Thursday, November 22, 2012

266 Turkey Dinners

Well, here I am back on the mainland. I had a wonderful, amazing, relaxing, trip which I will tell you about in little bits. But, today is Thanksgiving so I'll tell you about my holiday. I spent the holiday in a manner that I have never done before... I worked. Fun stuff eh?

The hospital had a special menu for the patients today. Everyone who wasn't on an extremely restricted diet got to have a turkey dinner with stuffing, cranberry jello, whipped sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. They also had individual bottles of Martinelli's sparkling apple cider :).

It was quiet in the office today so we had a pretty kick back day for the most part. The cafeteria had a free thanksgiving meal for all the employees on shift for the holiday. It turns out, the cafeteria can put on a pretty good spread.

I avoided the "furkey" (fake turkey) loaf at all costs.
I couldn't finish all of that but I found some room for Pumpkin Pie... which I also didn't finish.

I confiscated one of the Martinelli's bottles and my coworker Renald and I celebrated our quiet Thanksgiving by toasting the holiday with plastic bowls of apple cider. 

Considering the fact that I was very sad to be missing a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with my family, I think I made the most of what I was dealt for the day. Renald and I made do and made our own fun :) Including... scoping out the Black Friday deals.

(I snuck this picture) :)

I hope you all had great holidays and got to spend it with family/friends, or both. Now that Turkey Day is over, there's no holding back the floodgates of Christmas music, decorations, crowded stores and disgruntled/frustrated shoppers.

To those of you waiting outside some store or another... Ummm good luck?


Friday, November 9, 2012


* Disclaimer: There are no creative meals listed in this post. * 

This last week I failed at my aforementioned meal schedule. I just wasn't feeling it and I haven't had much luck with my packed/planned lunches this time around. I'm still willing to try it semi-permanently though.

On Saturday (yes almost a week ago) I woke up and for some reason only one thing sounded appetizing to me. A peanut butter smoothie. Don't ask why because I've never had or made one. But... apparently I needed the protein. So into the Vitamix I threw some peanut butter, a hunk of greek yogurt, a banana, a smidge of milk  and a drizzle of honey. (Yes, all of those are scientific measurements.)

At first I was not impressed. It tasted milky and unpleasant. Then I threw it in the freezer for 20 minutes, took it out, stirred it up and threw in some granola and a spoonful of sunbutter. This time, I decided that this is a recipe I will be using frequently. :) I am a big peanut butter fan and the fact that it was super easy makes it even better.

By sheer luck, I stumbled across a cafe right around the corner from work that had a really promising menu. I planned to try it out on Tuesday but my plans were foiled when everyone in the office started raving about the cafeteria's "haystack". It's pretty much just taco salad under a cooler name. It smelled so good I had to get some. 

It was make it yourself so I started with chips, added pintos, shredded lettuce, cheese, salsa, guacamole, a few sliced jalepenos, sour cream and finally the Piece de resistance, Cilantro. It was super good. Worth the change of plans.

I broke out my go to premade parfait again this week. You just can't beat them for early mornings on the go. I found this cute little jam jar in the bottom drawer in the kitchen and decided to make it my new parfait cup. Warm tea to go with it considering our rainy weather this week (yay!)

I packed a super simple lunch on Wed. PB& Honey sandwich, cuties, sliced bell pepper and cucumber with hummus for dip. Simple, filling and good.

Now, remember that cafe I mentioned that is right around the corner. I decided to try again on Thursday. They have an order online system which is great if your lunch break is limited. At the last minute Ashley and I decided she could sneak away from the med center and meet me for lunch. So we both ordered online with great anticipation for a yummy, warm lunch. I picked her up and we went straight to the cafe... which was closed. WHAT?! The sign on the door says open until 4 p.m. We still don't know what happened but we were thankful we didn't pay online. Instead we ended up at Quiznos. I still plan on trying the cafe but next time, I'll call before I order. :)
Now, there's something I've been keeping from the blogging universe. This is how I spent my day...

Yes, I'm packing because...

Tomorrow I'll be hopping on a flight to a little place some of you may have heard of. It's called Hawaii. =)

I'm suuuper excited and a little anxious because I've never gone on vacation by myself before. Well I won't be completely alone but  I won't be with family. I'm going with a friend but she arrives a couple days after me so I'll be on my own for a few days. :)

I downloaded an app on my tablet that was supposedly really good for mobile blogging but there's an error message that has kept me from publishing a single post on it. If any of you know of a good blogging app that works and doesn't cost a fortune, let me know! Anyway, I'll probably be absent the entire duration of my trip despite the beautiful pictures I'll be taking of gorgeous places. I'll have to share them when I get back. Now, I have to finish last item packing and get some sleep. Until later...


