Archive | Health & Happiness RSS feed for this section

A Babymoon+Staycation Combo, Does It Have to Bite Like Zika?

17 Jul


Hi Family, Friends & Blog World!

It has been a while, I knoooow!!

Since finding out we were expecting a little nugget, man how we have been on the move. Literally, we have since moved cross country twice in the past year, made an offer on a house sight unseen in a different state & taken on a renovation project  that is still not complete with T-Minus 2 weeks till Baby Boosh. To say I am a slight disazz may be a bit of an understatement, but YOLO  right!!

Speaking of ‘you only live once’, you may be wondering about my somewhat oxymoron of a blog title. A Staycation + Babymoon combo, SAY WHAT?!?!?

Well moral of the story, this whole Zika virus epidemic has really put a damper on travels not only for expecting moms, but pretty much anybody who may want to conceive in the near-ish future to a tropical paradise (let’s just say I stopped looking at CDC Zika virus updates when I put a kabosh on our Hawaiian Babymoon…& when I say I, what I really mean is my ob/gyn back in CO who laid on a heavy guilt trip & basically told me I was risking the life of my unborn child by going to Hawaii… #EVENaVAYCAYintheUSofA!?!

(Did I also forget to mention that just prior to finding out I was pregnant & before this whole Zika business was even on the radar the hubster & I went on a flashlight-guided bioluminescence tour in a swamp of Puerto Rico… Oh yah, I’m already flippin mom of the year over here and haven’t even given birth yet, ha!)

Soooo circling back around to this staycation /babymoon theoryWhen Zika threatened my last D.I.N.K  oasis getaway (that’s right, Dual Income, No Kids) this girl had to start evaluating her options…that and the whole just moved to Colorado, posted up in a two bedroom apartment, living the ski-bunny lifestyle, no family around…. (but that’s a story for another day =)

 SOLUTION:

Bring the Hawaiian Oasis/ Babymoon dream home = renovate that 23 year-old bathroom we just purchased & make it into our very own everyday getaway. I’m a realist over here people & believe every mom/soon-to-be mom should have her own little escape at home BECAUSE we all  know with a newborn you ain’t leaving the casa for long alone anytime soon !! And no I’m not saying everybody’s solution should  mean a complete bathroom overhaul, I am just saying every mom should have something nice  to enjoy on the regular that does NOT go on a baby registry!

Oh and if Zika truly bit the big one on your babymoon plans, I would still highly recommend you and your baby daddy  fance it up one last time at a nice hotel even if that means in your hometown, D.I.N.K style =) And if you are one of those moms judging me right now and rolling your eyeballs thinking I’m living in La La land over here… well La Ti Da =)

A SPECIAL THANK YOU

TO MY VERY OWN WISE MOMMA OF SIX KIDS

FOR ENCOURAGING ME  TO TAKE ON  WHAT SEEMED LIKE

A KIND OF A CRAZY, NOT  NECESSARILY

 NECESSARY BATHROOM RENO AT 32 WEEKS….

BECAUSE SHE SAID I DESERVED IT, THANKS MOMMA ❤

I AGREE THAT EVERY MOM DOES!!!

Without further ado, a sneak peak into our Staycation Renovation

b1

b2

br 9

b6

b5

br 10

At 38 weeks preggo, stay tuned until next week when I am hoping I can share a big reveal of a Master Bath Retreat while baby boy continues to happily bake until his due date! The pinvestigation continues on whether or not a 32 week reno start date is a good idea or not…

June 31st or BUST!

Kelley B.

Advertisements

Valentine’s Day Special Family Addition <3 !

12 Feb

Hi Family, Friends & Followers =)

 

baby 2

If you haven’t figured out the special addition aspect quite yet,  

click on the pic & take a closer look at those heart candy messages!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Love is in the air and we have a sweet treat to share!! Baby Bouchard is on the way, ETA August 2016!!!   recently moved up to July 2016 !! SUPRISED?!? (no worries, we love fun surprises too 😉

More deets ya say? Can you believe that out of the first 3 pregnancy test I took  I got ONE  yes and TWO questions marks (?). Literally  a QUESTION MARK  SYMBOL popped up twice (why is that even a reasonable option)??  And did I mention this was a fancy, digital  “First Response” preggo test….Has this ever happened to to you?  

Moral of the story, I suppose I should have just followed directions and waited to take the test first pee of the morning… buuuut even though I knew this fun fact, I was on the way to the airport to pick up friends to go skiing & celebrate my friend’s promotion that night with some hottubing and champs!! I felt like I kinda needed to know if a baby was brewing since my plans that night were not conducive for baby baking.

