Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Last chemo!

Stetson had his fourth and last chemo treatment yesterday and the oncologist said everything looked good. More under ASAC!

Instagram Week

1. Fresh veggie and pepper jack omelet 2. Rainy day puppy dog eyes 3. Indy-Meow 4. Quadruple chocolate birthday cupcake compliments of my mom 5. Poker pometini 6. My nephew 7. Alice in Wonderland puzzle from my sister 8. Gigi's Nodini Cannoli 9. Grilled chicken and brie crepes from Mimi's Cafe 10. Cuddly Min-Pen 11. Buddies 12. New (and first) pair of Dansko's 13. Post-chemo rawhide

Saturday, February 23, 2013


I realized today (thanks to one of my aunts) that I actually haven't written any posts since the beaver butt juice one...I need to fix that. If I'm going to disappear for weeks I should leave things on a better note. Unfortunately I just haven't had much to say so I'm just going to revert to my bulleted updates list:

  • Today is my birthday. Yay! Maybe later I will find a bunch of old childhood pictures to post; for now I'm just going to sit here and digest my bacon, eggs, hash browns, and Raleigh Coffee Company Costa Rican blend (seriously, you all should buy some).
  • I went for some interviews at a different hospital on Thursday; they seemed great. They also pay a good bit more. Crossing fingers...
  • I got to be the charge nurse at work for one day last week. It was stressful. Not a fan.
  • Stetson's last chemo treatment is this coming Monday. Except for chewing all the hair off the end of his tail and constantly scratching his ears, he seems to be doing fine. This will definitely be the last treatment though.
  • Otherwise, it's been work, work, and more work.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Beaver Anus

I was scanning Yahoo.com this morning and came across an article describing some of the "scariest" ingredients in our food. One of the items listed was castoreum, which is the secretion from a beaver's anal gland. Apparently castoreum is approved by the FDA as "generally safe" and food manufacturer's who use it are only required to list it as a "natural flavor" rather than by it's actual name. According to multiple websites (including snopes, because I totally had to Google the crap out of this) castoreum is used in America in various food items including candies, desserts, and drinks, especially ones with raspberry, strawberry, or vanilla flavoring. There is no available list of companies that use castoreum in their food because, as previously mentioned, the FDA only requires it to be listed as "natural flavor". Let's be honest, no intelligent person would buy a food with beaver anal juice castoreum as an ingredient if they knew what it was.

Originally I had an entire list of things I wanted to say about the fact that I've probably eaten beaver anus juice at some point in my life, but after throwing up a little in my mouth I decided I'd just pass on this awesome little tidbit of info and let everyone decide for themselves. If anyone is interested in reading about other nasty things we consume in our food, click here. Personally, I will be sticking to the outer edges of the grocery store when shopping for food.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Instagram Weekend

Coffee & sugar

Lazy cat

Deathly Hallows nerdiness


Enjoying the sun

Getting the salt off


Saturday brunch

Raw NC oysters from 42nd St Oyster Bar

More sunning


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Healthiness Pics

 (These are NOT made by me; I found them on FB and wanted to share for anyone interested)

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Me Thing

Got this from another blog...many years ago actually. It does give me a good excuse not to have to come up with something unique on my own for a post.

1. Are you currently in a serious relationship?
I guess one could consider marriage to be a serious relationship. It would definitely be expensive to get out of

2. What was your dream growing up?
I wanted to be a jockey, and then I got too tall. I briefly considered being a vet, but it made me sad when my pets got put to sleep. I thought about being a pilot but that never really panned out. I dreamed I'd be rich. I'm still working on that one but am quickly realizing it's a hopeless dream

3. What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could sing. I can't sing to save my life. Everyone else is able to. Not me. I've had dogs howl when I sing

4. Favorite drink?

5. Favorite vegetable?
Currently, edamame

6. What was the last book you read?
I'm currently reading "Chomp" by Carl Hiaasen (link is on my reading tab)

7. What zodiac sign are you?
Pisces. And I don't think I fit their description of quiet and peaceful. I do however love the water

