Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween {and the 2nd part of our decor}

We have had a fun filled Halloween holiday this entire weekend. My little family has enjoyed every second. On Friday, Thurgood and I decorated our door. {We had terrible wind storms this week so I wanted to wait..just in case.}

My design should look familiar. I could not resist. I love it. I think I am going to add even more next year. And just think...I almost painted my door black. {who knows...I still might} I just love the bats. Plus...I am such a good copy cat.

We even had a few bats come inside our home. We have received lots of compliments. The kids love it.

Thurgood was able to trick or treat in our subdivision and at my parents house in the country. He loved every second.

And here is the most adorable little dragon ever. I always have such luck finding cute costumes that are on sale.

I think this is the last year "I" get to pick out his costume.

I about fell over when I told Thurgood to pose and he did this. Mr. B does this when he is being goofy. Oh my...he is such his father's son.

We not only got to trick or treat...but Thurgood got to attend Na-Na's Halloween party. Here he is with his Poppa.

The party had Thurgood's favorite thing too....a bouncey house.

Here is Thurgood's Lola and my Lola {Thurgood calls her Na-Na}. So adorable.

And my most favorite picture of all.
After the party, it was time to take Thurgood's Na-Na back to her room. Thurgood always loves to help "push" Na-Na. It is always so endearing.

I hope you had a wonderful, memorable Halloween.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

flower child {what i wore saturday}

I never thought of myself as a "girly" girl.

I was more like one of those girls who wanted to play with the boys.

Although looking back, I also wanted my bangs to be perfect. {not the gigantic seashell, hey let's listen to the ocean size bangs...I had Winnie Cooper bangs.}

Then today while rising with the sun to head out to a few yard sales, thirft stores, and run a few errands...I noticed I was dripping from head to toes with flowers.

{got these shoes for $3 at Tarjay last week}

{best little tee from Tarjay, and here is a shock to my is colorful}

This is the moment I noticed I had flowers all over me...and decided I needed to take a picture of this.

I adore this scarf. Mr. B got this for me a couple of years ago. LOVE IT!!! I ~heart~ scarves. I am the scarf queen. I wear them all the time. I opted to not wear it though.

So here is what I wore this Saturday {Wednesday is hard to do when I am rushing out the door to the pharmacy}.
jacket:AE, jeans:AE, tshirt:Target, long sleeve undershirt: Old Navy, shoes:Target, silver hoop earrings: Target, scarf: gift {I think Kohls}

I changed my scarf {to one I received from my cousin Danielle...this scarf is my fall work horse scarf}, grabbed my jacket, and was out the door with my little boy.

I guess I am a getting more girly with age...because I love all my flower couture.


Because I said I would {oodles ago}...I am linking to The Pleated Poppy

Thursday, October 28, 2010

trade secrets: "must haves" for the medicine cabinet

Does your medicine cabinet seem like a black hole cluttered with prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications? How frequently do you think your medicine cabinet should get a check-up? Where should medications be stored? What kinds of medicines and first aid products should you have on hand to treat minor ailments and injuries? These are important questions to answer to prevent taking outdated medications and avoid potential complications.

Medicine Cabinet Check-ups
It is recommended that you give your medicine a check-up every 6 months or at least once a year. The first step is to take a look at all the medicines (prescription and OTC) and supplies that you have. Check the expiration date on every medication. You don’t want to take chances with a medicine that no longer works the way it’s supposed to or has become a breeding ground for bacteria or fungus. Look for medicines that are discolored, dried out, crumbling, or show other signs that they are past their prime. Discard outdated medications and supplies (including sunscreens) and medications you are no longer taking. Restock supplies that are low or are missing as needed.

Safe Storage for Your Medications
Contrary to popular belief, medications should not be stored in the bathroom medicine cabinet. Showers and baths create heat and humidity that can cause some drugs to deteriorate. It is best to keep your medications in an area that is convenient, cool, and dry. Other first aid products (such as bandages, tweezers, gauze, cotton balls, etc) may be stored in your bathroom medicine cabinet because they are not affected by heat and humidity. Keep all items in their original containers so that no one takes the wrong medicine. Accidental overdoses can occur in children of all ages. Medications should be kept out of the reach of young children, locked up in a drawer or cabinet or on a shelf that they cannot reach. It is important that parents talk with their teenagers about the negative effects (accidental overdose, death) of using OTC medications and other household products.

