Supporting One Another

Something pretty cool that my sister and I did today was donate our gently used bras.  As you know, I am currently in the process of moving, and I have accumulated so many items of clothing that I rarely wear, including bras.

These bras are not so much old, but rather are more gently used.  You all have probably been in my situation where you ended up with bras that did not quite fit so right, so they end up in the back of the drawer.  You had an impulse buy at clearance section at Target, or you got sucked into the vortex that is the Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual sale (guilty to both).  Or simply, you have been blessed to outgrow your bras.

Instead of letting them accumulate, I rounded up my old bras both from my apartment and my parents’ house and dropped them off at Soma, a women’s intimate wear boutique.  There are plenty of locations across the US. Currently, they are accepting donations of gently used bras until August 12th.  These bras are going towards supporting victims of domestic violence, a very very meaningful cause that may affect all women and those we love.

If you don’t have a Soma Boutique near you, you can donate by mail.  If that does not fit your fancy, there are plenty of other charities that accept bra donations for the same cause.

As Soma says, our bras have given us a lot of support.  It’s time to support one another!

Daily dose 7/20

It’s been a pretty busy week at the office, and an equally busy week at home packing! I truly have sooo much stuff that it is crazy impossible for me to do it alone in one trip. Here are some silver linings to my week.

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1) A thin bangle I found in the clearance section at J. Crew

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2) An amazing sale at one of my favorite Richmond boutiques. Can you believe these dresses were $10?!

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3) Signs of a brewing storm

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4) Jumbo marshmallows. You know you always want to grab a bag! It’s like biting into a fat baby’s arm

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5) My new business cards came in! So useful for rotations, meetings, and interviews this year. Also in my favorite color!

I would also like to express my condolences to the victims and their families in Aurora, CO. This tragedy brings back many painful memories for me and I still cannot comprehend the senselessness in the world we live in.

Beach Trip

This past weekend some friends were in town to have their grown up interviews with our employer. Jobs with a salary were a mere dream just a few years ago, and having it become a reality is a hard concept to grasp.

We decided to go down to Virginia Beach to hang out with some of our friends down there. It was so much fun catching up and doing some of our favorite things, including jumbo swirl margaritas!

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Dinner continued onto Chick’s Oyster Bar, which was beautifully located on the water. Our table was right on the edge of the dock so we had a totally unobstructed view. Their signature drink is the crush, which we took full advantage of.

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Bonus part of this tiny spot is a good view of Pharrell Williams’ house. Total paparazzi status:

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Our night concluded with more crushes and hanging out with people who pulled up next to the dock to enjoy the restaurant. Oh yeah, you can just pull up in our boat and get served!

With rotations taking up the better part of my life, it was great to be able to catch up with good friends.

Crossfit Games!

I have been crossfitting for about a year and a half now, and it has been an awesome experience so far. I have been able to set and reach a lot of physical goals in that time, lifting a whole lot more weight than I ever thought possible!

So why is crossfit? It is a workout movement that revolves around high intensity training, with varying workouts every day. Crossfit gyms are popping up everywhere and they are all franchised. Gym owners make up their own work outs among a group of movements– they include some cardio, skill movements, and weightlifting.

Yesterday was the beginning of the Crossfit games, which is always fun to watch. The caliber at which these athletes compete is incredible! And watching very chiseled men compete shirtless does not hurt either!

To learn about crossfit and to find your closest gym, go to their main website

These are some of my best achievements so far:
180 lb deadlift
160lb back squat
110 lb clean and jerk
Toes to bar (hang on a pull up bar and touch your toes to the bar)
One arm hand stand

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Crossfit shoes are also important since the workout is so varied. The best kinds in my opinion are those that favor the barefoot run. While I do have a pair of vibram five fingers, they were still too weird to wear. My first shoe was the Nike free run, which is really good for versatile cardio movements but not so great for lifting and jump rope (the cable gets caught in the sole).

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My next pair is the New Balance Minimus. These were awesome for lifting and any skill workouts (pull ups, push ups) but not so great for running. They are made with the Vibram sole, but without the weird look.

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My most current show are the Inov8 f-lite 230. These are a crossfit cult shoe, rarely known but widely used. I consider them a hybrid between the two, for workouts that are both cardio and lifting. The crazier the colors, the better.

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Sometime next week I’ll post some of my favorite workout outfits!

Daily dose

On Fridays I like to reflect and think of things that have made me happy this week.

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1. Tervis full of chai to do my work from home

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2. Home made beignets that remind me of my trip to new Orleans

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3. Meeting up with some out of town girlfriends for our favorite sushi

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4. Microwaved brownie in a mug for a fast and small serving of dessert (recipe next week)

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5. Color changing ceiling at the new frozen yogurt place in town

As you can tell, food and food related things make me very happy. I constantly have to remind myself that I cannot eat like I did in high school!

