Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Inspiration.

So, I stated in the beginning of this blog that I basically set out to inspire. What exactly, I don't know. However, I never really informed you of what inspires me. Well, there are many things actually that inspire to be so many things. Picking one thing is difficult, and doing it all proves to be quite the challenge. I feel I am such a rounded person. I'm not going to go through every little detail of everything I long to do and be, that would be a very, very long post. So I will just start with my latest road. And by now most everyone knows that is nursing.

I've always had this longing to help others, and in many ways. Wether it be financially, physically, mentally, the homeless, the needy, the completely lost and helpless. And I feel like nursing is something that will help me fulfill the need to help and give. Here lately I've come along with a little medical situation of my own, nothing serious that I know of just yet, but I will spare you all the full details, it's a sore on my toe that won't seem to go away.

I went to a local nurse practitioner that is fairly new to the neighborhood, and I've been there twice in the last six weeks. My condition is still the same, and I feel like all she has done is throw medicine at me a pushed me out the door. I was referred to a vascular center to have my circulation checked, BUT this was all done without doing a culture of the area in the first place. I feel like I've been blindly given medicine and referrals. My favorite NP finally came back to work in the mean time and I visited her today and you know what the first thing is that she did? A culture. She sat and listened, and looked, and helped me rule out possibilities to help ease my worries of what this growing ulcer on my toe could be. But, the fact I was given antibiotics for it already could interfere with the culture, but hopefully that was long enough ago it will come back with something. So, not only did the first NP show professional negligence by not culturing it the first, she could have possibly made it difficult for a future culture. Ok, I'm gonna stop there, because that was a partial vent. I'm not going to name anyone, I'm not here to put anyone down and slander their name or practice.

I am here to say that the second NP is MY inspiration to be the best nurse, (and maybe even NP), that I can be. Patients will look up to and trust me to take all the steps I need to assure their proper care. The medical world needs more NP's like her. And you all should know it is YOUR right to be sure you are receiving the proper care you feel that you need, it's your body and your money that pays these medical professionals to take care of it. Don't ever feel like you don't have a place to speak up when you think something is not right.

That is all I have. I know its been a while, I hope this summer I can frequent my blog a little more often!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"I Saw it on the Internet"

Wow... I didn't realize that when you wait so long to post a new blog entry, it would be more difficult to settle on a single topic! My Christmas break came and went in a flash and I'm back to books for another semester. I have found some mysterious small gap in time that is giving me a chance to sit down and write a quick blog for you.

With so many social networking sites around, it is so easy to make use of the information you see for valuable resources. It is also just as easy to be deceived by the information you see. I see it happening more and more, and I have just about exhausted my attempts to turn the deceived to the truth, it's not that difficult after all. All it takes is a random picture and a clever caption.

I used to be one of those easily fooled, and a former co-worker of mine would quickly correct me and turn me in the right direction. It got to a point of embarrassment that I finally learned my lesson to check my resources. Now I just sit back and laugh when I see the same fake picture and caption come around, thinking to myself "Haha! I know better!"

Here are a few of the types of Internet myths I see circulating on a regular basis.

The Celebrity Rant 

These are about the first deceptions I started seeing when I joined Facebook YEARS and YEARS ago. The two, most popular I see are from Ben Stein and George Carlin. These usually come in the form of a letter, and pertain to religion or America, hence the Ben Stein letter titled, "Confessions for the Holidays" and George Carlin's titled, "Bad American". All it takes is a little research on snopes.com to find the entire truth behind both of these. But yet, it will still never fail I will still see these circulate at least once a year, and there will always been that one person to cheer them on.

The 'try it' Photo

Made popular by Pinterest. Geez... I just want to yell at the folks repinning these, "Use your common sense!" All it takes is a little true research. With everyone trying to learn Photoshop, it's so much easier to fool the everyday person. From galaxies in a bottle and food experiments, to exotic homes and DIY decorating. I will admit, I myself have been deceived by a few pins, but all it took was a few more clicks to see how another unsuspecting pinner tried the said experiment... photo... project and failed. Not because they did it wrong, but it was fake in the first place. One mistake I believe most pinners make is not checking their links before repinning. A lot of those fake pins lead to spam, and who wants to follow someone that just posts spam? Here is a good list of Pinterest myths, some of these I have seen circulating longer than Pinterest.

