2017

Good morning. Long time, no chat! I've had a lot of things happen in the last month; I've been busy, and a bad blogger, so today I thought I would take some time and lay out what's in store for 2017. I guess you could call these my "New Year's Resolutions" although I am way past January 1st, 2017. I've decided that 2017 is going to be the year of me! I say this with a sad yet determined and excited heart. The past few months have taught me I need to focus on me.

I thought I would fill this post with quotes because quotes say everything I'm feeling, all wrapped up.

Travel

One of my goals now that I am done with school and residency is to travel, travel, travel. I already have 9 days off in February and have a fabulous trip planned. I've learned that traveling really is the one thing that fills your soul. It expands your horizon, knowledge of the world, and allows you to visit far away friends. I want to try to go somewhere new at least every 3 months, whether it be a new town in Nevada or a city or country away.

Blog/Photography

Focusing on my blog and getting better at photography is a huge goal of mine. Whether or not people understand, blogging is a total outlet for me. I love my camera; I love capturing moments and beautiful photos, only to share them with the world. I plan to focus at least 1 full day, if not more, to blogging. And of course, going outside/anywhere to "practice" with my camera.

One of the biggest "complaints" I have always had about photography is the props. All of these photos, the gorgeous photos you see on Instagram, are all so perfectly staged. And I have bought poster board, props, lighting... and it's absolutely EXHAUSTING! I hate spending hours "setting" up photos, waiting for the perfect lighting. In my someday house, I will have a room that is all set up with amazing lighting. But until then I need to figure out a better system. I thought about buying stock photos but I feel like that defeats the purpose. From now on, I am going to work on taking better photos with LESS effort. I hate spending hours editing!

Buy a Car

I desperately need to buy a new car and I know I'm not going to be the best at bargaining but I can do it. I found the one I want; I just need to test drive it again and work on the offer. I am going to do this next week so I can just be done with it! (See post

HERE

- I bought Stella!)

Volunteer

"We rise by lifting others"

One of the things I miss most about pharmacy school is volunteering. It felt so good to give back to the community and I want to start again. I'm not sure how - maybe small at first. I did donate animal crates to the humane society in December.

Expand My "Business"

So this is something that I want to do, and it's already happening, but I am so intimidated by it. I don't feel like I am the best blogger, writer, photographer, etc. so I'm scared to go out into the world and offer my services. But I've already been contacted by two local businesses about working with them, so I need to get over my fear and start seizing opportunities! I've been telling more and more people about the blog, which is exposing me, but if I want this to be anything, I'll need to put myself out there. Speaking of that, time to order some business cards.

Get Board Certified

"You don't have to be better than everyone else. You should strive to be better than you ever thought you could be."

For pharmacy, I can get board certified. I really want to work on being a better pharmacist and continuing to grow and learn each day. Medicine is so vast that there is always something new to learn. I've been making a list of topics that I want to look into that way I don't forget.

Less Social Media, More Human Interaction

"As we grow yo, we realize it becomes less important to have a ton of friends, and more important to have real ones."

There are studies out there that show that people who spend more time on social media are actually more depressed than people who don't. I absolutely believe this so I want to spend less time online or on my phone, and more time connecting with friends in person.

BE SINGLE

"Focus on your goals sweetheart. These men only want to waste your damn time."

This has been my biggest motivation for why 2017 is going to be MY year! I have gone back and forth on telling my tale but I decided to do it... because I want to and that's me. So far, in the last 5 months, I have had... at least 6 (SIX!) horrible dating experiences. And I'm so over it. I am amazing, smart, pretty, funny, creative, caring, outgoing, so many wonderful things yet these men have done nothing but drag me under. And I'm so over it - I can't even begin to explain.

  1. I was asked to share a beer with a guy at a brewery once. I had a long day and I thought talking to a random stranger would be fun. We actually had met once before. I was super drunk and he asked if I was okay and needed a ride home. At the time this annoyed me because I am not a damsel in distress. I do not need someone to take care of me. Anyways, turns out he was closer in age to my mom than me and I was closer in age to his daughter. So I kindly said "thanks but no thanks." I saw him again recently and he offered to buy me and a guy I was with drinks (super awkward) and afterwards he texted me and said we should go out again. Awesome, ask me out on a date after you see me out on a date with someone else. Needless to say, I am going to avoid that brewery, because apparently he lives there. Ugh, annoyance #1.
  2. My ex. I can't even begin to start. He is this totally amazing guy and I saw myself spending the rest of my life with him, but he has anger issues. His best friend and I were talking about it and he is also extremely bias. He grew up rich and on a farm. He has no concept of the actual world aka he likes Trump, which just speaks volumes. He is angry and hateful and has said things to me no woman should ever hear. Luckily, I'm strong enough to know it's not okay and I finally have blocked his calls and texts. Just done.
  3. I'm going to group people here... one doctor accused me of spreading rumors about me and him. Like I just spend all my time talking and thinking about him. Narcissistic. Another resident and I grabbed drinks after work. Later we met up with his co-resident who said "how's that horrible date you are on?" Awesome, didn't know we were on a date and that I was that horrible to be around. Oh and another guy and I went out for drinks and talking to him was like pulling teeth. All of these experiences, I would have just rather been home alone or out with friends.
  4. And finally we have the last guy. This is probably the biggest thing I have gone back and forth on (in terms of writing about) but I want my story to be heard. I moved here with the ex (above) but we broke up. My co-worker didn't want me move so she decided to "hook me up with a guy". A new doctor showed up at the hospital and they noticed him. And told me. I did the basic Facebook/Instagram search. You need to find out before you go hitting on people... Are they single, gay, have kids, wife? Whatever. I accidentally liked one of his brothers posts and his brother messaged me and asked if I knew him. I didn't of course but I thought maybe he would hook me up with this brother. He didn't. And he was interested in moving to Reno so I added him on Snapchat to show him pictures. Long story short, we talked for a few months and it was really awesome. He taught me another language, about his culture, etc. But then he fell in love with me. And got super upset when I told him I was not interested. At this point, I was talking to his brother (the one who actually lives in the same country as me (it's such a long story)) and the brother who liked me ended up telling the other brother some obvious bull about me. Awesome. The brother I liked (and work with) completely blocked me on social media. And the thing that pissed me off that most was that he was on his high horse talking about equality and not judging people by their skin color, yet he judged, and blocked me, without even knowing or hearing the full story. Hypocrite. I have no respect.

