Uncategorized

What I’m Reading: Stiff

The first book I finished in 2019 was Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach and I have to say it was slightly disappointing. I was so excited to read this one as I’ve been lucky enough to benefit from cadavers in my anatomy lab and it didn’t live up to my expectations. This was the non-fiction book I selected for my book club and luckily they picked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine instead, I may not have been allowed to choose another book.

Before I get into the book itself, I’ll explain what I was looking for. Retrospectively, my expectations are kind of unrealistic. I was looking for the backstory to Gail, Ruth, Richard, or Robert- the cadavers we see in class. I wanted a book that gave me the backstory of how a librarian becomes a cadaver. The story of how the charter boat captain with PAD found his way into my anatomy lab. I wanted the biography of someone who I don’t even know their real name (we only use first names to protect their identity). I wanted to learn how they were embalmed, wound up at the medical school and then transported to my school. Although I have asked my anatomy professor and she said the two bodies that are new this semester were dropped off while we were all in class his summer! So you see, my expectations were slightly unrealistic and now I’ll get into the actual book.

There were parts that really intrigued me but there were parts that I wanted to skip over completely.

Here are the topics that fascinated me:

  • The first chapter started out really strong: the use of cadavers so that surgeons can practice their skills. I found this section particularly interesting because it surrounded plastic surgery and using cadaver heads. This was particularly interesting to me because we cover the head all year. I love anatomy lab but I think I would feel very differently if we dissected this part.
  • Later in the book it talked about crucifixion experiments. I found this chapter intriguing because it talked about the physics and physiology of crucifixion. There have been multiple people that have studied the nail placement and this chapter was a quick look into the research that has been done using cadaver arms as well as the living.

The topics that were interesting but went on for too long:

  • The use of cadavers as crash test dummies. The Test Track dummies you find in Epcot are used along with cadavers to make sure your car has a high vehicle safety rating. I’m not even going to hide the fact that Test Track is the reason I was interested in this section at all. I imagined all of the impact testing that use to be featured in the queue line and replaced the dummies with cadavers.
  • This is another one that had never crossed my mind: using cadavers to analyze a crash site. The bodies at the site of a wreck can give you as much information as the black box can. The most interesting thing from this section in my opinion: bodies found in the water.

The topics that I really could have lived without:

  • Army tests in cadavers. Don’t get me wrong I think this is very important research that needs to be done but even though I read this chapter yesterday I couldn’t tell you too much about it. This is another thing I didn’t even know you could use cadavers for and although it’s an interesting concept I didn’t retain anything.
  • Cannibalism for wellness. I don’t even think I need to expand on this one.

So if you’re looking for the story of Gail, Ruth, Richard, or Robert… this isn’t the book for you. There are still six topics left to be discovered in this book and I suggest you go for the topics that interest you. I personally felt that this book took me forever to get through and I would have enjoyed it more if I read the parts that intrigued me and skipped over the extra ten pages on crash test dummies.

While this wasn’t one of my favorite reads I am glad I read it as it expanded my view of cadavers. Going into this read my only knowledge of them was being wheeled out of a freezer and peeling the skin back to pin muscles but now I can appreciate more areas of science that I didn’t know existed.

A question you may be asking is will I do it? This is a question that Roach answered in her book and I thought it would be fitting to share my point of view. Nope. Probably not. Once you donate your body to science there are a number of places you could end up. While I’ve benefitted from dissection in anatomy lab and plasticized brain tissues in my neuro lab, I wouldn’t want the Mark Sloan’s of the world practicing their Botox skills on me. And I’ve learned from this book that while I could mark off certain things I wouldn’t want to end up doing there’s no guarantee some future PT would learn about the origins and insertions of all the muscles from me and that’s the thing I would want the most. But sign me up for organ donation… in fact I just donated blood today!

Happy reading! Let me know what’s on your to be read shelf in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

College, Friday Faves, Uncategorized

My Friday Faves: Vol. XI

Here is this week’s Friday Faves! This week is all about back to school! Let me know what your campus must haves are in the comments! Feel free to click on the link above which will take you to any of the things I mentioned!

Happy Friday!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

DIY Epsom Salt Scrub

I hope the New Year is still treating everyone well and you are sticking by those resolutions! If one of your resolutions was to make self care a priority I have the perfect solution for you!

