September 22, 2014

May The Force Be With Me

I made Chris a very proud husband this weekend. I finally started watching the Star Wars movies. He has only been trying to convince me to watch them since we started dating, and his persistence finally paid off. Or I got tired of listening to him. Chris dictated that I would watch them in order 1-2-3-4-5-6 (why did they release them backwards again??) so we started with episode 1 on Saturday. 

I kinda liked it.

That being said, the entire Star Wars universe is very confusing to me. Being married to such a nerd, I know many of the characters names, the plot twists, who will die, who turns evil and which siblings accidentally kiss without knowing that they are related yadda yadda. This vast amount of knowledge makes watching the movies interesting. More than once, Chris told me to stop asking questions during the movie and to just pay attention. I didn't listen to him.

The following is a brief list of things I may or may not have said during our inaugural showing of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace


  • Oh hey look it's the words.
  • Why did they write the words slanted, it's hard to read.
  • They don't look very happy.
  • Those are Jedi's right?
  • What's with the rat tail?
  • Why are they fighting?
  • He's a dumb hut.
  • What do you mean he's not a hut?
  • That's Jabba the hut right?
  • Oh, well fine he's a dumb Jar Jar Binks.
  • I love Jar Jar!
  • I bet she's really the queen.
  • Who's this kid?
  • I bet he's some important character.
  • HA! Told you.
  • Aw baby Darth Vadar.
  • I hate this guy.
  • Jar Jar is stupid.
  • Don't get lost Jar Jar.
  • Ugh I hate you Jar Jar.
  • He's a bad guy right?
  • Cheater.
  • Obviously Anakin is going to win.
  • I don't trust this guy. 
  • Spoiler alert, he wants to be the new chancellor.
  • This movie is so predictable. 
  • Oh hey Queen Padme.
  • This kid is a little shit.
  • Wait, where did Qui-Gon go?
  • HE DIED?!
  • REWIND IT!
  • Ugh I literally looked away for 5 seconds and Liam Neeson dies.
  • Liam Neeson NEVER dies!
  • Get it Obi-Won!
  • At least he dies too.
  • Surprise, he won the election.
  • Creeper.

RIP Qui-Gon. You were my favorite.


September 19, 2014

Book Club

Each month, a group of us girls get together to eat, drink, be merry and talk books. It is so nice to have a designated night away from the stresses of work, husbands, kids and school to just unwind and have quality time with the important women in my life. I thought it would be nice to chronicle what we read and how we like it. So up first: 


The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Synopsis: Cecilia Fitzpatrick, devoted mother, successful Tupperware business owner and efficient P&C President, has found a letter from her husband. ''For my wife, Cecilia Fitzpatrick To be opened only in the event of my death'' But Cecilia's husband isn't dead, he's on a business trip. And when she questions him about it on the phone, Cecilia senses something she hasn't experienced before. John-Paul is lying. What happens next changes Cecilia's formerly blissful suburban existence forever, and the consequences will be life-changing for the most unexpected people.

This book was a hit with everyone. It was a thrilling, fun read that I didn't put down for 2 days. It was a great book for discussion since we all were able to put ourselves in Cecilia's shoes and try to imagine how we might behave in her situation. The entire book is so thought provoking and emotional that is was almost overwhelming, but wonderfully so. The best part for me was the epilogue...a full chapter of what destiny had in store for these characters. 

What's your favorite book? Any suggestions for our group to read next month?

September 18, 2014

Flu vaccines

Happy Flu Season!


Have you been vaccinated yet? As a health care provider, I am passionate about ensuring everyone I know is educated on the importance of vaccines. Choosing to get your vaccine not only protects you from potentially coming down with the flu, but it protects those around you as well. Let's run through some common excuses of why you may not want to get the flu vaccine and why they are total baloney. 

giving flu shots in Costa Rica

But I've never had the flu!
     Well guess what, it's a new year! The CDC reports that an estimated 5-20% of the US population will come down with influenza each year. Of those infected, over 200,000 are hospitalized each year with complications. That's a huge gamble to take with your life.

But I've had the flu before, it was no big deal!
     Maybe that one time you had it was NBD, but there are hundreds of different strains of the virus. Having the flu once does not prevent you from getting it again later in life like some other illnesses (chicken pox, for example). The flu can range from mild cold like symptoms to a devastatingly fatal illness. With complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections and even sepsis, its no wonder that an average of 36,000 people die each year in the US. 