The Un-American President

Oh my word... come election time I literally want to make my presence on Facebook non-existent. Everyone dumbs down or something... I don't know. I do know that I find myself shaking my head a lot and telling myself "Just move on, nothing you can say will change what they think." Most of this started when President Obama ran for president. Maybe it's because when Bush ran for president, social media wasn't as popular and easily accessible as it is now. But when Obama ran for his first term... wow. Ignorance is all I can say. There were so many deceiving pictures circulating with President Obama putting his left hand on his heart, not wearing his flag pin and so forth. My favorite was probably the wrong handed salute. SO many people fell for that one, all it took was a closer look, rather than a glance, to see that photo was mirrored and the wedding bands on Michelle and Barack were very, badly Photoshopped in to make it look like their left hands. There are so many more president myths. Once again, I beg of everyone, PLEASE do your research before you push 'share', 'comment', 'repin', 'retweet'. It's not difficult. Just because so-n-so over there re-whatevered it, doesn't make it true. It makes in an urban legend.

Overall, it boils down to, if it looks too good, sounds too clever, and seems so outrageous, it probably is. Keep yourself from seeming ignorant and take a few extra seconds to research before you repost or leave your own rant in the comment. It is really not that difficult.

Until next time... 'Uhh... Bonjour'

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Handmade Gifting

Who knew it would be so difficult to keep up with a simple blog! Things have been overly busy with school, vacation, sports.... that writing a new post sort of took the back burner. Which stinks because I really do enjoy writing this. 
Anyhow, with the Christmas season just around the corner, I've been making out my shopping lists, and have actually bought a few things already. Being a babysitter, I include my kids and their parents in my shopping list, so you can imagine just how long my list is! To help save a little, and make things a little more personal, the last few years I have been gearing toward handmade gifts. I like to make them myself, but if necessary, I will buy handmade. Last year I made sugar scrubs and apple butter and they were both hits! Making or buying homemade not only helps save a few pennies, it is also more economical, it really is a win win!

So, here is a list of some simple homemade items that make perfect gifts for just about anyone on your list!

1. Personalized Frame Wreath
     I made a few of these last year. You can hang them up in your home or on the front door. What made it better was that I was able to repurpose some old picture frames I had stuffed away in a closet. I knew I didn’t throw those away for a reason!  You can always find yarn for sale at any craft store, and I even scored a few rolls at the Goodwill! The letters cost $1-$2 at your local craft store. So, just a few dollars invested and you have very cute, personalized gift! Here is on of my favorites at Paper Wings.

2. Sugar or Salt Scrubs
            You can find numerous recipes for these out there. They are very simple to make, and with the ingredients you buy, you can make A LOT!  They really make your hands and feet smell and feel great! I didn’t bother with decorating my jars up a whole lot, I just tied a ribbon around making it look gift-y. Here are a few of my favorite recipes: Maybe Matilda and Under the Table and Dreaming.

3. Handmade Soap
            I haven’t tried this yet, but I hope to this year. Snappy Living has several recipes and instructions. They all seem like they have skin benefits, and would look very cute in a bathroom or kitchen.

4. Bottle Cap Magnets
            These little suckers are all kinds of cute! And if you are anything like me, you can keep enough magnets on your fridge.  You can personalize them, or make them wacky and random. You are in complete control! The instructions are here at Jader Bomb. Another idea, go flea marketing and find old, vintage bottle caps and glue the magnet to the backside!

5. Coffee Cozy
            Now on to sewing. I’ve made one of these already, and it’s really very simple! You can patch your fabric together or use solid pieces. They are perfect for any coffee lover. They economical and green because they prevent the need for those little cardboard ones at coffee shops! Here are the instructions at Patchy Apple.

6. Potholders
            Face it. Everyone needs these in their kitchen. And they probably need to be replaced more often than they are. This is another simple sewing project that you can add any personal touch to. Here are a few of my favs at Momtastic and Going Sew Crazy
There you have it! I’m sure I could find more, but chances are, if I keep going, I won’t stop! I hope I have helped you out with some great, simple Christmas ideas! And these don’t have to just be for Christmas, you can really gift them anytime!

How about you? Do you have any favorite handmade gifts you like to make?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I Don't Care about Kristen Stewart....