I made the Epsom salt scrub as a present for my mom for Christmas and then it smelled so good I made extra for myself! This is so easy and you only need three things!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Epsom Salt
  • 2 cups of coconut oil
  • Essential oil of your choice

Step 1:

Take a giant Ziploc bag and put the the Epsom Salt and coconut oil inside, if you aren’t a huge fan of the consistency you can always add more Epsom salt or coconut oil. I personally end up using more like 1.5 cups of Epsom salt but that definitely feels rougher.

Step 2:

Add the essential oil! I used the BluZen original scent and I love it! Next time I take it I’m definitely going to try the lavender. The amount of oil you use is totally up to you. I personally lost count because I wanted it to smell really nice and just kept shaking.

And just like the Christmas Crack, you can put it in a cute mason jar and add a little bow! Maybe not a Christmas bow now, but you can definitely find something cute at Michaels!

Happy crafting!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle

On the Basis of Sex

Yesterday I went to see the new Ruth Bader Ginsberg movie with my grandmother and I was so inspired to write a post immediately! In case you didn’t know the third annual Women’s March is today! Unfortunately I have to go to work later so I will not be taking to the streets of Boston or Northampton, but sending a huge shout out to all those ladies celebrating ladies out there today!

One thing this movie made me think is, “We’ve come a long way.” Ginsberg was one of nine women in her class of 500 at Harvard Law School. When the women went to the Dean’s house for dinner, they were asked to share their name and the reason they took a spot away from a man to be at Harvard. Not only did Ginsberg take her law school course, she balanced that with taking care of a child, a husband with cancer, and she went to all of Marty’s (her husband) classes to make sure he didn’t fall behind. Yet when Marty graduated he had no problem finding a job, while Ruth could not be hired as a woman anywhere. She was told, “oh we already have a woman working here” and was asked questions like “when are you having another child?”

This movie also made me think, “We have a long way to go.” Some things never change, when Ruth was practicing for her very first case, her superior told her to smile more, she was coming across as cold-hearted. But this is nothing new. Hillary Clinton was criticized for never smiling when she was on the campaign trail, and once she started smiling? People said she smiled too much. Then the judges on Dancing With The Stars had comments about Simone Biles facial expressions and how they didn’t see it as authentic. To which she replied, Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.” Why is it when men are stone-faced it’s powerful but when a woman does it they are stone cold?

So how can you make a difference?

  • First, learn about your implicit biases! Harvard has developed a series tests called the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and you can take as many as you want to learn what biases you have! In honor of today I recommend taking the gender and science/liberal arts test.
  • Then, stay informed! Read your news app! Everyone has it on their iPhone, stay up to date on topics that are important to you. But make sure you’re getting your news from multiple places as some outlets tend to lean one way or another,
  • Lastly, stand up! In the movie Jane Ginsberg says, “It’s not a movement if everyone’s sitting down. It’s a support group.” We watched the film Sicko in one of my classes and while this quote is about healthcare, I believe it could apply to much more, “The French government is afraid of the people, but the American people are afraid of the government.” In Sicko we see that the French people will protest anything they see as unfair, so what are we waiting for!

I hope you get the chance to see On the Basis of Sex, if you liked watching Elle Woods push her way through Harvard Law, you’re going to love this movie. I loved it way more than I love Legally Blonde, because it based on a true story and a strong woman.

Happy weekend!

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Vogue’s 73 Questions

I was challenged by my roomie Allison to complete Vogue’s 73 Questions so here it goes!

1. What’s your favourite movie?

The Great Gatsby or Fever Pitch

2. Something I cannot live without?

My family and friends

3. Fictional character I relate with?

Hermione Granger

4. A book you plan on reading?

Too many! Next on my list is The Tattooist of Auschwitz

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?

The Help

6. Favourite TV show?

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

7. Favourite Cuisine?

Italian

8. iPhone or Android?

iPhone

9. Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram

10. Best Place I’ve Visited?

Disney!

11. What’s your favourite food?

Pasta

12. Least favourite food?

Seafood

13. What do you love on your pizza?

Buffalo chicken

14. Favourite drink?

Water

15. Favourite dessert?

Lava cake

16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Milk chocolate

17. Coffee or tea?

Medium iced french vanilla swirl with almond milk please

18. Favourite makeup product?

Mascara

19. Dream country to visit?

France

20. Heels or flats?

Heels

21. Favourite song?

Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Ray

22. Favourite Accessory?

Earrings

23. What’s your favourite colour?

Purple

24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?

Somewhere it won’t be seen!

