Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread

Nothing says Christmas like cranberries, right?  I made this quick cranberry nut bread for Thanksgiving, and it was a hit.  Not overly sweet, yet not too tart and a lovely light orange flavor.  It would be the perfect addition to your Christmas menu.

Plus, I mean, it's practically healthy.  It's got cranberries and orange zest in it! 

Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread
(adapted from Ocean Spray) 
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
Zest of one orange
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups chopped cranberries

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan.

Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. 


Slice it up and serve it to your family & friends!  Fourteen days until Christmas! (somebody named MJ better get crafting....)

I'll be sharing this yummy recipe with my favorite link parties this week.  Join in the fun!


Purex Plus Oxi (review + giveaway!)

Purex (which you might know as my favorite frugal-yet-incredibly-effective laundry soap) has a great new liquid detergent available: Purex plus Oxi.  This is Purex's most powerful detergent, with the ability to work against 101 different stains.  That's a lot of stains!

This new formula is hypoallergenic and works well on heavily soiled loads and everyday laundry alike.  Also, like all other Purex products, Purex plus Oxi has been specially formulated to work in both high efficiency washers and traditional washing machines.  But my favorite part?  Purex plus Oxi can be used as a pretreater for stains!  Simply pour a little Purex plus Oxi onto the stain, rub the fabric together and let sit for five minutes before washing.  I tried this on a salsa stain on light colored pants, and the stain had disappeared prior to even throwing the pants into the wash!

My only (ever-so-minor) complaint is that this product is only available in "Fresh Morning Burst" scent, and we prefer to use scent-free detergents in our home.  Aside from that, I cannot find another negative thing about this product!  

Now for the fun part - Purex has supplied me with several coupons for you, my favorite readers, to try a bottle of Purex plus Oxi for free!  To enter to win one of the coupons, leave a comment below stating what your least favorite type of stain to remove is.  This giveaway is open to folks in the United States until Thursday, November 29, and if you've won, I'll contact you then to snail-mail you your coupon! 

If you are a no-reply commenter, please leave your email address [mdschoolmrs(at)gmail(dot)com] in your comment, or I will have no way of contacting you if you've won! 

Purex provided me with a sample of Purex plus Oxi so I could write this review.  However, all opinions expressd here are my own.

This giveaway is now closed and the comments are turned off.  I'll be contacting the winners to mail out their coupons.  Thanks for entering!


This Thanksgiving...

I am thankful for...

our health
my husband
clothes to wear
answered prayers
getting rid of cable
clean water to drink
cars that are reliable
warm coats and boots
the beauty around me
the roof over our heads
our friends, near and far
the food in our refrigerator
our family and their support
good news from good friends
four days off with my husband
a vacation at the end of December
my husband learning to be a doctor



You never know what you'll find on your counter...

You never know what you'll find on your counter when your husband is a med student.  You've been forewarned!  

Doesn't everyone have a cast freshly removed from their husband's non-broken arm just laying around?  ;)


Swag Bucks Registration Code

(If you've been around this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I have a deep love for Swag Bucks.  If you've never heard of Swag Bucks, it is basically the easiest way to earn free gift cards from searching the web.  Click through to see my thoughts and the details about Swag Bucks).  
Just in time to start thinking about Christmas shopping, there is a bonus code for new users who register for Swag Bucks!  Normally, you receive 30 Swag Bucks upon registering, but now through 11:59pm on Monday, October 29th, you can earn an additional 70 Swag Bucks when you sign up using this link and enter the code CODEHAUNT, starting you out almost a quarter of the way to a $5 Amazon gift card (which "costs" 450 Swag Bucks to redeem)!  
We've earned over $175 in Swagbucks the past two years with minimal effort.  If you haven't signed up, I highly recommend it!  If you have any questions at all, just ask away - I'd be happy to answer!
All opinions stated here are my own.  While I do blog for Swag Bucks occasionally, Swag Bucks did not provide compensation to me for writing this post.  Links in this post are referral links; thank you for using them!  


Peds complete; Psyched for psych

My husband finished his pediatric rotation last week.  He loved it.  No, he LOVED it.  He's always had a big heart for kids, and I think this rotation has expanded it.  