Here is a list from Pharmacy Times for "must haves" {You can enlarge by clicking on the picture}:

Feel free to share away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.


Monday, October 25, 2010

decorating for halloween {part 1}

My son officially gets holidays now. In fact, he adores the whole process of decorating for the holidays {definitely my child}.

Halloween is upon us...actually it is right in front of my eyes. Now I have never been a big decorator for this holiday. I carved a pumpkin, but it has been a long time since I have gone beyond that. Well, Thurgood asked me yesterday if we could decorate for Halloween. I could not help but be swayed by his lovely curls. Even when I came to pick him up at daycare, he immediately asked if we were decorating for Halloween today. to Walmart & the Dollar Tree we went.

We started by creating a landscape. A LIMBO landscape.

What is LIMBO? LIMBO is a game on XBOX that my son and husband play. We have it filtered so Thurgood doesn't see everything the game has to offer, but basically you have a little boy escaping big spiders.

 So for less than $10...I recreated LIMBO. Thurgood found the spider and from there I ran with it. {yes, that is RH of Atlanta}

 This pic is a tad out of focus, but I edged the top with white Christmas lights to backlight the scene when the lights are off.  {you get the idea}

You should have heard Thurgood squealed when I cut out Arthur, "the LIMBO boy."
It took me 2 times. I can not draw. I knew the 1st one was bad when Thurgood asked what it was.

Thurgood even helped me while I was placing everything. He would say, "a little more over Mommy or Arthur needs to be higher, I can't see him."

Even though I started a new rotation today, this moment topped my day. Thurgood and I were excited to tackle this task together. It was a wonderful way to spend time together.

My little boy finally gets it {holiday decorating} and I love giving it to him as much as possible.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

the art of woe-woeing

I have seen these lovely flowers all over the place. So instead of coming to terms with which wreath to create, my ADD mode kicked into full gear..and I rolled an adorable fabric flower.

I loved how vibrant it looked against my hair. I always bobby pin my hair depending on my rotation site. Why have just a plain bobby pin when I could add some cuteness too?

And it added much needed color to my solids and neutral wardrobe.

Then I had an idea! {no clue as to the odd shadow/smudge on my eyebrows do NOT look like that...but I got tired of trying to get a good picture and thought "good enough."}

I need to make more. I need to make lots more.

It reminded my of "woe-woeing." {this is the term for a technique of comfort I use to do with my satin edged blankie.} I would wrap, twist, and fold. Some had thumb sucking...I had "woe-woeing."

I have a feeling this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

trade secrets: thinking pink

Pink has always been one of my favorite colors. It stands for many things in my life..giggles, Easter dresses, cotton candy, ballet shoes and tutus, blushing lemonade, stargazer lillies...but it also reminds me that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that each year, over 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and over 40,000 die. One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. If detected early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer exceeds 96%. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million U.S. women 40 years of age or older have never had a mammogram.

I know there has been a HUGE DISPUTE over the starting age of mamograms. A govenment panel from this Spring stated that mammograms need to be started at 50 versus 40.

As much as I wanted to personally speak with some of these "medical" experts on GMA, Today, etc who jumped on this bandwagon causing even MORE confusion to women and their MDs...I did not. I just waited patiently knowing they would soon retract their words. Which they did -- especially when the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists snubbed the panel's recommendation.

I encourage you if you are over 40 {or younger if you are at high risk -- mother, sister, etc had breast cancer} to make your appointment and mark it on the calendar for your mammogram. Though they are usually dreaded, you can make the day fun by scheduling something you really enjoy immediately following your appointment. Indulge...Get a massage or a facial. Treat yourself to a lunch with mimosas. Better yet, schedule your mammogram back to back with a girlfriend and then spend the rest of the afternoon together having some fun as a way to celebrate your healthy choices. This could be your annual tradition to protect your health.

If you can't find anyone...I will go with you. {I mean this from the bottom of my heart...I will go with you.}

I had the priviledge of being a part of a breast cancer research team from 1995 to 2001 at Indiana University {from the age of 16 to the time I graduated with my undergraduate}, and if there is anything I can do to save another woman's life...I will do it. If that means coming to your corner of the world to go with you -- my goodness...YOU are worth it.

