Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, William!

My brother is 23 today!!
William, Marian, and me
Boys are just hard to buy for, aren't they?! My dad and brother have always been this way...just plain content with what they have. Definitely a compliment, but sure hard for those of us wanting to give them a gift! In order to think of a thoughtful idea, each year I must get my creative juices flowing way in advance to come up with something special and fun. 

This year I decided to paint this turkey on my spring break trip to DeBordieu for William's new house. See Molly's blog for pictures of our trip (since I haven't had time to post any). 

And Cole had the great idea of ordering 4 pounds of Benton's bacon from Tennessee....sounded perfect for William to me. 
Happy Birthday, William!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Yes, you just read it. That is The Sims' ranking in the 2012 ESPN March Madness bracket competition (we were 99.8% until UNC Chapel Hill lost today). I must give credit where credit is due and that is to Cole who, if you didn't already assume, filled out a bracket for us! I haven't even watched a basketball game this year... so obviously, I have never been much of a sports fan, nor even really competitive at all, but it is one thing that I have learned to do and enjoy with Cole. This bracket thing is pretty fun, but isn't everything fun when you are winning?!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Herb Garden

Yesterday I took a personal day from all things school...I spent some quality time exercising with a few friends, enjoyed a Starbucks green tea, devoted time to prayer and Bible Study preparation, and on a whim decided to go ahead and plant my seasonal herb garden (Molly, my friend with the green thumb, told me it wasn't too early)! 

Basil, Dill, Thyme, Oregano, Lemon Verbena, Mint, and my somehow perennial parsley. I can't wait to cook with these!!

Favorite Unique Kitchen Tool #4

Zip-lock bag assister/holder...If Cole is not here to give me a hand, transferring food to a zip-lock  is always a diaster. Thanks for this, JoJo!!
You can order it here. Click here to read about my other favorite unique kitchen tools. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Notebook Organization

My pharmacy school notes desperately needed to be organized and consolidated. For some time now, I have wanted them grouped by body system. For example, everything about cardio in the same place...cardio notes from pathophysiology, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacotherapy, labs, clinical applications cases...all together and with repetitive information discarded. This is hopefully going to be very useful for referencing my notes on rotations! 

After one trip to a thift store (my secret place to find new binders for cheap) and $5 later, I was ready to get started. 



Happy Anniversary to My Blog!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Week with Diabetes

Today it starts! As part of my clinical assessment lab and diabetes management certificate, I am living with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus for an entire week. I will be taking "metformin" twice daily and injecting myself daily with basal "insulin". My blood sugar needs to be checked twice daily, both fasting and 2 hours post-prandial. I must use carbohydrate counting. My meals must be between 45-60g carbohydrates and my snacks 15g (max 2). I have to record 150 minutes of cardio exercise and 3 resistance training regimens during the week. My feet must be inspected and washed each day.

You may be wondering why in the world I am doing this, but pharmacists play a huge role in diabetic management, especially with insulin dose adjustments and lifestyle management. While this task seems a little daunting, I think it will prove very useful and help me empathize with my future patients who are struggling with this disease state. No better way to learn something than to do it myself! After one injection and one blood glucose reading, I am almost already comfortable with needles...
Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Monroe Farms Chicken

I cooked my first whole chicken tonight! Big, whole anything has always intimidated me in the kitchen, and since I am usually cooking for 2, it is usually unnecessary. That being said, a family friend has recently started raising organic chickens, and this one came straight from his Rowland, NC farm. I couldn't resist. My mom loaned me her "Tipsy Chicken" ceramic baking dish to get me started. 

It was quite the experience...but, 3 calls to mom, 2 gags, and 1 glass of wine later, it was an overall success! My pictures spare you the gruesome details of a whole raw chicken. I am so thankful for, but often forget, the modern conveniences of buying boneless skinless and 99% fat free chicken breasts at the grocery store...