The first four weeks of his peds rotation were in-patient at the local children's hospital, while the last four weeks were out-patient at various offices and clinics.  His first week of out-patient was at a local doctors' office.  It was your standard sniffles and sore throats type cases that one would imagine when thinking about pediatrics.  The second week was at the resident clinic, and was essentially the same thing, except for folks with low-to-no insurance.  His third week was in adolescent medicine - working with underserved adolescents - and his fourth and final week was spent in the nursery at the hospital doing all sorts of tests on little tiny newborns. 

Out of those last four weeks, my husband's time in adolescent medicine probably had the greatest impact.  He saw some pretty messed up youth, but he also saw the potential to change lives during that pivotal time in their lives.  Doing adolescent medicine would require a four year residency in med/peds (double board certification in internal medicine and pediatrics, which my husband would probably do if he decided to go the pediatrics route), followed by a two-to-three year fellowship in adolescent medicine...all to work with a primarily medicaid population.  We're doing it for the love, not for the money! ;)

Now, the peds shelf has been taken, and the peds books have been packed away, and we're on to.....psychiatry! 

I think I love psych.  My husband....loves the hours (really, that's what I love too).  This is a rotation with no call and no night float, and it will take us right through Christmas.  He is doing child and adolescent psych for the first four weeks.  His hours this first week have been from about 8:45am-1pm daily.  Afterwards, he heads to the hospital to work on his research project, then he comes home to make me dinner and rub my feet....or something like that ;)  Seriously though, he's enjoyed the doctor with whom he's working, has seen some interesting and challenging cases, and has gotten to have some semblance of a life.  Such a beautiful thing!  I think I'm going to like this rotation ;)


Celebrations, etc.

Secret: It was my birthday last week.  I didn't mention it because I never blog anymore birthdays lose their awesomeness somewhere after the year 21. 

Not to say I didn't feel the love before, during and after my birthday. 

The celebration started the night before, when I made my Grandma's delicious and amazing nut cupcakes with dark chocolate mocha frosting.  

Divine doesn't even begin to describe these!

Day-of celebrations included lunch at one of my two favorite Lebanese restaurants with a couple of girlfriends, one who happened to be visiting from Nashville (great surprise!).  Upon my husband's arrival home from the hospital, we went out to dinner at a new farm-to-table restaurant in our city.  Farm-to-table is the hot new thing here, and I adore it!  (Though I didn't adore the $25 price tag on my husband's meatloaf dinner.  It was darn good meatloaf...but still!).  The rain hindered our post-dinner plans, so it ended up being a low-key evening, which was fine by us.  And no, we did not watch the debate (how rude of it to fall on my birthday!).  I did open my gift from my sweet husband. 

Opal (my birthstone) bracelet.  Gorg.

Continuing the celebration to the following weekend...Saturday was spent with my in-laws and one of my brother-in-laws' family.  We gorged ourselves at PF Changs (ps-have you ever looked at their nutritional info?  Please don't think they are all that healthy...most of their entrees are considered to be 3 servings, and I always polish my plate clean...) and they showered me with love and lovely gifts. 

(Typical American - all of my birthday celebrating involved food!)

The real reason I wanted to write this post was because I wanted to share the picture below, and felt like I should have some words to accompany it.

Is that not literally the sweetest card you've ever seen?  We're blessed with four of the sweetest nieces & nephews!  I adore being their "Ant" ;)

To top it all off - the birthday celebrations will continue this coming weekend as we spend time with my family.  I'm rather enjoying this whole drawn-out-to-eleven-days celebration!  ;)


Fall = Bread Baking

One of my favorite things to bake is bread.  I've been a fairly regular bread-baker for the past two years.  From scratch, no Kitchen Aid, hearty, wholesome, delicious bread. 

That being said - I am only a bread-baker for three out of four seasons of the year.  There is about a zero percent chance of me turning on our oven for ANYTHING during the summer.  But guess what!?  It's officially fall.  And fall means it's time to break out my kneading hands again.  

