April 29, 2015

Being Injured

I've mentioned that in late January I injured my knee tearing 3 different ligaments.
On  March 20th I had ACL reconstruction.
Bleh.

I was supposed to get my surgery earlier but I did not have full enough range of motion so I started going to physical therapy three times a week.

It pained me to not get the surgery as soon as possible and to admit to myself that I did not have enough range of motion.

So hesitantly I went and started religiously going to PT. 
PT was and is a slow, slow process but as far as I can tell it is working.
After surgery I have started all over again with the physical therapy.

I am cautious not to push myself too much too fast because my therapist thinks I could. 
Slow and steady is the name of the game here.
So I am hoping with the exercises and stretches I will continue to be on the road to recovery. 

This injury has taught me a few things...
1. I am terrible at being injured. 
2. The physical pain isn't as bad as knowing I can't just get up and go run or even walk a good mile. I have not been able to find another way to exercise, but soon I should be able to!
3. I got injured during a time of year where the weather conditions are perfect and will be recovering when the weather becomes too hot to be outdoors.
4. Lastly, and on a positive note, this injury has made me grateful. Not being able to run, walk, bike, exercise---has really made me thankful for my ability to be active when I am injury free. I need to remember that not all is lost and it will come back.


Physical therapy does take quite of a bit of time out of my day but being injury free will be so worth it.


Make today worth it!

April 28, 2015

Easter With a Side of Broccoli and Adult Gift Baskets

I realize I never went over my Easter here on the good ol blog. Not that I have to cover every life thing I do, but eh, nothing else is coming to my mind today. I had a very laid back Easter. I went to church with Kevin (and my left knee brace that I took off for the picture) and then we came home and made dinner together. He made ribs (which were bomb...nothing is sexier than a man who can work a grill....Am I right ladies?!?)


I made broccoli. Let me tell you it is the easiest thing to make in the world--you don't even need a recipe. I am sure you will memorize it from these pages and make it over and over again. It is for those nights where you need something quick but need some vegetables. Or Easter in my case...

Steam broccoli in the microwave (per bags instructions) with chunks of Velveeta cheese.
Simple as that.

And so good!

Oh and I gave Kevin an Easter Basket. Because why not?!
I did adult it up a little bit. But also forgot the Easter grass. Kevin must think that I am a raving loon at this point.



Have you ever given out a non-traditional Easter basket before?

April 17, 2015

Growing Your Blog While Working Full Time

Raise your hand if you have a blog.
Raise your hand if you want to start a blog or grow your blog, but have a busy full time job and you think you couldn't find the time to dedicate to a blog.

Often the only thing that often gets in the way of my blogging isn't life, but rather my full time job. It can be hard. And no apologies, but I will always need to put that first in all reality...it pays the electricity bill. 

I feel like in the past couple of years having my blog, my question has been:
How to you manage working a full time job and giving your blog the time and energy that it deserves?

I think I may have finally figured it out.

Make a calendar
This is seriously how I stay sane. I used to use a normal planner, but then I found these print outs and I am forever in love!!

Schedule and plan your posts
When I tore my ACL I used some of my free time even while working a full time job to slow down a bit and plan some of my posts. When you have a topic idea, write it down. Build off of those ideas and make posts. If you make enough and keep enough in your bank, so to speak, you will have some that are ready to go on those days where work sucks the life out of you.

Make Goals
You have goals and tasks at work, in life, why should your blog be any different? This can be you want a certain number of followers or page views or comments...whatever you want!

Blog only when you want
This is because I truly believe that if you are not inspired to write you will not have enough content then my blog won't be good. Nobody wants their blog content skimmed over, if you write a post just because you need one, it will feel like an obligation. It is better to have a blog with passion once or twice a week then bored posts five times a week.


What are your some of your ways you keep your blog fresh, fun, and going?
Please share!

April 15, 2015

Cobb Salad

I am on a mission to feel better and eat healthier. I think one of the main reasons people don’t like to eat healthy (myself included) is because the food is boring or lacks in flavor. That is why I’m determined to make healthy recipes fun and tasty. If I feel the need to be out and eat healthy, I always pick the Cobb Salad. To me it is anything but boring.

If I like this salad when I am out, how come I don't make it at home? To be healthy at home you need to make food full of amazing flavor and amp up your everyday salad.

A classic Cobb Salad does just that!


Ingredients:

1 boneless chicken breast
4 strips of bacon fried until crisp
1 avocado
Romaine lettuce or green leaf lettuce, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs
Grape tomatoes, halfed (but roma tomatoes chopped are also fine)
1/4 cup of blue cheese crumbles
Blue cheese dressing


Directions:

Prep your toppings, ensure that your chicken is skillet cooked all the way through and cubed, crispy bacon torn into pieces, grape tomatoes cut, hard boiled eggs cubed, and avocado cut and chopped into cubes.

