March 31, 2015

Myself and Megan Fox

Yeah, Megan Fox and I have something in common. And no it isn't our fair skin and brown hair...we both have clubbed thumbs. A pretty unique feature if I do say so myself! I have never really thought of them as ugly, just different. Until I was told that I looked like I had a deformity (which I guess it technically is.) So I read up on what people have said about Megan Fox. Here is a quote I found:

This brunette beauty has what some have dubbed "toe thumbs," which are stubby, squat thumbs that somewhat resemble big toes. However, they're more commonly referred to as "clubbed thumbs," and the clinical name for the condition is brachydactyly type D. Fortune tellers have also dubbed the condition "murderer's thumb," which explains Megan's creepy role in "Jennifer's Body." Some people might say that Megan's bulbous thumbs detract from her looks, but I actually think that they're kind of cute.


Well thank gosh someone thinks they are cute! One of my patient's noticed my thumbs and he calls me stubby thumbs.

Brachydactyly D is a genetic trait where the last bone are very short and rounded. You can have them symmetrical or asymmetrical. Thank gosh mine our symmetrical. 

Oh and the downfall, you are bad at a couple of things:

Bowling: you try stuffing huge thumbs into that small hole.
Texting: being forced to use my poor chubby thumbs to hit the appropriate button.
Typing Same as texting.
Writing: I hold the pen/pencil differently than everyone else.
Thumb wars: Total disadvantage here, on the plus side, if ever there was a mandatory thumb war draft, I wouldn't have to go.


What makes you unique?

March 30, 2015

Nothing

It is so much easier to blog when you are doing cool things or have big life events or big emotional thoughts going on. I have none of that going on right now. No words or ideas flowing effortlessly from this brain to these fingers. No sir.

I feel confined as the weather has been beautiful here and I can't even get out to spend time outside because I am spending far too much time seeing the four walls of my bedroom and physical therapy.

My ACL is getting better. I have seemed to have a pretty effortless recovery thankfully. I have watched lots of TV and organized my Pinterest.

I can't believe it is already almost April.
Wowza, time is just flying by.


What did you do this past weekend?
Have a good week!

March 27, 2015

Vail Life

Since meeting my husband, I have loved spending time in Vail, Colorado. It is truly a beautiful place. I really could lead a glamorous life in Vail...

This was the first and probably one of the last times I will ever be in Vail and not ski. Since tearing almost all the ligaments in my left knee earlier this year, I have been pretty crippled and not much fun. But this shouldn't take Kevin out of the running for skiing, so we took a quick weekend get away right before my surgery.

First I got to see my girlfriend Andrea and her husband and I really love them to pieces. I wish we lived in the same city, but she is off being BOSS in Denver.



Vail as always, was beautiful.



There was lots of Apres ski for me. Which was easy since the weather was so warm and spectacular (for those of us not skiing anyway...)




Just what the doctor ordered!


And now here I am in bed starting the healing process all over again.
Bleh!


I love traveling. I wish I could do more, more often!
Any questions Vail, Colorado? Inquire here! :-)

March 26, 2015

It is the Worst When...

This has just been my week so far...

You get excited about using a recipe, using lots of time, ingredients, and money for the recipe, for it to come out awful. And the worst part is that there are plenty PLENTY of leftovers.


Writing a long nurse's note at work just to have something distract you and your computer to time out and all your charting to be gone...


You have to go to the dentist and are not looking forward to it. Of course your husband is because he has never had a cavity. And I'm all...
People like him do not count! 


When it is Thursday but you thought the whole morning that it was Friday.


When my DVR tells me there are no more shows to watch.


Since I cannot walk and people tell me their vacation plans.


When people ask me if I am in pain. (Duh, yes I am)
Sorry that one was the pain talking...


I should stop.

What's made you go
What Is The Worst Thing That Happened To You While Living On Your Own?
this week?

March 25, 2015

Wine Not

Seriously wine not. Wine is having a major MAJOR moment right now. There was a study released recently (per my news source Jimmy Fallon) that one glass of wine is equal to one hour at the gym.

