Casual Blues

At Last! It finally stopped raining and the sun has come out again. Since it warmed up a bit, I decided for a casual black dress that showed a little leg and a jean jacket and black high-top converses.

Side note- After watching the new, I realized that all the rain must be coming from the pending Hurricane Joaquin! Fingers crossed it passes soon...



I wanted to share this amazingly cool experiment I did in my physiology lab this week! We examined cardiac muscle in a frog. It is important to note that this experiment was completely humane and the frogs were brain-dead with their spinal cords severed, so they experience no pain or feeling in this experiment.

In my lab we tested the electrical activity of cardiac muscle and we also observed the effects of certain drugs like epinephrine (adrenaline) and acetylcholine on the heart.
-Epinephrine (adrenaline)- released during fight-or-flight sympathetic activity, speeds heart rate up
- Acetylcholine- released during rest-and-digest parasympathetic activation, slows heart rate down.

It was amazing to see the heart muscle actually respond to the effects of these drugs in the same way our own body responds to them internally.


It literally has been raining for 4 days straight here in North Carolina! Rain was definitely  not on my list on of reasons Fall is my favorite season.

(It didn't dry up until later in the evening, so excuse the lighting.)

Today I decided to go for a pink cropped sweater and a black floral maxi skirt with double front slits.

The forecast calls for rain for the next week...hopefully it subsides enough so I can go pick my pumpkin from the Pumpkin Patch in peace!

I hope your week has been filled with happiness, joy and a (rain-less) gloss!


In honor of my favorite season, I had to kick out it's signature print... Plaid!

And of course to top it off, my Fall/Winter staple... riding boots. I actually just ordered a shipment  of boots for fall and can't wait to post about them when they arrive!

Shirt- Charlotte Russe, Skirt- thrifted, Boots- Bamboo


Happy First day of Fall!

Fall is my absolute favorite season. I am autumn obsessed (I have Pinterest board devoted just to Fall) and to prove it to you, I've made of list of the reasons I love the Fall:

1)It marks the beginning of the greatest time of the year... holiday season!

When the autumn equinox arrives, I know my favorite holidays are just around the corner and all within a 3-month period:

  • Halloween (Oct 31)
  • Thanksgiving ( Nov 26)
  • Christmas (Dec 25)
2) Changing leaves are the prettiest colors
3) Starbucks's Pumpkin Spice Latte (Yum!)
4) Cozy Sweaters, Scarves, and Boots
5)Pumpkin flavored everything (pie, lotion, candles, etc...)
6) Netflix nights as it gets too cold to go out
8) Pumpkin Carving
9) Drinking hot apple cider
10)Cool, crisp air as you stroll along the crunching leaves


Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.

- Earl Nightingale

Five years ago, if someone would have asked me where you see yourself in 5 years , I would have envisioned myself in still school, yet instead of still in undergrad, I saw myself at my white coat ceremony in my beginning year of Medical school.

The story is so cliche (still working on how to write my personal statement), but I always wanted to be a doctor. I've been saying it since I was three years old, my dad thought it was so cute that everywhere we went, he would ask people to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up just so they could hear a little kid voice say "a pediatrician"!.
I honestly can't pinpoint where my love of medicine originated... my mom is a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and on teacher workdays, I would accompany her to her office and play in the exam rooms with stethoscopes and gloves and perform checkups on my dolls. If only Doc McStuffins had been around when I was 5, she would have been my idol (she secretly is my idol!). As I grew up, my fascination never waivered. When career day at school came around, and we were told that becoming a doctor takes 8 years + after high school, some of my classmates shied away, but not me, I was game! I knew the journey was going to be a long one, but it was my DREAM, but more than that, it was a GOAL.

Long story short, I breezed through high school and got into my dream school, UNC (tarheel pride!), Freshman year I adjusted well, entered as a biology major. I had always loved biology in high school and even placed out of Bio 101 my freshman year. By the end of the first year, I had no idea why everyone kept saying college was so difficult...

Enter Fall semester of my sophomore year. I was ready to take on my pre-med courses as many pre-med sophomores do, so I enrolled in Cell Biology/Genetics, Chemistry 102, and Physics 1...

the sophomore slump hit so fast it made my head spin. It was the absolute worst semester of my college career .  I was 19, prideful and tenacious so I refused to drop any of my courses at the detriment of my GPA, I cried so many days.

After that semester, I lost confidence in my ability to perform well in science classes, I was acing my psychology and other humanity classes, but struggling in my biology and chemistry courses. This in turn made me question myself, I had always been a good science student and always made good grades and now I wasn't... if I wasn't good at this anymore, then what was I good at?

I fought these self-deprecating thoughts and pushed on, knowing that I would probably have to pursue a post-baccalaureate program or a Special Masters Program to be admitted into Medical School. I had to realize that "no, it wasn't my original plan A", but life is full of plan B/Cs, hell plan Es!

My pre-med advisor for my post-bacc program gave me some great advice this year. She told me that medical schools don't necessarily want straight A students, don't get me wrong, you have to perform well in your coursework, but some students that have only made straight A's may have never had to face failure and failure builds character. 

Medicine is messy, life is messy, everyday won't be a success, all you can do is learn, move on and bounce back. In my 22 years of life experience (lol), I've learned that the key to life is resiliency. 

