Blog posts : "General"

Celiac Disease and Gluten Free...

A few people in my husband's family have recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease and/or an associated gluten intolerance. If you visit the stores nowadays, you'll notice that there are  a lot of options for going gluten free... It's actually pretty amazing. Growing up, I didn't even know there was an option to go gluten free. Heck, growing up I didn't even know what the heck gluten was. 

Cutting a lot of favourites out of your diet can be really hard to do, especially if you live with others whom are not adapting to the same diet as you.. Uhg, reminds me of the time I tried to go vegan and no one in my family supported me. 

Back to the point, if you are trying to go Free From Gluten, it is pretty darn hard to do it without planning ahead. A great way to plan is to simply google for "gluten free" recipes and then write a list of items you'll need. It'll take time to revamp your cupboards, but it's amazing how good you will feel after it's all said and done. 

A new store has opened up based online which will make the transition that much easier. I'm an online shopping junky... It's a good thing I don't know where my mastercard is! (easy to remember, no?) has such a huge array of foods that you'll barely even notice that you've gone gluten free, aside from the massive health benefits. They have cookies, chips, snacks, cereals, pasta, and other very important staples ;) 

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New site? Perhaps

I've started a new blog, because that's what I tend to do! I get bored of blogging on certain topics pretty quick... Especially if the visitor base is pretty limited. Also, I wanted to move away from Viviti, simply because I wanted more options for my website. 

I'm now mostly concentrating on a site I call Twenty One Days. If you follow me on twitter, you'll notice I link it a lot. 

You probably noticed I failed royally at putting up the race schedules I had promised! I have not been permitted to run for a few months now. Mostly because of the baby virus I have contracted. This particular virus causes me to throw up sometimes more than once per hour in a day, disallowing me to drink something as simple as water or eat anything without being on medication. Ahh, medical science! 

You've probably heard of morning sickness, which I had with my first (to term) pregnancy with my daughter. Go hungry, throw up, eat, be fine. Some food aversions, but what I'm suffering from right now is called hyperemesis gravidarum and it is like morning sickness on crack. Uncontrolled, it can lead to hospitalization  (already had a lovely trip to the ER once for moderate dehydration), loss of the baby, and even maternal death (likely due to dehydration). 

Fortunately, I have been mostly able to control the vomiting. My current issue is being able to eat enough food and drink enough fluids... Water doesn't sit well in my stomach and will make me very nauseous, so I try to stick to thickened fluids in the form of yogurts, smoothies, or even thicker juices.  

If I smell food, I will likely develop an instant aversion to it and will literally gag and potentially dry heave until I throw up if I try to force myself to eat it. 

I have had HG for 6 weeks now and it doesn't seem to be letting up. My doctor seems to think it will go away in the second trimester, but if my first pregnancy has taught me anything, it is that I SUCK at hormones. haha I threw up with my daughter right up until I went into labor. Second trimester my butt... :D 

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Christmas Gifts for Nurses

Nurses are actually pretty easy to shop for... I think.  Regardless of your budget, too! 

Let's start off with small gifts:

  • Pens. Black pens for day and evening shift workers, red pens for night shifters. They don't have to be expensive pens at all; just having a pen that works is good. We're always losing pens. 
  • Watches. Make sure there is a second hand that is easily readable for when we have to count pulses or respirations.
  • Travel coffee or tea mug.
  • Foot pampering products... Lotions, foot soaks, cooling sprays, pedicure gift certificates. 

Medium gifts:

  • Compression stockings. They help prevent varicose veins, sore muscles, and so forth. They're awesome to have, but are a bit expensive to shell out for, ergo they are a perfect gift. 
  • Scrub jackets. 


Big gifts:

  • Foot spa... Tread carefully here. I'll be blunt, if it's under one hundred bucks, it's probably a bad foot spa. If it says "heated water," it's probably lying unless it is a Helen of Try foot spa. I shelled out a pretty penny (a little less than $200 after S&H) for this foot spa, but it was so worth it! 
  • Shoes. Obviously!  Do not get crocs as they are a sure way to lose any worker's compensation battles should you hurt yourself while on the job wearing these shoes. Runners that are closed (i.e. no mesh parts or open areas) and white are generally accepted in most work places in BC. 
  • Portable DVD player for a night shift worker :P  
  • Sleep Tracker watch. These are a little expensive, but are certainly worth it, especially if your nurse is a shift worker that works days, evenings, and/or nights. 

That's just a quick brain storm for you to start with! :D

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Oops... Have to stop overworking myself...

