Friday, October 24, 2014

Icelandic vs. Greek Yogurt

     I have loved Greek yogurt since it became popular a few years ago. It has more protein, less sugar, and definitely tastes better than regular, runny yogurt in my opinion. My NEWEST discovery, however, is icelandic yogurt. It is very similar to Greek yogurt, but is a little bit thicker, with less sugar, and more protein per container (at least for the vanilla flavor, which is my favorite). The brand I like is called Siggi's, and unlike many of the Greek varieties out there, there are no artificial sweeteners used in the flavored varieties. Instead, agave nectar (a low glycemic natural sweetener) is used. So, if you are a Greek yogurt lover, you may want to give icelandic yogurt a try.






Thursday, October 16, 2014

Baby Style!

      When I found out that Charlotte was a girl, I could not wait to dress her. I am a girly-girl and knew that my child's wardrobe would involve lots of pink, lots of frills, and many bows. Whether she will hate me for it later.....that's another story.
      A lot of people have been asking me where I buy Charlotte's clothes, so I wanted to share my favorite places to shop for her and my favorite brands.

1.) Headbands/Bows: I buy ALMOST all of Charlotte's headbands on Etsy......I went to the site and googled "baby headbands," and then proceeded to spend hours going through the thousands upon thousands of headbands from different shops on the site. There are so many unique choices and colors available, but the best part, is that if you have a particular design or idea in mind, or if you have a picture of a specific outfit and you want a headband/bow to match, many of the shop owners will work with you to create and then make your vision.

 

2.) Layette: I got my layette at a store called Lester's. They have a few locations (Long Island, Brooklyn, and NYC), and have the biggest selection of onesies, stretchies, baby towels, burp cloths, baby sweaters, baby blankets, and anything and everything that goes into a layette that I have seen. I picked mine out with my mom and grandma, and we went into a few other stores before agreeing that this was definitely the place. Additionally, the people who helped us there were so sweet and really took the time to help us pick out everything we needed (and explain why we needed half of the things that were completely foreign to us lol).


3.) Brands: I already have a few favorite brands that I love to dress Charlotte in. They include: Miniclasix (my #1), Kate Mack, Baby Biscotti, and even Baby Gap. I also love the onesies/stretchies from Little Me, Absorba, and Heartstrings. Make sure to use a promo code when you are ordering stuff from Baby Gap (you can get up to 40% off)!

  

4.) Car Seat Cover: I was a little late on this one, and Charlotte went without a carseat cover for the first three months of her life. I didn't know where to get one, I didn't even know they existed. When one of my friends said that she was surprised that Charlotte did not have a girly car seat cover, I first googled to see what they were, and then proceeded to buy one on Etsy immediately! Again, they have so many varieties. 

All I can say, is that this child has more clothing and personalized items (chairs, shirts, stools, etc.) than she will ever need. Which clearly means we need to have a another daughter and name her Charlotte too!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Update