8. Any tattoos or piercings?
3 tattoos. I will never get pierced again. I'll probably get tattooed again though. I have plans

9. Worst habit?
I curse too much. Luckily I am able to sensor it at work. For example: I want to smack that [insert brief silence] driver in the face

11. What is your favorite sport?
Equestrian type-things

12. Do you have a pessimistic or optimistic attitude?
I'm an optimistic pessimist

14. Worst thing to ever happen to you?
I had a not-so-nice boyfriend one time. Long story. It would be the worst thing (and most humiliating, etc)

15. Tell me one weird fact about you.
If I smell something odd/stinky on my hands, I can't stop smelling them. It's ridiculous, yet gross and disturbing. This only applies outside of work. I do not smell raunchy things acquired in the hospital

16. Do you have any pets?
Yes- many. They're my children

19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
Scary as sin

20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
My complexion. I've been fighting with it for almost 20 years

25. If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
Pay off debt. Yeah, fascinating life I know

26. What’s your favourite place to hang out at?
On a boat on the water with the dogs, loved ones, and alcohol

27. Do you believe in ghosts?

28. Favourite thing to do in your spare time?
Sleep. No, that's a lie. I like to read these days

29. Do you swear a lot?
See #9

30. Biggest pet peeve?
Bad drivers ie people texting while driving, not using turn signals, going 10 mph below the limit, etc

31. In one word, how would you describe yourself?

32. Do you believe in/ appreciate romance?
I believe in it but it's never been my "thing"

33. Favorite and least favorite food?
Sushi (among many other things) and brussel sprouts

34. Do you believe in God/ a higher power/ whatever you want to call it?

35. Will you repost this?
I am right now

Thursday, February 7, 2013


While on vacation a few weeks ago, I read a book recommended by a coworker called "Feed Your Face" by Jessica Wu. It's directed towards people with all types of skin problems (mine being acne) and has suggestions for foods to try/cut out in an attempt to improve various conditions. When I got home I decided to give it a shot; I cut out ALL dairy, all white bread/pasta, and for the most part sugar (I also started running again with the C210K program). I don't know what's necessarily working or not, but I have to say that my energy has been higher this past week and I have felt AWESOME (ok, and my skin is nice and smooth so far too). I miss ice cream and Gigi's but this has been great! I've also noticed that I'm not as bloated, which is a bonus considering I felt like I was carrying a melon around in my lower abdomen all the time.

 I also came across something interesting at the store last week- coconut sugar. Who knew coconuts were sweet? Actually, they're not. The sugar is taken from the flower of the coconut tree. According to the company "Madhava Organic Coconut Sugar is a delicious, pure, unrefined alternative to processed sugar and artificial sweeteners. The sustainably grown, Non-GMO Project Verified sweetener is produced from the flower bud of the coconut tree. In addition to tasting delicious, organic coconut sugar has naturally occurring nutrients including magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and amino acids". When I first opened the package I thought- hmmm, this stuff is brown and flaky looking. Then I tried it. It was GOOD. I put it in my coffee and tea and it tasted just as if I had used regular sugar (it didn't have that funky fake sugar taste). I showed the website to a super vegan friend at work, and even she seemed impressed and decided to give it a shot. It seems like a nice alternative to people who want to give up white sugar but not consume a lot of processed fake crap.
Last but not least, I added a probiotic to my daily vitamins. WARNING: TMI COMING. I have been having bowel "issues" for months now (gas, diarrhea, cramping, overall ickiness) and in addition to changing my diet, this is a last ditch effort to improve things before giving in and going to see a physician. I've heard both good and bad things about probiotics (the main one being the possibility of worsening acne) but I thought it might be best to try and see for myself. I've had acne for my entire adult life; what's a few more zits?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Jar Salad

I went ahead and made my salads for the next 2 days. From bottom to top: cucumbers, red peppers, cranberries, cannelini beans, walnuts, and lettuce. Once I get to work I'll add the avocado, tomato, chicken or tuna, and vinaigrette dressing. It's nice that I won't have to worry about making my lunch tomorrow night when I get home! I'm proud of myself for avoiding adding any cheese this week; slowly making the move to no dairy.