Anywho the next 2 were  positive and therefore I had to come up with a way to keep our secret since we had people planning to visit and ski the next 3 holiday weekends. Now why is the whole ski thing such an issue you may ask??

Skiing  leads to >apres ski (happy  hour) > hot-tubing = not so great for preggos & the nugget

My cover story over the Christmas holiday… explosive diarrhea. Yes you read that right, I told everybody who offered me up an adult beverage that I got salmonella food poisoning a few days prior (therefore I could not drink or eat questionable foods like sushi), had to send in a poop culture, and was taking an antibiotic 4 times a day that can cause liver damage (flagyl my friends). The best part, worked like a charm because NOBODY ever questions an explosive diarrhea poop disease 😉 And you know who your true friends are because everybody still chose to hang out with me even after my  lovely cover up story!

Now that this nugget is a confirmed healthy fetus, I would like to apologize to everybody who had to hear about my fake poop issues (Katie, cousins, fam )

I would also like to note that after the holidays, I gave the poop story up and settled for a more pleasant excuse of “I’m detoxing from alcohol the first month of the year”. That excuse probably only works in January when everybody tolerates everybody else’s ridiculous new years resolutions that most likely fall through by the end of January. Regardless, that one also worked well too =) You may be asking yourself why I did not just say I wasn’t feeling an adult beverage, but lets be realistic people…If you know me, I’m not about to turn down a yummy glass of red wine after a long day of work or champs at brunch unless something is up (liiiike growing a human-being for instance). I work in healthcare  and wine is my RX that keeps me sane =) Since I have had to cut myself off, I have slightly increase my dark chocolate intake to compensate =) =)

The Baby Announcement

How did I tell my Momma?

My mom does not like traveling, detest driving long distances and hates flying. She told me there were only a couple of reasons why she would ever jump on a plane from Texas to Colorado. So as a Christmas present I knew she would hate me buying her a ticket to Colorado, but looooove the news of a new grand-baby on the way (ahem, also a reason to get on a plane to Colorado 😉 ) . So, I whipped up this fake e-ticket, printed it out and sent it her way!! Although it was hard not telling her on the phone before the ticket arrived, the call I received once she figured out her terrible Christmas Present turned out to be the BEST PRESSIE of 2015 was priceless!!

Special Delivery Plane Ticket

Want the FREE PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT PLANE TICKET PRINTABLE?? (just click below and customize)

Baby Announcement FREE PRINTABLE

How did I tell the rest of the Fam?

Well, my creative photography side + MAJOR SWEET TOOTH came into play here. I opted out of the common heart-onesie idea or pair of baby shoes announcement and followed my gut… personalized Necco Valentine’s Day Heart Candy of course ;). What better way to spread the love and share some sweet news than with candy and a  heart-day card?!?  Okay so maybe a bit still cheesy, but festive fo sho!

baby 3

26

25

Fun Fact: As of Valentine’s Day, the doc is telling me that I am 16 weeks and baby B is about the size of an avocado (4 1/2 inches long  and 3 1/2 ounces). So far feeling great, clothes still fit &  don’t even really feel pregnant yet (knock on wood).

I hope everybody has an oh so very Happy  Happy Heart Day!!

Oh & stay tuned to the blog for more Baby B updates in the future!!

>>>Just 4 more weeks until we find out if Baby B is a BOY or GIRL !!

Kelley&Eric<3

 

 

 

 

 

Avocado Chicken Salad> only 4 ingredients!

7 Mar

chicken salad

 

Buenos Dias Blog World!!

I know it has been a while since I’ve posted, but man has this last semester of grad school has been kicking my butt…  Any who, I wanted to share one of my recently discovered recipes that is  quick, easy and a healthy lunch or din din option!! Avocado Chicken Salad without MAYO is legit! I found this recipe on good ole pininterest from the Six Sister’s Stuff blog and definitely have to say this is a pINVESTIGATION success! Of course, I had to add a couple of my favorite goodies to the recipe =)

Ingredients

-2 cups of shredded chicken (I used the pre-cooked rotisserie)

– 1 large avocado (obviously take out the seed)

-1/4 cup diced up cilantro (remove from stalk)

-salt and pepper to taste

OPTIONAL>> I added some purple grape halves & walnuts to the mix =) =)

As you can see pictured above, I ate my avo chicken salad with some Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins  instead of bread from the original recipe=)

Oh and if you have leftovers like I did, the key to storing this yummy treat without the avo turning poopy brown is to place the leftovers in a air-tight mason jar>>> mine stayed nice and green for 5 day =)

Happy Saturday!

