Sunday, October 25, 2020

Love: Setting a Wedding Date and the Planning Process!

Yes, you are engaged! Let the celebration begin. This is one of the most important times of your life. You are in extreme bliss! But how do you go about setting a wedding date? Where do you start, and how do you plan for this very special occasion? It all can be a little overwhelming if you do not know where to start. Here are 8 tips to consider when setting a wedding date and planning for your special day. They are as follows:

  1. Enjoy Your Engagement- What's the rush? The engagement process is meant to be blissful. During the wedding planning process, some of the enjoyment you feel during the engagement takes a back seat. Not intentionally, but usually there are more task to complete than what is initially intended to make your special day successful. So enjoy the engagement process. Your spouse will thank you later.
  2. Do Your Research- It is important to complete research on setting a wedding date and the wedding planning process. In doing this, you will be able to identify areas that need more time, and provide you and your spouse with a general outline in what works for you. But you have to be willing to put in the work. Research can be completed by: getting information from others who have completed the wedding process, internet, wedding planning sites, and/or books. Internet sites like, "Zola" and "The Knot" allow you to complete all of your planning and processes in one location. You will surely find a resource which will assist you.
  3. Enjoy the Planning Process- So, I am speaking from experience, sometimes you can bite off more than you can Trying to set a wedding date and planning can be a strenuous process. Everyone is experiencing different phases in life. What you may have been able to complete last year, may not be realistic for you this year. Speak up and ask for assistance. If it is in your budget, allow people who have experience and expertise in certain areas to help. The planning process is not as seamless as you may think. You want the process to be as enjoyable as possible. 
  4. Allow Yourself Enough Time to Plan- Time is of the essence, and many people get in over their head when enough time is not given to set a date and plan a wedding appropriately. There are many factors to consider when planning. A few are: location, distance from the venue for guest and wedding party, number of people in your wedding party, and number of guest attending your wedding. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has given us a little assistance in this area. Wedding party numbers have been small and intimate due to this pandemic.
  5. Choosing Your Wedding Party- Here are a few things to consider when choosing your wedding party. Your wedding party size and home location of the people in your wedding is a huge factor for your special occasion. Travel, accessibility, and wedding party participants budgets need to be considered. This can indirectly push back the wedding date and/or increase the wedding cost. It depends on how desperately you want certain persons in attendance and your cash flow. It is important to be financially honest in this area to stay on budget. Also remember, Covid-19 has impacted people who normally would be OK to assist in your nuptials. Keep realistic expectations for your union. There are many non-financial ways people can contribute to your wedding. 
  6. Variables in the Planning Process- So this information is for my type A personality Nothing is concrete in picking a wedding date and completing the wedding planning process. So rest assure, some flexibility is needed. Check off list are great as a guide, but many things can effect and change your completion list. Some examples include: weather, change in final guest list count, sickness, and etc. Please know these variations are not all inclusive, but are examples of some moving parts that may occur. So relax, and know this is a form of normalcy.
  7. Settling On a Date- When setting a wedding date consider the season, time of day, location, travel and holiday requirements. What is the season you and your spouse would like to marry? When picking a location consider traffic and accessibility. How are flights around the time of year you want to tie the knot? Is it during a holiday season when many people will be shelling out a lot of cash and travel expenses are high? Ultimately, the date chosen for your special day is up to you and your spouse? Although these are questions to keep in mind, remember whatever date you set for your special occasion should ultimately work for your union.
  8. Set a Budget- This can be a fickle area. We know every girl has a dream wedding in mind. But think, is your dream wedding worth starting your marriage in debt. That is not a blissful beginning. Know your max budget, and stick with it. Also, know there are many areas you can cut back on in cost and still have a swanky wedding. Why not save coins? This is where research and a little DIY may come in handy. 
Remember, the end goal is for you to enjoy your wedding nuptials with your spouse and prepare for a long lasting life together. Know you will be surrounded by family and friends who will love and cherish your union. Even if the wedding day doesn't go smoothly, you have now joined union with the spouse of your dreams.You and your mate will enjoy the wedding planning experience and your union even more. Good luck! You got this😉!

* These 8 tips on setting a wedding date and starting the planning process is not all-inclusive. Rather it is information to get you thinking through the process. What guidelines did you use to plan for your big day, and how did it work for you? Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below.  As always, thanks for reading and subscribing! *

Monday, October 19, 2020

Life: Counseling and Support Groups in Minority Cultures

Let us discuss a topic which is is not spoken about in many cultures. Let us speak about counseling and support groups in the minority culture. For the sake of this blog, I will be focusing on the black community. I know I may receive a lot of flack for this one! During the current climate we live in, I feel this is a topic which needs addressing. 

Why is counseling in the black community taboo? Why does any form of counseling have a negative connotation? Do not get me wrong, we have come a long way, but have a long way to go when seeking outside assistance. "On average, White Americans are two times more likely to go to counseling than their African American counterparts (Carouthers, Zacchaeus. There's a Stigma with Counseling in the African-American Community. January 30th, 2014 (18 October 2020).