I'm boring lately, I know! Last weekend, I ended up taking two night shifts in the middle of 5 evening shifts. Luckily, I took one of the days off: Halloween, of course. So over 4 work days, I did 6 shifts o.O   I was surprisingly not pooped out until my day off, when I slept until 4:30 PM. Good times, good times. 

My nursing class had a reunion on Thursday where we just caught up on our lives over the past year. It was awesome! I loved seeing those that showed up and talking about our nursing experiences thus far. 

Coincidentally, it was at the same bar around the same time as the Outdoor Vancouver Island meetup so I went up there for a while and essentially hogged the Snow baby. She's 6 days old and is very cute! Very adorable baby and the parents are just awesome.

I'm off to Comox today for a surprise birthday party, then tomorrow is a day of shopping in Nanaimo with our gift cards from the wedding... Then I work Monday to Friday during which I anticipate the house getting super messy and sloppy! 

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Some of This, Some of That

I woke up feeling a little sick today... boo! Of course, it happens the day after our house guest leaves and we get the house back to ourselves. If you get uncomfortable reading personal stories, don't read this entry - we went through a loss (two losses, actually) and this is the story... 

I'm still on tilt a bit with whacky hormones and mental exhaustion. Now that I've told all our loved ones and what-not, I guess I can go into more detail as to why I've been MIA. We had planned another baby and got pregnant in August. We were excited as heck and told our parents early... We also told a few other people, mostly just because I really hate lying about things ("Why aren't you drinking?" "Why can't you go in the hottub?") Anyway, we lost the pregnancy in the beginning of this month. Sucked enough as it were, but then we found out it wasn't just one baby, it was two! So amongst dealing with that, I ended up hemorrhaging and being admitted to the hospital. That isn't a normal part of a miscarriage if you were wondering! So that sucked. Ended up having to take time off work and scared the crap out of myself and my husband. 

My daughter was pretty awesome, though! While we were waiting for the ambulance while I hemorrhaged, my daughter asked me why I was crying. I told her I was scared. She said something along the lines of "Mommy, you don't have to be scared. See? I'll turn on the light and then you won't have to be scared anymore!"  Kids make almost everything more bearable. I love that girl. 

So, that's my story. Among that, we had a cancer scare, multiple CT scans and hospital trips for hubby, a wedding to plan, and random bills that I'm pretty sure the universe just kind of pulled out of its butt just to test us. October has always been a month shadowed by terrible news and terrible occurrences. 

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Just a quick update to let you all know that I am finally a married woman! Wahoo! 

Been very busy still... It seems that my schedule just won't stop being full. With my health issues out of the way and my hospital trips done with for now, my husband is now on the agenda for his health issues. Thus far, he has had a bone scan and two CT scans this month. Hoping to find out results of the latter CT scan on Monday. After that, I hope that there aren't any other follow ups needed... 

Hoping to get back into the swing of things soon enough. :) 

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Busy Bee, Oh My!

I've been so unbelievably busy the past few weeks. I'm having a hard time understanding what day it is. I have one more shift this evening at a residential care home, then I am off for a week as I prepare the final touches for my wedding on Wednesday. I also have to go back and forth to the hospital tomorrow and Monday for my hubby-to-be as he is getting a CT scan of his femur and a bone scan. Fingers crossed for good news... Those that know us well know that we have been having a very bad month thus far -- started off with a loss, me being in and out of the hospital, unexpected government bills, bed rest, loss of income due to needing to take a block of shifts off, and unexpected news in regards to hubby's health. Uhg! 

I'm so glad I have the wedding to focus on and the fact that my amazing friend in Victoria managed to help me get a Maggie S. dress for a reasonable price. I'll have to give her website/bridal shop a nice link in my nav bar. Her shop is amazing! 

Pictures will certainly accompany the post wedding update :) 

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I'm Still Alive...

In and out of hospital last week, recovering, and sitting in a funk... I'll be back soon :)

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Life Gets Busy

I have been picking up extra shifts like made and have been so overly busy, I am behind on many things. House work, knitting, and this poor, poor website all included. Our daycare has been closed for a week now, prior to that, my daughter was sick, and the daycare is closed all next week as well. That said, I have spent a lot of time with my daughter, which is awesome. She's always noticeably happier when I'm home, which makes me feel like crap when I have to go into work. Especially when she busts out with the "But mommy, I don't want you to go to work, I want you to stay here with me!" 

Pull at my heart strings, why don't ya?