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Signs of Fall

Ok, I realized that by posting my lunch schedule, there's no surprises in my posts for the rest of the week :)

For some reason, if anyone sees me pull out my lunch at work I get a bunch of comments. I think everyone thinks my lunches are ridiculous. Ashley thinks they're "cute". I cannot get her to explain how lunches can be cute but there you go.

I'm really hoping that this weather means the beginning of fall-ish things. Long shadows....

And these beautiful clouds with a cool breeze.

I'm still attempting to pull myself out my stuck-in-a-rut attitude. Something to remember...

"If you continue to do what you've always done, you will always be what you've always been."

Time for change. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Planning Ahead

Here's the deal, this habit of posting infrequently about random topics and at random times cannot keep happening. I've definitely been in a rut, no, more than a rut. More like a trench. I'm tired of trying to pack lunches, dinners and sometimes breakfasts in advance. I have a new appreciation sympathy for my patients who are forced to decide all three meals 24 hrs in advance from the same menu, day after day. The difference here is that they aren't making their meals and someone (me) is diligently ensuring that everything on their plate is up to snuff and fits their assigned diet.

Anyway, this is what I've done to hopefully begin solving my lunch/dinner packing dilema. 

This is my handy dandy chalkboard  which I have filled out with lunch ideas for the next week. I based it on what is in the fridge, and what my schedule is for the day. All the lunches are pretty simple and made up mostly of leftovers. So far so good. I think it helps that I don't have to think too much about it every night. It also helps that we have some awesome leftovers at the moment. :)

So, according to plan, here's my lunch...

Everything was a leftover of some kind with the exception of the fruit and the veggies.

My work load was super light today until someone called in sick. Sick coverage is never fun because it typically doubles my workload. It was after 1 before I realized that my metabolic system was effectively shutting down non-essential functions. I was super hungry!

This is an extremely boring post but I really like my planning board so far and I wanted to share. I'll have to do a follow-up and see how well it works when there isn't as many leftovers and... After I work a weekend. Somehow weekends are always harder.

For now, time to pack tomorrow's meals and hit the hay.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Drive Safely

I'm back! I've been meaning to do a catch up post for a while, but there are several reasons that I haven't been posting anything lately. The most significant one kept me from posting because I didn't feel like broadcasting it but... Now that the initial frustration depression is waning, I can share. :) First, a totally normal beginning of any post. It's finally starting too look like fall/winter and I was so excited to see rainy looking clouds on my day off. Makes me want to curl up in front of the fire with a warm bowl of soup... So I did. 


Warm taco soup and grilled cheese. Warm and cozy feeling successfully induced!

Despite the fact that I haven't been blogging in several weeks, I've still been taking pictures of some meals. I'll feature some of my favorites here.

Oatmeal (my favorite bowl yet) I'm getting a much better idea of how to make it just right. Practice makes perfect :) I want to try this one more time before I post the recipe.

BSTJ (bacon, spinach, tomato, and jack cheese)

Pre-made fruit and yogurt parfait. I love these for my very early mornings. It really makes breakfast a cinch and they're so yummy. 

Ok now for the other news that has been weighing on my mind. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here's a couple thousand words.

Not too pretty and definitely not my normal, routine commute to work for sure. I'll spare you the gory details and just tell you that it involved a very careless driver (not me) resulting in the front of my car kissing the center divider on the 10 fwy. 'Nuff said. 

Now I'm shopping for a car which I really don't enjoy because who likes a salesman working on commission right? Most of all, I'm ever so grateful that I'm still here, with all the same faculties working at the same capacity they did before this scary incident. It could have been a lot worse and I'm glad that the worst that has come of this is the need for a new car.

I've been pretty busy and mostly exhausted with rotating shifts at the hospital but I have missed blogging a lot. I find myself planning blog titles when I take pictures. Dorky I know. 

Anyway, I'll make this the end of my story for tonight. Goodnight and.... Drive carefully. :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Training While In Training

I have officially "trained" someone in the job I've been working for approximately 7 weeks. I don't know how much I could have possibly taught him but it made me realize how much I've learned in the past 2 months. He's a student at Loma Linda and he'll be done with his B.S. and his internship in just a few months. It's really too bad I learned about bachelors/internship combined programs after I finished school. grr!