      Sorry for the long delay between posts, but this has been a VERY overwhelming and busy summer. Adjusting to anesthesia was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I had just figured out how to be a functioning surgery intern, and before I could blink I was in another situation where I was uncomfortable and brand new. Anesthesia is so completely different than surgery, that I basically felt like I was starting over as a clueless intern again. I think that all of the people who had to do a preliminary year in another specialty (shout-out to my dermatology, radiology, neurology, ophthalmology, radiation oncology, and PM & R, friends) can relate. Anyway, more about anesthesia later.
      On another note, little miss Charlotte Elizabeth is nine months old. I really cannot believe it. She is babbling, and crawling, and has a real personality. I seriously do not even know where the time went. I am so excited for her to talk soon and hear what she has to say. Although, I do not think that "Mama," will be her first word, because sometimes she babbles the word "Dada." We haven't counted it as her first word yet, because she is not saying it to acknowledge Matt, it is just part of her baby talk. She has three tiny teeth, and is eating some table food. She tried her first matzo ball on Rosh Hashanah (she was obviously a fan). She is taking 3 classes as well-a music class, Mom's and Tots (my mother fills in for me- I don't know what I would do without her), and another class at a great place called Kidville (they have many locations). My mom was not a big fan of the little gym classes she tried a few times, because Charlotte is only crawling and cannot do a lot of the activities. By the way- my friend from college texted me yesterday morning while I was at work, and informed me that Chelsea Clinton also named her baby girl Charlotte. I guess she copied me lol. I actually do know her, because we were in the same MPH program at Columbia, and took a bunch of classes together. She is a great girl (even though I have not stayed in touch), and I wish her a big congratulations! Love the name.
      Another reason this summer has been so difficult, is that my beloved grandmother, Grandma D passed away. She was 91, but still very sharp and high- functioning. She was in the hospital with a GI infection that we didn't know the source of, but we thought she was getting better. I really did not expect her to die, and am really heartbroken. Even though she lived in Florida, I adored my Grandma D. She was generous, sweet, warm, and loving. She was the epitome of a jewish grandmother, minus the guilt. She never made me feel bad about not visiting her more than I did (maybe because 4/7 of her grandchildren are doctors and she understood our schedules). She always said "I am here, you will come and spend time whenever you can." When Charlotte was born I really wanted to fly down to Florida to see her, so she could meet my baby, but the pediatrician did not want her to fly when she was so young, and I went back to work very quickly. Thankfully, she was finally able to meet Charlotte (one of her 9 great grandchildren) when she was old enough fly. I also flew down to Florida for 24 hours to see her the weekend before she passed away (not knowing that she was going to). I am so grateful that I was able to do that, and I hope that Charlotte inherits as many of her attributes as possible.
    SO that was my busy summer......I was never able to go to the beach, or do all of those summery things I thought I would do with all of my (imagined) free time after intern year. Clearly, I was delusional about that. I still leave at the crack of dawn before the sun comes up, and work 13-24 hours a day. I also do 24 hour calls this year, which I did not have last year (interns are technically only allowed to work 16 hours straight). Luckily, I had no call for the first few months, so I had the weekends off, since the weekends are always overnight calls. Having that time off was a novelty after working every single weekend last year.  Unfortunately, I had a huge test on anesthesia to study for, which took up most of my weekend time. Oh well.  I think it is time to accept the fact that my fantasy of free time will not really come true for another few years until I am done with residency.



Grandma D and Charlotte

Monday, July 28, 2014

LookBook # 2

      I am so glad that everybody loved the LookBook Store. I just wanted to share one more outfit that I love that my friend actually purchased at a different boutique on Long Island for double the price. I have become so obsessed with checking The LookBook Store on a daily basis, because they are constantly adding new inventory.




Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Lookbook Store

      I am very excited to let everyone in on a little secret. The secret is called The LookBook Store. A few months ago my mom and I headed to a boutique on Long Island, and found all of these cute, affordable clothes! We were so excited, until I came across the same clothing from the The LookBook Store (after reading about it on Andee Layne's blog The Honeybee) for about half the price. So, I thought I would continue to spread the word, and enlighten everybody about the best kept secret in affordable (good quality) fashion: The LookBook Store. I promise after shopping there, you will thank me.

Here is a little dress from The LookBook Store that I wore to a BBQ at my parent's house over the weekend:


It is always fun NOT to wear scrubs on my day off!









Monday, July 14, 2014

Fourth of July in Newport!

      We had the best fourth of July weekend in Newport, RI. Matt and I have been there three times now (he took me there as a surprise for our one year anniversary), and we love it. It is not only historic, but it is beautiful. My parents had a wedding there on Saturday night (which was apparently one of the nicest weddings ever) at Rosecliff Mansion, and we decided to tag along for the ride.
     We stayed at the Hotel Viking, which is a beautiful, historic hotel, on one of the main roads, and the perfect walking distance to the restaurants and shops on the water. In the past, we have stayed at a very cute bed and breakfast, which I highly recommend, called The Black Duck Inn. Unfortunately, they will not allow you to stay there with children younger than 8 years old, which is why we stayed elsewhere this time.