Anyway, I will get to work on posting Vancouver Island Races for August (the remaining ones, woops...) And September. Stay posted :P 


PS. Congratulations, Wayne and Katherine on your beautiful wedding yesterday! Just have to edit those pictures and send them your way :)

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Coffee is My Love

Contigo Travel mugsRandom, but I love coffee... Lots of people do. After my CuisineArt drip coffee maker was destroyed by grain mites (note to all: ensure that your dog treats bags have been sealed fully, otherwise you will wake up with one heck of a surprise!) I went out and purchased a coffee press for $14.99. It makes really, really good coffee! I highly recommend presses if you are the only coffee drinker in our house. It takes about 5 minutes to make one cup of coffee and it requires very little electricity. 

Aside from that, I have fallen in love with Contigo coffee mugs. I picked up a pack of two at costco. They're vacuum sealed stainless steel travel mugs that are virtually spill proof! It's like an adult sippy cup... I love it! Check them out here.

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Bye Bye Puppster

Alright... I thought I said before that if you are approaching a dog with fear aggression, particularly towards strangers, that you ignore the dog. That means not even sticking your hand out when the dog approaches you. Pretend you are a tree. Do not respond, do not react. The dog is not there. The dog is not there. Don't look at it. Don't talk to it. Don't bend over. Don't stick your hand out... 

That said, the obvious happened while I was at work. The significant other had company over, and one of the rather tall, strange men, put his hand out to our dog when our dog approached him. He got a warning nip and our doggy ended up going into a freak out of barking. 

That said, the dog has been returned to its previous owner (my sister). My sister, also an LPN, has tracked down an amazing trainer in the area (I'll post the trainer's info later if I can get my hands on it), and is looking into anti-anxiety medications for the dog.  Poor pup. He's a really good dog, but since he is half-Bernese and was not socialized properly as a puppy, he has a bad case of stranger fear, hence his behavior. 

Unfortunately, my significant other is not experienced with dogs, so training a behavior such as aggression out of him wasn't an option for him. Understandable. That dog is scary as hell when he's being aggressive. 

No one wags their tail to greet me anymore when I come home from my evening shift. I told my SO he has to thump the wall for me so I can pretend it's the dog greeting me. Thus far, he is no dog. Even if I call him one at times!


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Marin Bikes

I bet I'm boring the heck out of  you guys lately with all the personal blog posts as opposed to community, nursing, etc. posts.

So I have quite the debt under my belt right now, most of which I managed to rack up in a storm of idiocy before my 21st birthday. I'm looking forward to slowing crawling out of my debt hole. That said, I'm also wishing I had an extra few thousand laying around so I could buy a bike. Marin Bikes!

I currently have my eyes set on Marin's  Attack Trail 6.9 - a sexy beast of a mountain bike complete with full front and rear suspension. Enough to buck you off after a nifty trail jump! Swap on street wheels and you'll have my new means of transportation to work!  Unfortunately, the bike costs roughly $4,600 and it would take me 9 or so months to save that up. Ew.  I guess I'll just focus on paying off my hefty MasterCard bill in the mean time.

I recently got a job at a VIHA facility and am super stoked about it. So far, all the staff there that I have met have been valuable knowledge resources and are just amazing with residents and families. I'm stoked to finally have a VIHA job and have been toying with the idea of adding myself to the list of casual care aides. Might as well add a few extra shifts here and there while adding on some seniority hours! :P

I'm still a really new nurse - I've only been graduated for 7 months, but I'm still absolutely in love with this job. I love interacting with people, I love learning new things every day, I love the challenges that come at times, and creating bonds with all the people I work for and with. Love, love, love it!

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Summer is Just a Few Days Away

Summer is supposed to start on Monday, officially. With the way things are going with the weather, who knows? It's been fall-esque weather here in central Vancouver Island for all of spring with a few days that could be considered summer-like. I hope that we get a nice summer... We have so much work to do in the yard that it would be nice to have some encouragement in the form of sun. 

So I've been a little behind on things lately. I recently picked up a casual position at another retirement home to supplement my near-part time job. On top of that, I've been sick off and on for a while. I'm thinking my whole family might be getting sick more frequently and staying sick longer because of allergies... Now, the only thing that is different this year compared to last year is that we have a dog. Uh oh! 

My dog. Uhg. He is a snuggly, cute shedding machine in the house. As soon as you put a stranger into the mix, he turns into a fear aggressor. I've been trying many methods to help train the behavior out of him. Around the house, he is a submissive member of the pack, but outside, I'm not sure what happens. I've tried getting out house visitors in on the training, but none of them actually listen and follow through with what I've asked of them. 

For example, if a dog is barking at you... Don't bend over to the dog. It's seen as threatening. If he's barking at you, don't say he's a good dog. One, you're reinforcing the behavior, two he's not going to stop barking because you're saying that. If If I ask you not to acknowledge the dog while he's barking, please DON'T ACKNOWLEDGE THE DOG. I don't get mad at people (outside of my family :P) easily, but this one thing does make me very angry. Don't look at a(n aggressively) barking dog. Just don't. Ignore the heck out of him and he will calm down, realizing that he has no power over you. 