Last winter, I fell in love with a new type of bread.  If you're on Pinterest, you've probably seen it, as it's been pinned over 15,000 times (see exhibit A).  On Our Best Bites, the recipe creates two loaves, which two people should not (but easily could) consume in one week, so my modified recipe makes a single loaf.  Other modifications include removing the pretty-yet-messy oats on the outside of the loaf.  While they may look lovely, they fall off everywhere while slicing the bread, and I just don't have the patience for that.  Also, there's a flax seed addition, because there's nothing better than a little crunch! 

This is my favorite bread straight from the oven.  It has a deliciously chewy texture without being overly dense. 

Seven Grain Bread
makes one loaf

½ cup + 2 Tbsp seven-grain hot cereal mix
1 ¼ cups boiling water
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter or dairy-free margarine
2 tsp. yeast
1½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp. flax seeds

Place cereal in large bowl; pour boiling water over and stir to combine.  Cover with towel and let set until cooled to 100 degrees, stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes).  If cooled below 100 degrees, microwave for 20-30 seconds.

Melt butter and honey in microwave. Add yeast and combine into hot cereal mix.  Add in flour ½ cup at a time.  Stir together with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and looks shaggy.  Transfer the dough to a clean counter and knead by hand to form a rough ball.  Let rest 20 minutes, covered with dough bowl. 

Add salt and flax seeds; knead to combine into a smooth, round ball.  Place into greased bowl, cover with a towel and let rise until doubled 45-60 minutes.

Shape bread and place in greased loaf pan.  Cover and let rise 30-40 minutes.  

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees.

Slice thickly and try not to eat the entire loaf in one sitting ;)

I'll be sharing this Seven Grain Bread recipe with a few fabulous blogs this week, which, as always, are featured on the "Link Parties" tab above.  



Children & runny noses

My husband is currently in his pediatrics rotation.  Pediatrics, you ask?  Wasn't he elbow deep in ob/gyn the last time you posted?  Why yes, yes he was.  But now, he has moved on to bigger and better different things.  In fact, not only is he in pediatrics, but he is halfway through the rotation.  

The first four weeks of peds for my husband consisted of inpatient care - managing the care of kids admitted into the hospital.  Being as the children's hospital in our town is the only one in the area, he saw some pretty unique cases.  Essentially, he was at the hospital from 6:30am to 5:30-6:30pm daily, depending on which time slot he was given for evening sign out.  Not having to wake up until 5:25am was quite a refreshing change from the 4:45am of ob/gyn.  (Side note-does the fact that we were giddy to sleep in until 7am on Saturday morning make us old?)  

There isn't any weekend call for the pediatrics rotation, just one week of night float.  It's really pseudo-night float, because the scheduled shift was 3p-11p (which actually lasted until 12:30p almost every night, because they always seemed to get a new admission at about 10:50p) from Tuesday night through Saturday night.  It still felt like regular night float to me though, as I was long asleep by the time my husband got home every night, and I was gone in the morning before he was awake.  I'm not a fan of the whole "ships passing in the night" type of weeks.  But thankfully, I don't think we'll have another one of those until after Christmas. 

Also thankfully: both my husband and I have already caught and gotten over our "pediatrics cold" of the rotation.  They say that almost everyone catches a cold during their peds rotation, and sure enough, whatever bug my dear husband brought home got to me as well.  We're hoping that this means that we're safe for the next four weeks.....ha!

The second half of this rotation will be the outpatient portion of peds.  Starting tomorrow, my husband will be at a local doctor's office for one week, followed by a week each in the resident clinic, adolescent medicine, and the nursery of the hospital.  

Generally speaking, pediatrics tends to be a more relaxed rotation than ob/gyn.  One of the biggest surprises for my husband thus far was how much happier everyone on peds seems, from the docs to the residents to the nurses.  Residents and interns are more likely to give the medical students more time, attention and instruction, while still granting them some autonomy (within reasonable boundaries for a medical student, that is!).   The lifestyle, work load, type of work, and the coworkers have all made pediatrics an enjoyable rotation so far.  Perhaps not as exciting as ob/gyn, but that might not be a bad thing ;)


Education & Healthcare

Sorry for the radio-silence lately.  I'm sure I've mentioned how insane my work schedule gets in the summer.  
I'd make some lofty promises about doing better, but let's not kid ourselves.  