Sadly I think two or three is not equal to two or three hours at the gym, but I'll take one!
Let's prep before your next trip to the grocery store. Here are my top 5 whites and reds that are readily available at any grocery store:


Whites:
1. Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc $7-9
2. Kendall Jackson Reserve Chardonnay $8-12
3. Chateau St. Michele Chardonnay $7-10
4. Cupcake Pinot Grigio $7-9
5. J Lohr Chardonnay $8-10

Reds:
1. Chateau St. Michele Cabernet $11-12
2. Bogle Pinot Noir $8-12
3. 14 Hands Cabernet $7-9
4. Mark West Pinot Noir $9-10
5. Menage a Trois Cabernet $8-12

Need more convincing on why wine is so great besides it's gym benefits?
Here is why:

You feel classy drinking it.
You could be bundled up in the ugliest sweatpants but with a full glass of wine, you feel classy.

It is fruit.
I promise! Grapes! And you need nine servings of fruit right? How many glasses does that mean?

via

You don't feel bloated.
Like you do after alcohols or beer.

The bartender really can't mess up your drink order.
The only mistake would be under-pouring your glass.

It is a great excuse to eat cheese or chocolate.
Cause that is what you do when you drink wine. People look at me funny if I am drinking my tequila asking for a cheese platter.
via

It shows me what good relationships are built on.
It is stable, strong, and reliable.

There are great sales.
So don't worry about drinking a whole bottle. There are often 2 for 1 sales or 15% off when you buy six.


What are some of your favorite wines to drink?

March 24, 2015

BBQ Chicken Salad

Salad.
Not my favorite word, but since I am not able to exercise and only able to just sit around, I have to eat better or risk gaining 500 pounds.

Salad, hi, I'm Lauren. Please be nice to me.

In order for salads to be nice to me, I realized the secret.
Make it taste gourmet.


And add some red wine with it. Red wine is always good!

Put a little work into it and it will be far better than tossing some lettuce leaves and cheese together with some ranch dressing.






Ingredients:

1 chicken breast
1/3 cup of BBQ sauce
1/2 cup of frozen corn
1/2 cup of frozen peas
1/2 cup of cheese
BBQ sauce
chopped romaine lettuce

Directions:

Spray your George Foreman grill with cooking spray and grill chicken through. Then brush with BBQ sauce. Cut into chunks. Steam corn and peas in the microwave.

In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, cheese, chicken, and veggies (Or arrange like a Cobb salad). Drizzle with barbecue sauce.


Very good...especially for a salad.
What is your favorite way to enjoy a salad?

March 23, 2015

Link Love

Surgery happened for me on Friday, so this post is coming to you scheduled. Right now I am hopefully catching up on re-runs of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and not in too much pain.

Wishful thinking I am sure.
In my time cooped up in bed I found lots of great links I tried that you have got to check out!


I love this blog calendar! Fair warning to those without apple products, you have to play around a lot with it to get the size and orientation right.

I admitted to my husband that Christina is my blogger spirit animal. Her Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin sealed the deal!

I don't often use recipes and go by the beat of my own drum in the kitchen coming up with stuff. Guess I got that from my father! It drives Kevin crazy that I don't follow recipes. I have been very good about giving him recipes to cook for dinner every night with my knee being out of commission. I had him follow this recipe to make Cloud Bread to succeed in giving up bread (with the carbs) for Lent. He even under cooked them to the recipe's standards, but it came out tasting burnt. Some were burnt on the edges and were not salvageable. I guess I chose the healthy life, but the healthy life doesn't choose me. A while back I did not succeed with cauliflower pizza crust. Gah! Healthy people give me your wisdom!!

I did succeed using cauliflower to make soup and I will def be sharing that recipe soon! It was soooo good!

Apart from food, Nina Pham the nurse that was infected with Ebola is now suing the hospital she worked for. Kati wrote an amazing post about it. Could not have said it better!


Btw, follow me on Snapchat to keep me entertained during my recovery!
Put your username in the comments so I can follow you back!

March 20, 2015

Sticky Fingers

Since tearing my ACL and MCL, I have had a fair few number of days where I have thrown myself the internal pity party. I tell myself "I shouldn't have done that last run." "What was I thinking trying that jump?" "I just want to be back to normal. I could be skiing in Utah, I could be getting into shape exercising."

All of that is going through my mind. And my poor husband is along for the ride because he is supportive and probably doesn't want to know what kind of freak out I would have if he went on a ski weekend. I have told him to go without me for the record. So here he is sitting at home with me. 

