Monday, November 2, 2015

28 by 28 Recap

I turned 28 last week! It was a nice day even though I had to work. We went out to dinner and my family sent me some great presents which was very nice. I had really want

The weather is cool but still sunny and so pretty here.

When October started I had ambitions of making it much farther down my 28 by 28 list. I was on an elective for part of the month, so I thought maybe I would have the time. Unfortunately my elective was busy and full of PICU crosscover, and then I went to wards where the days are long and I go to bed at 8 pm.

So suffice it to say I'm rolling over a few things to next year - but here's the list complete with all the things I finished by the time I turned 28. I've bolded the ones I did and given a link if there's a post that references it.

28 by 28

1. Read 4 books (for fun). I don't want to lie - I don't think I read 4 books for fun this year. Maybe 2. 
2. Update my "In Case I Die" letters. I wrote them in 2008. I didn't reread the old ones - I'm a completely different person now so I just wrote some new ones.
3. Develop old disposable cameras. Hopefully this one is coming soon - I do have them in my possession now instead of at my parents' house.
4. Make another video for the blog. See here for September Favorites 2015!
5. Go to Machu Picchu. This was part of my 5 week trip to South America for work. All the vacation highlights are in this post and you can check out the work in the other "South America" posts. 
6. Do a primarily strength-based workout for at least 2 months. In December/January/February last year I did the New Rules of Lifting for Women. I never advanced beyond the first stage, but I really enjoyed it. Then I moved away from my gym to rotate in Los Alamos for a month with South America shortly after and I didn't really continue. It has changed the way I think about how I structure my workouts though and I would like to start again. 
7. Do a 1000 piece puzzle. 
8. Go to Yosemite. My sister in law got married nearby in August and we had a great time hiking and spending time with family.
9. Spend a whole day without any non-essential media (i.e. work email ok, cell phone games not). This one was more out of necessity, but during my month in South America I definitely had some days tech-free.
10. Eat 1 raw meal a day for a week.
11. Change my gym membership to save some $.  We changed from the $20/month Planet Fitness Black Card that was just for me to the regular $10/month membership for both John and I. 
12. Try a vegetable that's new to me. This year I found a use for Napa cabbage for the first time and made a nice soup with it.
13. Bike to Nob Hill.
14. Take Luna to a new dog park. Our favorite dog park is one I tried because this was on my list - the one off Eubank has little dog/big dog sections.
15. Learn to play a new song on the keyboard.
16. Try a new type of art.
17. Take the Railrunner to Santa Fe for the day just for fun.
18. Try a new type of tea.
19. Do 20 full pushups in a row.
20. Volunteer doing something that isn't medical.
21. Make a meal plan for dinners and stick to it for a week. 
22. Watch at least 50% of the films nominated for a 2015 Best Picture Oscar.
23. Go to White Sands National Monument.
24. Take a non-medical class or workshop - online or in person.
25. Go to Carlsbad Caverns.
26. Grow something. We are currently sustaining a basil plant.
27. Try every Thai restaurant in Albuquerque [4 star or higher on Yelp]. All right there's a chance I missed one or 2 but I feel I've tried an adequate variety to know that I'm already going to the best ones. Now every time we try a new one I'm disappointed so I'm going to stick with Thai Cuisine II and Salathai. 
28. Go camping. You can read about this adventure here. 

I'm at 14/28: 50%. Not bad though I'm hoping to do better next year.
Some of these I'll roll over and of course I need new ideas so feel free to make suggestions - hopefully I'll have the 29 by 29 page up soon.

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Autumn Spiced Apple Cider

It's fall!

I keep saying that and hoping that maybe it will make the weather turn colder. We finally had a wild storm last night and our power went out this morning, but it still doesn't feel quite cold enough for the middle of October.

We've had balloon fiesta though, and the sky cleared just in time for the balloons to take off.

But Autumn is my favorite season and I'm not going to avoid celebrating it just because it's not cold, so here's a recipe for Spiced Cider.

It tastes great as written or there's an option to add some whiskey.

4 cup apple cider
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Few cloves

If desired, add 1/2 cup of whiskey

Combine everything together in a pot and simmer for 15 minutes. You can use ground spices as well, but it will make the cider more grainy.
You can also put in all in the slow cooker for several hours, and the house will smell amazing.

Not pretty, but I promise it tastes awesome.

Have a great weekend. 

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Favorites! [Video]

Hey all, I finally made another video, so here are some favorites for the month of September!

There's some choppy editing and I tried to make it not too crazy long, so forgive me for the transitions.

Thanks for reading (watching), see you soon.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Faves 7/31/15

Happy Friday! It's favorites time.