Pathway Clip Art

What is your opinion on support groups? Are they OK? In our culture, these topics are not spoken of very freely and are shunned. Many conversations are lacking in this area for fear of being labeled as weak, crazy, or having the inability to cope with life. The funny thing is, although there is a current stigma with counseling and support groups in the black community, there has always been some type of support within our culture. They take on the form of barber shops, beauty shops, coaches, pastors, and/or family members. 

So why is seeking assistance outside of our community looked down upon? I believe this thought process stems from history and has never evolved completely. In past history, the inner circle was the only assistance available for the black community. Currently, group support and counseling availability reaches far beyond the walls of our community. Furthermore, assistance can be beneficial in coping with life changes, trauma, and individual growth. Lets explore the difference between the two types of assistance.

  1. Counseling- Is defined as the provision of assistance and guidance in resolving personal, social, or psychological problems and difficulties ("counseling." Oxford Languages, 2020. (18 October 2020)). Counseling may include:
    1. One-on-one sessions- This is a good option if you have an issue speaking openly in a group setting.
    2. Temporary assistance compared to long term therapy- You will receive guidance for a short duration and your sessions will be completed.
    3. Goal setting and providing tools to achieve these goals- Goals will assist you in the problem solving aspect of life changes, trauma, and/or individual areas needing growth.
    4. Provides an objective view of areas needing assistance- Outside counseling provides privacy and gives an objective view of area needing improvement.
    5. Usually a counselor is an expert in the area you are seeking assistance-You are given a piece of mind knowing they have experience in the area you are seeking guidance.
  2. A Support Group- Is defined as a group of people with common experiences or concerns who provide each other with encouragement, comfort and advice ("support group." Oxford Languages, 2020. (18 October 2020)). A support group may include:
    1. Multiple people in 1 session- Also can be completed in one-on-one sessions.
    2. Temporary or long term support- Usually a support group is always present. Number of meetings to attend are not solidified. You may attend when support is needed.
    3. Does not encompass goal setting- Life experiences are exchanged. Also, comfort and advise may be given. Sometimes goals are given as a group, but usually goals are set per individual based on individual needs.
    4. Experiences may be similar to other attendees- Usually there are different levels of experience present in a support group. This allows the group to share on different levels of the healing process. This is not a definite set-up for a support group.
    5. A Support group may not be managed by an expert- Usually the group is managed by someone who has experience in the area of focus.

Any assistance you choose, counseling and/or a support group will result in growth. If any form of assistance results in growth, why the negative stigma? Why is an individual viewed as weak, crazy, or unable to handle daily life when seeking assistance outside the minority culture? Why do we prefer to struggle rather than seek help? In actuality the opposite is true. It takes real courage to be vulnerable and say you need assistance. Whether this assistance is for life changes, trauma, and/or individual growth. There are many private forums available, including telephonic and via web if you do not want to be seen seeking assistance. 

The reality is, speaking openly on personal issues, indirectly gives others support, hope, and the strength to speak out . Also, being vocal may prevent generational cycles from being repeated in our culture. How can a cycle be broken, if the next generation does not know what needs to be changed? Being vocal doesn't make you weak, it may earn you more respect for speaking out on an issue, and you may realize you have more in common with someone than what you thought. 

How do we make it OK to speak about counseling or needed support groups in our culture? We can let individuals know they are not alone, and it is OK to be verbal. This can be done by actions and speaking freely about feeling. If you are not use to speaking freely, this will not just happen over night. It takes practice and an open mind. Also, when individuals do have the courage to reach out, do not shun them and let them know its OK to be vocal. If you are uncomfortable in the area of topic, point them in the correct direction of assistance in the area needed. We do not always need to have the answers, but should know some supportive resources. Usually work, insurance carriers, local churches, and hospitals have free information on support groups and counseling. Also, the internet is a very useful search tool to find counseling and support groups. 

As a community the negative stigma of seeking help needs to be broken. The negative labeling of individuals speaking out needs to cease. This can be achieved by our community by working together as a whole. Be vocal and project positivity on counseling and support groups everywhere. Remember, it took a lot of courage for the individual to ask for assistance. If change occurs one person at a time, it will be a start. Let a positive change start with you!

*The information above is on counseling and support groups. The information provided is not all inclusive, but a starting point. Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading and subscribing!*

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Life: Banana Blueberry Pancakes ( from scratch)

Who does not like pancakes? There are many variations of this breakfast item. The possibilities are endless. The breakfast item we are going to be working on today is my favorite. Banana blueberry pancakes from scratch. Although they don't taste like grandma's pancakes, they are pretty good. Lets get started!

