Daily Dose 12/28

 

Oh my! The last Daily Dose of 2012! I’m a little late today on my daily dose because I FINALLY had my Christmas date with my boyfriend.  It was a great day, and tonight I am crossing my fingers and toes to make sure the weather is tolerable enough for me to drive down to Charlottesville for a perfectly wintery wedding.  Meanwhile, these were the highlights of my week!

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Winterizing my bedroom with 3 blankets.  It gets so cold in my house!

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My first Influenster VoxBox! An opening and a review to follow in 2013!

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When in DC….you poke fun at your politicians

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A Friday tradition with my sister–PF Changs has a fantastic holiday sangria.

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My two favorite things: Estee Lauder and Lilly Pulitzer TOGETHER! More about my purchase later!

 

 

Winter Wedding

This Saturday will be the last of my year-of-weddings.  Since Christmas crept up on me, this wedding definitely crept up on me.  I was telling BFF this morning about how I keep forgetting that the wedding is this weekend.

I am used to go to weddings in the summer, but I guess people do get married at other times of the year.  These two are good friends from high school, who are now law students at UVA (ew I know, right? Go Hokies).  Their date makes sense, as they are between semesters and a lot of their high school friends are in town (preview of our high school reunion? Maybe).

This will also be the first Catholic wedding I will be going to in a long, long time (shocker, I know).  I thought a long-sleeved dress would be both venue and weather appropriate.  The sleeves also help the massive arms I’ve developed from Crossfitting, then abrupt non-crossfitting.

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I wanted to dress up the dress and still look elegant, yet different.  I figured a pair of black pumps (horror story to follow…) would be too simple, so these tortoise shell pumps from Sam Edelman should do the trick.  They would also go well with my favorite gold jewelry and my Speedy bag!

I’m actually very excited to see these two get hitched.  I like to tell myself that I, and my Sweet Sixteen Party, was instrumental in the formation of their relationship. Not that true, but I’ll keep believing it.  Congratulations, Alexa and Joe!

UPDATE: I went to Tyson’s today to buy the Sam Edelman heels (and to take advantage of my Gift Card from Cusp) but lo and behold, they were out of my size! I will probably be wearing some similar toned shoes, like my maroon heels, for the ceremony, and then a sparkly pair of Badgely Mischka for the reception. Still very sad.  That pair is fabulous and I will probably try to order it online.

Merry Christmas!

I hope you and your family all had a fantastic Christmas.  I guess a side effect of being old is that the Holidays really do sneak up on you.  There were no final exams to study for, no traveling home for Winter Break, and no personal time.  I did have to work the occasional holiday hour shift (yay 24 hour pharmacy…) so my timing and my schedule was totally off.

We will get back to our regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow, but like you, I wanted to savor the holidays with my family.  I broke the news to my parents about my job offer–and the very real possibility that I will have to work major holidays, including Christmas, in the future.

The new joys of Christmas, as presents are no longer a thing when you’re considered old, is playing with my little cousins and seeing the joy on their face during Christmas season.  For the remainder of break, I have a couple medical articles I have to read to prepare for my next rotation, and also studying for boards–how scary!

Remember–Christmas is not over yet!

Daily Dose 12/21

 

It’s December 21, 20012 and we’re all still here….awkward! I apologize for this week’s sporadic posts and missing and doubles (like today).  I had a very hard time grasping the tragedy that unfolded last week, as well as still battling my illness from Vegas (don’t worry, I got it looked at).  Here are a few favorites from this past week.

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Chocolate Twister? I can’t even…This is awesome.

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My absolute favorite holiday ring!

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Costco by the district is always a fun treat. Also, why America is fat. Love it though!

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Found a new brunch spot…and this is just sitting out on the table for your bread! Yum!

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Keeping the Mary in Merry Christmas? I’m down with it.

Have a great weekend! And if the world does, in fact, end today, Love you!

Oh Christmas Tree

 

 

This year for our tree, I wanted to be a little bit more ambitious and mature about our theme.  Since I could remember, our tree had always been a modge podge of old ornaments from childhood.  We wanted a more cohesive look–this is a house of learned doctors, after all. I took on the huge undertaking of making a cookie-themed tree.  Of course you can’t use real cookies as they would mold and attract all sorts of life forms (babies included). All I did is search for a salt dough recipe on pinterest–I would link, but I actually used a different recipe for each batch to test them all out.  I did use a color combination from one of them, Lorjean’s to make it more cookie-like.