In 2008 I found a lump in my breast after a self exam. I went to my OB/GYN who then sent me to a specialist who then sent me to have an ultrasound. I remember all the fear of that time waiting. Waiting. Worrying. At the end of the journey...everything came out fine. But I was never more scared or even worse...silently scared of the unknown.

Few people know that little secret about my lump. But I want you to know. I want you to know so that you check yourself monthly. I would be glad with a Christmas/Easter check. Just check. And when you are 40...give me a call if you need me....I make great mimosas.


This is for are my mom's best friend. You will beat this!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

naked door alert: which couture shall she wear?

October is half way over and my door is in the buff. I have yet to find or make a wreath for my front door. The one I use to use is sitting pretty on my mantel. This would normally be a fun adventure, but I am dreading it. I am not quite sure why...but here I am {small violin}..googling images of fall wreaths.

Here are my top picks:

#1 - Miss Homecoming Queen 2010..the cornhusk beauty
{less than $5, but my cat may have a field day with the leftovers}

#2 - twine + burlap + ruffle = ~heart~
{I need someone to show me how to make a darn heart w/html}

#3 - blooming rosewood wreath from Target....premade, but not on sale, and
should I be worried about mildew with this outside?

#3 - leaves amid natural twigs..and sheer feather*licious with chocolate satin

#4 - standard grapevine w/ and "etsy" flair for fall

#5 - simple but lush splendor of fall leaves with a ribbon

#6 - I just want to touch this wreath. Thoughts of dried hydrangea dance in my head with these coffee filter wreaths, and the black marker edging is divine
{less than $2, so if it is a will be a cheap mistake} 

#7 - rustic sweetheart with a sparkle...oh my..this is why you have
been in my favorites folder for a year.
{imagine that 8 being a B}

I obviously am attracted to neutral colors...I am hopeless devoted to neutrals. help me. Which one could I make? Or try to make? Or even splurge on?


Monday, October 18, 2010

attempting: dinner

I love getting emails from you.

When night falls upon my house and everyone is tucked away, I relish in the opportunity to "catch up" on all my blogs and read my emails. I have it down to a science...and believe me, amid finishing this PharmD, completing rotations, raising a son, loving a husband, and has to be a science.

Which leads me to an interesting question that I got from a reader. How do I find the time to blog and do everything else, like cook dinner?  Great question...and I am still tinkering around till I get the right answer.

Well 3 years ago when I took on the role of being a student again, I had to adjust my dinner routines to studying {I study when Thurgood goes to bed till I am done studying...which can be late -- very late}. I had to let go an old new years resolution to make 1 new meal every week and focus on what I knew & what could be a quick fix if needed. .And here was my solution -- planned themed meals.

Sound weird? Well, I know lots of people who plan their meals weekly and even monthly. But, I prefer a different approach. I prefer themes.

Interestingly enough, people either love it or hate it. I love routines and this allows me to indulge in my routine with a smidge of creative impulse.

Plus when I know when I skipped going to the store Sunday because I had a project due Monday AM and now it is Monday PM and I have nothing at home....I know that Monday night is Italian night.

It is such a relief! I can run in, grab what I need with a "guided" focus, and have dinner made just as fast as Mr. B can throw a pot of water on the stove.

My routine is this:
Monday - Italian night {everything from lasagna to pesto salmon to spaghetti & meatballs. If Giada can cook it then I will try it.}
Tueday - Ethnic night {enchiladas to filipino adobo to chinese bourbon chicken to build your own taco -- a MUST for finals week}
Wednesday - Pizza {we order in, we make our own, and yes, we even pop in a frozen one.}
Thursday - Comfort food {roasted chicken, pot roast, dumplings, breaded chicken tenders..and mashed potatoes to boot}
*my kitchen is closed on Friday & Saturday
Sunday - Soup {there is nothing like a pot of soup on the stove to nibble & slurp on throughout the day}

So here is a glimpse of last week:

Monday ~ Chicken Alfredo w/breadsticks

Tuesday ~ Bourbon Chicken & Jasmine Rice

Wednesday ~ Pizza from a local eatery {w/feta cheese..yum}

Thursday ~ Pulled Chicken BBQ in Raspberry Chiptole Sauce & Bleu Cheese Slaw

Sunday ~ My version of O'Charley's Loaded Potato Soup
pic from

That is my attempt at dinner.

So my real point in this post..have any great recipes to share? :)


Sunday, October 17, 2010

~giveaway winner~

I have spent most of this entire weekend in bed with a immense head cold. I swear the timing of my last post was almost eerie.