1. Things My Sisters Say
Nicola was telling us a story about how people at work were being disrespectful of her time and this was Shannon's response:

Many days I think she's right.

2. Music
Demi Lovato - Cool for the Summer.

3. Snack or Meal
I've been trying to increase my protein just a little bit - or at least focus on it and make sure I get enough because it's been a really long time - maybe 4 years ago - since I last tracked my macros and knew how much protein I was getting in a day. So here's a really good breakfast I had recently: 2 slices Dave's Killer Bread, 1/2 avocado, grape tomatoes, sauteed tofu and a glass of soy milk. [and a vitamin]. It came out to about 20-25 grams of protein.

4. Lifestyle and Beauty
All right this isn't technically a beauty product, but lately I've been trying to spend time hiking and out in the sunshine. I've not been putting anything but sunscreen on my face and my skin's been really happy.

Valle Caldera

5. Recipe
Tofu Scramble from It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken. Lately I've been all about the tofu and tempeh. They just always sound good.

Happy weekend!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

All the Things That Have Recently Happened

So I recently got these texts - on two separate days - from my sisters.

Can we just appreciate the patience that went into this one? Literally going from lowercase to uppercase one letter at a time with each repeat.

So it has come to my attention that I haven't written a blog post in quite some time and I have been informed by my sisters that I need to fix that, so here we are.

So I thought I'd just do a quick life update, featuring recent events and of course some food.

1. It's summer in Albuquerque and that means afternoon thunderstorms. The other day after clinic I happened to be walking home at just the wrong time.

 I was soaked through and had to take my shoes off because they filled up with water and got dangerously slippery.

2. I'm a third year resident now. I don't think I've actually written since that transition happened. There's no big to-do or anything. You literally go to your last day as a second year exactly the same and then come to work on your next rotation the next day as a third year. It's nice to know I'm in my last year, but in my program it's not super different in terms of responsibility - you become a senior resident at the beginning of second year and start supervising interns etc. So it's more of the same thing, but it is kind of weird to be in my last year, to be one of the most senior seniors I guess. I'm glad I still have a year left because there is always more to learn, but I do feel like I've come a long way from my post about "What It's Like to be an Intern" <- click the link if you want to read it. Maybe later I'll write a post about what it's like to be a senior resident. 

3. We tried this new place called Thai Spice that was terrible. I really like thai food and I feel like for the most part if you're a Thai restaurant you're probably making ok Thai food. Maybe not every dish is awesome, but in general you're doing all right. I don't know what was wrong with this place but it was just not good. Here's some pictures anyway because that's what I do, but seriously Thai Spice Albuquerque, not recommended. The little straw wrapper flowers were cute though.

4. We went hiking at Sedillo Ridge. We couldn't find the trail as described in our book but we did an up and back that was really pretty.

5. Luna is still super cute.

6. I made the Bacon, Tomato, Kale Salad from Salad Samurai and it was awesome. I've really been enjoying that book this summer.

7. John and I went camping together for the first time. Sort of the first time anyway - we went to one of those kind of in-city campgrounds with some friends a while back, but we've never gone off-the-trail camping on our own, and we'd bought some gear a little while ago so we took the opportunity last weekend since I had both (BOTH!) days off and went to Jemez. We camped off one of the forest service roads and it was beautiful. It rained on us but we stayed dry in the tent.

Valle Caldera

Luna loves the car. She'll put her head out as long as we're under 45 miles per hour.

Valle Caldera

Springs Trail

Luna had a good time but she got scared when people down the way started shooting off guns and spent the afternoon in the tent.

Our solar station - we have an LED solar lantern and a solar charger for electronics.

Luna guarding the tent door.

Our campfire turned out really nice.

I brought the Lightlife Jumbo Vegan Hot Dogs to roast and it was delicious.

8. It's summer and that also means fresh pineapple. The one in the fridge right now might be the third one this month.

9. I transitioned from Emergency Room to Clinic - which is our urgent care rotation - about a month ago (that was the transition from second to third year) and it's been really nice to be in the Urgent Care because outpatient is what I want to do. I like it there - I learn a lot from all of the attendings there and it's a great mix of really sick patients and primary care issues. Next week I transition again to a Genetics elective with weekend night crosscover.

10. I made some Vegan Strawberry Scones today using the recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I used the basic one and added in fresh strawberries - between the fruit and the altitude here they took about twice as long to bake as the recipe called for, but they turned out really good. My scones have always been too tough in the past but I tried really hard not to overwork it and they were perfect. The jam was a gift from my friend Tiffany. 

And that's pretty much what's been happening. I work, I hang out with my friends, we hang out with Luna, I eat things, I cook things, I sleep when I can. 