No one likes to talks about the obstacles once they reach their goal, I wish I had heard stories similar to mine about the failures it took before the successes in the journey to medical school. So if you're like me and have hit a few snags in the road, you're journey doesn't have to end.

Your body is resilient, your mind is resilient, you are resilient. Try again tomorrow!


Shadowing is great, but once you further into your journey to medical school, more admission committes are looking for hands-on clinical experience. This means hands-on patient contact in a clinical or medical setting.

Medical school is long and can be daunting, admission committees want to make sure incoming medical students really know what they're getting into and a committed to pursuing medicine. Shadowing is an awesome way to gage your interest in the healthcare field, but once you make the decision that you seriously want to apply to medical school, hands-on clinical experience is INVALUABLE. I've heard many stories of stellar applicants with 3.9 GPAs, volunteer experience and shadowing hours get rejected from medical schools because their applications lacked sufficient clincial experience.

Shadowing can be very passive. Most like you are like a shadow in the room, standing back and just listening to the doctor interact with his/her patient. This is experience is valuable but real medicinie is hands on and messy and requires a lot of face-to-face patient interaction. Medical Schools want to make sure applicants have some background before admitting them. So...

1) Shadow FIRST
- make sure you are truly interested in medicine and healthcare

2) Volunteer at local clinics and hospitals
- get used to being a healthcare setting without any required medical training 

- this sometimes requires extra training, but many clinics and hospitals have on the job training
  •  CNA
  • EMT
  • Medical Scribe- this is awesome and becoming more popular. It's basically shadowing but you get paid for it!
  • Medical Assisting
  •  Phlebotomy (the people who draw your blood)

* most of these require classes and training but can be done in short time and now you can get paid and get clinical exposure at the same time!
  • Clinical Research- this also looks amazing on applications 

I personally received a great on clinical exposure from my work-study on my college campus. My university was affiliated with the state hospital, so I worked as an Office Research Assistant in the Gynecologic Oncology division. I was able to learn about medical records, run errands for administrative staff and doctors at the hospital and even work on a study with an attending physician!


Fall has arrived... or has it?

Yesterday, we got a taste of North Carolina's famous bipolar weather. It was 55 degrees in the morning, but mid 70s (felt like 80s) by mid-afternoon. 

In weather situations such as these, it can be a tad confusing when trying to decide what to wear. Your best bet is to always layer so you can remove items as the temperature increases throughout the day, but for myself I tend to mix-match seasonal clothing items. 

I decided to wear a light sweater so my arms and upper body stay warm, while wearing shorts for my bottoms to keep me cool as it gets warmer in the afternoon.

Sweater- forever 21, shorts- Macy's, shoes- thrifted, necklace- Charlotte Russe

 Hopefully by the end of the month, the weather will make up it's mind and I can keep the sweaters and put the shorts up for good!


Well I knew it was coming... Exam Week has arrived! Within this week and the upcoming, I have three exams scheduled and two of them are on back-to-back days. Least to say, I'll be spending most of my free time I won't have much time to decide what to wear for class the mornings before my exam.

If you're like me and hold the same philosophy, I believe that when you look you're best, you perform your best; so I usually strive to dress stylish yet comfy.  It may be tempting after an all-nighter to just throw on some comfy yoga pants and a tee and head out the door, but studies have shown that wearing clothes you  associate with power and confidence can boost performance!

Since I know I won't have time to decide the morning of, I went ahead and laid out my outfits for my upcoming exam days:

  • My rule of thumb is stylish yet comfy! Dark jeggings are perfect, they are comfortable like leggings and dark jeans always look classy in a casual way.
  • A chambray shirt to keep me warm with unpredictable classroom temperatures 
  • A romper with a fun print is perfect for days I feel like being lazy, but want to look like I put effort into my look
  • D'orsay flats are super comfy yet trendy!


Each year we celebrate with a Monday of rest and relaxation to commemorate the efforts and labor of our workers--- Labor Day!

And oh how I love Labor Day... it comes as well needed break at  the perfect time in the start of a new semester. This particular semester is officially my first as post-baccalaureate student, and although I just graduated college a few months ago, I sometimes feel as if I've been out of school for a few years. In preparation for medical school, I'm taking physiology, organic chemistry and physics this semester and I've been working non-stop!

Labor Day has been the light at the end of the tunnel of a very long week. And what a better way to spend it outside enjoying the last of Summer at the zoo! It was the perfect Lazy Monday... even the were animals taking some R&R.

(Lion naptime)

After working so hard, whether it's physical labor or mental labor, we all deserve a nice break every once in a while!

Hope your Labor day is filled with happiness, joy and gloss.


Hi there! I'm Ariel Joi.

In the words of Kate Spade:

"I adore pretty things and witty words"

I am a 4'11 fashion-beauty- diy obsessed, pre-medical handywoman. I started this blog as a creative outlet to document my journey to medical school and a way to share some of my favorite things. Here I'll share my struggles and successes on the road to medical school, along with crazy mixture of style, beauty, and DIY tips.

I'm delighted to share my passions and experiences with you, all while wishing you a life full of happiness, joy and gloss!

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