Devoted Pups

This is what the dogs do while I sweat away on the treadmill (I keep the TM outside in the garage due to the hugeness of it- not carrying that upstairs!):

Today I...

  • Took Stetson for chemo treatment #3/4. His labs were all looking good- the oncologist's only concern was this skin infection he's had on and off for years, but has become more constant during chemotherapy. There's a chance it has developed into an antibiotic-resistant one. Fabulous. As long as the cancer is [mostly] gone then I'll tackle the skin. Sigh. Poor dog never catches a break. Luckily the limping is going away with the NSAID's and he came right home, went on a walk, and gobbled down a LOT of food.
  • Ate lunch with my mom at Panera; we both had the salmon salad and new fruit smoothie. Between the two we got lots of protein although the smoothie did have Greek yogurt (probably bad for my face); it all tasted yummy though!
  • Did AB and I's weekly shopping at WalMart. I boycott that place at least once a month. Today I was reminded why.
  • Completed Day 3 of the Couch-2-10K. The program has you do 3 days/week but because I need the exercise I'm just aiming for 4 days (and repeating the 3rd day). It's a fairly easy intro into running though. I'm not sore and I'm not miserable...yet. That's a start.
  • Tried coconut sugar. That's right, coconut sugar. It's still a mystery to me since coconuts aren't sweet but it made my coffee taste good.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Raleigh Coffee Company

AB's cousin (my cousin-in-law?) started his own coffee company last year. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I've tried the Costa Rican blend and it's super-tasty. You can buy it from The Meat House in Raleigh or online. If you decide to buy some, make sure you tell the owner you got the idea from my blog- maybe I'll get a discount on coffee.


I saw this on someone's FB wall and loved it, mainly because it's 75% me (the other 25% of the time I'm actually trying to be funny). There are often times at work when I say something, the person laughs, and my response is "I was being serious". The difference between my coworkers and my family/friends is that my coworkers then reply with "Yeah right, you'd never be that mean".

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lazy Day Saturday

I woke up at 1:30 pm today. Don't judge, I was wiped out from working the past 3 days (and it was right after having 12 days off- that's my excuse) and apparently needed the sleep. I took Stetson on a walk this afternoon and at some point, he was running around, stumbled, and is now limping. As soon as we got home I gave him a dose of Deramaxx (canine NSAID) in hopes that he just pulled something. I checked his range of motion, squeezed, pulled, examined, etc and he exhibited no other signs of pain. I couldn't find any bleeding or tearing, no cracked toenails, and nothing stuck in between his pads. Needless to say, with his current health issues, my mind automatically goes to bone cancer. PLEASE DON'T LET MY DOG HAVE BONE CANCER! The first symptom is always limping. Fabulous. So I'm trying to keep him still for the next few days in hopes that it's something benign. He's still eating and drinking like normal, which is good because his next chemo treatment is Monday (#3/4). If the limp doesn't clear up by then we'll do an x-ray on his leg but I'm trying to stay positive.

Tonight I started my Couch-2-10K (not 5K, I need to aim high) program on my phone. I hate running; I'm pretty sure anyone who reads this blog has realized that. However, I'm also at the highest weight I have EVER been and I'm team captain for a 5K in April. Given those two points (among many others) I need to get my ass in gear. My sister completed the program back before our Haunted Hustle 5K last October and she did really well with it, so I'm hoping for the same results. I'm starting at the beginning though since I got out of shape so quickly.

I'm pretty sure the rest of the weekend will go about the same- 2 more days of running, some chemo, hopefully a lot of reading, and the now frequent job search.

On a side note- I think I did a really good job eating better this past week. I took turkey on whole grain with lettuce/tomato/avocado and a grapefruit for lunch, and salad in a jar for dinner. I drank more water and for the most part avoided dairy (hoping it will help my acne). I must say- the salad in a jar works well!
Walnuts, cucumbers, a tiny bit of cheese, cranberries, tomatoes, and tuna  with vinaigrette dressing