Friday Favorites, 2013: Week 22…The End of May

Friday, May 31, 2013

Yikes, another month gone!!

Update on the back:  thankfully with great work co-workers I was able to do my job but rely on others for the heavy lifting and today after sleeping it’s feeling MUCH better.  I’m crossing my fingers that with a little bit more rest, continued ibuprofen and icing, the worst is over.

Last night at work was really nice…busy but we had a great doctor on, in fact I agreed to stay for another hour and a half (which turned into two hours!) to cover until a co-worker came in…we are THAT busy in the ICU!

Having a wonderfully relaxing night…just reading on the Kindle and enjoying the AC in this heat wave.

Lots of plans for June…

…garden prepped and planted

…flowers planted by mailbox and house

…making summer-y meals

…getting the grill together to start using

…plants for the porch

…downstairs bath completed on my vaca

…having a bit of fun on my vaca (not too far away…only SIX more work days)

…clothes shopping

…scrub shopping


I’m looking forward to it all!

Enjoy my favorites from around the web this week…

Favorite GREENSpinach Pesto…love, love, love pesto and adding in some spinach, you use less basil…can’t wait to try this and see how it tastes!

Spinach pesto

Recipe and photo ~~ Chef in Training

Favorite salad biteBroccoli Craisin Salad (minus the bacon this sounds delish…love the addition of craisins!)

Broccoli Craisin Salad

Recipe and photo ~~ Chef in Training

Favorite crunchy yummChinese Coleslaw…I LOVE this recipe…I will have to find something to substitute the non-vegetarian seasoning packet with…but when I do…mmm, mmm…can’t wait to make!

Chinese Coleslaw

Recipe and photo ~~ Brown Eyed Baker

Favorite positive post9 Things Happy People Do To Stress Less (~~ Mark and Angel Hack Life)

Favorite fruit sideFruit Dip!  Luscious and cool…bring on the fruit!

Fruit dip

Recipe and photo ~~ Brown Eyed Baker

Favorite quote


Have a great last day of May!!!

Published in: on May 31, 2013 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Back Pain

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Currently blogging while icing my lower back…something is not right…?pinched nerve, ?bulging disc, ?back spasm??

I’m trying to home remedy this first before jumping the gun and going to the hospital.

I’m not sure what happened but I’m suspecting the lifting and putting the AC in yesterday probably irritated my lower back (even though I was TRYING to lift properly!)  Then last night when I took Izzy out for the last time before bed she “did her business” and as I was bending down to put it in a bag, my lower back suddenly severely hurt, like sharp pains going down my legs from my lower back.  I was hoping that it would improve with sleep, but I woke up this morning with more pain, stiffness, inability to bend my back much.

Of course I started googling stuff 🙂  If it is a spasm, looks like ice is the best treatment in the first 48-72 hours and then heat.  So I think that I’m going to treat with ice…rest…stretching.

If it gets worse, then I’ll go to the ER, but not until after work…maybe I’ll get in faster!

Here’s hoping for a quick recovery.

Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  

AC in…

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Well, we are ready for the heat wave descending upon us…umm, tomorrow!

Finally moved the window unit AC from the front porch to the dining room window.  Thankfully we had the use of Kimm’s father’s dolly which really helped save my back!

We tested it out and it’s working good…bring on the heat.

Other than that it was a pretty lazy day.  I did manage to talk to my mom, make some banana muffins with a very sad-looking banana on the counter top, and read through all my blogs…oh yeah, and NAP…very important 🙂

Published in: on May 29, 2013 at 8:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

The BEST Brownies!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Brownies are kind of my “thing.”

You know, when you are going to bring something for a get together…I generally bring brownies.  Yes, they are cheap and easy to make, but they are also a favorite…just love a gooey, fudgy interior with a crisp edge!  We had brownies at Kimm’s parents for Memorial Day and it urged me to make some for us here at home.  Generally I’ve always made the box mix, but I wanted to make them from scratch and boy oh boy did it make a difference!  Holy yum…seriously the BEST brownie I have ever had 🙂

Recipe…(adapted from Mmm-Mmm Better Brownies at…

Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips


1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

To make:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 8 x 8 pan with baking spray.