     We arrived on Saturday morning and walked around the town with my parents. Then, we had lunch at a restaurant on the water called The Mooring. My parents and Matt all had the lobster roll croissant, and I had the fish tacos, which I loved. They were even nice enough to puree some carrots for Charlotte's lunch when we realized that we accidentally brought extra apples instead of her lunchtime vegetable.


     After lunch we walked around the town, stopping in different antique shops and art stores. We also found Kilwins, the best chocolate/candy/ice cream shop ever. They had so much to choose from, I was really torn between ice cream and a chocolate covered twinkie. In the end, I ended up with a delicious vanilla ice cream soda. Then, we took Charlotte into the pool at the hotel. The jury is out about how she felt about it, she didn't love or hate it. I think she may have just been hungry for bottle, because we were approaching the 3 hour mark, and I was hesitant to give it to her before she went in the water. Charlotte was sleepy after that, and my parents headed to the wedding, so we cancelled our dinner reservation in town and just ate at the hotel, which was actually really good. I had lobster with vegetables over spaghetti squash and Matt had ahi tuna. 



     The next morning we went to brunch at 41 North and ate on the deck. The outside area and views of the water are so incredible, I highly highly recommend it. The food was pretty good too. My parents went to the wedding brunch at the Castle Hill Inn, and they said it was amazing (both the hotel and the food) and that we HAVE to go there the next time we come to Newport. We skipped touring the mansions this time, which is a MUST if you have not done it in the past. They are so impressive, and I love hearing the history (especially the Breakers!). 




      I hope all of you had a very special fourth of July. Mine was a celebration that I was not reliving one of the worst nights of my life when I was covering trauma nights in the Bronx as an intern last year. There were so many stabbings and gunshot wounds I did not know what to do with myself all night. Literally- I had to go to every trauma while also being paged off the hook by the nurses about the patients on the floor, and actually ending up scrubbing into a surgery in the OR. This year, I was not on trauma nights (poor intern who was, my heart goes out to you), and I had the best time.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Benefit "They're Real" Pushup Gel Liner Review

      I was extremely excited and anxious to try this eyeliner after I read about it in a magazine a few months ago. I love gel eyeliner but it is really hard for me to put on, and it takes a long time for me to do with the brush. Way too long for me to do before work (btw on anesthesia I wear makeup to work and try to look like a human being-it has been 1 week so we will see how long it lasts). I always end up grabbing the liquid liner which is so much quicker. So......when I read about this waterproof, lash-hugging, gel liner, the very first liner to come in a pen formation, I had to buy it the first day it was available.
      Unfortunately, I am pretty disappointed. I really thought that this was going to be my go-to eyeliner in the morning. I wanted so badly to love it. To start, I had to twist and twist to get the gel out of the top, but then it came flooding, and I had to wipe off most of it with a paper towel. The first time I applied it, it did not go on smoothly as promised, but it made a ridged line. I kept having to add more and more which resulted in a thick black line across my eyelid (and looked terrible, especially since this promised to hug my lashes). As I was adding more and more, the gel then got flaky and began to crumble into my eye. This also happened the next day when I tried it again. Not good. Maybe I need more practice and this is a user error, but at this point I am very very sad and disappointed. A good concept, but not a win for Benefit Cosmetics.




Sunday, July 6, 2014

2 Step Healthy Vegetable Quinoa Salad

     I have not eaten well or exercised in an entire year. I have not cooked at all. That is okay, and I knew that would be the case during my intern year. I told myself at the beginning of the year that I was not going to attempt to do those things and set myself up for failure.
     Thankfully, my intern year is over and I now have time to cook! Granted, I have only had anesthesia orientation so far, but I have already been told that anesthesiologists (even residents) get 30 minutes to eat lunch. Now that is a welcome change. I made a pact with myself that I will  bring a healthy lunch for myself everyday as I am going to try to be healthier this year and eat less processed food. Coming home at 8 pm and eating a frozen dinner before I fall asleep is a thing of the past. That said, even though I am going to be eating healthier, I still have zero patience for long drawn out recipes or spending a lot of time in the kitchen. So with that I bring you my new favorite lunch recipe.......(I don't even have the patience to cook quinoa myself lol).




