Seaside Traditions

The morning began, NOT with a shake….

The morning began with…. drum roll, please… Blood Work!!!

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on the road

Yeah, not exactly how one wants to begin the day, let alone the new week, but a fasting work up is a fasting work up… Dad and I both had so routine labs drawn, and rewarded ourselves by grabbing coffee, hitting the road, and basking in the tradition that IS Jimmy’s Breakfast!

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Delicious!

A side order of scrapple was shared. Everything this place has is spectacular. Its classic diner food, but the tradition and memories of Jimmy’s really put me in my glory. Pancakes, huge belgian waffles, yummy omelettes… and you have to get the scrapple. Its tradition.

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getting messy

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Dave, the owner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ordered an egg over medium, stole half of dads scrapple and a slice of rye toast (from his Western omelette platter) to create an open faced sandwich. Dave, the owner even brought us out two slices of his new Trenton pork roll to try! Haha! (I’ve never had pork roll before…I’m still a scrapple girl.)

Once we finished our last cups of coffee, we hit the boardwalk. Today, I had a short list of things I needed to bring home, and a long list of things to do with dad. I have been so excited about this day, I’ve been planning it since last week. Dad and I usually, only get to the shore about once a year. I’ve been really lucky that I’ve been here almost once a week, the past three weeks!

Just like eating breakfast at Jimmy’s, daddy and I have boardwalk traditions:

Shoot the Geek

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Air Hockey (I let dad win. Yeah… let him win…)

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Mini gulf/Putput (its actually on a roof!) (I got my first hole in one!)

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sausage, peppers, and onions from Midway (I got one for Barry, today)
The shooting gallery

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Stopping at The Red and Green Tops on the way home (they are side-of-the-road produce stands) (where theres aisles of Jersey tomatoes!)

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The ferris wheel…

Thats a special tradition. It began with my poppop. Every summer, since I can remember, he took me on the ferris wheel. Our ferris wheel was huge and had the caged seats. I would look forward to riding the ferris wheel with him every year, look down at my parents and wave, as if I was the expectionally special child that got to spend time just with my poppop.

The ferris wheel, as my dad was less able to handle the turning, spinning rides that make you regret eating that caramel apple 20 minutes earlier, he and I would ride and I’d ride again with my grandpa. After poppop died in 2005, just looking at the ferris wheel choked me up.

Unfortunately, that was another tradition Sandy took from me… from many…

A special thing that happened, today, was going to Spicy Cantina with my dad. Ever since I was a kid, my family would go her and grab a drink and maybe a bite. Its a pretty happening place on the boardwalk and, today, I was finally able to sit at the bar and have a drink with my dad! I got a diet coke with Mango Cruzan. I totally recommend this combo! It was refreshing and summery!

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I also stole some bites of dad’s lunch, buffalo chicken white pizza from the Sawmill. MMMM… that pizza is just so good! The cheese is so creamy and smooth! And its freaking huge! To help with the humid day, a bit of Kohrs Bros. Orange Cream, with rainbow jimmies! For the rarity that I get to have these treats, its worth the money and a few bites!

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WP_003181Year after year, dad and I drive past this sign for Johnson’s Corner Market and Bakery advertising Iced Corn. What the heck is iced corn? Detour! We finally got to see what the hype was about. We pulled up to this cute lot full of tractors, and green houses, and a colorful barn-like building. As we walked into the building, we were smacked in the face with an incredible scent of baked goods! The first thing I saw was a cabinet of chocolate covered pretzels. I’ve never seen such a variety of chocolate covered pretzels! Then, my inner cookie monster sense kicked in and my eyes wondered to the next case. These were the biggest snickerdoodles I had ever seen!

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We continued to wander the store, looking at the local products and store made dips and items. I had to do a double-take at the cooler. Blueberry salsa?? I can’t be reading that right. Entirely too intrigued, I grabbed a small container, for my blueberry-fiend of a boyfriend. The check out clerk raved about it, so when we got home, dad and I snuck a bite. I don’t know if I would get it again, though, but it was unique. Not bad, though. (Iced corn, by the way… its not like a dessert, its just corn, literally on ice…. like to keep chilled…)

Oh and we were on a serious winning streak at Lucky Leo’s!