The day went by pretty fast and trainee (Eric) finally said "you don't eat?" :) lunchtime completely snuck up on me! Poor guy probably was in desperate need of a break from me and I was trudging on through boredom. 

So... we took a lunch break. Nothing fancy in my lunch bag. Frozen guilt-free Digiorno pizza, a side salad from home and the most awesome grapes of the year. I can't get enough of them. They literally crunch and snap when bitten and they're just the right amount of sweet. YUM!

Can you tell I really packed that salad into that tiny bowl? Made it difficult to eat without spilling it everywhere. :)

It was a pretty straight forward day, and a nice break from trayline. My patient load was really light and with two of us I felt like I barely had anything to do! Tomorrow it's back to trayline though so my reprieve was short lived. At least I get to sleep in (good thing because I've stayed up way too late). 

I still have to recap my first solo experience with trayline. Maybe I'll just do them all at once at the end of the week. It's probably a really boring story to anyone else but... to me, it's story worthy.

Tomorrow is the half-way mark except for those of you who are working this weekend like me. 

Goodnight/Good morning. :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Short Weekend, Long Week

Here's a very quick recap of my weekend...

Yup! That was pretty much it.

I finally forced myself to seriously start studying for my exam. Since I do my best studying away from the house, my bed and my desk, I packed up my studying essentials and headed to Panera. 
I was pleased with my progress. Now I just have to keep it up. 

For some odd reason I have been craving french toast for over a week. I'm not even a french toast fan. In fact I would say I dislike it very much but... it was stuck in my head so it ended up on my plate. 

I topped it with some fresh berries, whipped cream and a little drizzle of syrup. It was good but not great. Like I said, I'm just not a fan. Oh well, it is no longer drifting through my random food thoughts. 

On Saturday I met up with a good friend that I haven't seen in a while. Her little boy is 13 months now and I am still attempting to grasp the concept of her as a mom. Life goes so fast. I finally got his birthday present to him (1 month late). We went on a nice stroll (with stroller) and stopped at a park to play for a few minutes before heading for brunch at a nearby diner.

It was a relatively productive weekend but I have been dreading this week. It's my first week alone on trayline and I'm extremely apprehensive. It's not a hard job but it's very intimidating and intense. Today was the first of 4 days working that position and it was a tough one. (More on that tomorrow) I'm also training a University student tomorrow which seems very odd considering I've been there less than 2 months and I'm still technically being trained. Now, I really have to hit the hay, I'm exhausted from today, tomorrow is an early start and I have not been sleeping well at all. =/ 

Have a good night all! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

La Jolla

The La Jolla story starts with my friend Lisa suggesting a trip to Channel Islands to go kayaking. Those plans were dashed when she called and found that our free weekend was completely booked. I did a little google search and found this kayaking tour in La Jolla that seemed pretty fun so....

We packed into my car, stopped to pick up Roger and ended up in La Jolla. After a quick lunch at a deceivingly dingy but excellent burger joint, we checked in for our kayaks. Now.. if you remember the first time I went kayaking, there was very little required and we simply pushed off a calm shore in Newport Harbor. This time it was a little different. Several times we heard warnings about taking electronics and valuables, everyone advising us to leave it behind in the lockers. I finally admitted defeat and left my camera behind so I have no pictures of how awesome we all looked in our life jackets and bright yellow helmets. Trust me... we looked cool. We made it out past the waves without tipping over or getting washed back to shore, spent two hours on the ocean and got to kayak into some La Jolla caves. Getting back to shore was a different story but for the sake of brevity:
Intentions: paddle hard with the wave, lean back when it breaks and let the wave push you in.
Reality: paddle hard with the wave, get turned sideways, get flipped upside down with kayak on head, lose sunglasses, get soaking wet. Now you have the short version of how my sunglasses found a new home.

After returning our kayaks and retrieving our dry belongings, we headed back to the beach where the boys frolicked (yes they really did) in the waves and Lisa and I enjoyed the warm sand and sun. 

Lisa's Dad clued us into this little store with access to a cave through a back staircase. It's appropriately named "the Cave Store". Considering Lisa and I were both victims of ocean theft and were left without sunglasses, we were very suspicious of the very random assortment of used looking sunglasses for sale at the front of the store. :)

We walked down this very long, very steep, slightly wet and slippery tunneled staircase to a small dock/pier inside a cave. 