But last time I got the vaccine, it gave me the flu!

     I will say this once: the flu vaccine does not cause you to get the flu. It is impossible to guarantee 100% immunity against the flu, even with proper vaccination. It goes back to there being hundreds of different strains of the flu. Scientists and physicians do their best to predict which strains will be most prevalent each year to develop that season's vaccine. However, most vaccines only predict against 3-4 different strains. Just because you are protected from those 4 doesn't necessarily mean you won't still get a case of the flu. Getting the vaccine simply decreases your chances of catching and spreading the virus. 

But I'm afraid of needles!
     Unfortunately, needles are a very common tool used by doctors and nurses to keep you healthy. The good news is that if you are between the ages of 2 and 49, you qualify for the intra-nasal spray version of the vaccine. Those between the ages of 18-64 are eligible for an intra-dermal version which is injected in to the skin as opposed to the muscle. This intra-dermal shot uses a much smaller needle since it doesn't have to inject the vaccine as far. The standard dose intra-muscular vaccine is available to anyone 6 months of age or older (infants under 6 months are still protected by their mothers' antibodies and are not recommended to receive the flu vaccine).

But I got the flu vaccine last year!
     As previously mentioned, the vaccine may change slightly each year to protect against the most prevalent strain. Even if the vaccine doesn't change at all from the previous season, your immunity to the flu diminishes over the course of the year. For optimum protection, the CDC recommends annual vaccination against the flu. 

But it's too late to get the vaccine, the season is almost over!
     While it is best to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available (usually by the end of September/early October), it is never too late to protect yourself. The vaccines are beneficial as long as the virus is circulating, which can be well into the new year. Illnesses have been known to occur even as late as May. Besides, better late than never. 


How do you feel about the flu vaccine? Will you be protecting yourself and your community by getting vaccinated? Do you have any concerns about the vaccine that I didn't address? Let me know in the comments and I will try to address them! 

September 17, 2014

Fall In Love


What are you doing this weekend? 

Let me rephrase.

Come save a life this weekend!

TLCASC is hosting their Fall In Love adoption event THIS WEEKEND! The event will take place on Saturday September 20 from 10AM to 4:30PM and Sunday September 21 from 1PM to 4:30PM.

During this event, all adoption fees will be waived on all animals!!!

All dogs, puppies, cats and kittens will be free to loving homes! Chris and I will be there from 3-5PM Saturday afternoon...let us help you find your new family member!




September 16, 2014

Am I Skinny Yet?

if only 


I hate to break it to you guys, but Chris and I may be getting a divorce. 

Not a real divorce, just the silly kind where I scream profanities at him for awhile and then make him sleep on the couch. Why you ask? Oh I'll tell you why. Just you wait until you hear what he did. What he made me do!

He made me wake up at 5AM and go to the gym with him!

Ugh.

I hate exercise. I hate being sweaty. I hate being sore. I do not get a runner's high. I think those people who claim they do are flat out lying because they are miserable and they want to entice other people into being miserable with them. Running sucks. But today, I got my ass out of bed before dawn and ran. And lifted weights. And got both sweaty and sore. AND I ate a salad for dinner last night. Being sexy is hard work. 

Chris and I have started a new healthy living routine where basically we stop gouging ourselves on junk food every night in front of the television without moving for seven hours. 

Don't judge us, you've done it too. 

We've never been very consistent with our gym routines. He loves working out once we get there (which in turn pumps me up because I always want to win at everything. Period.), but its the talking ourselves into getting off the couch after work/walking dogs/dinner/housework and going the 2.4 miles up the road part that is tough. Thus Mr. SmartyPants decided we would just go in the morning. Before work. Before coffee. Before the sunrise. Ughh. It makes me sleepy just thinking about it.

Today was the first day, and in all honesty...it wasn't that bad. Except for the fact that we drove 2.4 miles up to our gym only to find that our key cards had become inactive. (whoops) No biggie. We'll just go to the nicer of the two gyms that are in our apartment complex. Except then we couldn't find the door that our amenities key will unlock to let us in after hours. 

(At this point I tried my hardest to convince Chris that obviously we were not meant to exercise today and please could I go home and go back to bed. No luck.)