  1. Here are the items you will need to gather to complete this recipe. They are:
    1. 2 cups of all purpose flower 
    2. 4 teaspoons of baking powder
    3. 1 teaspoon of salt
    4. (optional) 1 tablespoon of white sugar 
    5. 1.5 cup of unsweetened almond milk
    6. 2 eggs
    7. 4 table spoons of  melted butter
    8. 2 fresh bananas ( I prefer soft and semi ripened)
    9. 1 cup of fresh blueberries
    10.  and a cinnamon stick (cinnamon spice will work too)
  2. A few thing to remember when mixing ingredients togetherMix dry ingredients together in one bowl, then mix wet ingredients together in another bowl and combine the two. If this is not done, mixing is made difficult. Also, I find spices and flavors are not distributed equally. Now that you know this little tid-bit, we are ready to start the recipe😊!
  3. First- Mix together in a large bowl (dry ingredient bowl) flour, baking powder, salt, (optional-sugar), and cinnamon. This can be done by sifting and/or using a hand mixer.
  4. Second- In a separate bowl (wet ingredient bowl) blend unsweetened almond milk, 2 eggs, 4 table spoons of melted butter, 2 fresh bananas and hold the blueberries on the side (optional to blend with wet bowl). The reason sugar is optional, if using ripened bananas this will automatically sweeten the batter. Adjust sugar amount to your taste buds.
  5. Next- Mix your wet and dry bowls together. Make a well in the center of your dry bowl and pour in your wet bowl mixture. Mix until batter is smooth.
  6. Then- Heat a lightly oiled frying pan on medium heat. I do not use butter in this process because I add it afterwards and it makes it optional for others. Pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of batter in the center. Use this measurement for each pancake. Brown pancake on one side. As your batter is up facing you on the  non-browned side, sprinkle in fresh blueberries. Then flip to brown blueberry side. This step prevents the blueberries from turning the pancakes blue. If you do not mind blue pancakes, you may mix in the blueberries with the wet ingredients and omit this part of the process.
  7. (Optional)As pancakes come out of the frying pan hot, apply melted butter on top. Make sure to spread butter evenly. As you add each pancake repeat the process. Slice up 1 extra banana. Spread sliced bananas and fresh blueberries on top of each serving. Toppings are endless for this pancake dish. 
  8. FinallyAdd syrup of your liking. Each individuals amount and brand may very. Voila, you have completed your banana, blueberry pancakes!

*What is your favorite pancake recipe? Just a reminder, the banana blueberry pancake recipe is not a quick one, but becomes easier to make over time with practice. Just a quick note for those with dietary restrictions, this recipe is not low carb, low fat, or high fiber. But modifications can be made to achieve those dietary restrictions. Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading and subscribing!*

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Life: Love, Life, & Work Balance!

How many individuals place happiness before their career? How many people think they would never walk down the isle? Many healthcare professionals are career focused, and believe marriage is not an option. Many working females feel they have to choose between work and life, or at least keep them separate in order to achieve work success. Many healthcare professionals work endless overtime hours to ensure other peoples love-ones are healthy. Love and life are placed on the back burner in this career field. The current pandemic makes us realize the importance of the balance between love, life and work. Here are 5 helpful tools to keep love, life, and work balanced. They are as follows:

  1. Figure out what is important to you- In balancing love, live, and work you should pick which one has the highest importance to you. An example would be: An employee who is more focused on a new born and home life. This would fall in the life category.  Doesn't mean the individual devalues work, but extra hours are not allowed at this time. Does this mean this person is a less stellar employee than the next? No, their balance has shifted on what is the most important out of the 3 areas.
  2. Be mindful of what is important to others- Get to know fellow coworkers. I'm not saying be nosy, but figure out what is important to them. Not only can their skills be used in the area of importance, it will decrease the chance you ask them to do something in an area that isn't their focal point. You might be surprised of individuals strength and focus areas (love, life, & work)!
  3. Know your limits- Some people have a happy medium and will be successful in balancing all three areas (love, live, & work). These individuals are rare😃! Know your limits and try not to take on too much responsibility. Make sure you communicate your limits. Lack of communication and too much responsibility will cause failure in all 3 areas. Setting limits does not make you less valuable.
  4. Find happiness in everything you do- Happiness is a state of mind. But it makes balancing appear more achievable. Why not enjoy the process? It is normal to shift importance of categories throughout life. As shifting occur, being stressed and uncomfortable is normal. But you will be an expert in the new category of focus in no time. Just remember to limit your goals to set yourself up for success.
  5. Mark small achievements- I have mentioned this in a prior blog, achieving small goals make you feel you can accomplish bigger ones. An example in this area is shifting from one area of importance to another. The life area was important prior because your children were school age. Now they are in college and your balance focus switches to the work and love areas. Transition can appear unachievable. Reward yourself for the small achievements accomplished in the new areas of focus. Before you know it, you have accomplished a big goal in the new area.

*These are 5 tools you can use to assist in the balance of love, life and work. How do you balance these categories? Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading and subscribing!*

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Life: Quick Salmon-Shrimp Recipe!

 Who doesn't like fish and shrimp? There are a plethora of ways to make fish. No wonder it's the go to dish in our house. Being full of nutrients is an added bonus! I want to share with you an easy salmon-shrimp recipe you can complete in 5 steps. The recipe is as follows: 

  1. First: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.While oven is heating, take out a whole piece of fresh salmon with skin, and defrosted fresh shrimp. Cut Salmon into 1/4 sections after cleaning. During this time, clean defrosted shrimp.
  2. SecondCoat medium size baking pain with olive oil, and black pepper. Place sectioned salmon in pan, skin side down. Add additional spices of your choice on top of salmon. My spices of choice are lemon juice, and a Mrs. Dash lemon/garlic spice blend.
  3. Third: While waiting for the oven to heat, slightly saute shrimp on stove stop. Use olive oil on low heat as the base. Add minced garlic during this process. This process should take 5 to 10 minutes. Place saute shrimp on top of fish in baking pan.
  4. Fourth: The oven should be ready to go. Cover pan with foil and baked fish for 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Fifth (Optional): Make avocado chive dip. For this sauce you will need 1/4 cup of sour cream, a 1/2 cup of melted chive cream cheese, and 1/4 cup of frozen avocado chunks. Blended all 3 of these ingredients together. You may adjust these 3 ingredients to your liking. 