25. To be or not to be?

To be

26. Dogs or cats?

Dogs

27. Diamonds or pearls?

Pearls

28. Stairs or elevator?

Stairs

29. Pilates or yoga?

Yoga

30. What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?

Mint chocolate chip

31. What’s your favourite board game?

The Game of Life

32. Favourite season?

Fall

33. What was the movie that made you cry?

I don’t cry at movies

34. If you could have one superpower what would it be?

Invisibility

35. Do you like surprises?

No

36. Is there a desert you don’t like?

Of course not

37. It’s brunch, what do you eat?

Nutella crepes

38. What do you usually order in Starbucks?

Chai

39. Who is the last person you texted?

our Full House group chat (my roommates)

40. What’s your favourite brand?

Lilly

41. Best way to de-stress?

Reading

42. How do you like your coffee?

Medium iced french vanilla swirl with almond milk 😉

43. What colour of dress did you wear to prom?

Light blue

44. What’s your favourite flower?

Sunflowers

45. What was the last thing you ate?

A frosted cookie!

46. Do you like your handwriting?

Nah

47. Do you bake?

Yes!

48. Favourite sound?

Water

49. Favourite app?

Instagram

50. If you could raid one woman’s closet who would it be?

Sarah Vickers

51. Favourite holiday?

Christmas

52. Favourite smell?

Lavender

53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?

My mom

54. Jogging or swimming?

Jogging

55. Any regrets?

“You can’t have a better tomorrow if you’re always thinking about yesterday”

56. Hair colour?

Blonde

57. Eye colour?

Blue

58. Scary film or happy endings?

Happy endings

59. Favourite season?

Fall

60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?

Emma Watson, Reese Witherspoon, and Lauren Akins

61. Hugs or kisses?

Hugs

62. First pet? 

Buddy, Billie, and Annie were all at my house before I was

63. Worst subject in school?

Pharmacology

64. Favourite thing in the world?

Ahhh too hard

65. Sweet or savoury?

Depends on the day

66. Lipstick or lip gloss?

Lipstick

67. Guilty pleasure?

Chocolate chips

68. Favourite city?

Boston

69. Shop in store or online?

In store

70. Plane or boat?

I used to be obsessed with the Titanic so plane!

71. Dream proposal?

The Happiest Place on Earth

72. Morning ritual?

Scroll through Instagram and Facebook

73. Pen or pencil?

Blue pen

Travel, Uncategorized

Disney 2018: Part One

This post has been a long time in the making but it is finally here!! I decided to break it up into two posts to avoid being super drawn out so without further adieu My Disney Family Vacation 2018

Day One: Magic Kingdom

Our Disney vacations always start at Magic Kingdom, there’s no better way to be immediately immersed into Disney than where it all started. Our first stop was the Crystal Palace for lunch.

Then we went over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for our first FastPass of the trip. I was wearing my Magic Kingdom Hiking Club shirt from CF Designs. While we were waiting in line there was a lightning strike in the area and we had to wait for the storm to pass. We figured we should stay under the cover of the building and sat watching the empty cars run by.

One thing that seemed to be a theme for our trip this year was meeting really amazing cast members. One of the CMs we met was working the FastPass line when Big Thunder was shut down. She ended up explaining how they track lightning strikes and how that affects when rides are operating or shut down, it was so interesting to hear about how things operate. She was from Arizona (I personally LOVE that Disney puts hometowns on the name tags, it’s such a good conversation starter) so we were asking her about the weather there and she ended up telling us about the big storms over there- haboobs. She told us they’re crazy but she’s actually driven through one, if you want to learn more (I promise they’re pretty interesting!) here is some info!

We decided to go indoors for our next ride and went over to It’s a Small World. We ended up getting front row seats and our names popped up at the end! How crazy are MagicBands?! Sorry it’s little blurry the yogi in me was distracted by the namaste sign until I noticed this at the last minute.

IMG_1122 4

Our next FastPass had us back over in Frontierland for Splash Mountain. Here’s my mum in her Splash Mountain shirt from Modern Chic Threads. I personally feel that riding Splash Mountain in/after the rain is the best because you’re already past the fact “you may get wet”.

IMG_1130 4

Our last FastPass was over at Space Mountain, we had to hit all the mountains in our first day! The exit from Space Mountain was under construction during our stay so we got to see a magical sunset with the castle on our way out!