Kelley B =)

ps. if you have a similar recipe or one that you think is tastier (or even suggestions on extras I should add), please leave me a link in the comment section =)

 

The 2014 Flu Vaccine: 5+ MythBusters!

2 Oct

flu

Good Morning !

Tis the season of influenza and I wanted to share  my patient’s top reasons on why they don’t believe  in the flu shot. I would also like to cite some sources on why these concerns can be put to rest and if and when there is some truth to the matter.  Now, let’s do a little myth buster action today shall we =)

1) “Oh, I don’t do the flu shot because it always gives me the flu”.

-So, this is just completely false. The viruses contained in the flu shot have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, aka, can in no way cause you to become infected with the flu (Seasonal Flu Shot, 2014).

“Well, the last time I got the shot…. I felt really crappy the next day “

a) Let’s just think about that for a second shall we… now, if the flu shot can’t give you the flu, what might be some other point of contacts where you could pick up some  yucky viruses to make you have some flu like symptoms?!? Perhaps, you might have been sitting in a waiting room,  doctors office or the Walgreens pharmacy area filled with lots of other lovely sickly people and their boogery children coughing, sneezing and wiping their awesome infectious bodily fluids on the chair, door knobs, clipboards ect; how ironic eh?

b) or maybe, you might need to brush up on your hand hygiene skillios. I’m telling you, I work in an E.R where people will sometimes literally cough on me  because they don’t practice the proper method on how to cover their cough and I have yet to miss a day of work due to being sick since I started nursing 4 + years ago.. I think between my immune system being exposed to the gamut of pathogens and my obsessive hand-washing practice, somehow (knock on wood) I don’t get sick very often

c) “The flu shot can cause mild side effects that are sometimes mistaken for flu. For example, people sometimes experience a sore arm where the shot was given. The soreness is often caused by a person’s immune system making protective antibodies in response to being vaccinated. These antibodies are what allow the body to fight against flu. The needle stick may also cause some soreness at the injection site. Rarely, people who get the flu shot have fever, muscle pain, and feelings of discomfort or weakness. If experienced at all, these effects usually last 1-2 days after vaccination and are much less severe than actual flu illness” (Seasonal flu shot, 2014, p.1).

d) see # 4 below

e) if you think there is no way scenario A, B, C or D could have occurred, you may in fact be a hypochondriac or scared of needles  =)

Source:

Seasonal flu shot. (2014). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/flushot.htm

2) “I don’t believe in vaccinations ….”.

I’m just going to go ahead and throw this out there… if you do not believe in vaccinations or vaccinating your children and find the information below regarding vaccination irrelevant, than you should not follow this blog! Seriously, if we do not share the same core goals about healthcare (preventing disease before it occurs, such as with vaccinations) than you will not like anything else I have to say.

a) See what had happend was (lol, this is my favorite intro line to a great E.R story)… In 1998, the infamous  Andrew Wakefield’s (previously Dr. Wakefield–oh yea, his medical license got taken away) got a respectable medical journal, The Lancet, to publish his completely fraudulent “research” study linking  the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to Autism (The Autism Vaccine Hoax [AVH], 2011). During that same time in the U.S, opportunistic parents and lawyers jumped on the band wagon pointing fingers  with Mr wakefield at vaccines  containing a mercury compound called thimerosal because they potentially caused Autism . Why do we care?

Well… for starters the research study was a load of crap and ultimately one of the most devastating medical scares to date.

“By 2004, Britain’s immunization rates had dropped to a low of 80%; the rates have recovered only slightly. The Centers for Disease Control says that in the U.S. 40% of parents have delayed or declined at least one of their children’s shots— (one of the many reasons why I will always have a job). This has led to the needless re-emergence of once-conquered diseases” (AVH, 2011, p.1).

“Measles is now endemic in England and Wales. California recently suffered a whooping cough outbreak that sickened 7,800 people and killed 10 babies =(.  As Paul Offit, the chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and one of the few who stood up against the autism scare, writes in his new book “Deadly Choices,” the victims of this “war on science” are children” ( AVH, 2011, p.1). Too bad nobody ever took that hostess dessert being linked to cancer seriously, we may have cured our current obesity epidemic.

The Autism Vaccine Hoax. (2011). The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704739504576067801877449500

3) “I don’t need the flu shot, I’m as healthy as a horse”

“It’s true that the flu vaccination is routinely recommended for people who have a chronic illness. But anyone — even healthy folks — can benefit from being vaccinated “(Flu resource center, 2014, p.1). Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season (kids less than 2 yrs of age can’t get the shot, but the nasal spray is available). This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the United States to expand protection against the flu to more people (Seasonal flu shot, 2014, p.1). In addition, the flu shot is recommended for healthy people who might spread the virus to others who are particularly susceptible. For this reason, health care workers are routinely advised to get the flu vaccination to protect their patients ” (Flu resource center, 2014, p.1)

source:

“Flu resource center. (2014). Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/10-flu-myths.htm

Seasonal flu shot. (2014). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/flushot.htm

4) “The flu shot isn’t even 100% guarantee, I’ll take my chances”

a) TRUE… the  quadrivalent flu vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.. Meaning although it will protect you against the top 4 strands, if you happen to get a rando one, your S.O.L.