Eating my way out of Town

At the end of July, I’m leaving Richmond to move home with my parents. It sounds a bit dreary, but it’s actually a pretty good situation. The entire last year of pharmacy school is clinical experience, meaning we don’t have classes and we are assigned to different clinics and hospitals around Virginia and DC. I opted to have most of my assignments back home since I believe there are better hospital systems there and the dense population will provide a variety of clinical problems. Also, no rent living with mom and dad!

Now that moving is becoming real, my friends and I are eating our way out of town, hitting up true Richmond spots and wondering why we had never eaten there before!

We had first decided to go to a place known not just for their delicious food but also for their terrible service. Being summer, a lot of places such as this close since the students are gone and business is slower. So after reading a heartbreaking note saying the owners were on vacation, we had to brainstorm a new place to go.

We ended up at Baker’s Crust, which at first sounded like a cafe, or a really fancy Panera, but walking in they had this really aromatic bready smell that was also salty and savory. Oh boy, they did have a whole lot more than soups and sandwiches. I ended up getting a Quattro Fromagio (four cheese) pizza with their famous crust. SO GOOD. Probably one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten. It had great cheesy flavor and the crust was soft and crunchy at the same time. I also watched a chef make a crepe right next to me an it was so hard to say no!

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After that we really wanted to try this new frozen yogurt place, however it was next to a frozen yogurt place that had already been established in town. Reading the comments on foursquare was pretty funny! “froyo wars ground zero” and “Jesus vs non Jesus yogurt” were the more amusing comments. I had a long standing loyalty to Sweet Frog (a Richmond original and the Jesus yogurt), but Yapple had an amazing flavor and creamy texture that was very similar to Pinkberry (the perpetual winner in my heart). I went with the salted caramel pretzel flavor and it blew me away. With frozen yogurt, I normally lean towards fruity flavors since the tartness often interferes with sweet flavors– but not at Yapple!

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Of course you couldn’t avoid being drawn in by the grass tiles and the color changing ceiling. I love places that make me feel like a kid again!

Of course after that we got some boba drinks, but boba in Richmond will never be as good as ones at home.

I actually felt sickly full by the time I got home. Moving just makes me feel like I had missed out on so much the past 3 years!

My favorite things!

So for those of you who came to find this blog from my other social media platforms, I thought it would be a nice way to introduce who I am by letting you know what some of my favorite things are!

Yes, this does sound entirely materialistic, but it is part of who I am, right?

my favorite things

1. “ForAudrey” from China Glaze–Amazing Tiffany blue color

2. Camelbak water bottle–I try to drink 3 bottle-fulls each day

3. Rainbow flip flops

4. Braided elastic headband

5. Virginia Tech hoodie–always a security blanket for me!

6. Bow-like ring: reminds me of the bow in the Count of Monte Cristo movie

7. Rose-shaped earrings–very delicate and feminine

8. Polo shirts–love them!

9. Nivea Kiss of Moisture lip balm–I swear by this!

10: Ceramic coffee mug–I can’t live without coffee, but I an live without the cardboard waste

11: Ray-ban wayfarers–Very classic, very summery and goes with EVERY outfit!

12: Pearl necklace– mine was my grandmother’s

13: Louis Vuitton Damier Speedy 30–a gift from my mom after my graduation.  It’s a classic piece that doesn’t scream HEY IM A LOUIS!, and fits like 2 wine bottles, not that I would know…

Hope y’all know a bit more about me.  What are some of YOUR favorite things??

Presentation with the Commonwealth

Last week, I had a meeting with some people who work for the Commonwealth of Virginia, on behalf of their employees.  At this meeting, my preceptor and his colleagues had to present the role of a pharmacist in the state’s health care system.  This is one of the few days that I have to dress professional for this rotation (the other days are business casual)

As a student, I try not to stand out so much, but also look presentable and memorable.  My personal preference is to dress conservatively and then dress it up with accessories–you can always take off an extra bracelet or necklace but you can’t go home to change a particularly loud dress.

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1. Gray dress: I wore a similar one from J.Crew, it was a little boring, but it was gray among black suits

2. Bracelet and watch: I LOVE making stacks and ministacks with a gold watch.  I recently bought a tortoise shell bracelet from HauteLook, and was excited to wear it.

3. Flats: My gold Reva Flats from Tory Burch are my favorite (a treat for myself for getting an A on a test–did not happen often).  I had to do a fair amount of walking, so I always stick with flats for meetings on the road.

4. Pearl earrings: This meeting, I knew beforehand, was going to be a Boy’s Club.  Pearl earrings are feminine, yet serious.

5.  Padfolio: Be minimal at a professional meeting–don’t bring your purse, it kind of sends the message that you have a lot of other things on your mind. I tucked some cash, my ID (to get into government buildings), important notes, and a pen into the padfolio and I was all set for the meeting.

