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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

100 Posts, What I've Learned So Far...

Hey all!  Ok, seriously, I can't believe that I've made it to 100 posts already!  I originally started this blog to keep my family up to date on my life after I moved to Peoria.  It turned out that I had started this blog a little early, so I didn't have much to really talk about.  We hadn't even chosen a builder yet for our new house.

The original Beauty and the Greek 
I was also pretty into my new love of running, so I started talking more and more about my training for upcoming races.  While I'm kind of in a running slump now, I'm hoping that once I'm able to get outside, it will come back.  I think I need a good race to get me back into the groove of things.

Besides moving to Peoria and running, I also started blogging about things that I liked to read about.  Fashion, interior design, makeup and hair...ya know, super gender neutral topics. :)  I started sharing my Favorite Things and later, created a linkup. (Next linkup March 3rd FYI)


So, in 100 posts, here are a few things that I've learned so far:

Don't post for the sake of posting.

I think it's super easy to get caught up in the whole, "I post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays" thing.  Then, you're searching for something to post about, and it's not really even worth sharing.  I try to write down post ideas as soon as I can, and put them on a calendar.  I will switch things around and get them done whenever I have time.  This blog is supposed to be fun, so I don't stress about it if I don't have a post for a week.


What do you like to read?

When starting this blog, I thought about the blogs that I liked to read.  What did I like that they did that I could incorporate into mine?  For me, I like blogs that talk about a little bit of everything.  Which brings me to my next point...

Don't pigeon hole yourself.

The blogs that are only about fashion, I find myself wondering about their personal lives.  The people who blog about financial stuff, but run and never talk about it...I always want to hear more about their running.  I feel like a lot of blogging advice out there tells you to pick a theme and stick to it, but I couldn't disagree more.

Followers.

I feel like worrying about followers is dangerous.  Sure, you can host giveaways, and that will definitely give you more followers.  But...are these people even reading your blog?  It makes you look like a bigger blog, but these are people who are entering for a purse, not because they like your content.  The coolest thing in the world is having a reader comment or email you and tell you that they like your blog and are now following.


Be genuine.

While I LOVE reading blogs where people show their perfect white desk, with their perfect planner, colored pens with gold spray painted pen caps (because they didn't like the finish on the other pen caps)....that isn't real life.  Maybe it is for them, but it is obvious when people portray their lives to be 100% perfect in blogs.  You aren't fooling anyone!  Be a real person!  I'm hoping that I'm genuine on here and share the real parts of life...not just the good ones. :)



Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to some bloggers who have befriended and supported me since the beginning.  


I'm super sorry if I forgot anyone.  I've also made a ton of new blog friends in the mean time, and you all are awesome!


Do you blog?  What's your blog about? I'm always looking for new blogs to follow!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Randoms

Hey all!  It's FRIDAY!  Finally!  This week, aside from the warmer weather, was pretty blah.  I do, however, have 5 awesome things to share.  So here we go.


Ok, so George and I LOVED this Pottery Barn table for our breakfast nook.  It's dark, sturdy, has a removable leaf, and is pretty much perfect.  The only downside, it's discontinued.  George and I were able to swipe a floor sample for $600!  That's $1,000 off from the original price of $1,600.  There are some very superficial scratches that can be taken care of with some Old English.  I'm still so happy!


Our Mexico trip is getting closer, and I can't even tell you how much I need to see some sunshine.  I think that I'm most excited to run in some warm weather for a change.  My running has been seriously sucking lately, and I'm hoping that enjoying the beautiful weather will give me the boost I've needed.  I'm also super excited to drink some Dirty Bananas. (Pretty much a chocolate mudslide with a banana in it for those of you who haven't experienced this heavenly-ness)


Mark your calendars for March 3rd.  I know that Kylie and I would LOVE for you to join our monthly "Favorite Things" linkup.  For more information, check out my Favorite Things tab.  Be there or be square!


For those of you that haven't read [this] post, my great friend, Aly is over in Afghanistan.  Things are a little rough over there right now.  It's very cold and pretty blah.  She is working in a trauma unit in a fancy tent, so you can only imagine the terribly sad things she sees.  If you have some spare time, send her or her unit a some words of encouragement or perhaps some cookies. :) I know that it would really brighten her day.  If you are interested, email me at beautyandthegreekblog@gmail.com, and I will give you her address.


Amanda from The Lady Okie and Beka from Sunshine to the Square Inch are hosting a Runners Tell All linkup.  Yeah, I'm doing a linkup within a linkup.  It's linkup Inception.  The theme of this month is to tell how and why you got into running in 250 words or less.