* The end result is a delicious salmon-shrimp dish! Meal takes 35 to 40 minutes to complete. The second day the leftover shrimp was used to make a salad. Please share some of your quick-go-to recipes in the comment box below. You can subscribe via e-mail in the column on the right. As always, thank you for reading, sharing, and subscribing😊.*

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Love: Fun Date Night Rules!

How do you plan your date night?  Although everyone is spending a lot of quality time together, date night is still important. Date night allows for a connection which can be lost in day-to-day activities. Why not make date night exciting with some rules. Shake things up a little, with some out of the box thinking. Weather you are in relationship, and/or just spending family time together, here are a few fun rules to use. 4 date night rules to try are:

  1. Explore-Try new things that neither one of you have done. This will allow each participant to see how each respond outside of their comfort zone. Unity will indirectly be promoted by requiring all participants to work together to accomplish a common goal.
  2. Alternate the leader- Each gathering or date night, alternate the leader. Alternation allows each participant control at a given time, and allows other participants to see the other responses in a different role. Also, Indirectly pressure is not placed on one person to always lead. 
  3. Learn something unique- Learn something new about each other. This is indirectly done with alternating the leader. Also, this can be achieved by asking questions about the date night. What did you like the best? What was your least favorite part?  Would you like to repeat the activity and/or try something different? Remember, the goal is to have fun and learn something new about each other.
  4. Have fun and enjoy quality time- This is the ultimate rule. Date night is suppose to be pleasurable and fun! Sometimes doing things outside of your comfort zone can be unnerving. But nothing matches spending quality time with someone you love 😉!

* These rules are simple but fun, and may lead to exciting date nights! The rules are not set in stone and may be changed to suit your quality time experience. Try a set of rules for several months and then change them up. Most of all have FUN and enjoy the time spent together! As always, thank you for reading. Please leave a comment in the comment box below, and subscribe via e-mail in the right column.*

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Life: Getting Back to Normal

What does getting back to normal mean to you? Everyone's definition of normal differs. What's normal for one person, may make another person feel out of place. "Getting back to normal" can encompass many areas in life. For the sake of this blog our normal category will be health. I am going to give you 5 techniques you can use when you feel out of sorts. Here is to getting your Chi back😉! The techniques are as follows:

  1. Give Yourself Time- Weather we know it or not, people are use to routine. When your routine is thrown off, it takes time to get back in a rhythm. Give yourself a realistic time frame to return to "normal". Everyone's time frame is different. A good example is: It takes Jane 4 months to return to running 3 miles a day after surgery. Jill had the same surgery, and it takes her 6 months to return to running 3 miles a day. Same end goal, but different time frame to achieve.
  2. Set a Plan- Writing down a plan is a great idea. A plan allows you to see if you are on track to reach what is normal for you (end goal), or if you need more time. It is ok if your plan or time frame changes to reach your end goal.
  3. Make Small Task- Making small task to achieve your end goal can be rewarding. As you complete each task you feel like something was accomplished. Indirectly, you are encouraging yourself to complete the next step of your plan.
  4. Setting Goals- Setting goals is encompassed in your plan. Your goals should have a range: immediate, intermediate and long. All your goals are connected. Completing a small goal(s) helps you complete your immediate goal(s). Completing your immediate goal(s) assists in your intermediate goal(s) completion. Intermediate completion, gets your long goal accomplished. An example would be: immediate goal- walking today, intermediate goal- walking 3 times this week, and long goal-walking 3 times a week consistently over the next 3 months. 
  5. Set Limits- In setting limits, this allows you to be realistic in what you are trying to accomplish. You will not try to run a marathon by the end of the 1st week of your "get back to normal". You need to set realistic limits. Getting back in routine is no different! It takes practice and hard work. An example of limit setting is: I will not try to run 3 miles, 3 times a week in the first month. This can be a goal for the 2nd or 3rd month.  Setting limits allows you to be realistic and not set yourself up for failure.

*What I like about these techniques, they are useful for getting back into a routine, or obtaining a new goal. How do you get back to normal? Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading and subscribing!*

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Love: How does your love relationship look?

Everyone is looking for love, and it comes in many forms. Whether its through friendship, family, and/or a committed relationship, everyone is in need of belonging. It is human nature to want to be loved, and have an emotional connection to another human being. Many people say love is hard to describe. Also, love is hard work! Whatever your definition of love is, you have to be willing to work to keep your definition alive. Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to find out what type of love is right for you.