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Yay for an awesome Daddy-Daughter Date Day!

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Blind Dates

Have you ever been on a blind date? Last night was my first.

Blind dates are nerve-racking. There’s all these unknowns and unwritten rules. Then you try to figure out what to wear. Its like a job interview. Nothing provocative, not too conservative. Do you have a drink with them? If things work out, do you kiss this person you just met?

And then there’s the whole Facebook thing. To friend request or not friend request? How soon is too soon to text this person?

Clearly, I am not a dating guru.

Maybe its just me being paranoid.

For the sake of the blog, I googled “blind date dos and don’ts” and tons of pages came up!

Etiquette 101

Surviving the Blind Date

Top Rules for Blind Dating

I’m just glad my girlfriend set this up and was there to help out this new experience.

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We met at a bar called 1984, which is kind of an arcade bar. I was kicking some Ms Pacman butt! The bathroom was plastered with Michael J. Fox wall paper!

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A little after the band started, we headed to Applebees for continued fun and late night appetizer specials.

By the way, things went great and we have plans for another date! He walked me to my car and after I got in and saw he had walked away, I screamed like a little gitty girl!

I woke up this morning, still happy with the way things went last night.

I made myself a nice breakfast to get today started. A waffle-wich!

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Kashi Belgium waffle, egg whites, and turkey sausage

Drizzled with a bit a sugar free syrup! Yummy and filling!

I planned on spending the entire morning finishing up some projects due this week, when Frank asked me if i was busy. ” I’m writing a paper. Why?” I took Frank to the hospital. It seemed like fluid overload related to his congestive heart failure.

I felt bad that I could not stay with him, like I usually do, but nursing school doesn’t care about the unexpected.

I headed off to work for a relatively uneventful shift. I was seeing red, though. It may sound like a silly thing to be frustrated over, but someone ate my dinner! I keep a couple frozen meals at work, labeled with my name. I brought steamed broccoli to have with my Lean cuisine. Well,when I went to get it… its not there! For someone with an eating disorder, who plans her meals, this is a big deal!

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Luckily, I had eaten well today, and had spare calories. I keep an emergency protein bar (Blueberry Pomegranate Zone Bar) in my locker, so that, along with the steamed broccoli and an applesauce I jacked from the unit fridge. Not exactly what I had in mind for a Sunday night dinner…

A Sucker for Staying Power

I spent the night at dads last night. When I am over, I like to make sure we eat breakfast together before he heads off to work. While brewing a pot of coffee, I played around in the kitchen and created a breakfast pizza! Its not your typical breakfast pizza that you would get at a deli, but its very similar.

A couple weeks back, I discovered 80 calorie, low carb, low fat Everything wraps by Tumaro. I thought this would be a nice incorporation with breakfast since it reminded me of an everything bagel. I sprayed a large skillet with non still cooking spray and laid the wrap over medium high heat. Meanwhile, chop up your choice of toppings. Today, we had peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. Combine 1 egg with 1/4 cup of egg whites, or egg substitute. When the wrap has started toasting, remove from the pan. Spray the skillet again and lay the wrap, uncooked side down. Pour the eggs over top, sprinkle toppings and seasonings, reduce heat to medium low and cover. While the eggs are solidifying, I cut up a slice of Borden’s fat free PepperJack cheese,  and scattered that over top the egg.

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Keep the eggs covered until cooked completely through. We are hot sauce and egg people in the Bundo house, so that was the final touch. Slide the fully cooked pizza out of the pan, slice and enjoy! I didn’t have an appetite for hours!

Can you tell dad was really digging it?

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After dad left for work, I met up with my other dad, my stepdad, and we headed to the Farmer’s Market. I like going here for a couple reasons:

  • cheap! (lots of good stuff, for low prices)
  • ridiculously scrumptious pizza (Mama Gina’s is the best!)
  • Amish market (need I say more?)
  • produce (yum!)
  • puppies (theres a pet store and groomers in the  market, I just want to take them all home!)

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Its also just a nice way to spend an hour or two out of the house.

On the way home, I stopped by the grocery store to see if I could grab some fruit cups. I didn’t find my fruit cups, but what I did find was a new bar to try!