And this brings me to the end. I've been surrounded by nothing but immature men who do nothing but make me feel bad about myself. I'm so over it. So I'm done. Done dating. Done wasting my time. I do what I want when I want; I need NO man.

"When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody compliments you, then compliment yourself. It's not up to other people to keep you encouraged. It's up to you. Encouragement should come from the inside."

Be Healthier

This is super fun for me right now because I bought a new cookbook. I lost a bunch of weight after residency but gained some back after the holidays. I'm definitely on a weight loss kick. I've lost and maintained a smaller pant size. But I want to do more than just be "skinny fat". I want to get better, because I honestly feel sooo much better when I am eating healthy. And I want to start working out so I have some muscle and stamina (aka I want to be able to hike long distances!) I'm going to start cooking my way through this cookbook and bring you along on my journey!

Buy a Dog (?)

This is a question mark because I work a lot and I don't want to leave it at home. Also it would have to be an awesome dog that would want to be travel and be able to adapt to many situations! We shall see where we end up on this. I would like to not be alone.

And last but most importantly, find ME!

"So many year of education yet nobody ever taught us how to love ourselves and why it's so important."

I want to focus on me and my wants and needs. I want to discover who I am and what I like without the influence of negative people. Today marks day one of this amazing journey!

Valentine's Day!

Yesterday I had the day off so I decided to have a fun rainy day in Reno, visiting some of the fun boutiques I follow on Instagram but have never been to! I recently got hired to write for This Is Reno as their first lifestyle blogger! It's super excited and I cannot wait.



The other day, I asked my best friends how you find happiness, because it seems to be missing in my life. And they all, ironically, replied the same thing - trial and error; try new things and get hobbies. But I've been thinking about it a lot and I think my hobby honestly is people. I love people. I love around people, talking to people; I crave social interaction. Soo I am soo excited for this new opportunity to become more involved in the community and with local businesses!

One of my favorite home decor places in Reno is West Elm. I bought this adorable mug below there. And a super cute stone camera that I will feature later.



As you can see, all of their home decor is to die for. And the West Elm here is in an old bank. Some of the rooms, seen below, are actually set up in old vaults... how cool! I cannot wait to do a feature of them and show of the amazing building!




The "Love is Love" mug is actually a product of the Human Rights Campaign teaming up with West Elm, Pottery Barn, and William Sonoma in an effort to advance efforts to achieve full equality for LGBTQ people. I have a quite a few gay friends and I completely support them and equality for all. I really want to become more politically active in women's rights and overall equality. I have learned that some of the most unusual friends/people sometimes make the best people... it does not matter your race, religion, sexual orientation... at least to me. I just want to be surrounded by smart, creative, fun, caring people! Xoxo




I had been dying to stop Larkellen and when I Google mapped it, it was literally one block from where I ate breakfast... so of course it was fate that I go. The "mall" that the building is in is actually really cute but you wouldn't really realize that from the outside. I hope to get back over there to feature the building and all the adorable shops inside for This is Reno. I don't think a lot of Reno folk know about it... and they should! I bought these super adorable cookies by Gather at Home. I haven't tried them yet because I ate all my bakery goodies yesterday, but I bet they are delicious! I think I see some custom made cookies in my future... maybe for my birthday!




I stopped by Tahoe Nevada Love and fell in love with this sweatshirt. It's super soft, navy matches my blue eyes, and oh course, who doesn't LOVE Tahoe?! It was super cold and rainy yesterday so this is the best I can do for a picture. But it's actually a nice, light weight sweatshirt and I could see throwing it on during a cool summer evening camping or at the lake! 