So...on to good news to share with you. We have a winner!

AND the winner is......#3

The best thing about this giveaway was that I adore each and every one of you so much that it was thrilling to actually do that random generator thingy. I have loved sharing our lives together. You all are so wonderful. Congrats Julie...I will be sending an email your way. I am delighted that you won.

As for future giveaways....well I can't wait for Christmas now!

And I have to brag. This Sunday night, my little cousin Nicholas (as I always called him, Nickle Pickle and Godfather to Thurgood I might add) was given the honor and priviledge of speaking at a rally in Ohio before the President. He is barely 20. Here is a snapshot that I took on my computer as I live streamed his speech. It was unbelieveable and inspiring to watch.

Hope you have a good week. It is the last week of my 3rd rotation. Time flies fast.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

trade secrets: generic vs brand {part 1 – OTC}

The world of pharmacy sometimes relishes in that few people completely understand what does go on behind the counter. Let me assure you though I want you to know what goes on behind the counter. I believe if you understand then you are better equipped to make better decisions in regards to your health.

So after reviewing all the great questions {keep them coming..I need LOTS if I am going to do this weekly}, I thought it would be best to hit a big concern straight on.

Are generic OTC {over the counter} meds better, the same, or less than Brand meds?

My personal opinion: Generic OTC meds are better because not only are they effective but they are cheaper. Let me state it this way: I take generic OTC meds, my husband takes generic OTC meds, and I give generic OTC meds to my son.

The reality is that over the counter medications must be approved by the FDA, just like the brand names. While there is no physician’s prescription needed to get medications like pain relievers, headache medicine, and cold pills, over the counter medications are still held up to strict guidelines for usage and interaction information as all other medication, OTC or otherwise.

The FDA has been working to get consumers more access to medications and have changed some medications such as Zyrtec and Prilosec from prescription only medications to over the counter brands {and we can get into this even in more detail later}.

Yet I should note, this can actually be a disadvantage to insured consumers who will end up paying more money for over the counter medications than they normally would for a prescription with a co-pay {I see it all the time with children’s allergy medicines. Patients may only have a $5 copay for 120 oz but are forced to pay more for a smaller quantity}. This is a prime example why consumers need to pay more attention than ever to prices and alternatives for buying medications.

So how do you compare? Check out the ingredients.

Next time you go to the pharmacy or health and beauty section of the store, do a comparison yourself. Read the labels and see just how similar the medications are. Most labels have a standard format that manufacturers follow, so comparing labels should not be very difficult. Pay attention to the active ingredients and recommended dosage amounts for comparison purposes.

Here is a good example:

So, how does a generic get approval? To gain FDA approval, a generic drug MUST:
•contain the same active ingredients as the innovator drug {inactive ingredients may vary – this is where constant debate lies, but see below with bioequivalent}
•be identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration
•have the same use indications
•be bioequivalent {note: study of OTC or Rx, showed the average difference in absorption into the body was only 3.5 percent – and this has a 12 yr clinical study to support it}
•meet the same batch requirements for identity, strength, purity, and quality
•be manufactured under the same strict standards of FDA's good manufacturing practice regulations required for innovator products

Now I know this is a lot of information.

So let me remind you of the famous saying, “Don’t buy groceries when you are hungry.” Well this is great advice for medications too. Be proactive in your health. We all know how miserable it is to walk into a store when you are sick or have a sick child. Then you find yourself trying to read all the information on the boxes, let alone process the information, and then make a purchase.

Doesn't this look intimidating?

Now imagine looking at it and you are sick -- or you have a sick kiddo.

So my advice, stock up BEFORE you get sick. Have your arsenal ready for: headaches, body aches, cold/sinus, allergies, etc. Martha's 1st aid drawer is quaint, but I have a few issues we can touch on later. But the idea is there:

Finally, if you have a difficult time understanding labels, do not hesitate to talk to your {yours is key} pharmacist.

They’ll be able to help you understand what the labels mean and direct you to a less expensive alternative. You should always consult with a pharmacist if you are not sure about using a new medication, especially if you are already taking prescription medications that may react with other drugs.

Feel free to share away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.

e {Have you entered my giveaway?...Go on -- do it. :) }

As for a pleasant sidenote:

I would love to transform the traditional pharmacy

into this pharmacy


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