Can you go to bed in Disney without having dessert first? I don’t think so, so I got a Coco cupcake from the cafeteria in our hotel! I had just watched Coco a few weeks before coming to Disney and I am obsessed. I think it’s such a good story and I love the soundtrack. It’s definitely in my top Disney movies.

IMG_1159 5

Day Two: Epcot

The biggest decision of World Showcase always seems to be Canada or Mexico. This time we chose to start on the Mexico side and it was not a disappointment! They have redone some of the inside of the pyramid to highlight Disney’s new movie Coco and it was so cool!The best part about Epcot is that Disney creates all of these different pavilions that intrigue people no matter their age. All of the kids were so interested in all of the Coco stuff and that was tied into all of these exhibits about the Day of the Dead.

I’ve always loved the Mexico pavilion because it really feels like you are walking through Mexico (although I’ve never been so I have nothing to compare it to!). All of the stalls inside the pyramid are so cool and one of my favorite things to look at was the carved wooden animals. And of course, how could we pass up the Gran Fiesta Tour!

If you’d rather eat overlooking the lake check out La Hacienda de San Ángel.

One last Mexico fun fact before we head to Norway? IllumiNations is controlled from the top of the pyramid!

Once we got to Norway we had to stop and ride Frozen Ever After. I had very high expectations going into this ride because my whole family loved the Maelstrom ride and I have to say it did not love up to my expectations. It was the same exact ride but instead of looking like you’re in Norway, the replaced everything with Arendelle. Disney had done such a great job transforming the space to look like Norway that when they renovated it to look like Arendelle, it seemed like stuff was missing. While the technology was amazing, ice skating Olaf was too cute, I wouldn’t wait more than 20 minutes for it in the future.

The queue area was a huge upgrade though. The open room where you do most of the waiting is actually where you used to get off Maelstrom. It is decorated just like My favorite part of this ride: in the queue you get to see Oaken, yoo hoo big summer blowout anyone?

We then continued our journey through the pavilions but our next big stop wasn’t until Italy.

The three ovens at Via Napoli.

One of our dining reservations was at a new-to-us restaurant, Via Napoli. Being that two of my main food groups are pasta and pizza I’m very surprised we had never made it there before.

For lunch I got the Penne Arrabiata and it was so good! And for dessert: Zeppole di Caterina. These are deep fried ricotta cheese with whipped cream and chocolate sauce: what more could you need.

We kept walking until we hit Morocco, this is one of my favorite because the architecture is so unique and being from New England it’s truly like nothing I have ever seen before!

From the fountains to the market stalls, I think this is one of the pavilions that you truly feel like you hopped on a plane. While the theming in all of them is stunning, the stores in Morocco don’t feel like a huge place just trying to sell you things, like Mexico it feels like a ton of little shops you would see if you traveled there.

After stopping to get a macaron in France, we continued our journey all the way to Canada, and ended our day in Epcot with Martin Short singing O Canada.

This street is actually split half and half!

Paying tribute to Canada’s English and French history half of this street has English architecture and half has French! My family never really paid attention to the building until we went to Quebec City and saw the Chateau Fortenac. (It’s actually modeled after the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa!)

After stopping by to see my friend Figment and use our FastPasses for the new Soarin’ we headed back to out hotel.

Guess what was waiting for us at the hotel? Lilly ears from SouthernCoastStudio on Etsy! My mom and I ordered matching ears to go with dresses for our family photos! Stay tuned the photos are coming soon!

Day Three: Magic Kingdom

We were back in Magic Kingdom for day three of our vacation for something very exciting! We took the Keys to the Kingdom tour, which was the most amazing thing!

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from the tour so that Disney can keep the magic but it exceeded all expectations! We had the sweetest tour guide, Kara, who loved Disney so much and her enthusiasm shone through on our tour. The Keys to the Kingdom tour took us down Main Street, on a special Jungle Cruise with Kara as our guide, through the Haunted Mansion, and even under Magic Kingdom. That’s right, I’ve been to the Utilidors. We even learned a secret about Fantasyland employees but I’ll leave that for you guys to learn, should you take the tour!

After our tour I got to meet some Disney instagrammers I’ve been following forever! I had been following Montana (@montanahatfield) since she was a skipper on the Jungle Cruise and then I saw her setting up for the parade! I didn’t really want to go up to her but then my mom made me (thanks Mum!) and I ended up talking to her and she was so sweet! And then she told me Cat (@mainstreet_mermaid) was over by Town Hall! So I went over and started talking to her and her friend Alex came out to say something to her. SO naturally now I’m following Alex too (@alex.on.mainstreet).