” The vaccine’s effectiveness also can vary depending on who is being vaccinated. At least two factors play an important role in determining the likelihood that flu vaccine will protect a person from flu illness: 1) characteristics of the person being vaccinated (such as their age and health), and 2) the similarity or “match” between the flu viruses the flu vaccine is designed to protect against and the flu viruses spreading in the community. During years when the flu vaccine is not well matched to circulating viruses, it’s possible that no benefit from flu vaccination may be observed. During years when there is a good match between the flu vaccine and circulating viruses, it’s possible to measure substantial benefits from vaccination in terms of preventing flu illness” (How effective is the flu vaccine, 2014, p. 1).

5) “I don’t think I need the flu shot every year”

“The influenza virus changes (mutates) each year. So getting vaccinated each year is important to make sure you have immunity to the strains most likely to cause an outbreak” (Flu resource center, 2014, p.1).

source:

“Flu resource center. (2014). Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/10-flu-myths.htm

Yay for vaccines & preventing disesae!! Got more questions, feel free to comment or check out this website!

Continue reading

Image

Clarks Shoes =Happy Feet: the BEST work shoes EVER!

23 Aug

shoe 8

Happy Saturday Morning Friends!!

I wanted to share with you all my favorite pair of work shoes (brought to my attn by a bff, Daphne–thanks girl! =). Now I know many of us work long hours (eh hem like those 12 hour nursing shifts), are on our feet often (recently walked 22,000 steps per my fuel band in the E.R ),  have back problems (perhaps some hardware going on in your back or just old age) or if you are like me have all three flippin issues…=/ Moral of the story, it is imperative we ladies have comfortable&cute work shoes!!

My favorite brand of work shoes that are easy on the back and don’t look like they just crawled out of your grandma’s closet are Clarks! I currently wear the Esha Haven Ortholite slip-on shoes pictured above in the top right corner. They feel great on my feet and back, are light-weight and look pretty cute  with my favorite black scrubs=) However, if you not really into the nursing slip on/clogs, there are many other styles, patterns and shapes of shoes as you can see pictured above. [They also have men’s shoes too!!]

Also, if you are a nurse and currently wear Dansko or Sanita which I find both to be terrible heavy and loosely fitted, I would at least try on a pair of Clarks to feel the difference. My Clarks have gel souls which is one of my favorite parts=)

Lastly, Clarks has great customer service! My most recent pair of Esha Haven’s that are were just under a year old sadly started coming a part at the seam and when I called up customer service & explained the situation, they immediately shipped me a brand new pair and apologized for the  lemons I received —I didn’t even have to mail in my receipt or shoes for proof of purchase… if you are not satisfied, neither are they! ps. I found that the customer service line on their website wasn’t working, but this one sure did the trick: 1-877-361-7594!

Here’s to Happy Feet !

K.B

5 Things To Consider When Choosing a Photographer+ Montreal Wedding Pics

30 Jul

??????????????????????????????


Good Morning Ladies & Gents!!

The day has finally arrived ….. Our wedding photos are back & I’m ready to share below=) =) YAY!!!  But first, I want to tell you about….

~FIVE SIMPLE THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER~

( or really any photographer for that matter)

1) Communication..now this may seem overtly simply, but communication is key, especially when you are planning a wedding out of the country like I was. There are many different forms of communication such as in person, over the phone, text, email, social media, but the way in which a potential photographer reaches back out to  you matters.. at least it made the world of difference for me.. I will tell you that I filled out at least 10 Canadian photographers questionnaire on the same day, but only one actually called me when all of them asked for my number via their contact page. Now, did the  rest just email back because they didn’t want to pay the long distance fee or did they prefer email because it’s quicker (I don’t know), but the point is my photographer, John Koo @ John Koo Photography, knew it was going to take a phone call to see if we would be right fit for each other.

Now, I know what you might be thinking… “Seriously, it’s not like your are going to marry your photography”, but he was only one of 8 people sharing my wedding day & going to be all up in my face for a good portion of it….sooo it was imperative that we were on the same page and liked what each other had to say.

