White Wash

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My new life!

Studying. That's my new life. Poor Adam is suffering from multiple personality disorder because most of the time he encourages and reminds me to go study if I sit in front of the TV for longer than 15 minutes. But other times he tells me with his sweetest sad face that he misses me and he never sees me anymore. :(

So yeah, studying. We're in class for 4-6 hours a day, depending on the day, and I usually study for 7-8 hours a day outside of class. I get to school by 7:20am at the latest (because otherwise finding a parking spot is a hot mess!) and I study from then until 9am or 10am, depending on what time class starts, I study between classes, then I study a few hours when I get home after dinner and a workout. But I usually cut myself of at 9:30 or 10pm at the lastest, because - talk about a hot mess - well I am one without enough sleep.

While Adam was at work yesterday morning, I studied. I studied up until the very moment I jumped in the shower to get ready for Valerie's wedding in ATL, and then on the way to the wedding, I reviewed everything for about an hour, forward and backward, just to reinforce what I was studying! I'm still worried sick that I'm going to flunk out ... I guess I'll just have to wait till the first round of tests is over and then maybe I'll be more confident and feel better about my studying.

BUT, with all that studying, I have to say today I'm pretty sick of anatomy or any other subject I've been studying so I've decided to take the day off. That wasn't what I planned, and I haven't gotten everything done that I wanted to, but I just really feel like if I force myself to study, the material will NOT stick, which will result in me wasting my time. So, I'll just pick it back up tomorrow. I'm not sure I'll ever feel "caught up." Le sigh.

In other, more exciting news, my Littmann stethoscope came in!
I'm so excited to have it, and I can't wait to use it!

More exciting news ... as I mentioned earlier, Adam and I drove to Atlanta for Valerie and Stewart's wedding last night! It was so fun being there and seeing how all of her details had come together. She and I used to work together and during that time, I heard about all of her details as she was planning them so it was almost like being at my own wedding and seeing all of my plans come together. :) And of course, Valerie was so beautiful! Everything was perfect.

Hmmm, I guess that's about it! Not much else has gone on this week. Till next week, bloggers!

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting Ready for PA School, part 2!

I've been asked by another blogger to elaborate further on my preparations for PA school! First off, congratulations, Christie, for getting in! The career you've chosen is becoming more and more popular and the schools are, in turn, becoming more and more competitive. I would say getting in is half the battle, but I actually have no idea how bad the battle actually is ... I'm only starting week two. :)

So, Christie, since you're at the point where you're already in and you're preparing to start I'll say this. Enjoy the time you have now! You won't have much free time later, but I've been told over and over again that it's extremely important to continue your normal habits once you start school ... exercise (and if you don't already, then start!), continue going to church if that's something you enjoy, and find some time for yourself, whether it be a few nights during the week or maybe a full day on the weekend. If you don't do this, I'm told you'll literally go crazy. Again, I wouldn't know ... I'm not that far in yet.

As far as preparing for school, find out if there is any sort of entrance exam you take once school starts. This could be an anatomy exam or maybe a medical terminology test. Be prepared for this if there is one, but don't over do the studying. You'll be studying a whole lot plenty soon enough and you don't want to get burned out!

Every school's orientation packet will be different, but mine consisted mainly of multiple consent forms stating I had read their policies and procedures and the program handbook. I was also asked to get several immunizations and complete some tests, including a drug test and a background check. Your school will definitely explain all of their requirements, so don't worry about that! And if something on their checklist is unclear, call and ask!

So, that just about sums up my orientation! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Good luck to you, Christie, and all of my other fellow PA students! Class of 2014! :)
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Sunday, August 19, 2012

One Week In!

Well, this has officially been the longest I've gone without blogging since I started this blog. I don't intend on blogging a whole lot tonight ... I'm pretty tired and ready for bed, but I really wanted to post something with some sort of update on school!

This semester I'm taking Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Clinical Laboratory Medicine and Introduction to the Profession. So, here's what I've experienced so far: a whole lot of emotion, a lot of studying (already), cadaver lab dissection, and pricking my classmates' fingers. That actually sums up my first week very, very well. These two youtube videos do a great job of explaining the "lot of emotion" part. Watch them ... they're really funny/entertaining! Oh, and I'm fully aware that I'm not going to be a doctor at the end of my program, but I absolutely already know how they feel in a lot of ways.

In my one short week of being in the program, they have already beat us down to the ground, or so it feels. It reminds me of the military ... ok, maybe not THAT bad, but the professors are seriously scaring us into submission so I'm too afraid to not study! And I tried to prepare myself for this because I knew they would do this, but I just don't think you can prepare yourself for it. Oh well ... gotta suck it up, because this is my life for the next 27 months!

So, my cadaver lab has been pretty awesome. My classmates and I have been put into groups of 8 students, and each group has a body that has been donated to science by someone who was extremely kind, generous and selfless. I so appreciate the body I've been working on. Just in the first week, we dissected the back and preformed a laminectomy (basically removed part of the spine to look at the spinal cord) and it was amazing. I can't wait to see more!