Above is a picture of me in Hawaii in January of 2013.  George and I were at the top of the Volcano, and it was quite a walk to see the dried lava.  We decided that we would try to run it. (It was about a mile).  I got maybe half way there and had to stop and walk.  As I’m walking, huffing and puffing, I’m really mad. All I could think was, “You can’t even run a mile!  What the hell?!”  I decided during that trip that when I got home, I was going to make a good, solid effort to get into running.

I started out running on the treadmill, and it sucked.  Each time I tried to start running, I would start on the treadmill and quit a month later.  Lucky for me, in March and April, the weather started to slowly warm up.  I had some of my first 2, 3 and 4 miles runs with my dad.  This is where I started to develop a love for running.  I was meeting and exceeding my goals and having fun.  Every week, I’d run a little farther than I had the last week.

Eventually, I signed up for my first 5k in July 2013 (read about it here), and eventually, my first half marathon in September 2013 (read about it here).  Finally, in December 2013, I did a full marathon (read about it here).  I guess you could say I did the couch to marathon program in a year.

...So that's how I started running. 




That's all I have for today!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nurses Eat Their Young


"Nurses Eat Their Young"

This is a fairly common and somewhat accepted term in the nursing world.  I remember being in nursing school and hearing this and not really knowing what to make of it.  Surely, I thought, this isn't the case anymore.  With such a focus on anti-bullying and toxic work environments, how can this still be going on?

*Warning: This post may only make sense to other nurses. :)

When I was a junior, I was doing my clinicals on a med/surg floor at the VA hospital.  Now, let me just start by saying that when you do your clinicals, you're taking care of a patient (giving their meds, completing orders, going with them to testing, etc.), but you're charting and assessments don't count.  That patient still has a staff nurse that is responsible for their care.  You are trying your best to stay out of the nurse's way, but you still need to work at a computer, ask them questions, and so on.  Most of the nurses kind of treated us like a burden.

But anyways...

One day, I was standing out in the hall, and I saw the call light flashing all sorts of different colors outside of a patient's room.  This guy wasn't my patient, but I thought I should be helpful and see what this guy needed.  Apparently, he had hit the "Staff Assist" button on the wall because no one was answering his normal call light.

In hospitals now, there is a "Code Blue" button and a "Staff Assist" along with the normal call light.  If you hit the "Staff Assist" button as a nurse, that means "I need help, right now!...Something very bad is happening with this patient."  It sends out a page to the residents, the charge nurse, respiratory therapy and what seemed like 1,000 other people.

Before I knew it, the room was quickly filled with doctors, nurses, and RTs who were asking me what was wrong.  I said that I had just walked in myself, and I didn't know what they were talking about.  Everyone left, looking super annoyed, but the charge nurse.  She then accused me of pushing the button and wasting everyone's time.  The patient did NOT own up to it and just stared at me.  With a LARGE eye roll and shaking her head, she left the room.  I heard her say a loud, "UGH!"

I didn't push this freaking button!
I thought to myself, "So THIS is what they are talking about."


So, fast forward to a few weeks ago.  I was working my butt off in the busy ER, and all of my patients were VERY sick.  At the time, I had four of them, which is too many for ICU level patients (but that's another rant).  That particular day, I had a nursing student of my very own.  She was a sweet, smart, and outgoing girl who had previous experience working as a tech in the ER.

I'm trying to explain everything to the best of my ability, but as I'm charting, running around getting meds, consents for sedation, pads for the patient who has pooped the bed for the 3rd time, more meds, hanging more fluids for the lady with a  blood pressure, etc.  I don't have time to really engage in any small talk or even ask her about her personal life.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I never really learned her name.  She was starting to get on my nerves, honestly... a little too confident whenever I told her something, stood REALLY close to me while I was charting, and was always in the way.

Anyways, we had a woman with cancer that had pretty much taken over her entire body.  She hadn't eaten in days.  I talked with her daughter about trying to get her to eat or drink something.  She told me good luck, and the woman wasn't any help.  She said that she would TRY to eat a little bit of a lime popsicle.

Well, I have a few secret weapons with patients who wont eat, so I thought I'd pull out the first one.
Orange sherbet and Sprite.  It's delicious and total baby shower punch, but you have to make do with your limited resources in the ER.  I also made a slushie out of a Pedialyte lime popsicle (as she requested), but those aren't as tasty.

The student and I walk into the room and give the patient her concoctions.  The student happened to be carrying and hand her the sherbet/Sprite mix, and the lady LOVED it.  Her daughter was ecstatic that her mom was finally eating something.