2) Style of the Photographer: again you might think nowadays anybody with a decent phone and an instagram filter can probably take a good picture, BUT you don’t plan on just having a good wedding… no you want a BADASS wedding with BADASS photos and there is always a certain style your going for. Even though Steven King is a  famous author you obviously aren’t ever going to be reading his next greatest love story, cause that’s just not his style and it would most  likely end up all Shakespeare and tragic.Whether it be traditional, modern, country or perhaps unconventional like myself, your photographer needs to be able to capture what you going for. I suggest looking through their online portfolios, reading about how they describe their own style and see if you feel like their pictures capture what they have described about themselves.

3) Price:  so price of course is always a factor and all I have to say here is that you might not fit into a photographer’s standard “Wedding Package”.  For instance, I did not plan on flying to Montreal to get engagement pictures or bridals taken, and my wedding of 8 including the photographer was not an all day affair. Now let’s just say even if my wedding would have been local, I still wouldn’t of gotten bridal portraits because I never planned on framing just a picture of me in my dress on my wall.. not really my style. So I would just like to point out that price should depend on your needs/wants.  Luckily, my photographer already knew I was rather unique bride after talking on the phone and John was able to tailor a game plan for the big day without breaking the bank. Obviously don’t forget to ask about your rights to the photos,  can they be re-printed or do you have to purchase from the photographer ect–cause ya know Walgreens isn’t going to print any pics with a professional photographers emblem on there…it’s called against the law too… or so they have told me before..whoopsies=/

Oh & with all that being said, at the end of the day.…  don’t cheap out on your photographer! There is no need to break the bank, but don’t choose a photographer just because he is the cheapest!! Unless you get a videographer, those are the only captured moments you have to look back on of your wedding day and you don’t get a do-over … Unless you get re-married and well, that’s much more money and heartache then getting it right the first time 🙂

4) Organization:  so I think my photographer was more stressed out about this than me (cause basically I thought I could pretty much wing the timeline with only 7 people in attendance including Eric and I– I liked to throw out phrases such as 6:30ish for the ceremony), but luckily John got the ball rolling. Apparently somethings a  good photographer should have written down, on file ect. that I never even thought of includes  how long is the travel time from each local (bridal suite, ceremony, reception), how will the bride and groom be traveling (is there room for the photographer to ride if you want pics in the limo ect), is there traffic to be expected around this time, who MUST you have photographed  on the big day to feel like the job was well done (groom and great aunt , 2nd cousin first removed & bride who you may or may not ever get to see again ect) phone numbers of the bridal party including their schedule, how long will it take to get everybody corralled and moved to the next local…craziness right.

Moral of the story, the fact that John had me fill out all these detailed documents made me feel good that at least somebody new what the game plan was suppose to be and that he was taking accountability for it..One less thing I had to worry about =),

5)Timing: this factor is short and sweet.. How long do you have to wait after your photo sesh until you can start filling frames on the wall and sending out customized thank your cards with your sweet pics?!?!? Now, my contract clearly stated this element, but between working full time, going to grad school, doing clinicals for school and planning a wedding, I overlooked the fact that John gave himself a 3 Month cushion to beautify/edit pics… to his credit, I did get married during peak wedding season apparently —-5.10.14 <3— =) Now I’m not really sure what status quo is in this area, but I will say I am very pleased with the outcome and it was well worth the wait! However, if your not down for waiting that long , ya better talk this over beforehand! John did give me a few sneak pics quickly after so that sufficed for the time being

I asked John after the fact and he told me this: “The editing is about 2/3 of the time and shooting is only 1/3. There are different “editing strategies” and some photographers might only edit the top 100 or whatnot, however for me, I like to narrow things down and edit EVERY SINGLE photo. Also delivery times vary and during the peak wedding season, it can even take longer. Patience is key to get well edited photos that went through TLC” John Koo.

Wedding Crew:

web 6

(In attendance from left to right )

My Grandparents, Best Man, The Hubster, Me, Maid of Honor, Eric’s Grandma

The Deets:

Venue: Westmount City Hall, Montreal, Canada

Reception/Dinner : Maison Boulud at The Ritz Carlton, Montreal

Cake: Chocolate Mousse with Praline Cream by the Maison Boulud

Video of the area where we got married and took pictures!

(minus the first few pool shots of the Westmount Rec Center =)

Now Pictures!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photographer

John Koo at John Koo Photography

(more pics here on his website)

The song I would of walked down the aisle to if I had ever gotten around to booking that string quartet….hehe

or if I would of booked the pianist…

What is the most fun song you have heard of or walked down the aisle to?!?!?

Happy Photographer Hunting!!

K.B =)

Image

D.I.Y Swimmer’s Ear Drops — (Prevention Tips Too)!