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I’ve really been on a malted milk ball kick, so when I came across Kashi’s Go Lean Dipped Chocolate Malt Crisp bar, I had to indulge! Oh my gosh! Love it! Its like candy! This whole bar has the same ammount of calories as a serving of Whoppers, but with less fat, less sugar, and more protein that actually fills you up, makes you feel satisfied, and has some serious staying power! I wasn’t hungry again until close to2 am at work!

I got to work early tonight to meet a friend at the Oncology Prom. Every year my hospital host Prom for the Oncology kids. I friend of mine is a former patient and invited to come! They really go all out for these kids! They serve dinner, theres a DJ, everyone looks beautiful! Last year, David Akers was the guest. This year, it was Miss Teen Delaware. After a couple dances, I helped clean up and headed to work. (Did I mention that I woke up at 5pm and could not fall back asleep today!?)

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Like most meals at work, this one had to be microwaved. It was another Lean Cuisine (I think I prefer Lean Cuisine over Smart Ones): Grilled Chicken Ceasar. But wait! Thats a salad, not a frozen meal! What I liked about this meal, was the light,  cheesey sauce and the broccoli! The ceasar sauce was not rich, like many cream gravies. I added some chopped frozen asparagus to the mix for a variation in texture. It worked out quite nicely. I finished the meal with a small, refreshing navel orange.

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During dinner, I saw one of the nurses, Kris, make a face and grab her belly. “Are you okay?” Guess what? She was having contractions! I’ve delivered babies, but its pretty cool seeing someone who belly you watched grow, start having contractions!

I was pulled to another 1:1 on my night shift. I usually dread night shift 1:1 because I’m terrified that I’ll fall asleep. This one was different. This patient shared a very similar background with me. We got to talking. While my patient sleep, I drew a picture about the true meaning of “beauty”, and wrote a note on the back. Ironically, this patient drew a picture of me and wrote a note on the back. Great minds think alike. We shared our email addresses. They say to be careful what information you share with your patients, but I find that sometimes, in order to deliver your best care, you need to bend this rule a bit. Sharing a similar story with your patient, makes them trust you. Its like give and take: they share, you share, they share even more. Anyway, I love making connections with my patient’s and trying to be there for them, not just when I am on the clock. I’m glad I met this patient.

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(My patient is obviously much more artistically inclined than I am.)

Geoff Colvin, Billie Jean King, and Tandoori Oven

This morning began with being woken up by a Telemarketer at 545am pacific time… I guess since my number is from the east coast it was 845 there. I laid in bed trying to fall back asleep with no luck.

My roommate and I decided to get up and get breakfast. When deciding what to wear today, I popped on my yoga pants, these particular pants, don’t like to stay up when I run. And they are at a super awkward length, so they’re nit quite pants, but not quite campris. I hiked up my pant legs, liked the look and whipped out my travel sewing kit. Using the tiny travel scissors, I cut off the pant legs and voila!

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Who needs pants when you can have Bermuda shorts?

With today’s events beginning so early, I took advantage of the free breakfast buffet. I wound up going back multiple times grabbing small played of things for a well rounded and very filling breakfast. I made a mini parfait using oatmeal, strawberry yogurt, mixed dried fruit with a bit of granola. They had one skillet with half a croissant topped with an egg, mushroom, spinach, and muenster cheese. Julie would have loved this! I grabbed this for the veggies and muenster, one if my favorite cheeses, but I wish it had more vegetables. I went back for fruit a bunch! You know I can’t resist a fruit salad!

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The buffet ranged from fresh fruit to yogurt and cottage cheese, to oatmeal and fix-ins, a variety of pastries and breads, eggs, potatoes, waffles and French toast. They also provided a ton of refreshments like juices, milks, water, teas, coffees, and to my surprise, tomato juice.

After giving a holla at the parents on the east coast, I headed to my first forum of the day. I decided on “Building an Officer Team.” Working in a magnet hospitals, there are many organizations to belong to and I figured this would be useful in leading a team, using appropriate delegation,and finding each members strengths. I took alot if notes and I was happy to realize that we, on my unit, are utilizing some of these team building exercises discussed in this forum.