The first step (after the unpacking, washing, and patting dry) was getting it situated correctly on the pan. There is a cup in the middle to fill with your wine of choice (hence the name "Tipsy Chicken"). This was phone call #1 to mom...I couldn't find the hole!!
 Next, I used an olive oil to baste the skin. I chose my cousin Scott's homemade rub for seasoning.

This is the foil plug for the call #2 to mom...
 In the oven it went...

In the meantime, I made Boone Hall Farm's Sauteed Kale. I usually make kale with chicken broth and garlic so this was a nice and flavorful variation. Cole liked it too, except for the red bell peppers that kept appearing on my plate!

Boone Hall Farms Sauteed Kale
1 lb. fresh kale (stemmed and washed)
1 sweet onion, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
4 slices of bacon, diced
salt and pepper to taste
Brown bacon in a large skillet. Add onions and peppers and saute for 1 minute. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar. Add kale, and continue to saute until kale is tender, but not overcooked. Season to taste. 

An hour and a half later (with a run squeezed in), the chicken was perfectly cooked, and we enjoyed it fresh off the farm and hot and juicy out of the oven. The initial drama was quickly forgotten as I took a bite. 

Other things on the menu this week...
My recreation of Trio's Penne-Goat Pasta (downtown Greenville)
Cooking Light's Shrimp with Lemon Saffron Rice
Chocolate-Chip Coffee Muffins (I am treating myself one morning!)
Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce
Panko and Parmesan Tilapia

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rest for my soul...

There are a few common threads that work themselves throughout the book of Acts. This is especially good for me because I have learned that often I need to hear things more than once! One of these themes is the persecutions of Paul.  If you know anything about his missionary journeys, you are aware that they were full of physical, verbal, and spiritual hardships and battles (2 Corinthians 11:16-30). Not only do we see these persecutions, BUT the best part is the Lord continually provides Paul with comfort and rest when he needs it most. The Lord is sensitive to his needs, and when the Lord knows that Paul can't take another beating or trial, He provides rest for his body and soul... examples from Acts include Lydia's house, a furlough in Antioch, a community of believers (Aquila and Priscilla) in Corinth, letter/ words from a city that encouraged him, the literal voice of God, cities eager for the gospel and without persecution like Berea, and many more.

I have loved seeing this over and over again in Scripture. What a great reminder that the Lord does provide rest for me when I need it! Just like Paul, many times this week I felt like I couldn't do another day of class, tests, cases, etc. Just in time...I have spring break (my last one...ahh). I recognize this time as a gift of God and a sign of His provision!

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast."
1 Peter 5:10

"Praise be to the God our Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken."
Psalm 62:1-2

"Praise be the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."
Psalm 68:19

"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength."
Isaiah 30:15

"My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Exodus 33:14

I am heading to DeBordieu with Alison, Molly, and Lesli for a restful week and couldn't be more excited!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

My Latest Project

If you don't know this interesting fact about my family yet, you are in for a treat! My dad has a small alpaca farm in Dillon. He got the idea after one of our father-daughter trips to Peru...a little over 6 years ago now (whew...time flies!)

They alpacas spend their days grazing on the fields. They have a few acres of free range, and only eat organic grass and hay. Every once in a while Dad takes them to shows, where they have won ribbons for their looks and behavior. Each spring the alpacas are shorn...don't worry, this process does not hurt them! Their coats are then spun into yarn. No dyes are used, so the yarn color is exactly the color of the alpaca. . ..that is a good sales pitch, huh?!

We have a ton of yarn...and it needs to be sold! This week I have made labels to attach to each skein. My favorite part about the label is that the picture on each one is of actual alpaca the yarn came from. The work has paid off, literally, and this week marks our debut into the retail market. Check out Knit on Wentworth Street in downtown Charleston.

Obviously, it would be more profitable to take out the middle man and sell the skeins directly to customers. We have looked into a few ways to do this, including the Charleston Farmer's Market. They are already full for the 2012 season...can you believe it?!

Local fibers are all the rage right now, so hopefully they will sell fast!

Cute, aren't they?!
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