In large bowl, mix oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs.

In medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix.

Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

Spread evenly in pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until brownies start to pull from edge of pan and when toothpick inserted in middle of pan comes out dry.

Cool and enjoy!



Other scenes from the day…








Twas a good day 🙂

Published in: on May 28, 2013 at 9:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Memorial Day 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

My hopes of being cancelled were dashed as 5:15 pm came and went last evening 😦

I headed into work and expected to work another night in the ICU, but NOPE…even though we still had just two patients, the ER was hopping and that’s where I was sent.  It was busy, busy, busy…all night long.  I thought it would have been more slow considering the holiday was the next day but I was way wrong.

After getting home and sleeping a bit I was up and showered in order to head over to Kimm’s parents for a Memorial Day cookout.  The meal was VERY good–veggie burgers with cheese, fried onions and tomatoes, homemade potato salad, veggies and dip, potato chips and for dessert…brownies!

Yum, yum!

The evening was spent chatting and catching up…

We were home relatively early as Kimm’s parents had to head up to Boston the next day for her father’s yearly heart exam.  Lucky for Izzy she got some couch time while we watched some Weeds 🙂


Deep appreciation for all the service men and women who lost their lives protecting the freedom I often take for granted…

Published in: on May 27, 2013 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sunday’s Letters, 2013: Week 22

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dear Work:  Besides being a bit tired, I’m two days in to my three days on and feeling pretty good…doesn’t hurt when you have a good doc on 🙂

Dear Weather:  You are crazy, crazy, crazy…80 degrees last week and dying without the AC and now today so cold the heat is back on in the house…CRAZY!

Dear Memorial Day:  Looking forward to our cookout with Kimm’s parents…mmmm nothing beats the taste of veggie burgers off the grill!

Dear Days Off:  I CAN NOT WAIT!!  I hope I get everything done I want to get done…

Dear June Vacation:  I’m also so looking forward to you…finally getting the small bath updated!

Dear Izzy:  Just love snuggling with you on the couch for a bit before work…

Dear Bed:  Can’t wait to climb in this morning!

Published in: on May 26, 2013 at 8:22 am  Leave a Comment  


Saturday, May 25, 2013

…for a dry warm house on a cold wet day

…for my morning cup of coffee with my beloved creamer 🙂

…for great co-workers that really work as a team

…for doctors who are actually NICE (yep there are a few!)

…for  my cozy bed to snuggle up in after a long shift at work!

Published in: on May 25, 2013 at 8:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday Favorites, 2013: Week 21, Memorial Day Weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

SO MUCH done before work today…

…AC bought and put in for the bedroom ($20 off sale!)

…finally finished watching Dancing with the Stars (Kelly won and I completely feel that she deserved it…was so glad to see that Zendaya took 2nd!)

…laundry and bed sheets changed

I’m going to be starting my three-day weekend so I hope all goes well…I’m going to take it just one day at a time…

Enjoy my favorites from around the web this week…seems to be lots of cold recipes…bring on summer food 🙂

Favorite summer saladGrilled Corn Orzo Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette!

Grilled Corn Orzo Salad

Recipe and photo ~~ Iowa Girl Eats

Favorite inspirational postHow to Live a Life You Love (~~More Than Money)

Favorite frozen yummCoffee Oreo Fudge Ice Cream Pops!!

Ice Cream Pops

Recipe and photo ~~ The First Year Blog

Favorite “feel good” postno judgement (and maybe an earworm) (~~my radical commitment)

Favorite fruity sipWatermelon-Raspberry Juice

Watermelon-Raspberry Juice

Recipe and photo ~~ SugarHero!

Favorite finance postHow Does Frugality Translate Into Wealth? (~~The Simple Dollar)

Favorite chocolateCookies and Cream Trifle

Cookies and Cream Trifle

Recipe and photo ~~ Chef in Training

Favorite “back on track” postOverwhelmed (~~The Simple Dollar)

Favorite famous re-doOrange Julius Copycat

Orange Julius

Recipe and photo ~~ The Recipe Critic

Favorite positive post4 Short Stories that Will Change the Way You Think (~~ Mark and Angel Hack Life)

Favorite comboBrownie Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream Sandwiches

Brownie Raspberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Recipe and photo ~~ SugarHero!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Published in: on May 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

REAL LIFE (!) Blog Friend

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Today was a pretty cool day…I got to hang out with a blogger that I truly respect and admire 🙂

Aimee from Amazing in Motion came over and we chatted up a storm!  Seriously, those three hours FLEW by!