Following this forum, I went to the 2nd General Session to hear Geoff Colvin speak on great performance. I began to connect his speech not just to the global economy and sports but to myself, my goals. For instance, running is something, despite playing basketball for years, has never been a strength it something I even enjoyed. As I set off on my initial weight loss plan, a began walking, then incline walking, then interval running… Now I,m training for a 5K. He says this is due to deliberate practice.

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The 3rd General Session’s speaker was Billie Jean King! She was so engaging and full of life! She was motivating, inspiring, made me proud to have the courage to speak my mind, and thankful for innovators and motivators like her! At the end of her speech, she brought out a crate full of tennis balls that she had signed. The music cued, Philadelphia Freedom by Sir Elton John, and she began hitting the balls out into the audience! (Fun Fact: Elton John wrote that song for her).

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My friends finally flew into San Jose and I met up with them for dinner around 7pm. We headed towards Tandoori Oven, and Indian restaurant.

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We kicked it buffet style, each of us picking a meal and then sharing it with the table. We also decided to try some Indian beer. I’m not a big fan of beer, but it was something to try (plus, Kristin and I really like spicy food, and the beer helped to cut it down a bit).

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The table shared the following:

  • Angry Tandoori Chicken

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  • Chicken Tikka Masala

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  • Saag Lamb

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  • Curry Fish

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  • Chicken Korma and Matter Paneer

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The Angry Tandoori Chicken breast was so perfectly seasoned! The Lamb Saag was so tender, with a great flavor! What I was super impressed with, however was the Matter Paneer.

Summertime Blues

One of my absolute favorite things about the summer is the fresh produce, and among this produce, Blueberries.

Oddly enough, I love blueberry everything, but I’m not a huge fan of blueberries, straight up. Blueberries are considered  a super fruit so I love incorporating them into things like blueberry muffins, blueberry banana shakes, cottage cheese, and don’t even get me started on the blueberry preserves my girlfriend brings me back from Bar Harbor! Wowza!

Some Blueberry bars that have made it into my tummy include:

Atkins Blueberry Almond Baked Square

I’m a big fan of tasty and filling snacks with so few calories and carbs! This square has real blueberries and chunks of almonds in every bite! The added drizzle of icing on top is just the sweet tip to tie to square together!

BelVita Blueberry Biscuits

I was always skeptical of the BelVita line. I mean, could they really be that filling? Would this really hold me over? I decided to give it a try after seeing them on sale at the 7-Eleven. I got the Blueberry flavor and, boy, was sure wrong! I was amazed at how much blueberry was in the breakfast biscuits. Not only are their blueberry pieces  the flavor radiates throughout the crackers. They are more like cookies, actually. And, hey, who doesn’t like cookies for breakfast?

Clif Bar Blueberry Crisp

I particularly enjoy this bar as morning meal. The blueberries really shine in this bar. Its filling from the organic oats, and powers you with the organic dates and blueberries. As soon as you tear into the package, you get hit with this unbelievable fruity aroma! The whole bar is swirled with blue, so each bite gives you that mildly sweet and chewy satisfaction. I really enjoy this bar and its great on my super busy days!

Check out the Blueberry Cobbler from Gnu Foods!

KIND Blueberry Pecan+ Fiber

Pecans can be a pretty tasteless nut by itself. I enjoy this bar, but I do wish the blueberry shown through a bit more. But, lets be honest.. you know I’ll eat it… hello, Fiber!

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I like the unique flavor the pistachios add to this bar, however, I do wish the fruit would shine through more. But, KIND can never get rid of me. I love them all! The mass amounts of vitamins in this bar helps, too!

WP_001063Larabar’s Blueberry Muffin

I made a note to try this bar twice. I’ll admit, I liked it even better the second time around. There are big pieces of dried blueberries which add texture and tartness, but the flavor is mild enough to not overwhelm your taste buds like some blueberry flavored  items.

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An amazing breakfast! Its crisp like all Lunas but topped with a blueberry puree to give is some sweetness! MMMM One of my favorites!

Vanilla Blueberry Luna Fiber Bar

Speaking of Luna, once you bite into this one, you’ll never look at another baked, fruit filled bar, again. Eat your heart out, Nutri-Grain!