Another important accessory that I forgot was business cards.  Prior to this year, I never really had a use for them.  Now that I am interviewing for grown-up jobs, and going on these important meetings, I figured it would probably be a good idea to get a set of business cards.  Vistaprint.com has a deal where you can get free business cards (the caveat is that they advertise for themselves on the back).  It will probably just be enough for me to get through this year, as I will no longer just be a “PharmD Candidate” after May 2013!

Diet Cheerwine Cupcakes

“My life is a constant battle between my love of food and my fear of being fat”

I have such an incredible sweet tooth, it is amazing how I even have any teeth.  A few years ago, my roommate in undergrad made me a “diet cake” that she made from a weight watchers recipe of cake mix, diet soda, pudding mix, and whipped cream. All you do is add 8-10oz soda and bake it per directions on the box!

Lately, I have seen different variations all over pinterest.  For my last day of my last rotation, I made my own variation using diet Cheerwine.  For those of you outside of the Appalachian mountains, Cheerwine is a cherry-flavored soda that is basically liquid crack.

Easy ingredients

A new way to get the perfect amount of batter into the cups! If you have watched Alton Brown cook, it’s a measuring cup that you push through to get all the sticky stuff out

Added cherries on top for extra flavor–SO GOOD!

For my friend’s birthday, I made an orange creamsicle flavored cupcake with diet Sunkist, topped with orange zest.  Try other different flavors!

Pharmacy 101

I am trying oh-so-very hard NOT to make this site all about pharmacy.  It is only so named because it is a VERY big part of my life.  Given the social media platform that I am using, I feel like I should at least take advantage of it, JUST ONCE, to get on my soap box.

Pharmacy has DRASTICALLY changed over the past few years. To become a licensed pharmacist, you must first complete a Doctor of Pharmacy Curriculum.  This comes about in 2 ways: enter a 6-year program right out of high school, or attend a 4-year university (with or without a degree), complete the pre-requisites for a 4-year PharmD.  I personally chose the latter because I wanted a true undergraduate experience.  The PharmD Curriculum focuses on clinical application for patient care.  No longer are pharmacists just people who stand behind the counter at a CVS or Rite Aid and count pills all day.

What most people see when they think of a Pharmacist

Most people who graduate from the PharmD program go on to do residencies to become clinical specialists in different settings: hospitals, clinics, specialty wards, and government entities.  Pharmacists who are clinical specialists are often those who make drug recommendations for the doctor (meaning, the doctors diagnose, and refer to the pharmacist for the appropriate medication).  Pharmacy is moving in this direction, and a lot of the pharmacists that you and I know have a vast medication knowledge.  Physicans continually refer to pharmacists as the medication experts.  To break it down, physicians study physiology (to know what is happening to your body and to diagnose the problem).  Pharmacists study pharmacology (to know what changes are occurring and what chemical compounds–medications–can help).  Thanks to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, the Surgeon General of the United States now recognizes pharmacists as health care providers!

Most pharmacists these days collaborate with other health professionals such as doctors and nurses to optimize your treatment!

Most of our interactions with a pharmacist, however, usually is just through your local community pharmacy.  Not everyone in the pharmacy is a pharmacist! Here is the breakdown:

  • Pharmacist: usually, at any given time, there is only ONE pharmacist on the clock.  If the store has a particularly high volume, sometimes there are 2. The pharmacist’s role is to check prescriptions for dangerous interactions and accuracy, and to call your doctor if there are any problems that may cause potential harm to you or your family.  The pharmacist is also the only person who can legally make recommendations for you over the counter.  Most national chains are now offering flu shots and other vaccinations, also given by the pharmacist!
  • Pharmacy Technician: a Pharm Tech is an assistant to the pharmacist who had to pass either state or national certification to be handling your medications.  These are the people whom you usually interact with.  They are responsible for the entering and counting of prescriptions.  If there are any problems with insurance processing, they are usually the ones who call your insurance company for you.
  • Pharmacy Clerk: Clerks run the cash register and have been trained to maintain patient confidentiality.  They are not responsible for counting or insurance mediation.  They must also defer all questions to the pharmacist.
  • Pharmacy Intern: An Intern is a current pharmacy student with an Intern License from the State Board of Pharmacy.  Do not let the title fool you: an intern is the second-highest rank in the pharmacy.  I am currently an intern with a national chain pharmacy.  We are allowed to answer questions about your medications and make recommendations on over the counter medications under the supervision of a pharmacist.  An intern is kind of a go-between.  Most of the time, we are performing technician duties with some limited responsibility of the pharmacist.  Most interns go on to become Pharmacists with the chain they are working for upon graduation (I already had my pharmacist interview, what?)

So let’s recap: Pharmacists have the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, so pharmacists are by definition, DOCTORS (not to be confused with physicians).  Pharmacists are no longer just counting in the retail setting, they are making clinical consultations and giving vaccinations.

Be nice to your local pharmacist! They can help you!

If you are still wondering why it takes “so long” for your medications to be filled, I’m going to have to direct your questions to The Angry Pharmacist