So essentially, if you're coming to my house, ignore my dog until he stops barking.  Why is that so hard for people to do? 

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Mexico, Day 2

May 16th, 2010...

We woke up fairly early. The sun rises really early here. It was broad daylight at 6:00 AM. We went to La Cascada, the outdoor restaurant at the resort we stayed at. The food there was some of the best food we had during the trip! It was refreshing that a few of the waitresses didn't speak English, because we had learned some Spanish before our trip and we wanted to test it out.

After breakfast, we slathered on the sunscreen... I slathered it on at least every hour while we were out in the sun during the full vacation and my amazingly easy-to-burn skin did not get a sunburn. Be vigilant! We headed back down to the beach -- walking once again. The walk was about 30 minutes, but worth it to avoid the darn taxis.

We went on a Snorkel tour by "Oceanus," which was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. The staff is hilarious and entertaining, constantly topping up your cocktails and making the open bar more than worth the money you pay for the trip! They provide life jackets, snorkeling gear, and lots of entertainment (not organized entertainment, just being friendly and funny in general). They took our camera, and I thought "oh crap, we're not allowed to take our own photos..." Then they ushered my hubby beside me and proceeded to take our picture with my camera, haha. Awesome! Thank you guys! 

Anyway, the snorkeling was awesome. They even threw chips into the water to encourage the fish to swim around me, which was amazing. I bought a camera before the trip -- a waterproof one by pentax -- and it was well worth it!

After the snorkel tour, we hung around the Marina for a while then headed on over to the pirate ship cruise -- the Buccaneer Queen. It was entertaining, but I think it would have been better if our daughter was with us, since some of the entertainment seemed more geared towards children. Then again... Another open bar.

We walked home and were absolutely pooped by the end of this day. We stopped by a small market to purchase some food essentials (milk, cereal, etc.) for our hotel room... Oh, and a pair of sunglasses, since I fell on my bum while tipsy in the marina, and one of the lenses of my sunglasses fell off into a pile of large boulders never to be seen again. :(

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Back From Mexico!

So we have returned from our (pre) honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I have to say... It's a darn shame how terribly the USA and Canada promote Mexico as a terrible place with lots of crime. Sure, there is definitely crime in Mexico City, but come on... How many millions of people are crammed into that small space? Anyway, Cabo is a very relaxed place to go if you know what you're doin before you get there. By this, I mean it's important to know about the time shares, the taxi drivers, bartering, the venders, where to eat, and so forth. And for the love of... I couldn't believe my ears when I heard a tourist complaining about them not speaking enough English down there. It's Mexico. They speak Spanish, not English, you dolt... Sorry. That just really ticked me off.

Anyway! I will be going through my written journals and writing up an entry for each day I was there, filled with tips on handling yourself while down there, which activities you must try, and other things of such. If this doesn't interest you, just avoid the entries that will be titled "Mexico: Day x."

Some bad news: my laptop decided to be a butthole before we left. It no longer sees my battery (or the battery of my partner's same model battery) and it enjoys dying every once in  while with no warning. I now have to use it while it is plugged into the wall. If it becomes unplugged, it instantly shuts off. D'oh! I don't want to shell out for a new laptop just yet, though. How did it die? Oh... Probably had something to do with the coffee I spilled on it... Maybe I'll try taking it apart and cleaning off the internal connections and mobo.

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I'm Behind

Been so busy this week packing for our trip to Mexico (leaving Friday), working, doing vet and doctor appointments, and working out last-minute family and beauticontrol details that aside from this hour leading up to my last evening shift before I fly away, my schedule is absolutely full!

Tomorrow, I have a bunch of confirmation phone calls to make, re-printing all my itinerary, copying pages of the passports (per Canada's suggestions), re-packing, and packing my daughter's bags, Dan's birthday dinner with his family and us, and dropping off a delivery.

Whew! And I still haven't finished May's BeautiControl news, or June's running races schedules! I'm bad this month! Next month will be smoother, I'm sure :)

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So Busy and So Lazy

I have been amazingly busy this past week. I intended to do a lot of things, but only managed to get a hundred projects half done. Such as it is!

My original business, which has been on the back burner ever since I transitioned from a stay-at-home-mom to working outside of the home, Loving Baby Ventures is in the midst of a giant overhaul as I prepare it for a relaunch. June 1st, 2010, I intend for it to be relaunched in all its glory. I have the store almost completely ready for launching, but I still need to tweak the design which I originally stopped working on half-way-through. The design on the page right now is... Questionable...

