Thursday, April 19, 2018

things i do right before vacation


Plan each outfit for the entire week. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this? I check the weather, anticipate every planned activity, and then lay out every outfit on my bed before trying each of them on. I have absolutely zero tolerance for my own personal freak out mode on vacation, so I feel like having an idea of what I'll be wearing each day keeps me zen. Fewer options = fewer freak outs.

Decide that I need 234985 new things. Like 3 new gray tank tops when I'm going some place where the highs are in the low 60's. You know..."for layering." Also, it's definitely time for me to replace all my makeup and get new shoes. My internal budget fairy takes her own little vacation just a few days before I take mine, so my brain is all #YOLO and #TREATYOSELF. 

Research every single restaurant for every single meal. Well, within reason. I'll make a running list for different types of meals and outings. I'm all about going with the flow, but it is my firm belief that if you're paying more than $10 for an entree or beverage, that shit better be worth it. I've had far too many experiences where we've picked a random place just because we were tired and hungry and it sucked and we still had to dish out $50+. Nah, man. I Yelp it UP!

Clean the entire apartment approximately 10 minutes before our departure. How am I supposed to be chill AF on vacation when I know that in just a few days I'll be coming home to an unmade bed?! A coffee mug in the sink?! Sweaters hanging from the doors?!?!?! Blasphemy. I don't need that kind of stress in my life upon returning from my five day life of luxury (kidding. Or am I?).

I feel like this post makes me sound like a bit of an organizational freak, which is laughable because in most everyday situations where I should absolutely be on top of things, I fall short. But give me a vacation where everything is supposed to be relaxing and I will 10000% make sure that a mental breakdown over "hating all my clothes" or "not being able to pick a restaurant" will absolutely not happen.

At any rate, I am so excited for this weekend. We will be in Almond, North Carolina to watch one of  my best friends since high school get married! Following three nights in a mountainside cabin, we'll stay one night and two full days in Asheville before heading home. It's been a solid four months at the hospital, and I haven't been on a trip since Europe in August, so I am pumped! I'm treating myself tonight and getting my nails done for the first time since January, followed by a spray tan for the first time in nearly three years! #YOLO and all that. Plus, I got a Groupon for the spray tan, so it's basically a financial investment. Our flight leaves at o'dark thirty tomorrow!

What do you absolutely have to do before leaving for vacation? And also - where are you heading next?!







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Monday, April 9, 2018

a long-winded life update

I won't bore you with the monotony of "why I haven't been posting" because I'm sure you know the drill - it's simply been a busy season of life. You know the drill: 32-40 hours a week at my externship, working two nights a week, schoolwork (ish), studying (ish), social life. For awhile there, I just hadn't felt inspired to write about anything going on...it happens!

Side note, this post is a whole lot of rambling, so bear with me.

(I may get hospital heavy here for a second, but I'll move on to other life topics, so just scroll on down if you aren't interested!)


I had the luxury of sleeping in until 8:30 this morning because we've recently discharged patients in our 9 a.m. & 9:45 a.m. MWF slots, which administration has yet to fill...which means I'm drinking coffee on my couch at 9:15 a.m. on a Wednesday. What a life, my friends. It's the little things.

Flash back about four years ago, and working at a hospital is an opportunity I never even knew I wanted to have...but here I am with less than a month left at my first externship, and what a whirlwind it has been.

  • I recently had a geriatric patient with aphasia (an acquired disease that causes an individual to lose the ability to express or understand speech from brain damage after a stroke) call me a smart ass. 
  • I've had a patient with a severe traumatic brain injury go from naming maybe 1-2 fruits when prompted to list 3 before naming off colors instead...now he's naming 5-6 all on his own without perseverations. 
  • I've had patient's husbands and family members cry in sessions when it truly hits that this version of their loved one is their new reality, whether it's their inability to naturally speak after a laryngectomy, or the fact that they can no longer enjoy thin liquids like coffee or regular water because they're silently aspirating (when food & liquid goes down "the wrong pipe" into your lungs, but your brain isn't giving you any semblance of alert...it's super serious and even deadly).
  • I shadowed inpatient and acute care for the first time the other day (I'm normally in outpatient rehab)...definitely a different can of worms than I'm used to. I always thought it was kind of cheesy and cliche to tell someone "be thankful for your health." I was naive enough to think that being healthy was simply the "baseline." I am here to tell you: BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR HEALTH, FRIENDS. 

Long story short, I see so much every day - inspiring things, depressing things, stuff that makes me laugh, stuff that disturbs me so deeply that I actually have nightmares about it. It has certainly given me a new perspective on so many things, and for that I am very grateful.

Moving on to not hospital-related items...


I've been reading a lot, and I think I'm starting to like my Kindle more than I like carrying around a real book. Well, to some extent. My little Kindle Paper White fits so perfectly into my scrub pockets, so reading on my lunch break or the shuttle to and from TGH has been my favorite way to pass the time. So far this year, I've read:
  1. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - loved loved loved it.
  2. My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella - cute story, light easy read.
  3. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen - even though I'm getting closer to 30 years old, I still have a place in my heart for young adult, especially Sarah Dessen. However, was not a big fan of this one.
  4. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld - entertaining enough, but kind of meh.
For some reason, I've been on a chick-lit kick lately. I think I was getting burnt out on murder mysteries and thrillers because a few months back, I felt so stressed out that I didn't want to add a complicated, mind-twisting fictional story to the mix. Now I'm starting to get a little burnt out "light reads," so we'll see where I end up next!