15 Jul

swimmer's ear

Hey Everybody,

I am currently in my  pediatric rotation of my FNP clinical and man do I see A LOT of stinking Swimmer’s Ear, a.k.a External otitis. Tis the season (yay summer) but I have also learned that most people I see are not using preventative measure for their kiddos like ear drops.

Good News, I am going to teach you how to make your own cheap and easy  Swimmer’s Ear Drops with just  2 ingredients

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology (2014), you can do the following to make you own preventative ear drips:

Ingredients:

1) rubbing alcohol

2) vinegar

Directions: mix equal portions (50/50) together to fit into a  container of your choice

Please note: Before using any drops in the ear, it is important to be certain you or your child does not have a perforated eardrum!! Also these  drops only help prevent and DO NOT TREAT  an existing swimmer’s ear.

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology (2014), the ear drops should be administered as followed:

  •  Drops are more easily administered if done by someone other than the patient.
  • • The patient should lie down with the affected ear facing upwards.
  • • Drops should be placed in the ear until the ear is full.
  • After drops are administered, the patient should remain lying down for a few minutes so the drops can be absorbed.

How Swimmer’s Ear occurs: ” Breakdown of the skin-cerumen barrier is the first step in the pathogenesis of external otitis. Inflammation and edema of the skin then leads to pruritus (itching) and obstruction. The pruritus prompts scratching that may create further injury. This sequence of events alters the quality and amount of cerumen (ear wax) produced, impairs epithelial migration, and increases the pH  of the ear canal. The resulting dark, warm, alkaline, moist ear canal becomes an ideal breeding ground for numerous organisms” (Goguen, 2014, p.1).

Most common S/S  of Swimmer’s ear:

“Itching inside the ear and  pain that gets worse when you tug on the auricle (outer ear).Other signs and symptoms may include any of the following:

  • • Sensation that the ear is blocked or full
  • • Drainage
  • • Fever
  • • Decreased hearing
  • • Intense pain that may spread to the neck, face, or side of the head
  • • Swollen lymph nodes around the ear or in the  upper neck. Redness and swelling of the skin around the ear” (Swimmer’s Ear, 2014, p.1).

Why this d.i.y concoction works: the rubbing alcohol helps dry up any trapped moisture while the vinegar helps restore the ear’s natural pH so nasty bacteria are less likely to grow!

Tips on How to Prevent Swimmer’s Ear if you Swim Frequently

  • Shake your ears dry after swimming
  • Blow dry your ears on a low setting, holding the dryer 12 inches away.
  • Use ear drops after swimming to prevent ear infections; these are available OTC at most pharmacies OR just d.i.y and make your own =)
  • Consider wearing ear plugs made for swimming (Goguen, 2014, p.1).

References:

Goguen, L. (2014). External otitis: pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis. UpToDate. Retrieved from http://www.uptodate.com.manowar.tamucc.edu/contents/external-otitis-pathogenesis-clinical-features-and-diagnosis?source=search_result&search=swimmer%27s+ear&selectedTitle=1~66

Goguen, L. (2014). Patient information: external otitis (including swimmer’s ear) (Beyond the Basics). UpToDate. Retrieved from http://www.uptodate.com.manowar.tamucc.edu/contents/external-otitis-including-swimmers-ear-beyond-the-basics?source=search_result&search=swimmer%27s+ear&selectedTitle=1~66

Swimmer’s Ear. (2014). American Academy of Otolaryngology. Retrieved from http://www.entnet.org/content/swimmers-ear

10 Ways in 10 Days Happier Home Challenge!

15 Sep

home spa

10 WAYS TO BE HAPPIER IN YOUR HOME

So I originally saw this post on pininterest that originated from Apartment Therapy on 10 ways to be happier in your home. I thought it had some sound insight so I re-pinned it and hoped I would get on it sometime in the near future (oh how we all re-pin  a million things on pininterest and never get around to doing them). However, my friend (thanks Maureen!) suggested I pinvestigate this list and see how it well it really works out for me… I decided it couldn’t hurt and chose to comply with the list for 10 days (yes even making my bed) because we can all do anything for 10 days right?!?!? Below is what the list consist:

1. Make your bed every day

The book The Happiness Project, explains that this three minute task is one of the simplest habits you can adopt to positively impact your happiness.

2. Bring every room back to “ready.”

It’s a known fact: clutter causes stress; order creates a haven from it. This mood-boosting routine is simple: Take about three minutes to bring each room back to “ready” before you depart it.