20121221-083233.jpgIt’s pretty tough to work through–you have to knead it for a good 20 minutes before it starts taking a good cookie-like consistency.  Be warned that the salt makes it very grainy, and it will not be quite as smooth as real cookie dough.

 

20121221-083243.jpgRoll it out to be about 1/4″ thick.  I used a pair of chopsticks, one inverted, on both sides to be a guide.  Unlike normal cookies, its best to make these thick, as they will become fragile and break after baking.

 

20121221-083259.jpgUsing my Christmas cookie cutters, I cut out shapes as I would normal cookies.  Using a straw, I made a hole in the top of the ornament so a string or hook may go through.  Baking will need time, as it is at low heat, 200-250, for anywhere from 2-4 hours.  It really isn’t so much baking, as it is drying out the moisture from the cookie.

 

 

20121221-083312.jpgI then used puffy fabric paint as the “icing” to decorate each cookie.  It’s fun to decorate these as there is much more permanence, and hence a reason to make these extra pretty.

 

20121221-083333.jpgAfter baking and decorating, these little guys are ready to go!  I did eventually switch out the yarn for metal hooks normally used for ornaments.

 

 

20121221-083352.jpgUsing some gold and white decorations, we filled up the tree and it looked rather gilded.  The cookie ornaments really softened up an otherwise imposing tree and added some playfulness.

 

20121221-083402.jpgOne little guy looks awfully worried to be on our tree!  Do you usually have themes or home made ornaments on your tree?

My Favorite Things Christmas Party

 

 

I love love love Christmas parties, and I am happy to actually be at home with my old friends during the pre-Christmas season.  School has always cut into the time I have with them since I come home just a little too late in the game to have a friends get-together. Instead of a usual Christmas party with some awkward Secret Santa exchange (I mean it’s just the four of us), we had a My favorite things party a la Oprah.  The College Prepster had this idea a few weeks ago, and I fell in love with it.

The idea is that you gather a group of your closest friends to celebrate.  Literally…it’s the four of us, the bridesmaids-to-be types.  Each person brings a gift for each person with a $10, so we each brought 3 of the same gifts totaling $30.  We also brought our favorite wines and appetizers to share.

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All the gifts ready to be opened!

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All of our shared gifts–so much fun to open! And going back to junior high mentality, no one really gets left out and everything is equal.  It was so much fun!

What would you bring as your favorite thing?

 

New Hope

It’s the 7-day countdown to Christmas, and while it would otherwise be a joyous and exhausting time of the year, the events of last friday have put me in state of shock, where I cant really say anything or do anything that seemed meaningful. The hard fact of reality is that 26 lives were taken from us far too soon. There are presents under the tree that will go unopened and we will be missing the cries and shrieks of joy that come with them.

Hearing about such tragedies hits so close to home for me. On Friday, I found myself in the state I am every April 16th, trying to come to terms of the evil in the world, reeling in pain, and always trying to understand how something like this could happen.

Media and news come and go. It’s been five and a half years since I had been locked down in my dorm room at Virginia Tech, waiting for a friend to call before seeing his face on TV as a victim. While the world was allowed to forget about Blacksburg a few months at a time, it is something that those affected have to deal with every day. Certain words, actions, and even smells can trigger a memory of that day.

It terrifies me that these children now have to deal with the frustration, anger, and sadness related to that day. My similar emotions related to my young college years were not easy to deal with, it wasn’t something my classmates should have had to deal with, and certainly not something children should have to deal with it.

This blog is supposed to be a narrative of my life with pharmacy. I am in my last year, having just accepted a job offer, and sent to graduate in less than 5 months. These are achievements I never thought I would reach on April 16, 2007. Ever since that day, the thought of “Living for 32” was my motivation throughout the past 5 years. Now these children, the community of Newtown, have their own motivation to live for 26. All I ask is that you keep watch of the survivors, and watch for the beautiful lives they are living for their classmates.

After our own tragedy, I saw the immense amount of good that remains in the world. The human spirit will never be a victim. Strangers reach out to each other and I saw the amazing outpouring of love from all around the world in the form of flowers, gifts, posters, and 1000 origami cranes for peace.