I was busy, charting her vitals, looking up her ordered medications, and reading her previous chart notes.  I gave her the cup of the slushie and told her that she could try that as well if her appetite came back.

When we came back to check on her again, the woman told the student that SHE obviously should be the nurse because that Pedialyte slushie was disgusting and the punch that she made was delicious.

Ok, this is stressed out, not logical Emily's thought process.

"WTF?!?! I made them both.  I took time to make you special drinks between keeping three other, very sick people alive, and you're going to complain about my slushie? I made you that freakin' punch, not her."


I SO had an internal glare going on towards my student who kind of took credit, and then I stopped myself.

"OMG, I'm eating my young," I thought.  I'm so stressed out, and this girl isn't really even doing anything terrible, and here I am giving her some major side eye.  I'm probably coming off like a total bitch because I'm so busy.


It just made me think back to that day with the "Staff Assist."  Was that nurse just having a bad day?  Did she have an extra assignment?  Was she worried about getting everything done on time, and then got a page that one of her patients is in trouble?

I know that these stories probably aren't the best example, but I feel like it's pretty thought provoking for other nurses.

I think nurses do eat their young, but they're not really aware that they're doing it.  We're more like the pigs that accidentally lay down and smother their piglets.  I had no idea that I was probably coming off short and annoyed, when I was really just stressed.  Maybe that's where the saying comes from?

What do you think?

Monday, February 17, 2014

More House Updates... Getting Close!

Hey everyone!

I took a little bit of a blogging break because...well... I didn't really have much to say.  I do have some fun stuff planned for the rest of February, so I will hopefully be posting more often.

George and I were able to spend Valentine's Day together, which was awesome.  We did, however, spend it on the couch, eating macaroni and cheese, while watching House of Cards.  It was perfect.

Anyways... I have some house updates for you all.  It is getting SO close to being done.  It's crazy!  I'm really looking forward to it.  The packing and moving, however, not so much.

So here is what we have so far:

Dining Room

Great Room

George trying to figure out if our new TV will be big enough... and trying to convince me to let it hang off the sides of the media stand (not happening).

Kitchen

Subway tile that will go on the backsplash

Sunroom/Future Playroom

Master bath.  I'm in love with our marble we chose.

Basement bar/kitchen

Loving the stone backsplash and granite

Basement living room

Granite I chose for the peninsula of our master closet.  Love it!


That's all I have for now. Happy Monday, everyone!  Let's get through this last round of snow (I'm talking to you midwesterners) and pray that Spring comes soon!

Friday, February 7, 2014

I Can't Make This Stuff Up

So last night, my parents came over and I cooked them dinner.  It was my dad's 60th birthday, so I figured it would be nice.  I made one of my standard meals, parmesan crusted tilapia, string beans, and garlic & herb couscous, and it was delicious. <If I do say so myself.

When thinking of what to post on the blog for today, I immediately had a flashback to one of my dad's previous birthdays to one of the funniest things that has ever happened to my family.


When I was in fifth or sixth grade, I was on the computer, buying a present for my dad.  My mom was helping me complete the purchase on the Barnes and Noble website.  I was ordering him a baseball book, that I believe he had asked for.  My mom and I found it on the website, purchased it with her credit card, and checked "yes" for the free gift wrapping.  My dad's birthday is in February, so they were offering free Valentine's day wrap.  On the optional gift message, I included, "To: Dad Love: Your Favorite Daughter."  I'm his only daughter, but that's besides the point.

So, in a week or so, the package arrives, and I take the book out of the box.  It seems to be thinner and a different shape than I thought, but it was gift wrapped in tacky heart paper and ready to go.  I looked at the order slip, and it was definitely the book that my mom and I had chosen.

On the night of his birthday, we were in our upstairs TV room sitting on the couch.  My dad was opening his gifts, and I was just going on and on about how much he was going to love his present.  I think that I was more excited that I got him something that he had asked for AND bought it online.

My dad tears open the paper to reveal this:


....I'm not kidding....


....I can't make this stuff up....

We all sat in silence for a second before my parents starting DYING laughing.  I didn't exactly have any idea of what the Kama Sutra was, but I was pretty sure by the picture and the "lover's guide," that it  had something to do with sex.  

Eventually, we came to the conclusion that someone was pulling a serious prank or it was a legitimate mix up.  The gift tag surely should have been a tip off to double check their work, but whatever.  It makes me smile to think of someone getting a sports book when they were expecting something VERY different.

My poor dad had to take that thing back into Barnes and Noble to exchange it, which I'm sure was embarrassing.  It all got straightened out in the end.

But yes, that actually happened.  Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Medical Blogs I Love... and You Should Too

Hey all!