  1. What is your definition of love?- You can ask 5 different people what love is? Everyone's definition of love will be different. So how can someone tell you what type of love works for you? As you grow, your love needs may change, and that is OK. What is your definition of love is a key question? You cannot expect someone to know what your love definition is, if you do not know it yourself. 
  2. What do you need to get out of your love relationship?- Weather your love needs are a friendship, family, and/or a committed relationship, an evaluation is needed to know your own expectations. Once you know your own expectations, it will be easier to communicate your expectations to others.
  3. What is your deal breaker?- Many people have actions they will not tolerate in a relationship.  These actions are know as, "deal breakers". Usually a "deal breaker" is based on past experiences. Many love relationships split because these "deal breakers" are committed, and no communication about what they are were made. 
  4. How do you communicate your love needs?- As crazy as this sounds, a huge elaborate production is not needed. What works for one person, may not work for another. Verbally stating your needs is not a crime. If stating your needs is a problem, then maybe the love relationship is not the correct fit. Also, as you grow as an individual, your love needs may change. Continue to communicate your needs as you grow.
  5. What effort are you willing to put into your definition of love?- Everyone has a different amount of energy they are willing to put into a relationship. But before you bail on any type of love relationship ask yourself: Have you defined your definition of love? Have you answered what do you need to get out of your type of love relationship? Have you defined your deal breakers? Have you communicated your love needs? Only then will you know if the love relationship is worth keeping. Remember, this is a decision only you can make!

* How does your love relationship look? Please share in the comment box below, and subscribe via e-mail in the right column. Thanks in advance for reading and sharing.*

Friday, September 4, 2020

Life: Being a Patient- But I Work in Healthcare!

As difficult as it may be, many people enjoy working in the healthcare industry. It is not for the faint of heart. Individuals are very vulnerable during this time, and need the most assistance. So how do healthcare workers view an industry when they are on the other side? How do they cope with being a patient? Here are 5 techniques to ease the process of being a patient. They are as follows:

  1. Be honest about your symptoms- As healthcare workers, we feel we can work through anything. Our patients care come first. If you can manage symptoms with over the counter products, then you are OK. Being open and honest about all your symptoms, allow healthcare providers to treat you holistically.
  2. Make your needs known- Many healthcare professionals feel, stating they need assistance makes them appear weak. For some reason, being vulnerable makes healthcare workers feel job inadequacy. But, what better way to a speedy recovery, than vulnerability. Although uncomfortable, a speedy recovery will assist you in getting back to helping others in need.
  3. Clarifying information- Everyone assumes, "a healthcare worker, is a healthcare worker, is a healthcare worker". There are so many specializations in healthcare, you may be missing out on information. Although you are in healthcare, having your healthcare provider speak to you as if you are not in the healthcare field may be useful. In doing this, important information is not missed.
  4. Listen- Listening is a key component. Information in healthcare changes on a continuum. The continuous changes allow for improvement in patient care. No matter how experienced you are in an area in healthcare, you can always learn something new. So be open minded.
  5. Be the patient- Yes, I am saying this loud and clear, "BE THE PATIENT". This is the most difficult technique to do, but most beneficial. In healthcare you are taught to perform complete care. Attempting the same technique on ourselves is stressful and time consuming. It is OK to allow others to do their job. Allowing others to do their job, may alleviate some personal stress and allow you time to focus on healing. Yes I know, this last technique is easier spoken and is difficult to perform.

* How do you ease the process of being a patient, while working in healthcare? Please share in the comment box below, and subscribe via e-mail in the right column. Thanks in advance for reading and sharing*

Monday, August 31, 2020

Life: Quick Instant Pot Meal- Meatball, Chicken Soup with Bacon

Who doesn't like a quick Instant Pot meal😉? The Meatball, Chicken Soup with Bacon is a quick meal to prepare. Weather you are under the weather, a working mom, or just need to save time. The meals in the Instant Pot are quick and nourishing for the long shifts in healthcare. The quick recipe for the soup is as follows:

  • First place a small bag of frozen chicken strips, and a small bag of frozen meatballs of your choice in the Instant Pot. Use 3 cups of low sodium chicken broth as your base liquid. Touch the soup button and time for 30 minutes. Completing this step first allows the chicken broth to absorb into the meat.
  • When the fist step is complete, open the Instant Pot per manufacture's instructions. Next add fresh spinach, fresh minced garlic, frozen peppers and onions, bacon bits, another cup of low sodium chicken broth, and some spices of your choice to the pot. Adding the vegetables at the end, keeps the veggies a little crisp. Close the Instant Pot and touch the soup button. Cook for another 15-20 minutes.
  • Voila, you are done😊! Last top with Gouda shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole and fresh chives. Toppings may be modified to your liking!

* Soup may be modified to your taste, and diet requirements. Also, please use Instant Pot per manufacturer's instructions. For more delicious quick recipes, please subscribe via email in the column on the Right. As always, thank you for reading and subscribing. Please share your quick soup recipe in the comment section below.*

Sunday, August 16, 2020

LIFE: Quick Pork Steak Recipe:-)!