Arrange toppings on bed of chopped lettuce in rows.

Drizzle with salad dressing and enjoy!


What are some of the ways you spice up and make healthy food more enjoyable?

April 10, 2015

Financial Records

How does one learn how to become an adult? From those around us I guess? Well here I am finding myself as an adult. For once I am the one who has my birth certificate and am in charge of that and not my mom. All of a sudden these kinds of records and financials and papers galore all start piling up. I had this cute little accordion folder that held them all that is now going to burst should I put even one more paper into it.

No worries, I have a new organizational strategy that I am working on and will share with everyone when complete. But first I thought I would discuss after my research and personal experience how long you may want to keep these documents for.

**consult with someone not me before you take these words for gospel, this is just my opinion**


Tax Records
You should keep your income tax returns and supporting documentation (receipts and worksheets) for three years. That is how long the IRS has to audit you. Apparently it is six years if you have broken tons of rules, but would you really keep any of your documentation anyway if you were breaking all those rules?

Thank gosh for computer storage by the way. I can't imagine doing all these spreadsheets on papers and having to store them all.


Medical
I keep them for a while. You never know and since thankfully myself and my husband are pretty healthy we don't have many. Except for my new little knee injury...


Home Purchase, Sale, and Improvements
As long as you have that home I say and long enough to do your next tax return and three years after that maybe (for the tax records)? See where this is becoming a math problem? But then some people randomly say seven years after you sold a home...


Misc...(Stocks, Bonds, Investments, Credit Card stuffs, Retirement stuffs, paycheck stubs)
My husband says forever since it is all computerized. He tells me to let my OCD go and not worry about that. So I have no idea.


Warranties and Manuals
Until they expire or whatever the manual is for breaks/I no longer have it.

Insurance Policies
As long as it is current.


Jewelry and other Items of Value's Information
This kind of goes along with insurance, because as long as you have something expensive, you should keep information on it. If you ever come to selling these items, having proof of authenticity will be helpful. Keep it all!


What else am I forgetting that we keep?


April 8, 2015

Spouse Life: Nursing Edition

It has got to be hard to be a spouse of a nurse. 
Here is what Kevin often has to go through...

He has to roll over and over again really early as my alarm just goes off.....
He does not seem to have any trouble with this...

He gets home and I am not. Someone has coded or all hell has broken loose at the end of shift.
funny nurses


So then he decides to make dinner and calls me and I say I am on my way home and he is very proud that he has a hot dinner perfectly timed out for when I get home.



But then a patient traps me telling me her life story and all about her children and children's children and I am trapped trying to leave. Now dinner is cold. 
animated GIFs about nursing


Then I get home and he doesn't quite know whether he wants to immediately hug me. Am I gross? Probably.

Then we eat. I just gotta eat because I probably haven't sat down to eat all day.


Then I start talking about my day and he gets either really grossed out or depressed. I'm sorry. I love you for listening!
funny nursing images


Then I get to shower. After my shower I feel like nothing can stop me.
nurse graphics


Then I get in bed and he comes in excited to cuddle next to a clean me.....BUT I am asleep.


Thank you for putting up with me. I love you more than you can know!


Does anyone else's career leave your ever so forgiving spouse in situations like this?

April 7, 2015

Thunder Thighs

My weight has been discussed here a good bit. I have never been the skinny girl - size 0, 2, 4. My curves came in as soon as Aunt Flow started visiting, which was about, oh, the 6th grade. My body is athletic, with "thunder" thighs that are my powerhouse. For a long time, I didn't realize I even had them, until someone pointed them out to me. In an instant, my perception of them changed.

Instead of viewing my legs as strong and athletic, my mind saw them as fat. ugly. thunder thighs. And at times, it still does. It's funny how the mind can alter so quickly and how it is easier to fall into negative thinking.

"You are not fat. You have fat. Fat does not define who you are."

The mind is a deceiving thing - it convinced me that my body was ugly, when in fact, it's beautiful. My so called "thunder" thighs push me through hard runs, lead me to my home and move steady throughout life. They're not as chiseled as they used to be, and at times, I don't see the results I want. But I'm changing my focus from seeing results to working on change.

"If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results."
-Jack Dixon

In the end, it is mind over matter body, isn't it?

I did have to wear the large compression stockings after surgery and am working again on gaining muscle function back in those big quads of mine ;-)


What is something that has recently had a perception change for you?

April 6, 2015

Totally Tacos

The day after Halloween, the day after Valentine's Day, the day after Easter, all very important chocolate coma holidays that I absolutely love! These days role around and all control is thrown out the window and chocolate is consumed by the handful. I don't even mind. I love chocolate and I love not feeling guilty. Halloween you forever are my favorite, but Easter, you do well my friend! I consumed lots of yummy chocolate yesterday. But even this chocoholic has her limits. You need something to eat to counteract all that chocolate. Tacos are a great way to do that! I use my husband's recipe and it is pretty much bomb. dot. com.