Happy Wednesday!  We got a TON of snow last night, and I'm hoping it's the last big snow of this winter.  Shoveling is not my idea of a good time.

So, if you're stuck inside, and want to check out a few blogs, I have some good ones for you.  Both of these are medical blogs, but you don't have to be in medicine to enjoy them.

This blog is written by one of the ER docs I work with, and it is AWESOME.  Each post focuses on a common ailment and gives you the actual truth.  For example, his last post was about flu (read it here).  I guarantee that you have some "old wives tales" or misconceptions about what the flu actually is, and he clearly explains everything.  Each post is short and sweet and contains very little medical jargon.  The goal of his blog is to break down common reasons you would visit an ER to give you a clearer picture of what's actually going on. Another post to check out is: "Have you seen my finger? A guide to wound care."

Go check it out, and tell him I sent you!




I recently came across this blog, and let me tell you.... it is hilarious.  My favorite "stories" are the ones that talk about the patients in the ER.  Anyone can enjoy these posts, but if you work in healthcare, you will certainly get a kick out of them.  Check Gomer Blog out for a good laugh.  Some of my favorite ones are: "ER Places Bowl Full of Percocet in Waiting Room, Lowers Visits" and "Alcoholic Fills Out Negative Comment Card on Christmas Morning."


That's all I have for today!

Monday, February 3, 2014

February Favorite Things

Hey all!

It's my birthday!  I'm hoping 25 is as good to me as the last few years have been.  So anyways, I'll stop talking about myself and start sharing some of my Favorite Things for February:


1.) Pottery Barn on Instagram Follow them here

I just started following Pottery Barn on Instagram, and I can't believe I didn't start earlier.  They are so good about posting pictures of entire rooms to give you design ideas.  I'm also loving the Easter and Spring time decorations they're showing. (Follow me at BeautyandtheGreek on Instagram...after all, it IS my birthday.) :D

2.) Too Faced- Tan Without the Twinkle: Chocolate Soleil Buy It Here 

 I'm looking pretty pale this winter (homegirl needs a spray tan), so I have to be really careful with bronzers.  I love this bronzer because it is very buildable and has no shimmer!  Bonus: It smells like hot cocoa. I mean, it's WONDERFUL.  I apply it in the "3" shape pattern on both sides of my face.

3.) Spartina 449- Phone Wallet Buy It Here

This is probably my favorite in the entire list.  I use it every day, and I get SO many compliments.  This is a wallet, keychain, and phone holder all in one.  Most days, I don't even carry a purse.  It fits my iPhone 5 perfectly, and has a little room on each side and could hold a wider phone as well.

4.) Sriracha Buy It Here

Ok, I've jumped on the whole Sriracha bandwagon.  I'm not a total freak that pours it on everything I eat, but I do love it on omelets and pizza.  Eating spicy stuff in the winter helps keep you warm, right?  I've also heard that it doesn't make you eat as much and speeds up your metabolism, makes you drink more water....blah blah blah.  I just like the taste.

5.) 30 Rock  Buy Them Here

I've been DVRing episodes of 30 Rock and putting one on while folding laundry, eating lunch, or whatever.  I LOVE Tina Fey, and I'm coming across episodes I've never seen before.  This is definitely one of my favorites of all time, not just the month. :)

6.) Tin Tree Gifts- Custom Phone Case Visit Their Website

I've bought two of these cases so far, and I love them!For a custom phone case, they're relatively cheap.  You can customize it any way you want, and they're super speedy to get back to you with your design. They also sell a ton of other customizable products.

7.) Target- Valentine's Day Tumbler Not sold online, but Here is another favorite  

This puppy was on sale for $6 at Target, and I just couldn't pass it up.  It has a rubbery top and band around it and is still dishwasher safe.  It's cute enough for Valentine's Day, but doesn't have a ton of tacky hearts so that you couldn't use it for the rest of the year.

8.) Barely There- Bandini Bras Find Them here

I picked these up at Target, and I LOVE them.  They are perfect for the days that you're just running errands, but want to be comfortable.  The straps are convertible, so they're easily made into one strap or a bandeau style without looking funky.  They're awesome.

9.) Cake Batter Chapstick Buy It Here

I first saw this on Kristie P (from PG Sisters)'s Instagram (follow her @Numbaonerunner).  I searched Target, like tore it apart, and still came up with nothing.  One day, I came home from a pretty rough day at work and found a package from Kristie with a 3 pack of the Cake Batter Chapstick and a nail file.  What a sweetheart! Besides knowing that it was a sweet gift, it's also really great stuff.  The cake batter smell is DELICIOUS!