3. Display sentimental items around your home

Pictures, books and sentiments that remind us of a good experience bring happiness through the cycle of enjoyment

4. Start a one-line-a-day gratitude journal.

Reflection is an important part of happiness, be thankful every day and not just Thanksgiving!

5. If you can’t get out of it, get into it.

If you have to do something and can’t get out of it (like daily dishes) train yourself to like it. Jam out to up-beat songs while doing the necessities of life (even changing the name of  house-work or chores to something like house activities..doesn’t sound so much like work) just makes me feel better… in the nursing world we like to call these things activities of daily living [ADLs]

6. Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day

In The Art of Happiness, the Dali Lama says “”Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.” Oh that Dali was so wise!

7. Do small favors for your housemates, expecting nothing in return (not even a thank you!).

The ability to create a strong, healthy relationship is one of the biggest contributors to health and happiness!

8. Call at least one friend or family member a day.

Humans are social beings and socializing makes us feel better!

9.   Spend money on things that cultivate experiences at home.

Spend money on things that will cultivate a fun experience, like board games (game night), an outdoor grill (par-tay), or DVD (movie night)

10. Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself or part of something big

Whatever your spiritual beliefs, take some time each day to step back and realize you are a part of an enormous universe in which we cannot control. Stepping back can put some of those petty annoyances into perspective. Try meditating, praying, a candle lit bubble bath, nature walk or write in a journal

printer friendly version to hang-up as a handy reminder:

10 WAYS TO BE HAPPIER IN YOUR HOME

(I recommend posting this list up somewhere you can see it everyday to help you stick to it. My list is still taped to my bathroom mirror)

MY THOUGHTS AFTER MY PERSONAL 10 WAYS IN 10 DAYS HAPPIER HOME CHALLENGE

Day 1: Started the day off with some coffee, began putting together my house activities (not chores =)  playlist on Spotify and got to jamming while I made my bed. I wrote in my one-liner journal, offered the BF to bring  him up lunch to work (he declined, but its the thought that counts right), quickly cleaned/ de-cluttered all the rooms then I went to the gym. I called a few friends to catch-up and then went o my faaaavorite store to work on #10 on the list which I will be posting about later. Item # 3 is already happening in my home because I am a picture-taking scrap-booking fool and have tons of stuff around the house to reminisce on some good times I have had. #9 I already have covered as well as you can probably see in my house tour. I turned my dining room in to a game room with a ping pong table, I love my outside dining area with grill and the bf and I do our best not to Netflix cheat on each other so we can watch our favorites shows together (currently on is Breaking Bad & Copper)

Day 2: successful! still working on  my playlist to start “enjoying” #5

 –Good Feeling–Flo Rida–trust me on this one, sing out loud to this song and it instantly puts you in a better mood =)

–Paradise — Coldplay ( I personally just love Coldplay =)

 –Kiss Me In The Dark– Randy Rogers Band

 –Pocket Full of Sunshine– Natash Bedingfield

–Groove Is In Your Heart–Dee Lite

 –Let’s Go– Matt and Kim

–Arash–Arash (this one will probably only be awesome for me as it reminds me of my Persian Pool Dance Parties with one of my best

                               friends, Lua, when I was recovering from back surgery =)

–Titanium Acoustic Cover– Collin Mcloughlin

–Yellow– Coldplay

 –Dog Days Are Over– Florence + Machine

 –Happy– Robert DeLong

 –Here Comes The Sun– Beatles

Day 3:  So I looove coming home to my bed being made and every room being tidy. Is it upping the happiness, fo sho!

Day 4: Did I mention keeping a one-liner daily journal is not as difficult as I thought.

Day 5 & 6: I went home to go visit my momma and I left my house nice and clean to come home too

Day 7: The fun playlist is really helping me stick to this challenge. Did I mention, to help stick to # 10 I created my own Spa Bath Bar….LOOOVE IT and will be posting on this soon =)

Day 8: enjoying my last day of summer before grad school starts back up again and so thankful to have absolutely nothing to do today. My one intent for today, get my workout in =)

Day 9: School starts and I am so very thankful my profs have been accommodating with some schedule issues!

Day 10:  I am pumped because our theater tickets for the Book of Mormon just came in today and I’m excited

about the weekend festivities! ps. If you have not seen this, it was pretty hilarious =)

After the 10 days in 10 way challenge, it is quite apparent to me that sticking to this list helps with my productivity, keeping a positive attitude, organization, feeling thankful for what you have (thanks one-liner journal) and overall enjoyment of life. I would definitely recommend the challenge! I am still trying to stick to it and although I have fallen off the wagon a few time (usually when it comes to having to my necessary  house activities, when I throw on the jams its all good).

