans are sticky or oily in nature, not this one though. I really love this product however I wish there was a longer-wear bottle! On average this product lasted about 48 hours with 1 shower. Water alone won’t strip the tan but add a body wash and it fades pretty fast! #SallyHansen #AirbrushLegs
Cons of the product: This product had a glittery shimmer, though I do not mind it for special events and being outdoors, I would not use this everyday because I don’t like the glittery look.
I will definitely be incorporating this new product into my summer skincare! It will be my go-to before days on the boat or weekend concerts! I also will be using this product to ‘touch up’ other tans, like my Bondi Sands!
My rating: 8/10
I realize I have only told you about half of this puzzle: the other half- prep. Here are some tips!
Also shower/shave and exfoliate prior to application, this will help avoid streaks and dark patches. Pay special attention to ankles, elbows and knees. Look into dry-brushing as a great way to exfoliate.
Apply moisturizer to your ankles, elbows, palms and knees to avoid dark spots
Be careful around nail beds on hands and feet! They hold color really well. To prevent this only use remaining product from legs and arms to swipe quickly over these areas. You can also add vaseline to prevent too much color pickup.
Lay an old towel down while applying to avoid staining your floor or getting it dirty
Right after application, try to let to the product dry a bit before getting dressed. When you do get dressed wear loose flowy clothing that is dark!
I hope you enjoyed this post! What are some of your favorite summer skin essentials?
Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2010.
Cranney C, Horsely T, O’Donnell S, Weiler H, Ooi D, Atkinson S, et al. Effectiveness and safety of vitamin D. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 158 prepared by the University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-02.0021. AHRQ Publication No. 07-E013. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2007. [PubMed abstract]
Holick MF. Vitamin D. In: Shils ME, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006.
Norman AW, Henry HH. Vitamin D. In: Bowman BA, Russell RM, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 9th ed. Washington DC: ILSI Press, 2006.
Independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation. Ultraviolet Radiation, Vitamin D and Health. 2017;(March).
Felton SJ, Cooke MS, Kift R, et al. Concurrent beneficial (vitamin D production) and hazardous (cutaneous DNA damage) impact of repeated low-level summer sunlight exposures. Br J Dermatol. 2016. doi:10.1111/bjd.14863.
Farrar MD, Webb AR, Kift R, et al. Efficacy of a dose range of simulated sunlight exposures in raising vitamin D status in South Asian adults: Implications for targeted guidance on sun exposure. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97(6):1210-1216. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.052639.
*Blondie Pharma is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. What does this mean to you? Anytime you buy something from a link on my blog, I receive a little bit of money from Amazon for the advertising. The goal of my blog is to bring you honest and true information and experiences, rather than sell you a product. Thanks!
Throw it back to September 2014, I received a conditional acceptance to Pharmacy School as a high school senior, and I was amped. Fast forward to August 2017… My first year of pharmacy school started. I knew this would be the most rewarding challenge yet: a 4-year doctorate degree program in which I will (plan to) receive my Pharm.D. degree in May of 2021. Today, as I blog to you… I can happily say that I completed my first year of pharmacy school! I feel like I have been hiding in a textbook a bit these days so I wanted to bring y’all up to speed on what has been going on in my life, and hopefully give you good insight into what pharmacy school is like! I hope you enjoy this post-
Hello hello! Today I will be blogging about a some-what follow up to my ‘How I Organize My Planner’ Post. I keep a very similar format between my planner and my notes, especially in terms of starting simple and with the basics, and then adding and adding more detail as I go along.
I want to take you step-by-step as to how I organize my notes. Please note, this is just what works for me! There are a variety of thought processes on how to take the best notes: The Cornell Method, The Outlining Method, etc., but I personally think that the best way to take your notes is by organizing them in ways that make sense to you, and honestly it will probably involve multiple styles of note taking. This is totally a trial/error sitch…. make the most of it, for you…. Here’s what I do!
In this post I will share with you my one-month derma-roll experience!*
For a couple years now (two to be exact) I have had an ugly, intense and unwanted relationship with acne/break outs. Countless dermatologist appointments, many prescription medications, too-many hopeless home-remedies and a lot of lost self-esteem, became the byproduct of my acne suffrage. Here is a reference picture: taken November 2016. This is a humbling moment.