Life is about trying new things. One of my favorite things to do is experiment with food. The Covid-19 pandemic is the perfect time to try a new recipe. Weather you are working during this time or at home,  "2 for 1 meals" may save you time. Here is a recipe that takes less than 1 hour. Lets get started! The main part of this meal is going to be pork steak. The completed dish is: Seasoned pork steak, waxed beans with spinach, cornbread, and a sour cream and chives dipping sauce.
2 versions of completed dish

Pork Steak- cookedWax beans & Spinach

  1. Pork Steak- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place olive oil,  minced garlic, a dash of vinegar, thyme, and minced onion on the bottom of the pan. Place the defrosted strips of pork steak on top of the seasoning. Add a hint of the thyme on top. Cover the dish with foil and cook for 1 hour (Slow cooking and covering the meat allows the seasonings to be absorbed, and the meat to remain moist and tender).
  2. Wax Beans- While the pork steak is cooking, sauté the spinach and waxed beans in a pan. For this part, you may use fresh and/or frozen vegetables. Use olive oil or grape seed oil in the bottom of the pan. Make sure the vegetables are defrosted, and are sautéing on low to moderate heat (Cooking on low to moderate heat keeps the vegetables form over cooking and becoming mushy). Add fresh herbs for taste.
  3. Dipping Sauce- For the sauce, you will need a half cup of sour cream, half cup of melted chive cream cheese, and chive seasoning. You may adjust these measurements to your taste buds! Melt chive cream cheese, and mix all 3 contents together.
  4. Cornbread- For the sake of time, cornbread was a box mix. Please follow instructions as written on cornbread box mix of your choice.

*The end product is the dish stated above. Meal took 56 minutes to complete, from prep to finish. Seasonings and measurements can be adjusted to suit your taste buds. Its all in the fun of cooking😊. Second day, left over pork steak was used to make a quick salad😉! Please, share some of your quick-go-to recipes in the comment box below. If you like this post, please subscribe via e-mail on the right. Thanks in advance.*

Saturday, August 1, 2020

LIFE: Prayer in the Work Place

Prayer in the work place. Why was there a stigma prior to Covid-19? Now you can see people praying everywhere: weather its church, work, and/or social media. Prayer gives people a sense of balance, hope, a feeling of a connection, and a belief in a higher power . If prayer has all these qualities, why did there have to be a life altering event to make prayer acceptable in public? No matter your religion, prayer brings many peace and tranquility, and its validity should never be questioned. Never be afraid of the god in you! Here is an easy "work place prayer" to help you start your day.

A Work Place Prayer

Lord we come to you as humble as we know how. 
Wanting to thank you for life, health, safety, and the ability to help others.
Lord allow us to be on one accord, to help us provide the best care to others who cannot help themselves. 
Assist us in always showing each other compassion and grace. 
As we go throughout our workday day, guide the skill(s) you have provided us.
Let our skill(s) be a blessing to others. 
In Jesus name,

* How do you feel about prayer in the work place? Please share a workplace prayer that you find helpful in the comment box below, and subscribe via e-mail on the right column. Thanks in advance for reading and sharing.*

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

BUTTERFLIES: Change and Growth

Often we get comfortable in one spot in life. Why not? You perfect your craft and sometimes become an expert in your field of study. Weather it's home and/or work, change is needed for growth. Unfortunately, most of the population loves a routine. Why? For many, growth is an uncomfortable process. Then why do we get bored, feel stagnant, and hesitate to go into a change process? What's nice is everyone experiences growth at their own pace. Here are 4 helpful tools to help you get through a growth process. They are as follows:

  1. Take your time- No one says you have to make a transition over night. Take your time with transitioning. 
  2. Allow yourself to make mistakes- Mistakes means you are trying. Most people do not accomplish their goal on the first attempt. Not accomplishing your goal on the first attempt doesn't make you a failure.
  3. Write down the main goal you are trying to accomplish- This will help you organize your steps and see where you are in the growth process. You can determine how comfortable you are completing the current step. Are you ready for the next step? You may not be, so complete each step at a pace that is right for you.
  4. Reward yourself for every step completed- This step is very important. For every mini-step you complete reward yourself. The reward doesn't have to be big. The reward can be as small as getting a fingernail polish change. You will feel a since of accomplishment, and it will encourage you to go on to the next step. 

* These are a few goals I find useful. Let me know what tools you use to go through a growth process. Please share in the comment box below, and subscribe via e-mail to the right column. Thanks in advance for reading and sharing*

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

DIY: How do you prepare for a DIY project?

People engage in DIY(do it yourself) projects for many reasons. Some people do it as a stress reliever.  Many say it helps them express their creative side. DIY projects are used as a bonding tool to bring people of similar interest together. But I am thinking, what is the thought process that goes into a DIY project? How does one prepare? Here are 5 steps I found useful to prepare for a DIY project.

  1. Find an item you want to change (ex: a chair, a wall, a pair of curtains)- Start small if it's you first project and build up to bigger ones.
  2. Get inspiration from items and places around you (ex: magazines, the internet, local stores).
  3. Decide on how you want the item to make you feel- Color and texture give you a different feel to your surroundings.
  4. Obtain materials needed for the project of your choice.
  5. Have fun and go at it!-If the DIY project you are doing doesn't excite you, then try a different project. Don't give up, you will find the right project for you!
* How do you prepare to DIY? If you like this post please comment in the comment section below, and subscribe via e-mail on the right. Thanks in advance!*

Thursday, July 16, 2020

BUTTERFLIES: Bucket list and Goals!