Ingredients:

Lots of Lauren's Guacamole (optional--but really not)
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp salt
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
2-3 cups of water
2-4 tbsp red chile powder
Taco Shells
Cheese
Shredded lettuce
Sour Cream (optional)

Directions:

Brown ground beef with chopped onion (if higher fat content - brown meat and drain oil, if lean don't bother). 

Add 2 to 3 cups of water, chopped garlic, salt, black pepper, cumin, and red chile powder to taste - I use 2 to 4 tbsp just depending. 

Cook on medium heat until water is almost all evaporated - your choice depending on how juicy you like the taco meat. 

Put the taco shells in the microwave for 1 minute or follow the recipe on box for the oven. Add meat to shells top with guacamole, cheese, and lettuce.

You can also enjoy your taco as a salad. It is not so pretty but it is very yummy!



What are some of your favorite meals to have after a chocolate binge?

April 3, 2015

Authentic Green Enchiladas

Enchiladas. In New Mexico they are the bread and butter of the land. Everyone knows how to make them and they are a staple in every house. It is hard to say that your enchiladas are top dog in New Mexico. Heck we even have the world's biggest enchilada! But if it is authenticity you crave...here it is!

Ingredients:

1 tsp onion flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup of heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
1 1/5 cup of chicken broth
2 tbsp of flour
Diced green chile
Splash of lime juice
Shredded cooked chicken
Shredded cheese

Directions:

Boil chicken to cook. That is honestly the easiest way for me to cook my chicken. Place the breasts in a boiling stock pot of water. Cook until no pink in the breast and then take out and shred. Place in bowl with splashes of lime juice mixed into shredded chicken. Set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and then stir in the flour. Add the broth and then add the chile, garlic, salt, and cumin. Simmer for about 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Set aside.

In a small skillet, heat some oil on medium heat and lightly fry tortillas one at a time...like 10-20 seconds per side. You want them to soften. Place them aside on a plate with a paper towel lining it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To assemble the enchiladas, you can either lie flat the tortillas and pour over the chicken and sauce or roll them by stuffing and rolling the tortillas with the chicken and sauce. Either way place them into a 9x13 pan. make sure you sprinkle lots of cheese on in there and on the top.

Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes. Then serve warm!


Verde por Vida!
Can you handle the heat?

April 2, 2015

How to Address Palliative Care

I am lucky. In nursing school I really had so many great clinical experiences that I learned a lot from. Then I got my first job and felt like I knew nothing and learned a lot of different things there.

After I left that job and started new, I felt like I melded those two learning experiences and then continued to learn, but it a way where I felt stronger than ever in my career.

One of the things that I truly didn't learn until I was strong was speaking with patients and families about palliative care.

Sometimes we need to take the palliative care step before hospice or comfort care. If the patient’s death so close, but doing regular blood sugar checks are of no point anymore, palliative care is now something to look at.

It is hard to educate people on palliative/hospice care. I talk about how our goal of care and if it is quality or quantity. Family members often do not want to hear this. And I get it. It isn't easy. Then throw into the mix that certain religious or racial reasonings can impact whether someone would or would not consider palliative care.

I will always present it. It may be hard for someone to take it, but I am an advocate for the patient and even if the family or patient responds negatively to the information, I am okay with that. My opinion doesn't matter but the information needs to be there.

As a nurse, your tone changes from recovery to comfort. This does not mean we are giving up, this is not bad. I feel like I am in a more comforting, supportive, reassuring role. I realized in these instances it is okay to hug your patient or their family member. Reassure them. Be their go-to person. They are going to need it.

I have done what my patients need, whether that is listening to them rant, pray with them, get them a chaplain, etc...If you feel comfortable and so does the patient, by all means, go ahead!

Palliative care is never comfortable for the nurses or families, but open dialogue is what is best for the patient. 


Have you ever had to discuss or discussed palliative care?
What are some of your fears associated with death?

April 1, 2015

A Lazy Girls Dinner

There are just those days where your day feels like it has lasted an eternity. Whether you be a busy parent or professionally or both...there are those days that seem to never end. For me it is a long, emotionally draining day at work with my patients (and sometimes my staff) and coming home to a hungry husband.

That hungry husband loves some good ol hearty food. This does the trick!

Ingredients:

1 box cornbread mix (and ingredients to make as written on box)
1 can of chili or left over chili
cheese
tomatoes
sour cream
frito chips
lettuce

Directions:

Prepare cornbread batter to directions on box. Spoon batter into waffle maker and cook until golden brown.

Top cornbread waffle with chili and all the fixings and toppings.

Step three...look you are already enjoying dinner!


Oh and happy April Fools Day! I trust no one will play one on me because I am still hobbling. I cannot believe it is already April and I am still broken!


What are some of your super easy recipes that you pull out when your super busy?
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