It was so fun meeting all of them and talking about different things we had just learned about on the Keys to the Kingdom tour. I love following Disney accounts (cast members/annual pass holders/just your average Disney lovers) because I love seeing the park at different times of year since I’ve only been there when the Halloween decorations are up. Although I used to see the Christmas lights being hung in Hollywood Studios for the Osborne Family Lights, this was still in September though!

How I felt when we decided to stay for the Festival of Fantasy! My dad isn’t a parade person!

During the parade I kept my eyes on the Swan Court because our tour guide Kara’s roommate was dancing!

I don’t think this is her roommate but I love this photo!

We ended our day riding some more attractions and stopping by the purple wall for photos! I love all of the fun walls at Disney but the Purple Wall and the You Are Most Beautiful Wall are my favorites!

The rest of my trip will be up on Monday! Can’t wait for you guys to read it! Let me know some of your favorite things about Disney in the comments!

Have a magical day!

xox,

Marissa

Friday Faves

My Friday Faves: Vol. IX

Hello friends!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted my Four Friday Faves but the wait is over!

The four feature photos are not mine but you can click on the links below to be brought to the sites where they came from!

Sincerely Seersucker: blog | instagram

Old Navy: Soft-brushed button front coat

Barnes and Noble: The Woman in Cabin 10

Lilly Pulitzer: Embellished Amber Lynn Sandal

Cheers to a great weekend!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Paris for One

One of the last books I read in 2018 was Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes.  I was looking for the third book in the Me Before You series when I went to the library but I stumbled upon this instead. 

I’ll start by talking about my love of Paris for One. Moyes did it again, this was both an empowering book about finding yourself and falling in love all at once. 

This was one of those books I wished was a million times longer, even more so because it’s a novella and not a full novel. At the same time though, the story was so well done and as a firm believer in quality over quantity I’m content saying this left me wanting more. Maybe we can compromise on a sequel?

Nell was such a lovable main character and made me want to fly solo. While I’ve never been to Paris, I took five years of French in junior high/high school and it felt familiar going to all of the places I had learned so much about. In ultimate Parisian style, Nell finds herself on the back of a moped to to take in all the city has to offer and you feel like you’re right there with her. 

Nell reminded me of another lovable heroine I read recently. The way the people in Nell’s life talk about her paralleled the way Eleanor Oliphant‘s coworkers talked about her.

My favorite scenes happened along the Seine with the bateaux mouches that glide along the river. I think when my time to travel to the City of Lights I’ll be finding a locally owned boat for my tour 😉

The short stories however, weren’t as special to me. I felt like there really wasn’t enough to them that they stood out to me. My favorite short story was called The Christmas List. This story followed a woman in search of the perfect Christmas gift but has the most unexpected ending. 

I think Moyes is such an excellent romance writer because she uses strong female leads and throws in a little humor here and there. Another thing Moyes incorporates is the use of the classic plot twist, and it’s one that isn’t what you expected and comes when you least expect it.

Let me know what’s in your to be read pile!

Happy reading!

xox, 

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness

My January Challenges

On my way to go get a new read!

This January I’m participating in two fun challenges! The first is the Winter Warrior Challenge. This means that every day in the month of January I’m walking/jogging/running/hopping at least 3 miles! I’ve done this for the past three years but I’ve only done 1 mile a day. This year I have my eyes on the prize with three, although there are some people out there doing five!

The other challenge I set for myself is on Goodreads, I’ll be reading 30 books this year! I set the goal of 13 books last year and I ended up reading 15! Between incorporating reading into my everyday routine and not being in school this summer I can’t wait to achieve this goal!

So how’s it going? Four days into the New Year and I’m still in the newlywed phase. Starting the walking challenge was a little difficult and I was lacking all motivation but now that I’ve started I want to see it through. As for my reading challenge: I’ve already finished one. I’ve even found a way to tie these two things together: by walking the 2 miles to the library to pick up new books.

I know there’s a lot of stigma about creating resolutions but I personally feel like if you’re really making a resolution to better yourself and it’s something you’re passionate about, keep going! Don’t let the jokes about how full the gym is this week deter you, you deserve that elliptical as much as anyone else.

What goals and challenges have you set up for yourself this year? Let me know in the comments!

xox,

Marissa