I really don't. I do however care about equal treatment of women and their rights. How does this relate to Kristen Stewart? Well, this whole thing about her cheating on Robert Pattinson is blown completely out of proportion for one. There are studios turning her down so they don't hurt their own reputation. A new phrase or word has been coined after her: 'trampire'. The entire fan base of Twilight has pretty much turned their backs on her. You know, how could she do that to Edward??!! Gasp!! Whatever. You realize that Chris Brown beat the CRAP out if Rhianna and he still got played on radios, received awards and so forth??? You realize this is the REAL society we are living in? It's pretty scary!
I don't like getting caught up in mainstream media. I don't care about who is dating who. I care about myself, my rights and my family. I'm usually terrible about keeping up with politics and the latest news. I've been trying to do better. And it seems the growing issues with the current Presidential campaign is women's right. I'm not getting into the pro-life and pro-choice debate, I'm not. However, I do not think it should be the Government's right to make my choices for me. An no man or government should be telling me that I can't choose if I want to take contraception. The public is just starting to see how ignorant so many people are about pregnancy, rape and even our 'yearly' exams. Receiving preventative care will eventually become a very pressing issue.
I'm just saying, stay aware. We think our society has grown past non-equality, but it hasn't. This is all going to come to a head soon, and it's probably going to get ugly.
Anyhow, I'm not looking for a debate. I'm not trying to convince of one side or the other. I just think it is important that people be aware of what some of the real issues are that are out there today. But please, if you have an opinion or input, feel free to respond!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Time... is it Anyone's Friend??

Starting a blog right before I start back to school... not my brightest idea. That's right, I'm 30, and I am once again a college student. Scary thought! I have a small course load this semester, an online computer literacy class and Anatomy & Physiology 1. And I am retaking my ACT test in a few weeks. Even scarier! I have so many people that say "I wish I could go back." or "I wish I had the time." Well, you know, I don't have the time either, you have to make time work for you, not against you! With a 3 year old, and two active step-kids, I know how difficult it is. But there really is no better time than the present. Anyone out there giving any thought to going back to school, DO IT. You aren't getting any younger, and neither is your family. Work hard now, and you will have to make a few sacrifices, but it will have a major payoff in the end.
I try to use every bit of free time I have to read my Anatomy text, or study my terms. (Yep, only had two class meetings and I have a chapter to read and review and about 5 pages of body parts to memorize!) I keep note cards with me everywhere. There are several apps I've downloaded on my phone to quiz me. The kids nap, I read. I feed a baby and I am pointing out parts of the head, trunk, arms, legs. I feel like Anatomy has been all I have thought about for about a week now! And you know what, I still have time to do my workouts, go to ball games, visit friends, cook supper. On the days I have class I pull out my crock pot. Since I have to leave at 4:30 PM and don't get home until 7 some nights and 9 some nights, I try to eat before I leave and then I take snacks with me. It is a challenge, but it's a challenge that will build a stronger you.
So, needless to say, my blogs are going to come at a slower pace. It stinks because I have so much that I still want to write about, but this is not a high priority over my school work. I still hope to inspire and help. If you are trying to decide to go back to school, DO IT! I'd be more than happy to help you if you need some help with making the decision!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Small Steps to Healthy

     Anymore, it seems everywhere you turn you hear about people going green. Not just the recycling and reusing way, but also in the way they eat. Our society has become so fast paced that we have also become lazy. Sacrificing health over convenience has become the lifestyle. A while back, I became committed to turning that around and sacrificing convenience for health. It's important for me and my family so they can also grow up to pass it on their families and so forth. This isn't an easy change to make. You have to take small, slow steps to get there. My goal is not to make my family vegan, or fully organic, but to make the better choice. So I am going to share with you a few small, easy changes I made and maybe I can help someone else along their journey!

1. Whole Grains
     Whole grains are important to our bodies, and should be a part of our everyday diet. (FYI: A LOT of people confuse the word 'diet' with losing weight. Your diet is how you eat, healthy or not. You don't go on a diet, you change it.) Adding even just a serving in your daily consumption can help reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. I'm SOLD!!! And with the awareness of healthy nutrition becoming high, it is not difficult to fit them into a meal or snack. Many cereals are now made with more whole grains, and you find them in something as simple as a granola bar. Personally, I have started buying Egg-O waffles made with whole grain (I prefer the Honey Oat flavor) and White Whole Grain Bunny Bread. Both still taste as good and no one notices a difference at all. The waffles are even good enough, I can eat them without syrup! Visit The Whole Grains Council to learn more about the benefits of whole grains.

2. Don't Fry, Bake
     Can you believe we don't even own a fryer?? When I was dating my husband I gasped at the fact he didn't own one. How in the world am I supposed to make french fries? Bake them! If I wanted to fry up something for supper, chicken or fish, I would just use a skillet. And to be honest, that is a lot of effort and grease I don't like to deal with, so most of the time I just bake or grill our meats. For french fries we sprinkle some seasoned salt or even just pepper and bake them. Preheat your oven to 450 and pop them in. Even things like cheese sticks, bake em. Most froze, packaged items come with instructions for the oven. Everything still tastes as good, and who needs all that oil??