This may be over-generalizing, but I've come to the conclusion that about 85% of medical wives are trained or employed in either an education or healthcare job.  I've been noticing this over the past two years, and it's so true to the point that when I meet a new med wife, I secretly try to guess if she's a nurse or a teacher (or in one of the two aforementioned fields).  Seriously?  Has anyone else noticed this?  

I'm not exaggerating - I know (in real life or in blog world!) 13 med wives who are in the healthcare field, and 11 who are in the field of education.  And that's off the top of my head!  Granted, some of those women are now stay-at-home mamas, but still, the facts remain.  

There must be some sort of bizarre compatibility between personality types of those who lean towards careers in healthcare and in education.  Anyone with me on this?  

Hope you all enjoy your Labor Day weekends!  May you spend time with your loved ones. 



Third year.  This thing is kind of a beast, but in a good way.  My husband is liking it much more than MS1 & 2, primarily for the fact that he's actually in the hospital and putting into practice all that he has been learning.

OB/GYN has proven to be a labor-intensive (pun intended) rotation.  And a gooey one.  So far, my husband has caught babies, scrubbed in on C-sections, sutured incisions, removed various cancerous female parts, and has been covered from the shoulders down in a combination of fluids that I don't even want to think about.  As a result...I have gagged when folding laundry and seeing mysterious red rings around the ankles of my husband's socks.  I am seriously considering rubber gloves while sorting laundry!

Because what to expect during third year was such a mystery to me, I thought I would break down each rotation so that others might have a better idea of what might be coming their way for the clinical portion of medical school.  While every school has varying requirements, here is a quick breakdown of my husband's first rotation.  He has lectures on Wednesdays for a few hours, and is in the clinic on Tuesday/Thursday afternoons, but aside from that is in the hospital all day. He has to round on his patients most mornings (getting to the hospital around 5:30-5:45am) and is normally done in the 5:30pm range.

This is what OB/GYN has consisted of:
Week 1: OB/Labor & Delivery
Week 2: Night Float/Labor & Delivery (5pm-7am) 
Week 3: Pathology (lots of time in the lab).  First 24-hour call shift.
Week 4: GYN (lots of surgery)
Week 5: Oncology (lots of surgery). Friday night call/Sunday day call.
Week 6: GYN
Week 7: MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine - aka high risk pregnancies)
Week 8: OB/Labor & Delivery

For a sample of the hours, here's what my husband's schedule was this week:
Monday: 5:30a-5:30p (12)
Tuesday: 5:30a-5:30p (12)
Wednesday: 5:30a-5:30p (12)
Thursday: 5:30a-7p (13.5)
Friday/Saturday: 5:30a-7:30a (26)
Sunday: 5:30a-5:30p (12)

I'll do the math for you - that's 87.5 hours.  This has left me saying, "Husband, who?" the past few days.  Not every week has been quite this heavy on the hours - I'd say an average week without call is more in the 55-60 hour range, not including all of his studying at home.

This past week, I had my first (of many, I'm sure), "Where the heck is my husband/dinner is ready and I'm starving/it's almost 8pm and I haven't heard from him since he left home at 5:30 this morning" moment.  He scrubbed into a surgery at 2pm and it took over five hours to complete....I am going to have to get used to this aspect of medicine.  I like schedules and plans a LOT, so this will be a major adjustment for me. 

As of this week, we have finished all of the call shifts of the OB/GYN rotation: night float (which was pretty terrible - I saw my husband for about five minutes in the morning when he got home, and five minutes at night before he left.  Since I don't work nights, we were literally ships passing. It was pretty dumb, honestly), the 24-hour call shift (slightly mind-numbing), and the weekend call (Friday 5p-7a, then Sunday 5:30a-5.30p...terrible).  I am VERY glad to have all of that done and over. 

The best part about third year so far is that we have actually had some free weekends together (or rather some free time on weekends).  We very, very seldom had any weekend free time to spend together during the first two years of med school, as those were heavy study days for my husband, so that has been a definite perk.  

Oh!  And my husband passed his boards (hallelujah!), and did well....in case any of you were on the edge of your seats!  ;)  So glad to have that done and over!