One of my co-workers who has also been supportive of me during my time of gimpy-ness is from Utah. I was throwing myself an internal pity party and wishing I could find myself something other than my Sweet and Sour Chicken and Sweet and Spicy Wings to make. He said back in Utah there is a place called Wingers and they have great things called Sticky Wings. Naturally I looked it up and my mouth began to water.




On their menu it says they have it in quesadilla form too. I may be trying that next!

Ingredients:

3-4 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1/2 cup of flour
3 eggs
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
cooking spray

For the sauce:
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1/2 cup of Frank's Hot Sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tablespoons of water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Slice the chicken breasts into strips and pound them to tenderize and flatten. (I literally put the breasts in a quart size bag and just bang on it with the hammer...)

Press chicken strips into flour to coat. Place the panko crumbs into a bowl. In another bowl whisk the eggs. Dip the flour coated chicken strips into the egg mixture and then toss in the panko crumbs to coat.

Place the chicken pieces onto the baking sheet and spray with more cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken is browned and cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce by mixing hot sauce and brown sugar in a saucepan stirring over medium high heat until melted and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add the garlic powder and water until smooth.

When the chicken strips are done, toss in sauce, serve warm and with ranch dressing.

Recipe adapted from Le Creme de la Crumb

March 19, 2015

How to Sharpen Your Scissors

I am one of those people that has never been able to cut even a straight line on a paper. Craft time as a kid, trying to cut the wrapping paper, making cards for others...all experiences that don't often turn out pretty for Lauren.

Oh and dull scissors make that even harder on me! 

My husband once tried to sharpen them with a knife sharpener. 
Kids, don't try that at home! You will have to buy new scissors.

Now my new scissors have been apart of the family for a while. Now I know how to sharpen them!
I had read that you could use aluminum foil to sharpen them. And yay it works! But I found a better way...

Which my scissors need because I am rough on them! (Yes, I know you are supposed to cut wire with wire cutters, but sometimes my scissors are closer...haha!)

Anyway, get to the point Lauren, you are babbling...
Sandpaper.

That is the trick.

The sandpaper sharpens the blade and smooths out any nicks in the blade.
The finer grit of your sandpaper, the smoother the blades will be.

It is as simple as folding the sandpaper rough side out and cutting through it!

This works for not only my craft/home scissors but also for my bandage/work scissors. I am sure these would work for fabric or other types of scissors.

Try it out! Let me know what you think!

March 18, 2015

Pesto Pizza

I ask the question Red or Green on my blog a lot and usually it is in reference to chili. I usually sway towards choosing green. I do the same with my pizza. No red sauce for me please, give me a white pizza....

Unless you have pesto in your fridge...and then you enjoy the best kind of pizza ever. A green pizza.

Green Pizza doesn't sound very alluring but hey Pesto Pizza has some nice alliteration.
And it is soooo good too!

For Valentine's Day this year (yes I know, far behind on chronicling the ol life on the blog) Kevin and I made pizzas. Green for me, Red for him.

I'll share his awesome pizza recipe later. For now, just know that yes, my green pizza is better.


Ingredients:

For the dough...
Follow this recipe in your bread maker! Easy as that!

For the Toppings...
pesto
baby spinach leaves
tomato (chopped)
mozzarella cheese (shredded)
mozzarella cheese (sliced, fresh)
bell pepper (chopped)

Directions:

Roll dough into a large circle and place on pizza stone. Bake for 5 minutes so dough will set.

Spread a thin layer of pesto over the crust and add the shredded cheese. Then add spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, and fresh mozzarella cheese to top.

Then bake for 6-8 minutes and try not to over eat. It is that good. 

March 17, 2015

Trying Swimming

In high school I was a competitive swimmer. Swim team is full of some of my best memories and experiences. It was also when I was in the best shape of my life. Since then, I really didn't stay in the pool much and consequently, I am in worse shape because of it. I have always wanted to get back into it, but always have made excuses...time, work, it's cold, hard, whatever....

Now with my ACL swimming is going to be a crucial part of my recovery. Or at least that is what I told my doctor at my last appointment. Then she told me she hasn't really ever had anyone use swimming to rehabilitate their ACL. She told me to get her some research and she would look into it.