We finally decided to just go to the tiny joke of a gym near our building. We did a little weightlifting and then moved on to our Couch to 5K app. If you are new to running, you should definitely try it! The app assists you in training for a 5K in 30 minute sessions, three days a week, for eight(ish) weeks. You can repeat days as necessary before moving on if you're really new to running like I am. 


The first day had us do a five minute warm up walk, alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking, and then a five minute cool down. I'm not saying it was pretty, but I managed to get through it in one piece. 


Chris can run the full thirty minutes no problem, but we aren't speaking to him right now. 

Supposedly we are going to wake up at that horrid hour at least three times a week for more of this torture. 

But maybe it will end up being a good thing after all....





Disclaimer: no husbands were harmed in the writing of this post 

September 14, 2014

Going Out With My Boots On

Y'all. 

Y'all. 

Can I please tell you how amazing my girl Miranda was in concert? Homegirl came to party. Mrs. Blake Shelton came out in her typical little-bit-country-little-bit-rock-and-roll form: cowboy boots, leather hot pants, black tank top and pink guitar lookin' hot hot hot. She sang her heart out for two straight hours without leaving the stage a single time. 

Get it, girl. 




Chris and I had so much fun on our musical date night. I dusted off my own cowboy boots and cutoff shorts for the occasion. 



Thomas Rhett and Justin Moore started the show off great, but Miranda was definitely the star. By far one of the best concerts I've been to. 

video

Photos and video are my own.


September 10, 2014

101 in 1001

This list. Oh my how I love a to-do list! I love any type of list really. Grocery lists, packing lists, lists of things Chris needs to do around the house. Lists of the types of lists I enjoy. I've never really been one for New Year's resolutions, but when I saw this idea on my favorite blog ever, I just had to do it. 

Essentially, these are the rules:


The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).
Why 1001 Days? 
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as New Year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.
Magical! I absolutely loved the premise so of course I sat right down and made my own. My first 101 list was created in September of 2011 and concluded in May of 2014 -- I completed 52 of my goals, which included donating $1 to charity for each item not completed (I rounded up to $50) and creating a new 101 list. I brought some of my incomplete goals forward to my new list, but also came up with new and exciting goals for the future. With my second list, I decided to group goals together based on what category they fall in to. Lists within a list, y'all! 
So without further ado, my second 101 in 1001 list:
Start date: July 27, 2014
End date: April 23, 2014
Crossed out is complete
Italics are in progress 
Financial::
1. Buy a house
2. Save $10,000 for emergencies 
3. Pay off credit card
4. Pay off student loans 
5. Pay off Mazda
6. Pay off Dodge

7. Create a household budget
8. Create a personal budget 
9. Read a financial book to learn about investments/retirement etc.
10. Buy something that will increase in value over time


Spiritual::

11. Find a church family 
12. Find a charity I am drawn to and donate monthly
13. Pay for someone's toll/bill
14. Adopt a family for Christmas 
15. Find an organization to volunteer with on a regular basis (TLCASC)
16. Plant a tree
17. Buy a modern version of the bible
18. Read the entire bible
19. Donate $10 to charity for each item not complete on list

Personal::

20. Get a raise
21. Aquire a DSLR camera and learn how to use it
22. Have boudoir photos taken
23. Save up and buy a pair of Louboutin pumps
24. Purchase a classic trench coat
25. Make a list of things I dislike about myself
26. Make a list of things I love about myself
27. Start a blog

28. Subscribe to a magazine I enjoy
29. Complete 10 DIY Pinterest projects
30. Get a facial
31. Try Shannon's eyelash extensions
32. Try ten foods/dishes I've never eaten before (lobster roll, gnocchi, creme brulee)

33. Order Personalized stationary 
34. Try a drastic new hairstyle (cut or color)

Marital::

35. Watch the Godfather trilogy 
36. Watch Star Wars (1,2,3,4,5,6 done!)

37. Take dance lessons with Chris
38. Stay in a bed and breakfast
39. Go unplugged for an entire weekend with Chris
40. Try five new restaurants (Vertigo, Backwoods Bistro, Food Glorious Food, A La Provence, )

41. Visit the grandparents in North Carolina
42. Do something random and sweet for Chris on ten occasions (Titanfall, Maze Runner, Scorch Trials, Baseball season tickets)

43. Sip coffee with Chris and watch the sunrise 
44. Complete the FSU newlywed study 

Educational::