Rustic chic bridal shower

This summer, I've had the privilege and honor to journey and stand beside one of my best friends as she married the man of her dreams.  Several weeks ago, we held her rustic chic bridal shower, and I thought I'd share a few (Pinterest inspired, naturally!) crafty photos.

pardon the blurring - invites made by yours truly.
the decor. mason jar glasses with straws flags. moss monogram. the food spread.
alcohol ink dyed jars. burlap runners. spray painted doilies. felt heart bookmarks as favors.

gladiolas. paper fan flowers. printables.
hostess with the most-ess gift to the bride, made by me!  ruffled apron. fancy dish gloves.  insulated casserole carrier.
three of the four corners of the square...and a baby bump!

And for the grand finale...a beautiful wedding this past wedding.  

don't mind any red eyes!

this wedding gift was a husband/wife team effort!  he assembled, I stained and painted.

We couldn't be happier for this beautiful, amazing couple! I'll be sharing this rustic chic bridal shower with some of my favorite crafty sites!



Foreground: Grass that benefits from sprinklers.  Background: Sad, dead grass that doesn't.

We're parched in these parts.  In the past four weeks, we've had 0.11 inches of rain.  Farmers are scrambling to irrigate, trying to salvage their crops.  In an effort to be a good Plant Mother, I brought our plants inside today, as it's supposed to hit 100 degrees.  We don't do triple digits that often here, but if we do reach 100 degrees, that will be the third time this July already. 

Our normally green, lush summer has turned brown and dead.  Times like this, we are glad to be renting and not dealing with watering our own grass every day!  In fact, if we were responsible, I might just let my grass die and spray paint it green ;)


First babies!

Summer always is always chaotic, and this one is shaping up to be no different.  Quite literally, I cannot believe that we are a third of the way through July.  Summer is practically over!  (Yes, I realize I'm being slightly dramatic).

My husband is into his second week of his ob/gyn rotation.  The first week was a bit disorganized, as he still had orientation/paperwork/scrub sessions on Monday and Tuesday, then was off for the Fourth of July (thank you for being in the middle of the week and prohibiting travel to the lake).  So he didn't have his real first day until Thursday....when he delivered his first baby!  He said he was grateful for his rubber shoes, and when asked what it was like, he said slimy ;)  Since then, he's done a second traditional delivery, and scrubbed in on three c-sections. 

Prior to starting year 3, we didn't realize that ob/gyn would be one of the most time consuming rotations.  A normal day for him will begin in the hospital at 5.30am with rounds, and end around 5.3opm after evening report.  Most of his days will be spent in the hospital, with a couple of afternoons a week being spent at the clinic.  He'll also have a few hours of lecture every week.  

Out of the eight weeks in ob/gyn, my husband has one week of night float (going into the hospital at 5pm, working all night, getting out around 7.30am) from Sunday night to Friday morning.  He'll also have in-hospital weekend call: one 24-hour shift from 7am on Saturday to 7am on Sunday, and one weekend that includes a Friday night call (5pm - 7am) and then Sunday day call (7am-5pm).   That Friday night call will probably be a real treat, considering he will work a normal day, starting at 5.30am on Friday and stay until 7am on Saturday.


In other news, rumor on the street is that many of my husband's classmates will be receiving their Step 1 scores tomorrow.  Is that true?  I have no idea...but if it is, we'll know around noon tomorrow!


He's an MS3!

Yes, it's true!  My husband is officially a third year medical student.  He had his first jam-packed day of orientation yesterday.  About five minutes in, I received a text from my husband containing the number to the thing I believe I've dreaded the most regarding medical school.  

The pager.  Excellent.  I can't wait to chuck this out a window sometime ;)

Aside from pager-receiving, there was a lot of paperwork, HIPAA and BBP training, and learning how to write admission orders and prescriptions.  My personal favorite was flipping through a little book that previous 3rd year students put together of helpful tips for clinical rotations.  There was an important note about footwear in the OB/GYN rotation.  Pay special attention to the "Shoes are the word" section:

On that note, we went on an impromptu shopping trip last night to purchase a pair of easily washable shoes last night. 

Thank you all so much for your kind words about Step 1.  We are grateful that it is behind us, and are waiting patiently to receive his score sometime in the next 3-5 weeks.  268 or bust!  (kidding...obviously!)


USMLE Step 1 - Complete!