Amanda's Healthy Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: Whole Food's Frozen Organic Quinoa With Vegetables (it has zucchini and sweet potato in it) OR any type of frozen bag (they make a great one at Trader Joe's too)
+
Crumbled Feta Cheese


Directions:
1.) Weigh out one serving of the frozen quinoa with vegetables and place in microwave for 1.5 minutes
2.) Place in to go container and top with 1 serving crumbled feta cheese.


Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 210 calories
Fat: 6 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 11 grams



To add healthy fat you can add 1/2- 1 TBS of olive or coconut oil if you wish. That will increase the calories by 60-120 depending on how much you put. It is delicious either way in my opinion.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Satisfaction

      Remember when I told you that I was supposed to work the day after I had Charlotte? Well, in the delivery room I called the head of the residency program (after I had seen her, of course), and told her that "sorry, baby came early so I won't be at work tomorrow," and I was told that I needed to find myself coverage for the next day? Now THREE, yes THREE of the categorical surgery residents (people who are actually going into surgery, unlike me who was doing a required year of preliminary surgery before anesthesia) are pregnant.
      I am really happy for all of them because Charlotte is the best thing that has ever happened to me, but I can't help but feel a little satisfied as well. Everyone made a very big deal when I told them I was pregnant. They were nice about it, but many people were sure to point out that nobody (nobody!) in the surgery residency at this hospital had ever had a baby. I think I started a trend. Ha ha ha. I wonder if they will make each of them find themselves coverage if their babies come early, and/or make them come back to work a week later.





Sunday, June 29, 2014

Intern Year..........Check

      I am done. Done with surgery. Done with intern year. It is honestly a little anti-climatic. I left work on Friday as if it were a normal day and I was going back to that hospital ( I will be doing the anesthesia portion of my residency at a different one) and going back to surgery as if I were off for the weekend or something.
      I honestly can't believe I made it through the year. I was not expecting to do surgery instead of medicine, and I was terrified when I started. It was honestly just as hard as I thought it would be. This has been without a doubt the hardest year of my life (but the BEST because of little baby girl Charlotte). Throughout the year when I saw a "Help Wanted" sign at a place like Starbucks, I honestly gave quitting medicine and working there some serious thought. Having Charlotte at home made going to work every day 100x harder.
      I am so grateful to the people who have supported me throughout the year. I never ever could have finished without the help from Matt (aka the best husband on the planet), my amazing parents, my brothers, and my friends, especially my best friend Ellyn. I love you all. Thank you. I know you will all support me and be just as understanding as I start anesthesia (which will be better for EVERYONE.....I promise).









Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Charlotte is a TV Star!!!

       My little girl is already a star. She was chosen to be on fox news to help demonstrate baby equipment. I randomly sent her pictures into a casting call, knowing that I was not off from work and could not take her on the day of the segment. I thought she had a very small chance of being chosen (not due to any lack of cuteness), primarily because  I was sure that there were hundreds of applicants. I was extremely (and pleasantly) surprised when I received the news that she was chosen!
      At first I thought that we would have to turn the opportunity down, or I would have to have my mother take her by herself, because Matt had to work and so did I. However, the other resident on my service was nice enough to let me take his overnight shift on Sunday, so I could leave after rounds to take her to be on the segment on Monday morning.
      The experience was so much fun! Charlotte was the youngest baby there, and she was chosen to sit in the Rock a Roo, a special baby chair. She has the Mamaroo, another similar chair by the same company, so she was used to sitting in that type of chair. I was a little bit nervous that she would cry, which she only does when she is tired or hungry (sorry, she really is an angel, likely because my mom takes such amazing care of her). When you put her to sleep or feed her, she stops right away, but I was unsure how to coordinate the timing with her naps/bottles without throwing her completely off schedule. I tried to feed her a bottle right before we went into the green room, but she kept refusing.
     When we arrived in the green room and I was setting her up in the chair, Elizabeth Hasselback came over and introduced herself and shook my hand. I didn't even realize who she was until after the fact because a) I never have time to watch the news in the am so I did not know she was on fox and not the View anymore, and b) I was so busy paying attention to Charlotte in the chair. She was super friendly and nice during our limited interaction. She is so so beautiful in person!
      Thankfully, Charlotte did great and did not cry at all. Only one of the babies did, so they had to pull his mother on the set with him during the segment. He refused to sit in the high chair he was supposed to be demonstrating. Charlotte was very busy and interested in looking at the other babies, which I think means she needs a little socializing with other children her own age. I can't wait to sign her up for some classes (music, little gym, etc) as soon as July hits and I have more time. All in all, it was such a fun experience (my mom came too), and we will forever be able to tell Charlotte that she was a little tv star at 5 months old.

