Christmas Day Plaid

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with family and friends. 

For Christmas dinner, I wore my plaid dress from Kohl's Vera Wang Princess collection. It was the hit of the night. The dress was the perfect Christmassy fabric with a hint of glam with a gold sequin collar. 



T-minus 2 hours before Christmas!
I already caught my mom wrapping a gift for me (she still tries to surprise me), but I was really more excited about baking cookies on my own, earlier this evening.

*** Tip when baking cutout cookies***

Put the cookies in the freezer before you bake them for about 20 minutes to make sure the cookies hold shape in the oven

Every year my mom gets a new ornament for me... this year it was my favorite: Little Dottie "Doc McStuffins"! 

Although it's been said many times and many ways, Merry Christmas to you!


4 Days until Christmas and I am so excited!!

To get into the proper holiday mood, I of course had to paint my nails the perfect holiday red. This polish is Red Carpet from Sally Hansen. It's the perfect Christmas red, with a hint of holiday sparkle!


2015 Christmas Wish List

2015 Christmas Wish List

1. Urban Decay Naked Palette 2.
I've had my eye on this palette for sometime now, but I could never justify the splurge... but it would be an awesome Christmas gift

2. Maybelline The Nudes
This is the drug store version inspired by Urban Decay's Naked Palette and I've heard great things about it!

3. Rose Gold Watch
I'm in need of a new watch and rose gold is the perfect metal. It goes with everything and can be worn all year long!

4. Britney Spears' Fantasy Intimate
Another version of Britney Spears' Fantasy inspired by Fall/Winter. It has a warm smell, with hints of chocolate!

5. Kate Spate Cherry Iphone Case
This iPhone case from Kate Spade is adorable!

6. Kate Spade eyeglassses
Who doesn't love a pair of cat-eye eyeglasses?

7. Charming Charlie Initial Mug

8. Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera
This is the priciest item I've ever desired. It may just have to be a gift to myself in the new year!

9.Madewell "Transport" Tote

10. Target Merona Duck Boots
I've seen everyone rocking duck boots this season, and I want a pair too! I found a great cheap version from Target for only $23!


December is here! For me it represents holiday cheer and the most wonderful time of the year!

But before I can dive into celebration, I must first survive finals...
The other dreaded time of the year. I have my physics final and physiology finals both this week and organic chemistry next week!It has been very hard to keep motivated. Especially when it's been so dreary outside. But I must remain focused, stay hard and finish strong!

But once this week of Hell finals is over, I can indulge in all the fun December brings! Like eggnog, christmas music (I started two weeks ago), tree decorating, DIY gifts, ice skating, and the warmth of love and family the holidays bring.

December also means that the year is almost over! 2015 flew by...

Pumpkin Patch

This weekend I went to an actual pumpkin patch for the very first time and hand-picked my own pumpkin. It was so cool to see all the pumpkins on their vines and all the different sizes.

There were so many different pumpkins to choose from and I wanted to choose the perfect one for carving, and one that wouldn't be too heavy for my little arms to carry lol.


Pleats and Lace

Now this weather is the Autumn I know and love! Today it was really sunny, with a mild chill in the air. As fall and winter rolls around I like to break out my hats... I had a revelation 2 years ago and realized I'm definitely a hat girl. Normally I steal my dad's hats, but I got this one from Forever 21. In fact, this was the  boater hat was the hat that started my obsession.

The skirt I'm wearing is also from Forever 21 I found on clearance a few years ago. When I first saw it, I thought it was so weird with its pleats and lacy bottom, but my mom convinced (forced) me to buy it, and as we all know, mothers are never wrong. Now every time I wear it I get compliments and its actually become one of my favorite clothing items.

Lesson learned: when your mom forces you to buy a strange looking skirt, buy it!

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 25 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!


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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