While the world moves on, our tragedies are something that we live with everyday. What we also live with is the reminder that there is much much more good in the world than there is evil. It took me so long calm my thoughts and write about this. It is a sensitive subject and people forget that not everyone is over it. When I was at my conference in Las Vegas, I met someone who found out I had attended Virginia Tech and had a nonchalant political tirade about the shootings there. It was abrasive and rude to be the least, and it took everything inside of me not to really give him a piece of my mind (future employment prospect stricken).

Even in the wake of tragedy, the world can benefit by standing by one another.  Helping each other.  With one that involves the so many young lives, it serves well to set a great example for our youth.  Watch their successes and push them even when they think they can’t do the impossible. Much love.

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DIY Lip Gloss

 

So it is the mad dash until Christmas and finding unique–yet inexpensive gifts for friends is becoming harder and harder. It almost comes to the point where there is no present that can be something they don’t have, yet not something that everyone gets everyone else.

This week will focus on some unique gifts, party, and other crafts for Christmas! First up is a home-made gloss made with stuff you already have around you house! Can you believe my 14 year old cousin came up with this? That girl…

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Main ingredients are pictured above: vaseline, an old lip shade you might be loving, and an old chapstick for SPF and protection (I get plenty from conventions)

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Find a metal ladle and scoop in a generous amount of vaseline (2 tablespoons), 0.5-1 cm of lipstick and an equal amount of chapstick.  The more moisturizing you want, add more vaseline and the more pigmented you want, add more lipstick, but you will compromise the other quality.

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Hold the ladle over the candle–make sure not to actually touch the flame or this will end up as a burnt mess.

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Melt until it is entirely liquid with no chunks of any kind

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Poor into a pretty tin that will be used to hold the lip gloss.  We used a wedding favor tin, but you can think of other cool things–perhaps a mini altoid container.  We have tried an empty chapstick tube before but it became very messy.

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Let it cool, and it will be ready to be gifted! Make sure you clean your ladle right away as the lip gloss actually hardens very quickly.

20121217-081518.jpgDepending on your balance of the ingredients, it can come out very sheer or very pigmented.  I prefer sheer glosses, but perhaps next time I’ll try a more pigmented combination.

Enjoy!

 

Daily dose 12/14

It’s the end of another rotation and another time for me to reflect on what I’ve learned and my experiences.  Virginia Hospital Center is a nice place to work.  The technology is amazing and the director is always looking to improve the processes and streamline the work.

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My “project day” study station was always comforting and well-equipped.

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I got to go to Midyear and my school handed out those rubber bracelets.  Makes a nice addition to my stack, right?

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Pharmacists love free things, and this was a candy station at the convention, to promote color coding of IV medications.  Nifty!

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This is basically what I did every day. I manned the robot, except he kept breaking and I had to fix it when ever he did not want to put a pill in a bag.  His name is Tommy.

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Learned about a new type of inhaler that doesn’t take so much inspiratory effort.  And a demonstration kit to take to my store to help people learn how to use it!

Have a great weekend–and Christmas break begins…NOW!

Preceptor Gift

Another rotation is coming to an end (5!) and I will only have 3 more to go until I’m a fancy doctor and all.  I usually end each rotation by getting my preceptor a gift.  With it being the holidays and all, I kinda feel obligated to give a small gift, regardless of my feelings towards him.

Gift baskets are kind of my thing, but I just don’t like to go all-out for someone who sees dozens of students each year.  God forbid I want to come off as a brown noser!

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The mini version of my gift basket consists of a mug–a drug mug.  We love anything pharmacy related, since our entire lives revolve around it.

I prefer giving Starbucks Via over coffee grind because it is compact and is more on-the-go for my preceptor who has a tiny closet as his office.

Granola is a great healthy and energizing snack for someone who has to run around a hospital all day.  Since it’s the holidays, I would switch out for chocolate or home-made peppermint bark as well.

How cute are these ice cube trays that make “chill pills”? Novelty pharmacy items are kind of amazing, and we all know pharmacists do need to take a chill pill.

The sign of a bad pharmacist is one without a pen, so don’t let your mentor go without one! The colors are vibrant and bright, although not all that professional.  If he doesn’t mind, then it can definitely brighten up any order verification.

If your preceptor is not the coffee addict that you are (unlikely), then a small assortment of your favorite teas should add a personal touch, as well as a soothing and calming feeling for crazy pharmacy days.

Here’s to almost being done!