 Reference:

Ashton, J. (2012). 10 simple things to make you happier at home. Retrieved from

Apartment Therapy website: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/10-things-that-will-make-you-happier-at-home-174151

 

 

Image

Lauren’s Heart Pumping Kettlebell Leg Workout–30 min or less!

12 Sep

Lauren’s Heart Pumping Kettelbell Leg Workout–30 min or less!

Hey everybody!

Meet my bff and virtual trainer (sadly she lives in Austin away from me) Lauren. Lauren and I have been best friends since the second grade and she is a fitness goddess. I mean she is trained/ credentialed in just about anything/ everything I ever wanted to know about and her blog, Fun, Fit and Fabulous is where I go to spice up my workouts. I pretty much do the same boring old stuff until she post something new and fun=)

lauren's workout

Now, I will say I had to make one modification related to my gyms setup. Since the TRX machine was downstairs and the row machine was upstairs along with the kettlebells and free open gym space, I did pile squats with 10lb weight instead of TRX squat.

Also, 2 sets into the workout I realized I wasn’t timing myself so instead of doing the complete workout for time, I did my last 2 sets for time. My best time for a set was 3 minutes and 51 seconds… I thought it pretty good for my last set and first try at the complete workout, but I obviously cheated and took a few breathers in between each set…whoopsies =). I am also pretty sure I went a little skimpier than I should have on the kettlebell weight, but the number was rubbed off so I’m not really sure  what is was.  All I know is  there is no way I could have maintained this pace if I had done them all in a row.

After the KB leg workout, I was a sweaty hot-mess, but feeling good.

BONUS:  I liked the fact that the row machine engaged my back muscles as well as my legs since I have had corrective scoliosis surgery (yep, 2 titanium rods and all) and most of my muscle have experience some atrophy over the years.  Hello new relationship with the row-machine

After leaving the gym, I called Lauren to tell her about my successful workout she unknowingly coordinated=) She told me she normally tries to complete all 4 sets between 22 to 24 minutes in order to keep up the heart rate and really feel the burn!

DISCLAIMER: you should always listen to your body!   Adjust your workout pace to correlate with your personal fitness level in order to avoid injury or death ( can you tell I’m a nurse who has consented a few people in my day for surgery… death generally covers all the bases when it comes to potential risk/adverse outcomes, but I’m sure your legs will survive=)

Any questions?!??!

Please refer to my virtual trainer/bff, Lauren, at Fun Fit and Fabulous

Kel =)

Image

Hands Only CPR— Just 2 steps to saving lives for non-healthcare providers!

15 Aug

cpr

Hey Everybody

Yesterday I got re-certified for pediatric advanced life support, commonly known as PALS.  Although this class is designed for healthcare providers, “strong basic life support (BLS) skills are the foundation of advanced life support” and I think everybody including non-healthcare providers should take the time to learn some simple life saving skills (American Heart Association, 2011, p. 3).

Thefirst thing everybody should do is sign up for a BLS course. Check out the American Heart Association website for non-healthcare provider courses (Friends & Family CPR, 2013).

In the mean time….until you get proper BLS training (disclaimer: this blog post is NOT a BLS class or formal training in anyway) you should educate yourself about Hands Only  CPR (cardiopulomary resuscitation).

“Most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. As a bystander, don’t be afraid. Your actions can only help” (Hands Only CPR, 2013, p.1).

HOW TO GIVE HANDS-ONLY CPR (directly from the American Heart Association Website)

“If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, (FIRST)  call 9-1-1 and then push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive” (deliver chest compressions approximately 2 inches in depth to chest at a rate of 100 beats/minutes ). CPR can more than double a person’s chances of survival, and “Stayin’ Alive” has the right beat for Hands-Only CPR” (Hands Only CPR, 2013, p.1).

Check out this video  from the American Heart Association for a demonstration of Hands Only CPR for non-healthcare providers (2013).

I hope you are fortunate enough  to where you won’t ever need to use these skills, but you never know when an emergency might occur and you could  be somebody’s only option… In the event you ever see me collapse and go unresponsive in public, please feel free to practice on me & call 911 !!! =)

In health,

Kelley Bouchard

References:

American Heart Association. (2011). Pediatric Advanced Life Support Provider Manual. Printed in the United States of America.

Family & Friends CPR. (2013). Retrieved from the American Heart Association website: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/CPRAndECC/CommunityCPRandFirstAid/CommunityProducts/Family-Friendsreg-CPR_UCM_303576_Article.jsp

Hands Only CPR (2013). Retrieved from the American Heart Association website: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/CPRAndECC/HandsOnlyCPR/Hands-Only-CPR_UCM_440559_SubHomePage.jsp

%d bloggers like this: