Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday ~ June 2015

Today marks the last Thursday of June, so it’s time for another Thankful Thursday post!

  1. I am thankful for my grandmother, the woman who helped raise 4 wonderful children, was the first person to talk to me about politics (mainly why Bill Clinton was the best president we’ve ever had), and loves having people over to celebrate anything and everything with a party in her backyard. She has been struggling with depression and worsening health conditions ever since the unexpected death of my grandfather 5 years ago, but she had surgery earlier this month and seems to be finally getting the help that she needs.
  2. I am grateful for music, which has been a constant source of enjoyment and stress relief throughout my entire life. Whether I’m going to a concert with my parents, discovering new artists to listen to while I study, or running around a music festival trying to make it to as many shows as possible, I can’t help but feel better about myself, my problems, and the world around me when listening to good music.
  3. I am thankful for my car, a black Ford Escape my parents gave me when I was a senior in high school as a graduation present and way of congratulating me for earning so many scholarships for college. The car–which my friend, Colleen, and I named Cliff–has since been on more roadtrips than I can count and will be transporting Carolyn, Zaheera, and me to and from Houston over the next 4 days.
Beauty, Reviews

BrandBacker Reviews

One month ago, I received the following products free of charge through BrandBacker if I agreed to provide honest, unbiased feedback. Overall, I was very pleased with the quality of these products, the results I experienced after using them, and the promptness of the brand’s customer service representatives. I hope y’all find my reviews helpful, and I am excited to test more samples provided by BrandBacker in the future.

Oz Naturals Vitamin C Serum

This serum formula contains both vitamin C and hyaluronic acid–two substances thought to brighten the skin and reduce the effects of aging. After using the product on and off for the past month, I have noticed the skin on my face feeling firmer, but I do not think the serum has caused any other effects (neither positive nor negative). In order to prevent my skin from drying out after continued use as I expected it would based on reviews I’d read of other vitamin C serums, I always followed up with a good quality moisturizer. At this time, I do not plan to make this product part of my regular beauty routine, but I do appreciate the fact that this brand is 100% vegan, GMO-free, and not tested on animals. The only thing I didn’t really care for was the dispenser–I would have preferred a pump of some sort instead of the glass bottle and dropper.


Pure & Essential Dead Sea Mud Mask 

Face masks like this are used to clean and brighten your skin by absorbing excess oil as they dry. I have used several similar masks in the past, but this one is my favorite by far! I really like this product in particular because of its nice, minty scent and the fresh feeling it gives my skin immediately after use without drying it out. I also love that it is a vegan, cruelty-free product made with organic ingredients, such as shea butter, sunflower oil, aloe vera, eucalyptus oil, and (obviously) Dead Sea mud.


Radha Retinol Moisturizing Cream

I absolutely love this product!  I have naturally dry skin, but I’ve struggled to find a good moisturizer I can use consistently. More often than not, I break out within a couple days of using the same moisturizing product. However, the Radha Retinol Moisturizing Cream kept my skin moisturized all day and didn’t cause me to break out at all (even after weeks of almost daily use). The cream is fragrance-free, which I like for products I use and leave on my face. Additionally, I was happy to discover that this brand, like the others I’ve reviewed, does not test their products on animals. I would definitely recommend this moisturizer to friends and family, and I plan on purchasing more now that I have used up almost all of my sample.


Radha Vitamin C Serum

Like the other vitamin C serum I received, this one contains hyaluronic acid, left my skin feeling firmer after regular use, and is made from organic, cruelty-free ingredients. The main difference between the two is that this product came in a bottle with a pump rather than in glass bottle with a dropper. If I were going to start using a vitamin C serum regularly, I would purchase this product instead of the other one, but I do not plan to purchase either of them at this time. I will, however, recommend this brand to anyone looking for a vitamin C serum to add to their beauty routine.

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Vita Sciences Vitamin B12 Cream

I must admit I was a little skeptical of this product prior to using it, but I ended up pleasantly surprised by how well it reduced the symptoms of my eczema within only a couple days of use. I also loved the faint scent of peppermint and the way it moisturized my skin without leaving it the least bit greasy. Additionally, I am very excited to have found a product that can help with the slight vitamin B12 deficiency that results from my vegetarian and dairy-limited diet. I use the cream most often on my arms but occasionally apply it to my face and neck as well. I definitely plan on purchasing a new bottle of this cream once I have used up all of my sample and would recommend it to anyone with mild to moderate eczema or symptoms of slight vitamin B12 deficiency.

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I hope my reviews were helpful. Please let me know if y’all have any questions! All of these products are currently on sale and can be purchased using the following links:

This post was powered by BrandBacker.

Thankful Thursday

The First of Many Thankful Thursdays ~ May 2015

As I mentioned way back in November (before my mind became more consumed with schoolwork than I ever thought possible), I would like to start writing a series of posts dedicated to reflecting on the many things in my life for which I am grateful. By posting about three things I am thankful for on the last Thursday of every month, my hope is that I will gain a greater appreciation for the countless amazing people and opportunities I am surrounded by and presented with on a daily basis. These Thankful Thursday posts will not be lengthy (because we all know I have a lot of studying to do), but they will at least be a way to ensure that I am regularly reflecting on how fortunate I am.

So, without further adieu, I present to you my first Thankful Thursday list:

  1. I am grateful for the opportunity to attend PCOM and pursue my dream of becoming a physician. This year has been the most challenging of my life by far, but I am thankful for every second of it.
  2. I am thankful for my cell phone, which has made it easy for me to contact my friends and family whenever I need to talk to them.
  3. I am grateful for all of the incredible people I have met since August. Without their friendship and support, I do not think I would have made it through this school year with my sanity in tact.

Medical Mission Trip to Nepal

A couple of months ago, I decided to go on a medical mission trip to Nepal this summer. In response to the earthquake that occurred last week, many of my friends and family have been asking if my classmates and I will still be going on this trip. The answer is a resounding YES!

Our original plan was to team up with 2 American physicians and the staff at a small community health clinic to provide free primary care services to approximately 600 patients who would not otherwise have access to healthcare. We were hoping to help people with various medical conditions, from minor cuts/bruises/scrapes, diarrhea, and back pain to asthma, worm infections, and eye infections. While there, we were also planning to visit local schools to teach the young girls and boys about preventive health and good hygiene practices.

Because of the earthquake which occurred last week—causing damage unimaginable to many of us—our plans may have to be adjusted. We have been communicating with our contacts in Nepal, and they have asked us to be flexible regarding the type of care we plan provide. Due to the changing needs of the Jhor community, we may be providing more humanitarian relief than primary medical care.

I will post more details as our travel dates approach, but for now, you can read about the basics of the trip and offer your financial support here. Every contribution helps!

Family, Thankful Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving!

After spending my day celebrating Thanksgiving in Charleston, SC with my dad’s side of the family, I can’t help but share with y’all how grateful and happy I am to be here. I am thankful for many things in my life—from having access to good, quality food on a daily basis to having a safe, warm place to sleep at night—but tonight I find myself to be most thankful for the opportunity I’ve had for the past couple days to take a break from school and spend time catching up with my extended family and closest friends. I am extremely lucky to have such a large and loving network of people in my life and even luckier to attend a school that’s only three to six hours away from most of them.



While reflecting on all of the things for which I am thankful and subsequently writing this post, I realized how beneficial it would be if I were to reflect in such a way on a more consistent basis. Therefore, I would like to start a new tradition of regularly writing about things for which I am grateful in a series of Thankful Thursday posts. I am not sure when the first of these posts is going to be yet, but make sure you’re on the lookout for that!


I hope y’all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you fully embraced the opportunity to reflect on the joys and blessings in your own life while celebrating with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all, and sweet dreams!