Do you believe a bucket list and/or goals are important for growth? Weather you call it one or the other,  your focus is kept on the prize. Although exploring these 2 areas may take you out of your comfort zone, but achieving either one feels rewarding and is down right gratifying! Sometimes, completing goals one by one gives you the realization you can achieve anything. Accomplishing small goals make you feel you can achieve goals you thought were unobtainable. Since this pandemic is allowing us time to self-reflect, why not make a new bucket for 2021! A few ideas to go on your bucket list are:

  1. Learn a new skill- A few examples of new skills are: learning how to sew, learning a new recipe and/or learning a new language. Any one of these are sure to provide gratification upon completion, and can be useful in the future.
  2. Complete a DIY project you never would have attempted- Of course this is my favorite! Not only do you get to complete an awesome project, you obtain new skills along the way while completing this goal.

  3. Read a whole book series- How many of us have a list of books to read and/or CEU's (continuing education credits) to complete and never get around to it? This pandemic is a great time to complete this goal and expand your knowledge base.
  4. Do something which takes you totally out of your comfort zone-Weather this is public speaking, getting over your fear of heights, or getting over your fear of animals. Completing something you never thought you could, may allow you to gain new confidence you didn't know you had.

*Of course this list is not all-inclusive but are a few suggestions to get you started. Please share one of your goals you have achieved off of your bucket list in the comments below. If you like this post please subscribe via email in the column on the right. You will receive notification of future post. Thanks in advance!*

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

LIFE: Friendship/Family Circle of Positivity

Do you have a friendship/family circle of positivity? In order to achieve your goal(s) in life, you need to be around positive people who will push you to be your best. As you evolve and grow, your circle may change based on your needs. For many change is looked at as a negative concept. Although uncomfortable for many, change in the circle is needed in order for growth to occur. Here are 5 attributes to look for in a positive circle. They are as follows:

  1. People who give guidance without demeaning others- These are individuals who can encourage you without making you feel bad about your failures. And weather you realize it or not, their influence goes well beyond the moment (Leslie Becker, Phelps, PHD. Retrieved July 8th, 2020 from
  2. Individuals who supports you- These are people who supports each others goal(s), although their personal goal(s) may be different.
  3. Persons who lends a helping hand- These individuals assist others without needing a reward.
  4. A circle which gives others a sense of belonging- Every individual is unique in their own way. Each person in the circle provides a sense of belonging, even with differences.
  5.  People who tie it all together- "These are people in your circle who have a huge impact on your success. They want to ensure strong unity and professional working relationships to create great things for everyone involved. Success attracts success, and they strive to make everyone around them that much better, while asking them to do the same" (Matt Machacek. Retrieved July 8th, 2020 from I couldn't have said it better!
    My positive circle makes me glow like this! Plus a little ;-)!
* These attributes are not all inclusive, and some people posses more than one attribute. That is what makes every friendship/family circle of positivity unique! What is your favorite attribute of the circle? You are welcomed to add a positive attribute to the list in the comment section below. Thank you for reading! Please subscribe to the e-mail section on your right to receive notification of new post. Thanks in advance:-)!*

Sunday, July 5, 2020

LIFE: Happiness in healthcare! Is it possible?

Are you the healthcare provider who tries to make sure your patient receives the best possible care? You thrive on the satisfaction of knowing you did your best job during that 12 hour shift , which usually turns into 14! You may be wondering, if happiness is even possible in healthcare? Especially during this Covid-19 pandemic. With all the rules in place for safety for Covid-19, other avenues are being explored to apply great healthcare. Here are a few strategies to ensure happy nurses, and happy patients. They are as follow:

Food Appreciation:-)!
Food Appreciation:-)!

  1. Use alternate ways to communicate- There is a plethora of technology that allows alternate ways to communicate with a patient(ex: call light, phone, and IPAD). With Covid-19 being very prevalent, using an alternate form of communication with your patient will make the patient feel valuable. Also, it will assist the healthcare provider in feeling they are giving adequate care.
  2. Set up a regular communication schedule- This can be a very valuable tool. Weather you are setting up personal time to chat with each patient, and/or just completing a regular round. This tool indirectly builds trust between the healthcare provider and patient. The patient views those particular times as being just for them. Also, this strategy applies to healthcare employees. Healthcare workers need regular check-ins with a superior to reinforce a job well done.
  3. Make the patient feel they are the only one that matter- Don't appear hurried as a healthcare provider. This can backfire on you. Have you ever spent 20 minutes with a patient, but the patient feels as if you didn't spend anytime with them due to the fact they felt you were distracted. Weather its 5 or 20 minutes, give the patient your undivided attention. To them 5 minutes feel like a life time, if they are the center of your world. As a healthcare worker, this same one on one attention is needed. Five minutes with a supervisor can make the employee feel superb at their job, and reinforces trust.
  4. Make time for yourself during the shift- I know this is difficult, but it can be done. As a healthcare provider your regrouping time is important! If you set up times for your patients, your 30 min break should be achievable. If you are having difficulties achieving this goal, it is OK to ask for assistance to take a break. You are no good to a patient if your emotional fuel is low. You do not get an "F" for the shift because you need assistance to have a break. Again, you are meeting patients at their lowest, so they need you to be your best as a healthcare provider. Who better to take care of a patient than a fully recharged nurse:-)!

