July 22, 2016

Watermelon Summer

Summer calls for many great get togethers! Here in Arizona it is warm, warm, warm! Despite being so hot out, my summer weekends are almost booked solid. This means I don’t have a ton of time to be up in the kitchen making lots of dishes for visiting guests or to bring to a BBQ. Therefore, I always need my arsenal of easy yet impressive recipes. Summer recipes should be light and fresh and watermelon is the perfect vehicle! I love making watermelon margaritas for an easy summer drink, But I also like to eat my watermelon and have two other go to recipes for my watermelon.



Simple Fruit Salad
When you need something fast and easy. This is it!

Ingredients:

1/2 watermelon, hallowed out and cubed
1 pint of blueberries

Directions:

Combine watermelon and blueberries in a trifle dish or bowl. Yep, Two ingredients and combine. The flavors are really great together. You can also blend those together for your morning smoothie!


Grilled Watermelon Salad
Grilling is your other option! Classic summer options include anything grilled. Plus anything with a hefty amount of cheese is always a positive in my book!

Ingredients:

1/2 watermelon, hallowed out and cubed
sliced fresh burrata or mozzerella
1 jalapeno
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste


Directions:

Grill pieces of watermelon. Place on plate and cover with fresh burrata or mozzerella cheese pieces.

Finely chop jalapeno and let it steep in extra virgin olive oil for 20 minutes. Drain the oil and save it to drizzle on top of the finished dish with some sea salt.



What is your favorite way to have watermelon?

July 20, 2016

Breaking Protocol

Sometimes you break protocol.

As most of you know, I am a nurse. My job is to put patient's health and well being first. They may not always understand or like what I am doing, but I will always do what is best for my patient.
And sometimes break protocol in the process.

For instance,..

I may have peeled off my glove to do a difficult IV start so I could get a better feel and taken off my glove to hold someone's hand, among other things. Like every other nurse in the world. None of this happens because I am a hero or because I am stupid and don’t know about precautions. It happened because I am a nurse.

Yes, we should use protective equipment and precautions and yes, we do exactly that 99.9% of the time. But most of us will never turn away from a person (patient or not) in need for lack of personal protective equipment.


I remember when Nina Pham was diagnosed with Ebola after caring for the patient. The CDC cited a breach in protocol as the source of her infection. It may have happened. But we as nurses don't know everything and like every other human on the face of the earth, cannot be perfect. She was gloved, masked, gowned and wearing a face mask just like she was supposed but there is a long complicated process of donning, caring, and then disposing of equipment. For all of us, no matter what infection we are treating, it is so easy to have something go wrong.

I have also been exposed when not breaking protocol. I have been in a patient's room after a procedure called a cardiac catheterization and their groin site "popped" spewing blood. I put on gloves which is standard precaution, but nothing about a cardiac cath says wear a mask. But never the less, some of the blood squirted to my face.  I did not worry about the blood on me, I worried about the patient. Then after, yes, I scrubbed and was relieved I didn't have any open areas on my face.

It is hard to know when to pass judgement on a breach in protocol. If I saw someone not wash down equipment after going into a person with clostridium difficile, and then using that same equipment in a room with someone without the infection, that is a breach in protocol I would not forgive.

Protocol is there for a reason, but sometimes we have to lose it to make an impact on a patient or save a life. That is what makes breaching protocol so hard. You don’t want a world of nurses who will leave your child in need for lack of gloves. You want us to be careful and yet, willing to take risks on your behalf.


But who makes the determinations on which protocols are okay and not okay to break?
That is the question.

July 18, 2016

Mac and Cheese

Now, most of you know, I am a self made girl. I got married and had no job. I wanted to be able to provide for my new husband and make and prepare great dinners for my hard working man. So I had to learn! Learn I did, but strategically, I learned a couple of recipes from my mother in law. She gave me two recipes to keep her son happy: Navajo Tacos...and Mac and Cheese!

I cannot believe I haven't shared this recipe yet! This is really the best macaroni and cheese around. No bluffing.




Ingredients:

3-4 cups of water
1 cup of macaroni
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of milk
1 chopped green chile (optional)
2 cups of cubed cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:


Bring water to boil. Add macaroni and cook to package instructions.

Drain macaroni in colander and set aside. Off of heat, in the same pan, add flour to 1/4 cup of milk. Stir until smooth. Once smooth, stir in the rest of the milk. Add green chile and mix. Add drained macaroni and season with salt and pepper. Stir it together on medium high heat until it comes to a boil and then turn off heat. Add cubed cheese. Cover with lid until cheese becomes slightly melty.

Then serve and enjoy!


What are some of your favorite hand me down recipes?
Is there anyone who doesn't like mac and cheese?

July 15, 2016

Summer Shindigs: How to Have Fun and Still Feel Great

These past three weeks have been a blur! With all of the pizzabirthday celebrations, Fourth of July celebrations, and just summer weekend celebrations...it is no wonder I am feeling overwhelmed!

It is no secret that I like to have fun. But I truly believe in everything in moderation. You have to balance all your barbecues, pool parties, picnics, and late nights so that you aren't burnt out when you have to work and fat gaining weight from it all. I mean...I am just saying...

Overdoing on booze and food can leave you feeling guilty and sluggish. It is harder around this time of year with all the great summer stuff going on, but I am here to share how I keep my body and mind as balanced as I can during this time of year.


Stick with clears and wines
More parties equal more alcohol. If you can, stick with clear liquors for your drinks or a glass or two of wine. The more times alcohol is distilled, the less impurities and toxins there are. Therefore you are less likely to feel cruddy the next morning. Plus slow sipping and easy drinking makes for an enjoyable time. Try a Tito's, ice, and lemon or a nice glass of Sauvignon blanc.

Take a cool shower
After eating and drinking, balance the hot summer body with a nice refreshing shower. Make it colder than your normal shower. Trust me it will do your body a world of good!

Drink water
Duh, everyone says this. Despite knowing this, most of us don't drink enough water throughout the night. My advice is don't drink two events in a row. Example: don't drink the night away and wake up to have drinks with brunch. Pick and choose so you aren't super dehydrated (that was a technical term) and your body will thank you.

Eat right
Load up on foods that contain cysteine (such as eggs, cheese, oats, chicken, and fish), which helps break down acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, a headache causing toxin that is produced when your body digests alcohol. Eat before you drink if you can. Sure, everyone loves binging on the burgers/fries and pizza while drinking, but with a summer schedule that is jam packed, if you do that enough, you will feel really bad!


Let's do this and have a great weekend!

July 11, 2016

It is Okay to Relax

Today I feel stressed and I have no idea why. We finished our laundry room and I absolutely love it. I finally picked up my house after it turned into a mess throughout our tiling project. I haven't moved on to a single one of my other projects. I of course have been working which isn't anything new, Never the less, I had a great work out yesterday and will be back at it again today. I should feel accomplished. I should go home and treat myself to a glass of white wine and TV (I finally started watching House of Cards and am HOOKED!) but instead I feel stressed. I keep feeling like I need to be holding myself to a higher standard.
But here’s the thing:
Who is keeping track of what I can get done? Me.
Who cares if something doesn’t get checked off? Me.
What is really stressing me out? Me.
Me. Me. Me.

It is all about me.

I need to recognize the importance of relaxing. And if I don’t get it done, there is always next week. I just feel like when I am relaxing, I could be doing something. I can't guilt myself. It is time to reward myself for my achievements, not stress over the next project (guest bedrooms). I want to look forward to it!


What is your next project?
What do you to de-stress?

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