I have had this post cued up for a while. My own blog and opinion is good research right?!
Wish me luck as I go back again today to hopefully be told she can do my surgery!

To be fair, I should have gotten in the pool a long time ago and not made the reason my ACL for getting me in the pool again.

So the big lesson in all this?
Get in the water and swim because it is good for you, but don't do it just because you have torn your ACL.

5 Reasons Swimming is Good for Your Health

Cardio 
First and foremost, swimming is a form of cardio. Cardio strengthens the heart muscles, and your heart can pump more oxygenated blood through your body with less effort. This is why athletes generally have lower heart rates (around 50-60 bpm) because their heart can pump more blood with each contraction. When I was competitively swimming, my heart rate was in the 60s.

Another neat thing about cardio is that it helps you burn fat. There are two types of "fuel" our muscles can use, fat or carbs. It is easier for them to use carbs because they are less dense and require less oxygen. So when you're doing cardio, you're pumping more blood (more oxygen) to your muscles, so they can break down fat easier. 

Easy on your joints 
Your joints can degenerate when you use them. Fact of life. Running or any other hard impact sport can over time wear down your joints. So if running hurts your knees or kickboxing hurts your hands, try swimming instead. The buoyancy of the water supports your body weight, therefore alleviating the stress on your joints. 

All-over Workout
 When you swim, you use muscles all over your body. Your legs, arms, back, and core are all used to propel you and keep you floating. To really make sure you utilize all of your muscles, practice different strokes. 

Regulates Breathing & Improves Lung Control 
Putting your face underwater is pretty good for your lungs. Because we need to hold our breath, swimming allows us to regulate our breathing pattern and gain lung control. This is helpful if you are a runner that might have a hard time catching her breath. 

Relaxing 
This may be more of a personal opinion, but I think swimming is one of the most relaxing forms of exercise there is. Maybe because I'm good at it? I'm not trying to be cocky (promise) because I know there are people out there that don't swim well, or those that are even afraid of the water. And if you are one of those people, pleeeease please (with sugar on top) just give it a try? I promise you won't regret it! 

One thing I feel like I should mention about swimming is that unfortunately, it is not the best exercise for weight loss. But Lauren, didn't you just get through saying that swimming was one of the best exercises ever? Yes. And it still is. But because swimming only burns about 500 calories per hour, you aren't going to be losing much weight. If your goal is to lose weight, then I would recommend using swimming as an adjunct form of exercise because it can still be beneficial. But a reminder so that you try swimming, let's remember the list of things swimming is good for: 
muscle development -heart strength -lung capacity -endurance -joint therapy -stress relief


Oh and you will probably never ever tear your ACL swimming.
That's a plus right?

March 16, 2015

Positive Patsy and Negative Nancy

It's been a crazy past couple of days. I felt myself getting really negative Nancy on everyone. Don't get me wrong...I think sometimes you need to vent and let it all out, but sometimes (especially when you aren't in control of the bad things going on in your life), you need to look at the positives.


On this Monday, I give you seven positives. One for each day of the week....duh!

1. Catching Kevin smiling at me for no reason.

2. Turning on my car and my favorite song starts playing on the radio (Right now it is Ellie Goulding's Love Me Like You Do)

3. Friday is only four days away.

4. My nails are staying long. (Trust me if you know me, this is big!)

5. When Kevin just looks into my eyes and knows that I want Chinese Takeout.

6. Jumping into my bed after a long day and getting on Pinterest.

7. Getting one gimpy step closer to walking again.


What are you saying to stay positive this week?!

March 13, 2015

Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Wings

I consider myself a sporty person, but I am really not. I know about swimming, football, and tennis. That is really about it. Pro football I am the best knowledge wise. I am still reminiscing of my Sundays pigging out on some great grub watching football games...come on fall come back soon! (I get to say that though. Living in Arizona the rest of the country wants winter to end, but I don't want summer to come.)

But I can use March Madness as a reason to pig out right?! Has it even started yet? I think the sport is fun because you get to do the bracket thing. It is like when the Kentucky Derby rolls around...seems everyone is an expert at picking horses. I become on of those people. 

Because while I am happy some people love to watch grown men run up and down and up and down a court, it is just not me.

March Madness instead becomes a time that since I am less interested, have more time to cook. And clearly with me and my recipes, that strictly only means using more ingredients. I really don't spend any time cooking in the grand scheme of things.