Five weeks of intensive studying (400+ hours!) were condensed into eight hours and 322 questions today.  My husband has officially completed the Step 1!  I'm endlessly proud of his dedication and determination.  We should get his results in the next month or so, but I'm confident that he did well! 

The Step 1 is pretty much the most important test he's ever taken.  This single test, in essence, determines the rest of our life: a ton of weight is placed on Step 1 scores for granting residency interviews ---> where you do residency interviews directly impacts where you'll be placed to live, work and complete your training ---> many residents stay in the general vicinity of their hospital once they've completed their training ---> that, obviously, impacts the rest of one's medical career, and thus, entire life!

On a side note - do you think I sent enough food along with him to take his test? 

We won't talk about how much or how little of that was consumed ;)  If "food" was a love language, it would be mine!

Should you need my husband sometime in the next week, you'll find him in a hammock somewhere, incredibly relaxed ;)


Enduring the Pre-Clinical Years

The first two years of med school


The first two years of med school are an uphill battle.  Med students are attempting to amass more information than anyone ever should, at a faster rate of speed than they likely thought possible.  They are attending lectures, dealing with the politics of their school, going to small groups, writing papers, taking countless tests and trying to remember why they signed up for this whole med school thing.  

Throughout the last two years, there have been several things that have really helped to make the long journey through pre-clinicals a bit more bearable for my husband.  (We were in no way compensated for recommending any of these - unfortunately!)

  • Amazon Prime Membership:  When my husband started med school, Amazon was offering their Prime service (read: complimentary 2-day shipping) free of charge for students for an entire year, and boy did we ever utilize it.  Not only for getting the necessary books and study tools for school...I loved it for Christmas shopping too!  When that first year of our Prime membership ended, we wandered around the house, trying to figure out how we were to continue surviving without it.  It was rapidly added to my husband's Christmas list, and thankfully he received it as a gift!  Students get a discount on Prime after they've had their free trial, which brings the price down to $49-ish per year.  I don't think we'll ever be without it again, unless we move to Africa. 
  • Noise Canceling Headphones: This is the pair that my husband has, but I don't think they're available anymore.  Despite the lacking reviews, they have performed well for him the past 13 months. A lot of my husband's peers have the Dr. Dre headphones, but we just weren't quite willing to spend that much.  My husband uses these everywhere - at school to keep from getting distracted, in the car while I'm driving so I can listen to music while he studies, and even at home if I'm here when he is studying and I'm breathing being too loud.  Unless you can study without getting distracted by the noises around you, noise canceling headphones = a lifesaver. 
  • Bookstand: How nerdy is this?  ;) My husband actually has TWO of these book holders.  It can hold Robbins or the largest coursepack in a 3" three-ring binder without any buckling, and the stand folds completely flat.  Being able to not look straight down all day long while studying has helped to alleviate a lot of neck pain.  
  • Pens: Oh, the pens.  Pretty much every med wife that I've commiserated with talked to says their husbands are the same way - incredibly picky about their pens!  These TUL pens in black/medium point are my husband's favorite.  But...to each his own!
  • A comfortable pillow: Some of my husband's classmates like to give him a hard time because he tries to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night.  "You're going to DIE when we get to the hospital and don't get to have that much sleep!" Our philosophy: just because he's not going to get to sleep much in the future doesn't mean he shouldn't be well-rested now!  As long as he can get everything done that he needs to and do well on it, there's no point in him staying up until 4am.  When he needs to function on less sleep (like in two weeks when he's elbow deep in ob/gyn), he will.  
Additionally, my husband wanted to add in two tidbits as he read over my shoulder, both of which are pretty self-explanatory.  
  • Get to know someone in the year ahead of you.  
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. 
It's been a long two years in some ways, but completely short in others.  Certain intense weeks might have felt like forever at the time, but looking back at the past two years as a whole - they've flown.  My husband takes his Step One Board tomorrow, and we are both excited to have this test over with.  Here's to the next two years!


2012 Graduation Gift

We only have one high school graduate to celebrate this summer.  And the graduate's party (super sadly) lands on June 16, the day that my husband takes his Step 1.   It's for my cousin's son, and they live in North Carolina...so...we don't get to go.  Which is such a bummer.  But in lieu of our presence, we're sending this present:

The graduation card and graduation gift are inspired by the always lovely eighteen25.  If you have never stopped by their sweet site, I highly recommend it. 