For your viewing pleasure:




Tuesday, May 20, 2014

You've Got to Go Through Hell Before You Get to Heaven

       "You know you've got to go through hell before you get to heaven," a line from a song by the Steve Miller Band,  has always been one of my all-time favorite quotes. It was my motto to get me through everything that was difficult- my pre-med classes, medical school, and certainly during this year as a surgical intern. BUT- this has been the hardest year of my life, and I am pretty much at the end of the line. I am ready for heaven. Anesthesia better be it, or I quit (kidding).
      One of the biggest reasons that this year has been so incredibly hard, is that it is really really painful to work your ass off for 14+ hours a day, 6 days a week in a specialty that is not your own. Which, in my case, is surgery (the toughest of all of the specialties in general). I know that I am not the only person forced to do this, and that residents going into other fields where they, too, have to complete a preliminary year (people going into radiology, radiation oncology, dermatology, neurology, ophthalmology, etc) can feel my pain.
      I don't even remember what anesthesia is like, or why I chose it in the first place, as it has been so long since I have been exposed to it. However, talking to other anesthesia residents certainly makes me look forward to it. To quote some of them,

     "Anesthesia is going to feel like a vacation to you after your surgery year- a trip to Palm Beach."

     " Finally starting anesthesia after a year on surgery, is like a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day." (I promise I did not make that up, it came straight from a resident's mouth lol).

     On the brightest side, my baby girl is an angel. She is the best baby in the world (sorry to brag, but it is true). She sleeps through the night, only cries when she is hungry or tired (and when she is she goes right to sleep if you put her in her crib), and smiles non-stop. She is a delight, and I am so lucky to have her, and so so lucky that my mother watches her (with the nanny) while I am at work. This way, I know that she is getting the best care possible, and that I do not have to worry about her all day. Unfortunately, the fact that she is such a doll can only mean one thing- my next child is going to be a TERROR.
     The countdown is ON- less than two months left of my surgical intern year, and then heaven will begin (I hope). What I have heard so far about starting anesthesia, is that it is hard because you are starting all over again. After becoming a good, efficient intern, you are unfortunately downgraded to lost puppy status in the matter of one day (the new year for residents begins on July 1st). So, as of June 30th, I am still an intern, but on July 1st, I am officially an anesthesia resident aka pgy-2 (post-graduate year 2) aka CA-1 (clinical anesthesia year 1. HOWEVER, I will have no call for the first 3 months, which means I will have every weekend off, which is a radical and welcome change from never ever having a full weekend off. Additionally,  I will get out of work no later than 5 pm on the days where I am not on call. No more 5:30 am-8:30 pm days, SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!
     I promise to update this blog on a more regular basis as soon as I am blessed with all of this extra free time. There are so many things I have been meaning to write about, both random things, as well as my experiences from this year. In the meantime, I am finishing my seventh, yes SEVENTH, week of nights in a row, and I will do the best I can until heaven/lemonade/palm beach/anesthesia begins.
                                  Have a great week!!!!