These wings are perfect for a game day. Just throw together and in a crock pot and enjoy!
Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken Wings - The easiest wings you will ever make. Just throw everything into the crockpot and you're set! Easy peasy!
source

Ingredients:

2.5 pounds of chicken wings
2 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup of soy sauce
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Cilantro (optional)

Directions:

In bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, honey, garlic powder, chili powder, pepper, and onion powder.

Place wings in the slow cooker and pour over sauce and toss to combine. Cook on low heat for three hours.

Remove chicken wings and place remaining sauce in a small pot and combine with two tablespoons of flour. Bring to a boil and let sit to thicken.

Cover wings in sauce. Add cilantro to garnish and enjoy!

Adapted from Damn Delicious 

March 12, 2015

Support During Blogging Blues

One of my favorite things to do is video chat with one of my blogger girlfriends Alli.
It helps both of us to keep blogging they way we want to. There are strengths and weaknesses that each blogger has and we are able to help build each other up.

The other day we were discussing ideas and having the time to blog.
We decided to blog well, you just need to make it happen!


But it is hard because your mind is buzzing with ideas and your memory card is full and then you sit there at your laptop and suddenly it is gone. Your once inspired brain now is filled of things you could have written in Elementary School. Then you start doing something else because your thoughts aren't there. Then when you want to go back to the computer but you keep telling yourself:

I'm too busy! I have a job, husband, a pet, a block of chocolate waiting to be eaten. I have no time to write.
We are all too busy. You have to make time to write, you don't just find it.
Remember why you started....whether it be your love for writing, the community, a creative outlet, or all the above. There is your spark!

My idea sucks! Seriously. 
Just remember that development of ideas take time.
Find a way to organize yourself to develop.

I just read all these blogs and they are so much better than me. I mean this girl has her degree in Journalism. Of course she is an AMAZING blogger.
You are too. The only thing you need is an idea and a computer. Your imagination will take you wherever you want to go. Degree or not...It is not a competition.

And then in the blogging community you will find a great, supportive community to top it off. Enjoy it! Use it!


Do you have a supportive fellow blogger?
How do you come up with new ideas/content?

March 11, 2015

Red or Green

Red or Green.
That is New Mexico's state question. For those who can't decide, you get Christmas. Red and green chili on your burrito, enchilada, chimichanga, etc...

When it comes to being at home Kevin does the green chili and I do the red in terms of making the sauce and salsas. So when red or green is asked of me at home...

I usually say green. Kevin's green is the best.

Please ignore my ugly wrinkly hand...we nurses get dry hands!

Here is the secret (and easy) recipe to make Kevin's amazing Green Salsa. Put this on your Huevos Rancheros tomorrow morning!

Ingredients:

1/2 tomato
Hatch green chili (de-stemmed)
a pinch of oregano
a pinch of basil

Directions:

Chop up your green chili and tomatoes.

Throw it in your blender (I use a magic bullet) so size accordingly to your blender and how much salsa you want. Also know that this salsa freezes and thaws beautifully so you can make it in huge batches if you are lucky enough to have the freezer space.

Oh yeah back to this instructions. Add a pinch of basil and a pinch of oregano.

Blend together and enjoy!


P.S. If you are not used to working with chili, remember that you will need to wash your hands really well after working with them! The secret to good salsa is using real Hatch Chili. If you fear the heat on your hands, you can use gloves! That works!


So I ask the question....Red or Green?

March 10, 2015

Hiking: Dripping Springs

I love hiking!
One of the hikes I have been on many a times in my hometown of Las Cruces, NM is the Dripping Springs Hike. 

The hike is very easy and the trail is well maintained. You may want to take some water as there is some elevation gain to this hike. Since it is so well maintained there are several places to stop.

Dripping Springs - Rest Spot

Before you reach the springs, you get to the Livery. This is a building associated with a historic resort hotel from the late 1800's that is located near the springs. 

Keep going because then you get to the hotel and that is where you need to be. And if you go in the winter, there just may be enough snow for you to make a friend! :-)


But hiking with friends of the real kind is the best ultimately!


If you look back from your hike, you will see the La Cueva Rock Formation and behind it the city (if you are at the right angle)


What are some of your favorite things about hiking?
Anyone planning to venture to New Mexico?

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