45. Have another stick shift lesson
46. Change my own oil
47. Read the Chronicles of Narnia series
48. Take a class
49. Read a biography of someone I admire (Mindy Kaling)
50. Learn how to French braid my hair
51. Vote in the presidential election
52. Develop a skill to barter with
53. Read ten classics I haven't read before (Currently reading Pride and Prejudice) 


Adventure::

54. Visit a u-pick-em farm
55. Visit two states I've never been to (California Aug 2014)

56. Play in snow (in NC!)
57. Go camping
58. Go fishing
59. Play paintball
60. Go sailing
61. Attend an opera 
62. Go to a concert (Miranda Lambert, Sept 2014)
63. Attend the Kentucky Derby
64. Ride in a helicopter 
65. Go on a hot air balloon ride
66. Fly somewhere (California, Aug 2014)

67. See the Ellen show live

Health::

68. Have a successful, healthy pregnancy 
69. Weigh 140lbs
70. Run a 5K
71. Buy a bicycle 
72. Floss every day for one month
73. Exercise three times a week for one month
74. Drink only water for an entire week
75. Switch to caffeine free Diet Coke
76. Adopt meatless Monday 
77. Complete a work out challenge
78. Do not eat fast food in 2015 (...whoops)
79. Take a spin class
80. Donate blood three times
81. Keep a journal of everything I eat for an entire month
82. See a chiropractor 

Friends::

83. Host a dinner party 
84. Send Christmas cards each year 
85. Send flowers to a friend 
86. Host a wine/cheese tasting party 
87. Send a care package
88. Send a baby gift to all expectant friends 
89. Host a board game night 
90. Babysit for free
91. Make a new friend 
92. Send ten handwritten 'just because' notes to ten different people

Home::

93. Buy reusable grocery bags 
94. Buy a filing cabinet and organize important documents95. Make homemade pickles
96. Create a living will
97. Start an herb garden
98. Go a month without eating out
99. Have a professional photo printed on canvas and hang in our home
100. Invest in a new couch/living room set 
101. De-clutter house and donate items to Goodwill --ongoing!

September 9, 2014

A Helping Hand


ADOPT ME!


For the longest time, Chris and I have been in discussion about volunteering in our community. Like all good procrastinators, we put it off and put it off. That is until I wrote it down on my official to-do list. The be-all-end-all of to-do lists: 101 in 1001 <-- this list is deserving of a blog post all its own, so we’ll get to that a little later. Obviously once it was written down on an official list, it had to be crossed off. Perhaps one of my favorite past times is crossing things off a list. Seriously. Sometimes I even make a list of things I’ve already completed just for the satisfaction of crossing them off.

I digress. So I finally decided yes! We will do this! The problem then became finding somewhere to spend our weekends that A) would not make us long for our couch and B) actually felt like we were making a difference. I credit Christopher with the discovery of such a place (don’t tell him).


Not only is it where we adopted our two barking fur babies, but we were already spending an exorbitant amount of time there anyways. I loved spending a Saturday afternoon loving on the dogs and cats through their prison bars. I often left in tears because Christopher would remind me that we live in an 1100 square foot apartment that has already exceeded max capacity for pets so, no, we could not bring any more home with us.

Bingo! If I couldn’t bring any more animals home with me, I absolutely could use my energy to find them forever homes elsewhere. And let me tell you…I am LOVING it!

We had our first volunteer shift last weekend, participating in what is called Pack Walk. A group of volunteers meet every Sunday morning to make sure every dog in the shelter gets a 15-20 minute walk through Tom Brown Park, play time, baths if needed, and mental stimulation. Because the shelter doesn’t open until 1:00PM on Sundays, volunteers are able to spend more time one on one with each animal. We learn about their personalities and behavior traits; whether they are potty trained, leash trained, good with other dogs or timid. This knowledge is extremely valuable in helping the dog find the right home with the right family.


There is always a need for volunteers and donations at the shelter. Even more so, there is a need for loving homes for these animals. If you are interest in volunteering, donating or adopting, please visit their website for more information. 

Tallahassee-Leon County Animal Service Center
1125 Easterwood Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32311
850-891-2950

September 8, 2014

Welcome














A word is dead when it is said
Some say –
I say it just begins to live
That day.
-Emily Dickinson 

Let's get started. 

Photo Credit: Sharon Pickering