If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I finally met one of my first blog friends, Chelsea, from The Girl Who Loved To Write. Yes, she is just as superb in person, and I feel lucky to call her a friend! She's as kind and humorous as she comes across in her blog, with a little bit of good-hearted snark around the edges...aka my kinda girl. If you don't follow her already, you should definitely start!

Other things I've been doing/working on/thinking about/doing/getting ready for:

  • Tweaking my resume and starting to think about where I want to apply for jobs. Graduation is less than four months away!
  • Our upcoming trip to North Carolina for one of my best friends' wedding! I am in desperate need of a little vacation.
  • I'm finally caught up on This Is Us (brb, bawling my eyes out), and I just started Life Sentence (okay so far, we'll see if I stick to it). 
  • I've been practicing my jump roping every time I go to the gym and I'm starting to get kind of fancy with it. I finally learned how to do a double-under, and I can do three in a row now (sometimes).

What have you guys been up to lately? And if you're a loyal reader (or a new one!), is there anything you'd like to read about on here? Looking for a bit of inspiration around these parts!



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Monday, March 5, 2018

that overwhelming, scintillating feeling of change


I have an overwhelming feeling that everything is going to be changing very quickly, very soon.

At the beginning of a brand new year, we all toast to the idea of change, to better things, to new adventures. January 1st marks the commencement of new resolutions, and everything feels unknown, and the changes we anticipate, the trips we organize, the plans we make feel attainable...but they also feel far away.


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Friday, February 16, 2018

thoughts on gun control - it's time to wake up

Most days, I don't enjoy confrontational speaking. But I can't pretend like a story about Valentine's Day or my most recent shopping trip is relevant right now. Enough is enough, and sometimes "political" topics need to be addressed.

"Guns don't kill people; people kill people."

I'm going to cut the niceties and the exceptions to the rule here and call out the complete and utter bullshit that statement represents. Because that's exactly what it is: absolute bullshit.



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Monday, February 12, 2018

st. pete eats | review of MidiCi Neapolitan pizza


Last month, I was graciously invited to St. Pete's latest and greatest pizza place, MidiCi, an authentic Neapolitan pizza company from the one and only Los Angeles, California. Just a heads up, Los Angeles - finders keepers!

MidiCi is located right outside of Tyrone Square Mall (which, as a St. Petersburg native, can I just say how much I'm loving all the revamping they've been doing?!) but don't let that throw you - it sits alongside a couple of other fun shops and restaurants, so it gives off more of a local street vibe vs. a shopping mall. As you walk in, you're greeted by an open concept kitchen featuring wood burning ovens (for their delicious pizza, of course) and their fresh, non-GMO ingredients on display. The chefs and cooks are so friendly, so feel free to take an extra second to watch them work their culinary magic.




I'd been salivating over their craft cocktail menu since getting invited to the event, so I immediately took the opportunity to shimmy on up to their beautiful marble bar tops. The bartender was so knowledgable about every drink on the menu, and as soon as I mentioned that I was a giant fan of margaritas (because, hello, have you met me?), she recommended I try the Angel's Margarita, later to be followed up with the Devil's Margarita...because obviously you can't try one and not the other!

The Angel's Margarita was on the sweeter side, made with tequila, triple sec, blackberries, lime, and simple syrup - such a classic, crisp taste. Later on in the meal, I switched over to the Devil's, which simply swapped the blackberries for fresno chili peppers...talk about a game changer! I was a big fan of both margs, but I think the Angel's took the cake.




While the drinks were on point, the food was the real treat at MidiCi, especially (shocker!) the pizza. But before we dug into the pizza goodness, we nibbled on the house cheese board and the MidiCi House Salad: seasonal greens, baby arugula, grape tomatoes, parmigiano-reggiano, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Still dreaming about it.

I also feel like it should be noted that each meal was consumed in front of this gorgeous twinkly-light tree...in the middle of the restaurant. How cute?





And now for the main event - the pizza, of course. I was trying to save room for dessert later, otherwise I would have absolute gorged myself on every option. Our table was given the House Pesto: housemade pesto, fresh mozzarella, and parmesan. I normally go for pizzas with tomato sauce, but the housemade pesto absolutely made this dish and it didn't need any help...so good! Next time I go back, I definitely want to try out their double pepperoni and classic margherita pizza.



If you think I wasn't going for their dessert options next, clearly we aren't very close. Dessert = life. I try to fight my sweet tooth, but most times it gets the best of me (reason #2345982 I'll never have visible abs). MidiCi's dessert is 100% worth the price of admission, especially the Signature Nutella Calzone: Nutella strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, balsamic reduction (with the option to add ricotta cheese...um, yes). We also got to try their authentic Italian gelato and goooood lawd, guys, every flavor was a dream.



Not in the St. Pete area but still dying to try MidiCi? You're in luck - it's actually a chain! Check their website to find a location near you. In St. Petersburg, they're located at 2424 Tyrone Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33710. I live over in Tampa, but my parents live a whopping 10 minutes up the road from this little gem, so you better believe I will be back ASAP. If we didn't have plans for Valentine's Day already, I'd be making the trip sooner rather than later.

I had so much fun at this event - thanks again, MidiCi, for the invite! It was so fun to connect with other bloggers in the area, especially this babe from Keeping Up With Kahla:


Have you been to MidiCi before? Or if you're local, have you been to this location yet? Let me know what you think!




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