Other than that, we've spent a lot of time packing this week as we prepare for our Mexico getaway, which I originally booked back in December as a surprise for my partner in crime. This is our pre-honeymoon. We may or may not have set a date for a wedding this year... ;)

We also did some gardening and cleaning out of the garage. We've been doing molding in the living room, recycling items we had piled up for months, filling out a few applications, and... Wow. Lots of stuff, actually. I'm surprised we aren't burnt out at this point.


Happy Mother's Day, mommies!  I got woken up to a bowl of mini wheats my daughter poured for me, and a coffee she brewed for me (Tassimo makes that pretty easy for a 3-year-old!) I love this little girl and I have such a hard time imagining that there was once a world where she didn't yet exist.  She is so perfect, so wonderful, so sweet, and kind. Mother's day in this household isn't about me, it's about this wonderful little girl. <3  There are not enough words in the English language for me to explain how much love exudes from such a tiny little girl.

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Nurse Jackie Scarf & Life

So finally, someone made a nurse jackie scarf. Check it out here. She adapted a pattern for a mesh chain scarf and used crocheted flowers to complete the look. If I ever make it through my umpteen projects, I will make myself one of those scarves! I've yet to start on socks for my mom for mother's day... Uh oh! Good thing I have a few days off starting tomorrow! Ha!

I'll likely update the Beauti News tomorrow during my day off. I'll also try to get June's running races up for Vancouver Island.

In other news, my energy has been just drained from me. I have helped a resident through their dying process before. I helped keep them comfortable and stayed with them when their family couldn't. This particular resident is one that I never had the pleasure of working with prior to their palliative order. I still showed a great deal of empathy towards this resident; holding their hand, being as gentle as humanly possible, and just being there. You can tell when a person's body has stopped working, but long before then, you can almost see their presence leaving themselves before that happens.

I'm trying to type this in a way that preserves some privacy, but one of the residents that I just absolutely adore working with is quite suddenly on their death bed. I was their nurse last night and will be the nurse again tonight. This is what has sucked the energy out of me. It's a bit of a blessing to be able to help them through this process and be the person with the power to bring comfort, but at the same time, this is a person I greatly enjoyed working with and will be so very, very sorely missed.

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May, You Came Too Soon!

I'm in shock over it being May already! My goodness... April just zoomed by without much warning.

Being May, that means it's a new month, which means I have some updates to get started on. For this week, please watch for the Vancouver Island Running Races for June 2010 posting, a new knitting pattern selection for Kozy Kaps 4 Kids, and the May 2010 BeautiControl news update.

I'm working day shifts this weekend, then switching back to evening shifts. I'm pretty sure I can say goodbye to all day shifts for a while since our senior LPN will be on summer break from her nursing school -- going for her RN! I don't mind evening shifts too much, so it's not a big loss :P

I worked all through Fire and Ice today, so no walking around the beautiful town of Qualicum Beach for me. I miss that town sometimes!

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Clindoxyl Gel Dependency

Do you develop a dependency to Clindoxyl Gel? In short, no. (See bottom of entry for dependency info)

I seem to be getting a lot of traffic for the search term "clindoxyl gel dependency," so I thought I'd make a more-to-the-point post than my previous blog entries about it. Clindoxyl is a gel that usually comes in a tube and does not require refrigeration. It is a mixture of benzoyl peroxide and an antibiotic. It takes up to 6 weeks (6 full weeks!!) To see optimal results and, between weeks 0 and 6 of its use, it might seem like it's making things worse.

In my experience, Clindoxyl gel worked wonderfully. At about 4 weeks of use, my face must have been 1.5 times worse than before I started using it, but after 6 weeks of use, my skin was amazingly clear and I went on to use benzoyl peroxide for a year or two with perfect skin until it stopped working.

Do you develop a dependency to Clindoxyl Gel? In short, no. You are prescribed this gel when you have moderate acne... This acne is not generally something that can be "cured" through topical ointments or gels. However, it is something that can be maintained or controlled through topical medications. Clindoxyl works by fighting bacteria that lives deep in your skin while the benzoyl peroxide acts as an antiseptic deep in your pores to help the antibiotics reach further down and to help bring oxygen to where it's needed. Once you stop using clindoxyl, you will break out... This isn't due to a dependency of the gel, it is due to your pre-exiting acne condition which you had previously been controlling with the prescription cream.

If you are well controlled with your clindoxyl, you can try using pure benzoyl peroxide as it might be better for you financially. I used clindoxyl for about 3 months prior to switching to straight benzoyl. I purchased mine from

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