3. No Cokes, Soda, Pop...
     I know there are people out there who think I am just cruel because I won't let my son drink cokes. Not even every now and then. I don't want him to like them. When I feel like he is capable of making the right, healthy choices, then he can have one. But right now, being that he is three, he doesn't know about healthy food, so it is up to me and my husband, and the rest of the adults in my family to educate him and make those decisions for him. We don't even buy cokes to keep in our home. Yes, I do drink coke every now and then, but I do it leisurely and in moderation. There is not one beneficial thing about drinking cokes. Not even diet cokes. If there is any benefit, it's not worth the risks. It is terrible for your teeth, digestion, heart, blood, brain and the list goes on. See this chart from Term Life Insurance about what happens to your body when you drink coke. It's not just the sugar (which now they use high-fructose corn syrup to sweeten a lot of food and drinks now), it's also the caffine. Caffine is a drug. And yes, you can become addicted to it just like any other drug!  I'm not saying write out cokes completely, but I'd suggest not even drink one a day. I drink MAYBE one a week. I did get headaches when I made this transition, but I powered through. For me, it's more about having something with a little flavor. I have a hard time just drinking water. I will fill up a pitcher of water, throw in some squeezed lemon and sliced cucumber. It's a tasty and healthy drink. I also make decaffinated tea and not much sugar. Cokes are difficult to cut out, but you can do it!!!

4. Stop buying your dinner in a box and cook!
     This is where a big sacrifice of convenience comes in. Those hamburger helpers and 'just add meat' dinners are packed with sodium and most likely contain msg (monosodium glutamate). In case you didn't know already, msg is BAD. It is found in most processed foods. You can find more info about msg here, msgtruth.org. At the right seasons, check out your local farmers market for fresh veggies to make it even better.
     If you are a busy family, pre-make your seasonings to keep on hand. Here is a recipe for taco seasoning, the family loves it! With places out there like Pinterest there are endless resources for making your own of anything. Keep a few frozen meals you can just throw in the crock pot in the mornings and it's done when you get home. They are healthier and tastier. Yes, you may have to cut a few of your own veggies. But you can buy food choppers and slicers to help that process along.

There you have it! It's not much and I'm sure I will come up with more later. Just remember, everything in moderation. Make good and healthy eating choices, not just for you but for your family and your family's future.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Babysitting is WORK!!

There isn't much more that irks me than when my husband comes home from work, sits on the couch and proclaims, "Why are you so tired? I work all day." Though I know he is kidding, it still makes my blood pressure rise a little, and that is why he says it.
I made the decision one and a half years ago to quit my full-time job as a graphic designer to stay home with my son. However, the only way that would be made possible was if I started babysitting. Easy-peasy, right? No. It didn't take long for me to pick up 4-5 kids, some part time and some full-time. And didn't take long to realize how UNDERPAID babysitters are! We make an average of $2.50/hr per hour! I don't expect to get each parents income or anything. However, it is one of the most rewarding, yet under-appreciated jobs. We are not lazy. This is something we CHOOSE.
Babysitters don't just sit there and watch kids play, we cover many jobs: teacher, nurse, speech therapist, chef, nutritionist, time manager, referee... We teach your kids to share. We change their poopy diapers. Assist them to the potty. Help them learn responsibilities. We get pulled on. Spit up on. Tackled. We listen to whining, crying, complaining. Kiss boo-boos. And it's worth it when you get rewarded with snuggles, kisses and hugs. We organized strict routines, with strict nap-times. Once we get time to breathe, the UPS man bangs on the door, waking up 2 or 3 kids. (Nap time is VERY sacred in this house!!)
There are times when we have to, very awkwardly, remind a parent to pay us. That is our income, just like you have your income. At the end of the week we have bills to pay just like anyone else. I've had many weeks where I had to skimp on groceries because I didn't make enough that week to pay my bill and groceries. And I have a family of 5!! Don't complain about how much you have to pay your babysitter because you could have to send your child to a day care. Instead, show your babysitter how much they are appreciated for their service. And if any of my parents are reading this, I'm not talking directly to any of you!! As with any workplace, when you show your employee's appreciation, you will get better results and hard work because they feel as though they are worth it!

My 'babies'
All the kiddos after nap time!
My Summer kiddos!
This is just my statement, my opinion. I love the kids I keep, and I will miss them when I have to start back to school full-time. Just think before you make a negative comment about babysitters. If it's so easy, then why doesn't everyone do it? It requires so much more patience than anyone could ever realize. So my challenge... hug a babysitter today, let them know how much they mean!