I’m alive, I swear!

I’m not much of a green thumb, but my Christmas cactus is still in full bloom.

I have been busy with my CNA clinicals, which I absolutely LOVED.  Always a good sign, right?  I did three 8 hour shifts at a nursing home and one 8 hour shift at one of the local hospitals.  Definitely two different environments, but kind of the same.

I loved it all.

I loved the grumpy old people who say whatever they please because they don’t care what people think.
I loved the sweet grateful old people who would light up when you came into their room.
I loved that they would smirk at my silly jokes.
I loved the few who might not have been there 100%.
I even loved the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day because there hadn’t been a single dull moment.
I loved all the things some people might think are gross.
One lady said I had wings, that I was an angel.  (Hah!  Fooled her! 🙂 )
I even loved taking people’s blood glucose (apparently I have no problem causing one to bleed…)
I thanked an elderly patient for holding my hand while I tested his blood glucose
And laughed when he said he didn’t get to hold many pretty girls’ hands these days.
I love that people are just, people and it’s the little things to make the world just a little brighter.

So that’s been my life.  And sleeping.  Oh and back to regularly scheduled classes.

I take my skills exam followed by my written exam on Monday and I’m feeling pretty good.  Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

In other news, we had our first snow a week ago.  I had gone to 6 am hot yoga and came out to a blanket of snow on the ground.

Our backyard had its very own snowdrift.

Speaking of hot yoga,  I’ve been going once a week all of January and it turns out it actually gets easier.  Especially when you remember to breathe.  I’ll be sad when my groupon expires, but hopefully there will be another. 

I recently cooked up some real winners, and some not so great losers.

Sweet potato shepherd’s pie via Janetha?  Serious Win.  Find the recipe here.

A few baked shrimp recipes?  Meh.  Both of these I tried from Pinterest. I guess I prefer mine with butter and garlic.  Or cocktail sauce.
Shrimp with lemon, butter and Italian spices

Feta spaghetti shrimp bake.  It had salsa in it.  It was weird.
Avocado fries?  Definitely a win.  I mean avocado baked in Panko?  YES.
Oops.  I think I added too much water to my oats.
Yeah, oats.  Time and time again, I have professed my dislike for oats and here I am eating them several times a week.  With cinnamon and flax and a pinch of Splenda.  Well if you must know, they stick to my ribs.  So, I force myself to eat them because eating a healthy breakfast helps me eat healthy the rest of the day.  They aren’t so bad, I guess. 
Does anyone know when grapefruit season is?  Because it seems to me the best grapefruits are always found end of Jan, beginning of Feb.  Yum.

How did that get in there?  If you love caramel, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, you will love this.  It was all I could do not to just dig the caramel “core” out of the middle. 


A Big Thank You + Fitness

Hello there!

First a big thank you to Chobani for contacting me in December.  They are bringing a plant to Idaho and offered me a case of free yogurt.  Yes please!

All this x2!  I’m telling you, pineapple is by far my favorite!

And they sent me these cute little magnets as well as a conversion table.

**Hokay, I’m not a nutritionist, trainer, health expert here.  This is simply a documentation of my habits of late.**

Last post, I mentioned briefly that I was proud of how consistent I’d been at the gym during December.  It seems I’ve got a good thing going!

Since I love to make lists (you know you’re a blogger when…) here’s what I’ve been doing:

hot yoga.  aka torture.  I have a serious love/hate relationship with it.  I love that it’s been stretching out my muscles and making cardio/weights feel better.  But I count down the sweaty minutes until I can book it out of there.

body pump.  This is my go to class when I’m feeling lazy.  I don’t have to think and I love the positive enthusiasm and motivation of everyone around me.

cardio mix-up.  I have some serious ADD so I like to do several cardio machines.  Lately it’s been: warmup power walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes, followed by a 30 minute hill climb or something similar, followed by 10-15 minute intervals on the stair climber.  Last time I did this I was pouring sweat by the end.

circiuts.  I do these with one of my friend who always thinks up wicked circuits and I’m happy to follow along (and sometimes complain a little). 

Now here’s the honest truth.

I’ve been slacking in the nutrition department a little.  Not making a lot of bad choices, but not making enough good ones either.  I’ve been a little better at planning ahead which always makes a huge difference.

I might even be getting used to oats.

But upward and onward. 

Life is too short to look back.  Besides, my guts don’t respond too kindly to a lot of processed/rich foods.

I’ve also been making a plethora of soups this winter.  I’ll make a big batch Saturday or Sunday and then eat it for at least one meal a day throughout the week.  So far I’ve made:

-cheddar vegetable
-tortilla soup
-split pea (am I the only one who prefers the yellow peas to the green?)
-chicken noodle

If there’s one thing I’ve re-learned, it’s plan ahead.  That way, it’s so much easier to grab something quick that’s still healthy.

Wanna know a secret?  

Since Christmas, my clothes are already fitting just a little bit better!

What? It’s 2012?

Oh hi there.

Merry Christmas/Happy Haunakkah/Happy New Year.

This past month has zoomed by.

I think the only thing I’ve been consistent with is the gym.  Yay me.

Oh and this darn sinus infection.

Anyway, here is a super fast recap:

Finals: stress, exhaustion, long nights, wondering how I ever stayed up past midnight studying, muchless pulling an allnighter, and finally a sigh of relief.

The last of my vaccination updates.  *Warning, this next picture is graphic*

This is the back of my arm from an MMR shot.  It’s better to give than receive I tell ya.
I made Hunter wear his sweater vest.  Glad to report is doesn’t seem quite as tight on him this year.

I made these as Christmas gifts for my friends.  I got the idea from Pinterest but I had no idea how long they would take!  Approximately 3-4 hours a piece!  But they came out great and everyone loved them.  I call that a win.
I put 3 strings of lights on my very tiny tree.  It’s still sitting in my living room.

Drove to Oregon to visit my family for Christmas.  Hunter was my co-pilot.

Christmas dinner.
Cake balls.  Yum.

I decorated a gingerbread house.  

We came home a few days later, exhausted.
I am finished with CNA school and halfway through my clinicals.  It is a lot of hard work and not a quiet moment, but I am really loving it!

Oh, and apparently my Christmas cactus finally decided to bloom yesterday after over a year of coaxing.  Another win!

I am still writing 2011 when I have to date something.

Hopefully I’ll have 2012 memorized by February.  

My birthday is in less than a month.  I always start the countdown on January 6.  Say what you will.