I hope you're all having good summers.

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Faves 6/26/15

I was working right through Friday last week so I missed favorites time, but this week here they are!

1. Things My Sisters Say
Shannon's dog Chakka has been living with her for a while but is ultimately Emma's and will be going to live with her soon. Look at this face.

2. Music
This is my summer country favorite at the moment: Blake Shelton, Sangria.

3. Snack or Meal
The other day what with my night schedule and poor eating habits I was really craving greens and got this salad from the bar at Whole Foods.

4. Lifestyle and Beauty
This soap is amazing. John bought it and I can't remember where - World Market maybe? It makes my hands feel awesome and smells amazing.

5. Recipe
Shredded Kale Salad from Oh She Glows

[Photo is mine - Tofu Scramble with kale from Flying Star. Oddly I cannot find a good kale salad picture anywhere in my archives, which means it's time to make a kale salad.]

Happy weekend!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Faves 6/12/15

Fridaaaay! That means it's favorites time and here they are.

1. Things My Sisters Say
My youngest sister Nicola has been rocking and rolling around Greece and just got back so I just thought I'd share this precious photo. I'm so jealous.

Look at this cutie.

2. Music
I couldn't get it to post the video right here, so I'll just share the link. It's so summery and pretty.
Isobel Anderson - Botanical Romance.

3. Snack or Meal
Whole Foods makes vegan pizzas, so the other day John and I got a half regular cheese/half Daiya cheese vegetable pizza. We put a lot of vegetables on it and the crust was great but I ended up preferring the pita ones we make ourselves.

4. Lifestyle and Beauty
I haven't actually purchased this product yet but I put it on every time I go to Sephora and it's first on my list to purchase when I have enough of my budget for truly frivolous purchases available. It's amazing.

5. Recipe
This one is just too gorgeous. Mango Curry Tofu on Choosing Raw.

[Photo is theirs]

Happy weekend!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Friday Faves 6/5/15

It's Friday [okay it's Saturday but it's close] and you know what that means - Favorites time. Who missed Friday Faves? I know I did.

1. Things My Sisters Say
This one is just one of those great days when I wish I lived closer to my sisters so I could help them out. This one courtesy of Shannon:

She did eventually finish her paper. I'm so proud of her.

2. Music
The Acoustic Summer Spotify playlist is perfectly suited to my mood about 70% of the time these days. [The other 30% is a weird combination of country and Top 40]. This is Cherry Wine by Hozier, and it's just so good.

3. Snack or Meal
I've literally eaten basically nothing but Lara bars and avocado toast this week. I'm never hungry and when I am I'm working and it's all very confusing for my poor stomach. With that in mind I'm going to share this picture of delicious Panang Curry from Sala Thai that we got on one of our first nights back from South America.

4. Lifestyle and Beauty
I've had the hardest time the past few months finding a conditioner that strikes a balance between not too dry and not too much buildup. I really like this one from Organix.

5. Recipe
It's just about summer - seriously it's 90 degrees here - and that means peach season isn't too far away. In preparation, I'm looking ahead and here's a peach cobbler recipe I want to try from The Southern Vegan. Link here.

[Photo is hers]

Happy weekend!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Up All Night for No Reason

Being on a night schedule is so weird.

A little over 3 weeks ago I started inpatient night shifts, and this week I switched to Emergency Room, but I mostly have 5 PM-2AM shifts so it's still kind of a night schedule.

Last night I slept from 3 AM to 7 AM, then I went to clinic in the afternoon and fell asleep when I got home from about 5 PM to 7 PM.

It's not really enough sleep but I think I've been on a night schedule for so long I can't go to sleep.

So now I'm watching Parenthood and sitting up writing this at 3 AM.

It feels like an equivalent number of hours pass more quickly at night than during the day. Even if I think really hard I have a tough time figuring out what I do all night.

Short answer?

Here is a list of my activities since arriving home from clinic:

- Nap
- Watch Bachelorette and have dinner with John
- Watch an episode of Pretty Little Liars
- Watch approximately 7 episodes of Parenthood
- Make a veggie burger
- Make single serving peanut butter cookie dough
- Watch some movie trailers
- Get lost in a YouTube hole
- Exhaust the extent of Tumblr content
- Play innumerable rounds of Candy Crush and Soda Crush Saga
- Play approx 3 games of Settlers of Catan on the iPad. Lose them all to the computer.

I'm looking at this list and wondering if it's really true that I did nothing, really really nothing productive. Technically I ate I guess. I also drank some water. Oh! Dishes! I washed like 6 dishes.

I do have some productive things I could do, but despite the fact that I feel very awake, it also still feels like the middle of the night and my natural tendency is definitely not to start any typical daytime tasks. Off course business hour things are off the table, I could go to the 24 hour Walmart but I don't really need anything.