* Of course, these strategies are not all inclusive:-)! Let me know how you achieve happiness in healthcare! Thank you for reading, please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave your comments below (comments may be left anonymously).*

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

LIFE: Death-Coping in Healthcare

As a healthcare worker, we deal with life and death on a daily basis. Some areas in healthcare deal with death more than others. There is a misconception that healthcare workers do not grieve. We should be use to it, because we see it frequently. That statement cannot be further from the truth. My question to you is, how do you cope with loss? Here are 5 coping mechanisms that can assist you with dealing with death:

  1. Be Vocal About Your Needs- Not everyone deals with death the same. It is OK to be vocal about your needs. Weather it's a 15min break to regroup, and/or backup to provide the dying patient adequate care during the dying process.
  2. Have An Outlet- Speaking to a counselor, senior nurse, and/or love on a regular basis may be a good idea. You never get use to death, but receiving pointer from someone more experienced in this area may assist you in the coping process. It is OK to speak up and say you are uncomfortable.
  3. Have a ZEN Place- A ZEN place is your little get-a-way place to reflect. This solution does not have to be expensive. Weather this is a She-shed, a special room in the house, and/or a getaway place to reflect(Ex: Hiking). This will surely allow you to regroup and deal with your feelings.
  4.  Make Your Healing Unique To You- Each nurse and dying experience is unique. There is not one grand solution to coping with the dying process. Certain situations are more difficult than others (ex: Unexpected death, suicide, and/or the death of a child). There is no distinct time line for the healing process (Aieda Solomon. Retrieved July, 1, 2020 from Take your time.
  5.  It Is OK To Cry- Yes, I said it! There is a misconception that healthcare workers do not cry and/or grieve. Showing that you are human doesn't make you any less capable of taking care of a patient and/or family member. Crying is a stress reliever and may show that you have empathy.
* These are 5 coping strategies that are useful in healthcare. What are some coping strategies that work for you?*

Thursday, June 25, 2020


What? An engagement during the pandemic? We all know living in a house with others can be challenging! Add a relationship, working in healthcare, and Covid-19 restrictions: You may be headed for disaster. Here are 5 relationship survival tips my fiancé and I use during the pandemic. They are as follows:

Surprise 2020 Pandemic engagement dinner!
  1. Allow each other personal space when needed- During this pandemic we are forced to see each other on a continuous basis. Providing each other with personal space will make the time spent together valuable.
  2. Validate each others feelings- Emotions are at an all time high. Although you cohabitate space, each persons experience through the pandemic is uniquely their own. Validating each others feeling can make cohabitation easier.
  3. Schedule couples time- Continuously seeing each other can take away from couples time. It may devalue quality time spent together. Continue to schedule couples time during the pandemic (ex: A movie, a new recipe, a game, and/or DIYing together:-)). Blocking off time for each other will surely keep the flames going!
  4. Develop an new normal- Living with Covid-19 is going to be the "new normal". Developing a new daily routine can decrease anxiety and stress in you and your spouse. It will take trial and error to see what works for the both of you.  Be patient and give yourselves grace during this time. You will be happy you did.
  5. Laugh- Whoever said laughter is the best medicine was correct! There are many life changing situations going on during this time. Using memes, funny text and discussions with family/friends can give your mood the positive boost it needs!
Covid-19 engagement!

*What are some of your Covid-19 couple survival tips? Please subscribe via e-mail, and place your comments below.* Thanks in advance!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

BUTTERFLIES: My First Blog- Covid-19 Pandemic

Hello everyone! I hope your day is gong well. Today we are going to have a discussion in the butterfly category. The butterfly category represents metamorphosis and change. What better time to speak of change and growth than during the Covid-19 pandemic. The experiences during this time has been anything but easy. From worries of continuous safety, work, health, and mental well being. To happy moments and continuous growth! You may wonder how people are keeping Here are 10 things that are helpful to get through the pandemic.
They are as follows:

  1.  Mental Health: Weather you are speaking to your spouse on a daily basis or using professional counseling: these 2 choices are great resources.
  2. Religion: I know religion can be a sensitive topic. Everything happens for a reason and there is a life lesson in every experience. What ever your religion is, believing in a higher power can assist you with getting through the pandemic.
  3. Face-timing with friends and family: This is a great way to feel socially connected, while keeping a social distance. 
  4. Self-Care: From trying out new beauty products with your spouse, making a new recipe, and/or a hot bubble bath. Your stress level will surely decrease!
  5. Accepting feelings during constant time of change: Accepting your feelings during this time is crucial. It is quite OK, not to feel like yourself. 
  6. Physical well being: Physical activity during social isolation is needed. The internet has a plethora of information on working out at home. Also, hiking in your local area is always a good option.
  7. DIYing: Not only is DIYing physical, it gets you out of your own head space. It's a 2 for one. You can make it a 3 for 1 by speak on the phone while completing a project!
  8. Asking for assistance: It is quite OK to ask for assistance. Especially with everything going on with the pandemic. Asking for help doesn't devalue you as a person.
  9. Speaking with your spouse regularly: Talking about your feelings with your spouse on a regular basis, decreases stress build-up. Other sources of release are: speaking with friends, and keeping a journal.
  10. Knowing your limits: It is OK to say NO! It doesn't devalue you as a person.

*What has been helping you get through this pandemic? Please post your comment in the comment section below, and subscribe via e-mail in the right column. As always, thanks for reading and subscribing!*