If you don’t follow her, I highly suggest you do…her transformation from non-runner to marathon (!!) runner is so inspirational, as is her body and mind transformation during a triumphant weight loss.  Basically whenever I read her blog I leave smiling and feeling so much more motivated to do better in my own life!

After spending a lovely morning sipping iced coffee and talking/laughing, Kimm and I decided to head out to Home Depot to pick up the new lawnmower that she decided was a good fit for us because she was going to mow on the weekend and I had a long three-day weekend on.  UNFORTUNATELY for us, the rain gods were not in our favor.  As soon as we pulled into the parking lot it started POURING!  And it never stopped.  So there we were putting a huge lawnmower in our car in the pouring rain.  NOT FUN.

And of course on the drive home the rain just kept coming down.  By the time we were home it was coming down even harder if you can imagine.  Since we were already wet, we got the lawnmower out of the car and into the garage.  And that’s when we notice that the box had stained the back seat a bit due to it being wet…of course that would be our luck!  So I quickly run to get some paper towels, get the stain out as much as possible while rain is dripping steadily down my back!

Needless to say, it was very nice to get into a dry house and change into dry clothes 🙂

WHAT an experience!  As I said to Kimm, “only us!”

Published in: on May 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Stroke Conference

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Today I spent my first full day off getting up super early and learning all about strokes.

I attended a Stroke Conference organized by Baystate that earned me 6 CEU credits.

My thoughts regarding the conference:

….I loved hearing about a stroke from the perspective of a patient who had a stroke

…some of the learning sessions were either too simplified or too complex…this ended up being very frustrating

….I don’t like it when conferences don’t provide handouts of the power points or don’t provide access to print out the power points

….most of the speakers were pretty dry

…food was included and it wasn’t too bad, however not all vegetarian but I made do…a nice breakfast buffet with fresh fruit, yogurt, whipped cream, granola, coffee, fruit juices, muffin tops…I had a wonderful bowl of strawberries, blueberries, mandarin orange segments, and raspberries with granola and whipped cream for breakfast, for mid-morning snack a blueberry muffin top with apple juice…lunch was a large salad with chicken chunks, Gorgonzola cheese, cherry tomatoes, grapes, candied walnuts and a lemon vinaigrette…I of course had to pick off all the chicken and the cheese…once that was off…very good…also a fruit cup with grapes, cantaloupe, green melon and strawberries…a brownie for dessert!

…I got awful tired towards the end of the day…I don’t know if it was the meal, or getting up so early, or the repetitive content…but I was ready for a nap!

But here are some interesting facts from the day…

~~795,000 people have a stroke each year

~~strokes cause 150,000 deaths each year

~~someone has a stroke every 40 seconds

~~over 70% of strokes are first events

~~strokes are in the top four causes of death

~~strokes are the leading cause of functional impairment


Remember F-A-S-T

F = facial droop

A = arm drift

S = speech impaired

T = TIME — get to the hospital FAST

~~there are two types of stroke:

1 — hemmorhagic (15%)–bleeding in the brain

2 — ischemic (85%)–a clot blocking blood to the brain

~~a doctor will always want to know the LAST TIME WELL

~~if a stroke is caused by a clot and the pt is within a 3 hour window, TPA (clot-buster medicine) can be used to break up the clot and restore blood flow to the brain and reduce functional limitations

~~a minor stroke (TIA) is a stroke that resolves in 24 hours…it increases your risk for a larger more dangerous stroke

~~only 25% of people know what a stroke is and can list the signs and symptoms

To prevent stroke — eat less, move more, don’t smoke, keep your cholesterol low, manage your blood pressure, lower salt intake.

Remember TIME = BRAIN!!!!

After the conference I was SO glad to come home and relax for the night 🙂

Published in: on May 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm  Leave a Comment