Other than lab and lectures, my week has been full of buying school supplies, spending time with Adam and the pups and studying. I'm sure this will be the norm for quite a while. I'll give more updates as more exciting things happen. :)

Anyway, that's enough for now! I have an early morning tomorrow. G'nite world!
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Friday, August 10, 2012

Picture frame mirror and other randomness

This project was actually not from pinterest! Although I'm sure this isn't an original idea by any means. And it's really not that spectacular of a project, but anyway ...

My mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law are known to bring home fun little knick-knacks /projects for us to work on. One of the last things my MIL brought home before we moved to the Ham was an old picture frame. At first, I didn't really think there was anything I could do with it. See, it wasn't even actually a traditionally sized picture frame that I could reuse with a family photo or something. It was actually a frame for some embroidered piece of cloth that had the names and pictures of several types of apples. I wish I had saved it so I could have posted a picture...oh well. But after thinking about it, (and Tammy may have actually suggested it, I can't remember) I decided to turn this into a mirror! So I once again called for my all-talented father and he ordered me a piece of mirror to fit. I'm not 100% certain where in our apartment this is going, but it will find a home! Here's a picture!

On to other randomness ...

Adam, the girls, and I are going home this weekend for a friend's wedding and I'm stoked! I haven't been home in about a month. I think this is the longest I've been away ... strange. I'm very ready!

While I'm home, Mom and I are gonna go shopping for clothes for PA school and once again, I'm VERY excited! New York & Co. has FANTASTIC sales this week and it's tax free weekend! Girls, you better go get some! The more we can save, the more we can spend. >:) Adam would kill me for saying that.

I actually went "pre-shopping" yesterday with my friend Casey, which is how I found out about all the awesome sales. (Funny story about her ... we went to high school together, and now we'll be in PA school together! Small world.) Anyway, one of the main reasons I needed to go shopping was pick up some new foundation at Sephora. I bought a whole bunch of Smashbox makeup for the wedding, and I don't wear foundation everyday, so I actually just ran out of it recently. As it turns out, Smashbox doesn't make my specific cream-to-powder foundation anymore. I did, however, find out that Urban Decay (what a dreadful name, BTW) carries a VERY similar product, so I was able to purchase that instead. WIN!
While we were at Sephora, Casey and I were briefed on a skin cleaning system called Clarisonic Mia. Casey had heard of it before but I hadn't. AND NOW I WANT ONE! After learning about it, I realized my friend Natalie had described a very similar product that she uses and it as it turns out, she actually uses this same one. I'm very interested in trying it for myself, so I'm adding it to my Christmas list. :) Here is a picture.

So, to give another update on my hummingbirds ... there are definitely two of them now! It was hard to tell in the beginning, but I'm pretty certain I was seeing the same bird over and over. Now there are two because I see them chasing each other around. This means I need TWO feeders! :)

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Getting ready for PA SCHOOL!!!

It's getting so close, y'all. And I am so far beyond excited that I could literally cry. Just cry.

Except for shopping for new clothes and scrubs, I'm completely ready to start!! I've been hanging out with my new friend Kristen so she and I checked off our to-do lists together. Today we turned in our orientation packets, gave our "laboratory specimen" for drug tests, picked up our parking permits, and got our student IDs! Pretty successful day if I do say so myself. Now we've officially completed all requirements and are cleared to start the program.
Can you tell we're excited?!

My class has a Facebook group that we've all been communicating through and I've already been invited to four socials within the first week of school. :) Should be looooots of fun. And then of course there's the white coat ceremony/annual PA ball in October that I just cannot wait for!

We've been getting tons of emails recently about dates and times and places, but one of them was about purchasing an instrument kit that the program has put together and offered to us at a supposedly great deal. It probably is, but it's still expensive to me ..... anyway, here is one of the new toys I get to play with soon. :) :) :)
I obviously have no idea how to use it, but it looks fun. It's an oto-ophthmaloscope. I hope I added enough h's and o's in that word. Anyway, they've asked us to purchase our own stethoscope, so of course I had to choose a pink one. Littmann Cardiology III in raspberry. Can't wait!

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Quick update and a few thoughts ...

Quick update ... I've already seen two hummingbirds feeding at my feeder! I'm so excited! No pictures yet, though.

On a similar note, I've seen these "insects" flying around that have really stumped me, but I've only ever seen them flying around twice I think. It looks like a humming bird mixed with a butterfly and a bumble bee ... and a lobster. So I did a quick search and it turns out there's a new bug in town called a hummingbird moth.

I SWEAR I saw one of these things fly into a hole in the ground, but I haven't found anything about them living underground or laying eggs there. If you know anything more about these interesting little creatures, let me know!


I've developed an obsession with pink toile. I need to make SOMETHING out of this print. Not sure what it's going to be yet though. But in my searches, I did come across this.

It's a wastebasket. And it's $130. OBSURD.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

If you give a mouse a cookie ...

Let me tell you, that little mouse will ask for a glass of chardonnay!