But when you're up so late your Chrome plugin says "Good morning" it's sort of sad to reflect back on the night and its lack of productivity.

I have a shift the next 6 days (or nights, however you figure it) so we'll see how it goes. I'd love to get back on a sort-of day schedule, but we'll see. It may not happen for another month and if that's the case, it'll just have to be ok.

And those are my thoughts about nights.

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Peru Vacation: South America Part 5

All right I've been home for a whole month and I think it's finally time to finish my posts about my trip to South America.

After a very busy 4 weeks working during which I learned a lot and met all kinds of amazing patients, it was time to take a break and so here are some trip highlights.

Macchu Picchu

My parents were there for about half the time that John was with us, so we went to Macchu Picchu all together.

We left Coya at 5 AM to take a taxi to Ollantaytambo, where we caught the train to Aguas Calientes, and from there the bus up to Macchu Picchu.

Dad on the train.

We took a tour with a guide who sort of spoke English, though sometimes I ended up translating for the rest of the group when he couldn't figure out how to explain what he wanted to say. 

It rained like crazy and we got some fierce looking ponchos. Look how cute my parents are.

Fortunately the rain cleared a little after a couple hours and we got a clear view. 

At the Sun Gate.

Hiding out from the rain for a selfie on the walk to the Sun Gate

These clouds would roll in and completely obscure this view for a few minutes, then roll out again and we would have a couple minutes to try to take our pictures. There weren't very many people left because it had been raining for a while, so we were able to walk around pretty unhindered.

After that long day, we warmed up with dinner in Ollantaytambo. Not actually one of our best meals, but this was a pretty good quinoa soup.


After finishing work for the week, on Friday John and I took a night bus from Cuzco to Arequipa. We got in at 6 AM and while our hotel let us leave our bags, we couldn't check in until the afternoon. 

John wanted to selfie in the square and I was less than pleased.

When the Cathedral opened at 8 AM we walked through and it was really pretty.

It's called "The White City" because a lot of the historical construction is made from white volcanic rocks.

He finally convinced me to smile for a selfie.

We finally found a place open for breakfast. They didn't have a real coffee maker, but at least we had some instant Nescafe to tide us over.

We hiked up to a lookout over the city. 

After that we went to the Monastery. There are still nuns living and working there, and it was incredible how much of the historical artifacts were preserved. 

The square at night.

One of my favorite meals was also in Arequipa at ZigZag. I think we paid the equivalent of maybe $15 each for this whole four course meal?

The following day we took a guided tour to Colca Canyon. It's the second deepest in the world (the first deepest is also in Peru). It was gorgeous scenery from start to finish. 

The condors catch the jet streams in the canyon and use them to float. We got to see a lot of them and it was really beautiful.

We also got a stinkeye from a llama, so our day was complete.


After a couple nights in Arequipa we caught a bus to Puno, on Lake Titicaca. 

Unfortunately at this point in the journey the cough that John had caught from either myself or Dad had really started to cause a lot of congestion and a fever, so we weren't quite as active here. We pretty much just walked around town and went to visit the lake. 

Lake Titicaca


Before leaving, we took another bus back to Cuzco and spent a couple nights there. We stayed at the Palacio del Inka, which is a Starwood hotel. We used credit card points so our nights were free. 

It's definitely one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed in. 

When we walked in they took our bags, led us to some couches, got us some tea and then someone came over to check us in.

The lobby. 

The first night we had appetizers at a rooftop bar with a gorgeous view. 

We hiked up to San Blas and San Cristobal. It was a gorgeous day with quite a view of the city.

The streets.

We also went to the big market. It was very cool to see all the raw ingredients displayed.

Book sale on the street.

The Temple of the Sun.

Behind John is the grass with the Condor, the Puma and the Serpent which represent the three supernatural worlds.

Walking around the Plaza.

From San Cristobal.

The streets are so cool because they're still constructed from the original Incan rocks. Also that scarf I'm wearing served me really well - it has a pocket that I used for passports and valuables. #pocketscarf

This cafe nearby had good food and more importantly wifi.

It all went by really quickly, and before we knew it we were flying home. By the end of my 5 weeks I had a list of things I missed about home, but there was also so much I loved about being there that I didn't want to end. 

I learned a great deal, and one of the best parts was getting the chance to leave town, see how it's done in other places and take a step back from the day to day of my program. 

Now I'm just about done with this month of wards - 2 nights left. After that I go to the Emergency Room, and after that it's 3rd year. 

I can't believe how fast it goes.

Hoping to write again soon.

Thanks for reading, see you soon.