I started the day at Coffee Bar based on a recommendation from a friend. I had been there before but only for coffee. I decided to get food yesterday, and man, am I glad I did! It was such a delicious way to start the day and I will almost all afternoon. I got a cappuccino (with a heart!) and the breakfast croissant sandwich (organic eggs, niman ranch bacon & provolone on a house based croissant). It was extremely busy for a Tuesday so I didn't take out my DSLR camera.


The delicious macaroon (above) is from Josef's Vienna Bakery & Cafe, along with Valentine's "love" petit four. Macaroons are my absolute FAVORITE dessert and my ex's mom always used to send us petit fours. To be honest, I'd completely forgot all about them until I saw them yesterday and I had to add one to my goodie box!


I Bought a Car!!

I am so beyond excited to announce that I finally bought a car! It's been a long time coming! Here are some pictures I took with her in celebration the other day.


After some serious thought and discussion with my friends and co-workers, I have named her STELLA!


Some of my favorite features (keeping in mind I've never had a car with any sort of technology) include:


Heated Seats
I feel like I don't need to explain the glory of these. Heated seats are absolutely amazing and they were a requirement for my new car (as was AWD because I didn't want to have to put chains on my car every time I went to Tahoe). I pretty much use them every day. It's so nice to have a little warmth as you are waiting for the rest of the car to warm up.



Lane Assistance
The first time I drove her, I was extremely confused why it was beeping at me but she beeps at you if someone is close to you on either side or if you veer into another lane. It's kind of a nice feature, especially if someone veers into your lane before you notice. The only downside is you must not over-correct, especially if it's icy outside.


All the Extra Room
I laid in the back and I fit! So if there is ever bad weather, I could totally camp in the back. I might buy a blow up mattress and keep it in the back just in case! The added benefit is that I will be able to move some furniture, fit my skis, and other big things, which I wasn't able to do in my car before. The car, Stella, also is able to seat 7 (seven!) people just in case. And the two very back seats have cup holders and their own heating vents!



Backup Camera
Although I will continue to look around because I'm not used to/that trusting of a backup camera, I'm slowly getting used to it. I look for big things in my way, but if something were on the ground near my car, such as a dog or child, I would be able to see it with the camera. I also use the backup camera to see if I am parked within the white lines. Haha. The car is bigger than I am used to so I am still learning to park it.



Lighting
There are lights on the side mirrors and door handles. At night, the door handles light up so you can grab the handle. Also, the lights in the car dim when you go under a bridge OR in the day light, which is nice. I think they are less bright at night but I haven't found the dimming switch yet.



Technology
There are all kind of buttons and features that come with the car. As soon as I get more familiar, I'm sure I will love them. I'm looking for a better way to play music. I have an iPad and an Android so it's hard to sync music/programs. And the car has both Apple and Android capabilities but I think it leans towards Apple. Apparently if I download UVO, I can text from my car too. I've been using it to call people, which I find amazing! I love giving commands. Haha (PS I wish blogger had emojis!)




I want to add auto-start to her eventually, especially if I continue to live in wintery weather. I've been loving all the snow here in Reno. Reminds me of home.


Anyways, that's Stella! Hope you like her ;)


Here are a few links to the:

CAR

TECHNOLOGY

Chicken Enchilada Soup

I've decided one of my New Year's Resolutions is not only to eat better but to start cooking! So I bought Skinny Taste and I am cooking my way through it! The first recipe I went with was Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup. It is SO delicious! I would highly recommend it! This would make a great addition to your Super Bowl Sunday!


The recipe can be found HERE

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups less sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tsp chipotle chili in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
  •  15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts (16 oz total)
  • For topping:
  • 3/4 cup shredded part skim cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 oz (1 small) haas avocado, diced
  • 6 tbsp reduced fat sour cream, optional

DIRECTIONS:

Slow Cooker:
  • Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft, 3-4 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth, tomato sauce and chipotle adobo sauce and bring to a boil. Add cilantro and remove from heat. Pour into crock pot.
  • Add the drained beans, diced tomatoes, corn, cumin, oregano and stir. Add the chicken breasts; cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.
  • Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Add chicken back into the soup, adjust salt and cumin to taste. Serve in bowls and top with cheese, avocado, scallions and cilantro. Also great with sour cream or crushed tortilla chips. Enjoy!

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Yield: 6 Servings, Serving Size: 1 & 1/2 cups
  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Smart Points: 7
  • Points +: 8
  • Calories: 368
  • Total Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: g
  • Cholesterol: 58mg
  • Sodium: 821mg
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Fiber: 8.5g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 31g

500 Instagram Followers

I am so excited to announce that I now have 500+ Instagram followers. It feels like just yesterday I was hoping and praying to pass 250! I know this isn't a HUGE accomplishment... there are a lot of people who have 1k plus, but for me it's a milestone. I'm soo appreciative of every follow, every like, every comment. I love following people's lives. And not only following but getting to really know them. I love real connections.


One of my good friends has this campaign to #KeepSocialMediaSocial and I think it's the most wonderful thing.

Check her out HERE


There are so many beautiful pictures and so many "likes" but so few real connections, I want to be actively engaged with my followers, whether I have 10 or 10,000!


Thank you so much for the support and I look forward to becoming even better in the future... and bringing you along!