So this weekend, my in-laws came to visit and we did SO much! Not only did we do lots of sight seeing, but we also completed fun projects around our apartment as well. I'll start with Friday night when they arrived ...

The first thing we did (other than open a bottle of chardonnay) was venture out to find dinner. We ended up at Rojo, the same restaurant Adam and I went to with the pups after our Sunday afternoon in the park. Rojo once again provided us with a fun atmosphere and a tasty dinner. Saturday morning we went to Vulcan Park to check out the view, then visited the farmers market in Birmingham, and on the way home we found a little plant nursery. Between this nursery and the Lowe's across the street from our apartment, Tammy doused our patio with beautiful plants. My mom had already purchased some for our patio, but they didn't very well handle the little bit of sun light they were exposed to so we decided to bring them inside.
Tammy and I added the asparagus fern when we repotted this palm.

Here are some photos of the plants outside. This one already came mixed so we decided to leave it alone.
It's got creeping jenny, lantana, and a grass in it.

This one we put together ourselves with something purple (we can't remember the name of it) and asparagus fern.

And this is the dracaena marginata that Tammy also got me.

I love them all! So I gave this post its title because, well, it was actually a phrase Tammy and I used all weekend. It alllllll started when we decided to add a few more plants to the patio. But then we thought that some of the smaller plants would need to be a little higher off the ground so we decided we would need a little table for a few of them to sit on. And since the plants that my mom got me were getting burned from the sun, well then we would need curtains for outside to cut out some of the sun exposure ( ... even though we eventually decided to bring those inside, we still wanted the curtains).

To keep things straight, let me continue with what we did this weekend. We grabbed lunch after the farmers market and then decided to check out the Birmingham Museum of Art downtown. That was fun and interesting. If I'm not missing anything, I'm pretty sure we went back home afterwards. Multiple times throughout that day, Tammy and I made random trips to Lowe's, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, and Dollar Tree to look for ideas for our projects. During our last trip to Lowe's (and after several failed attempts of looking for a small, simple/cute, relatively cheap table) we decided to dip into the world of DIY. This was all Tammy's idea. I can't take credit for it -- but we were actually walking through the store looking for a table when we came across a stack of empty bright blue five gallon paint buckets. I saw the light bulb go off in Tammy's head. She suggested that we make "tables" out of the buckets by covering them with fabric. So then we headed to the curtain isle to pick out the fabric that would cover the buckets. Well, of course I would pick out a sheer fabric that the bright blue paint bucket shined straight through. To cover the blue paint, we decided we would spray paint the buckets a darker color so they wouldn't be noticeable anymore beneath the fabric.

Although the final trip to Lowe's (for that day, anyway) started off simply to pick up a bag of soil, by the end our buggy was full with paint buckets, sheer window curtains, spray paint, duck tape and velcro strips -- but this was still going to be the cheaper option compared to buying tables at any of the other stores we visited prior to.

Here is a photo of the finished stools/tables. I think they turned out just great!

Here are the curtains on the patio. These turned out fabulous, too.

So, in the end, my patio got a light makeover and I do love all of it. But gosh! I haven't even finished our weekend! Sunday morning we were going to go to Redstone Church, but as it turns out they actually weren't having a service this weekend :( so instead we thought it would be fun to find a yard sale! We were specifically looking for a yard sale in Mountain Brook (a reeeeaaaalllly ritzy area in Bham) and we weren't disappointed! I came out with a few very cute dishes and a very used (and very loved) stepping ladder. Here are the dishes ...

Since we were already in the area, we decided to go to the Birmingham Zoo! And lo and behold, they were having $5 Fun Day. We all got in for pretty cheap. :) Even though I was just there last weekend, I still saw new and fun things. I think we all really enjoyed it.

Shoo-wee! This weekend was a whirlwind of fun. We enjoyed each others' company, enjoyed some tasty food and good drinks, and I certainly enjoyed working on improving my patio. Thanks, Tammy for all your help!

Till next time, my friends!

Oh, PS -- I also got a hummingbird feeder. Not sure they'll actually come, but I'm sure gonna try! And if they do, I've got to get a prettier feeder. :)
This is hanging on the tree in front of our patio.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

DELICIOUS Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I made another cookie recipe! I pretty much used the same basic recipe for the white chocolate, lemon, blueberry cookie ... without the white chocolate, lemons or blueberries. :) But even with the basic recipe, I didn't veer too far off the beaten path. Here it is:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour, minus 2 tablespoons (or 3 1/4 cups of cake flour)
-- This is where you get creative with other ingredients --
(But I didn't get very creative)
  • 1 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
Another alteration I made was using 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of sugar in the raw. 

In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beat after each addition. If using any extracts (vanilla), add and beat to incorporate. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the batter. Carefully fold in any mix-ins (chocolate chip cookies). Allow dough to cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to overnight. Use a small scoop (about 1 tbsp size) and place rounded balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for 11-14 minutes at 350, until the bottoms are slightly golden brown (the edges should not brown). 
Y'all, these cookies are DELICIOUS. You should try them! And then try other additives with the basic recipe and let me know how creative you got!

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