 Kind of neat but not a must-see for the $4 entrance. 

If i remember correctly, this man dug out the tunnel by hand many many years ago and originally used it to smuggle in immigrants and whiskey during prohibition. I guess that makes him an entrepreneur of sorts.

 After our tunnel excursion we walked through La Jolla looking for a place to enjoy dinner. 

Do you know the Muffin Man? The one who lives on Drury Lane? Well, I don't but I know where to find his house now :)

We picked Karl Strauss Brewery Company. They had an extensive menu which is really bad for an indecisive foodie such as myself.

I finally chose a chicken burger with avocado, beer baked bacon and all the other usual goodies. The house chips were not worth the calories unfortunately. Flavorless and overbaked. =(
The burger/sandwich was way too much food for me but was still very good. 

After dinner we completed our loop around town. The more we walked and the later it got, the more I realized how under-dressed we were. Mind you... we were coming from a kayaking tour and an hour on the beach. We probably smelled faintly of fish and saltwater but everyone around us was in formal attire, out for dinner. Every Bentley and Audi we walked by in Valet parking made me increasingly grateful that I had hidden my little car in an underground garage. 

I nearly passed by this amazing store but I'm so glad I didn't. If it had just been me I would have spent much more time inside. Tons of olive oils, and pestos to taste. The most intriguing store I've seen in a while. They have formal EVOO tastings weekly and you can eat dinner over the ocean at the back of the store. One day... I'm going back there to do just that!

As the sun was setting we walked out on this tiny peninsula over a cave. Other than the birds it was just us out over the ocean. Oh! and the barking sea lions.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Life isn't a-Fair

I don't care to look back in time and see exactly how long it's been since I last posted anything. Longer than I care to admit. I feel like much time has passed and many things have happened since then. Here's a short list

1. Spent the day in La Jolla. 
2. Surprise visit from my sister. 
3. Trip to the county fair.
4. Working solo (no training)
5. Finished painting my desk.
etc. etc. etc....

I'm not going to overpower you with all of that in one post especially considering you've have a nice long break from me for a while. Since I've been working like crazy the last few weeks I'll just post about the fun stuff over the next few days week. 

My sister and I schemed for a little bit and picked the best weekend for her to make a trip to surprise my parents. Since I was working the weekend I had Friday off. (yay) We spent the day lounging around and when Katelyn got up from her nap, we headed out to the fair in the blazing heat, dressed as cool as we possibly could. 

Just after we arrived we were joined by my brother and his family. It's great to see all these young cousins interacting and having good fun together. 

 We got to meet Benjamin Franklin which was impressive to me because I always assumed he was long dead. We endured an awkward few moments when a woman whom I recognized as a frequent library patron verbally accosted him and couldn't seem to understand why this impostor was speaking of Mr. Franklin in the first person. :)

Two of our ministers came with us and they documented their celebrity citing too. 

Dad was more than impressed with this man's historical knowledge and accuracy. If he could have he probably would have stayed there all night. 

Late into the day I decided to start documenting all the weird food that fairs are famous for. I only got a few as it was getting late and we were getting ready to leave but trust me.... they were not lacking.


In addition, there were deep fried snickers bars, chocolate fries, Chocolate dipped bacon and the usual suspects, bloomin' onions, hot dog on a stick, massive turkey legs and anything you can dip in batter and fry (and even some things you wouldn't think you could fry... coke?!)

We enjoyed a western rodeo that was commentated by an older gentleman with comical enthusiasm. The kids seemed to enjoy it though. 

 Mom treated us to Gelato in waffle cones. It was good but the one I got had mango skins whipped into it which kind of defeats the effect of a smooth and creamy ice cream. 

Katelyn enjoyed hers in a cup until she decided our cones looked much more fun!

Laura and I splurged and split the $15 price tag for 2 pairs of sunglasses to replace the ones I gifted to the Pacific Ocean. (more on that story when the La Jolla post comes around)

Joe and Blake joined us later and took turns using up funzone tickets with Katelyn. Joe won her a stuffed bear and Blake took her on the Merry-go-Round or as Katelyn calls it "horsies go round'n'round"!


 Petting baby lambs (that I cut out of the frame for some reason)

 Games that cost a fortune
and very tired kids and adults with sore feet. It had all the makings of a respectable day at the fair.