Can you tell what's inside the jar labeled "Your hard work has PAID off!"??

Oh yes!  Show me the money ;)  What else does any other high school graduate want??  

I'll be sharing this 2012 graduation gift with these fun link parties this week!


200th post & second anniversary

I can't think of a more appropriate occasion for my 200th post than to celebrate our second wedding anniversary - how serendipitous.  Thanks to those of you who have been on this crazy journey with us. Spending the last two years with my best friend has been such a blessing!

If you're planning a wedding in this great state, you might stumble across this photo in a magazine ;)

See our wedding details and our one year anniversary celebration.


They call it "intense" for a reason...

My overworked dedicated husband is currently halfway through what is called "The Intensive Study Period."  (enter menacing sound effects here)

After classes wrapped up during the first week of May, the second year medical students are given a five week "break" from school, in order to dedicate their time to studying for their first set of medical licensing boards.  Basically, this is major crunch time for all MS2 students everywhere.  The Step 1 scores carry a ton of weight for how residency programs review their prospectives for granting interviews.  Saying that this is potentially the most important test that medical students take is probably not too far-fetched. 

This is my husband's schedule everyday, as it has been for the last two and a half weeks, and will continue to be for the following three weeks.  

6:45am: Wake up.  Accept coffee.  Sit down at desk.  
6:50am-10:55pm: Study.
11:00pm: Fall into bed. 

(I wish that was more of an exaggeration than it is).

Quite literally, I leave, and my husband is at his desk.  I come home, and he is still at his desk.  I inquire if he has moved at all during my absence.  He will look at me, ponder the question, and reply, "I think I got some water a while ago."  

That's what 13-16 hours of studying every day will do to a person.  It's called intense for a reason, folks.  Intense for a reason.  


The Great Gatsby = ICMS?

Have I ever mentioned that I studied abroad in Australia?  I spent three wonderful months in the town of Manly, a suburb of Sydney, and followed it by "island hopping" my way home, stopping in Fiji, New Zealand and Hawaii (thank you, student airfare deals!).  The school at which I studied was the International College of Management, Sydney.  It's housed in an old seminary, which looks a bit like Hogwarts Castle (inside and out), and was about a five minute walk from the spectacular Manly Beach.  I adored Australia and could drone on about it for much longer than any of you would care to read. 

The point to this useless trivia?  Freeze frame the following preview of The Great Gatsby at the 17 second mark to see my home away from home in Australia - ICMS!  

This article about ICMS as the Gatsby Mansion has some still shots of the scenes shot on the campus.

ICMS was also the location of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's wedding.  Pretty slick for a college in a little suburb north of Sydney ;)   


Halfway Done: DIY Fabric Kindle Case


We are officially done with MS2 (tomorrow)!  My dear, sweet husband got me a little celebratory present...

True to form, he got an awesome deal on this Kindle - last week, if you bought a Kindle for $79 at Walmart, you got a $30 gift card back!  We very rarely shop at Walmart (primarily due to the fact that the one by us is slightly ghetto), but this was worth the trip!

It's so cute and light!  Naturally, I needed a case.  Also naturally, I thought the majority of the ones on Amazon were overpriced.  So....after some brainstorming and a trip to Joann's to purchase enough fabric for two cases for a whopping $3...

I created this.  Lovely, no?  (The number of times I used my seam ripper, on the other hand, was not lovely.  Conceptualization is not my strong suit). On the inside left, there is a pocket to store the Kindle when not in use.


Then, it fits snugly into the corners for reading:


I've already found the list of top free Kindle books on Amazon...and plan on checking it frequently!  I've already borrowed my first eBook from our library as well.  

While I have always loved reading books, as in actual books, I think my love for simplicity and lack of clutter is going to lead to my loving the tininess of the Kindle.  

I'll be sharing my Kindle Case with these lovely link parties this week!  

See this Kindle Case featured on DIY by Design...thanks, Judy! ;) 
Also, see this eatured at Doodles & Stitches - thanks so much, Nicole!