Sunday, May 29, 2011

My app: iperiod & taking charge of your fertility

Yes you herd me. iperiod.

**DISCLAIMER** Below is talk of contraception and menstrual cycles. If this doesn't interest you, stop reading now.

My cycle has always been *what I thought was* irregular. The only time you could set a watch to my cycle was the years I was on the pill in college. Now I am not really an advocate of synthetic hormones in my body but It was the right decision for me at the time. The last thing I wanted to do was get pregnant in the middle of nursing school.

After I got married I decided to get off the pill, not because I wanted to get pregnant, but I was just sick of taking them all the time & they were started to raise my blood pressure a little bit (which is one of the main factors which puts you at risk for DVTs, MIs and Strokes). Now my husband and I are using other methods of contraception and I have started to track my cycles regularly.

When my husband is actually home I am a lot more diligent about checking my temperature in the mornings but when he's gone and my chance of getting pregnant is 0% I get lazy lol. I use the method found in Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition which I would recommend to EVERYONE. Seriously if you're a woman, do yourself a favor and read this book. It fills in all the gaps that you mom never told you and you didn't pay attention to in high school health class. Even being in the medical profession I was surprised about how ignorant I was about my own body! Pick it up, I got mine from the library, read it once, then bought two copies. One for me and one for my friend as a wedding present. She used the method to get pregnant and was successful pretty much right out of the gate. What's great about the book is that it focuses on contraception as much as pregnancy achievement.

So anyway on to the application. I started out tracking on paper but I would always want to know when my next period was due, especially since it changes a little bit from month to month. This application averages your periods together to predict your next cycle and it's pretty accurate (at least for me). This was actually recommended to be by one of my patients! I always ask women of child bearing age when their last period was in the ED and this one girl pulled out her phone and told me in two seconds the exact day her period started. I was pretty impressed especially since at that time I wouldn't have been able to tell you when my last period was if my life depended on it.

My phone. The app is "iP" located in the bottom row

Once you open the app you plug in some basic info and you input your last several periods. The more periods you put in the more acurate the predictions become. I also enjoy the ability to input the symptoms your having and your moods on certain days. I get a certain pleasure from saying, yeah I'm totally stressed out today or yeah I for the last three months I get really tired two days before my period starts, interesting.

Left: Home screen. See how long my cycles are? Around 38-40 days is NORMAL for me! Right: Calendar. You can see all the smiley faces showing my moods. The pink shows my period week. The green is an estimate of my most fertile days of the month with the dark green being my estimated ovulation day.

Anyway guys that's the short version of this app and why I like it. I haven't been using it to chart my basal body temp but I will start using it for that once Kyle comes back. Hope this was helpful to some of you ladies who are looking for more of a solution to knowing when in the heck your next period is going to be ;-)

Until next time!


I've got the most massive head cold in the whole world ugh......

Yesterday morning I woke up with some mild congestion and a little cough but I didn't really think anything of it. My mistake was going for the 8 mile run per my training program because after I finished it I felt like death warmed over. Literally I took up post on the couch with my tissue box, my bottle of purell and plenty of water. I NEED to kick this cold before my race next week. I can't even believe that this time next week I will be already finished with the race, my brother will be here, I will be done with TNCC and I will have an entire week of slacking off ahead of me. I just have to push through.

Starting with this stuffy sniffly nose.....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ER Oscars

Here are some shots I was able to capture at the ER Oscars Awards Banquet last week!
(ps after I saw these posted I realized how DARK they all are....ugh Lightroom here I come!)

My friend Sara (yes you herd me) wanted to try out my camera and I had to pose for her! I really liked the way my outfit came together!

Here one of the CNA's Sandra is trying to teach me to dance salsa! I <3 my pink shoes!!!!!!

Barefoot Contessa

I have a new found love affair with recipes from the Barefoot Contessa

I found this in Target the other day and most of my meals for the next week are coming from this book. YUM!!!!!!!

New T-shirts

Just bought these new t-shirts. 
Can't wait to wear the blue one to Disneyland next week when Matt is here!!

Spinning Again

I would say my love hate affair with working out and regular exercise started my senior year of college. Before then I never really had to worry about trying to keep my weight down or trying to stay thin because (knock on wood) I was one of those lucky people who could pretty much eat whatever she wanted and my weight never really fluctuated all that much. I know I know I'm shutting up now..

Back then my roommate Lisa and I joined a gym together so we could motivate each other to work out before/after class. We joined a really nice gym between campus and our house and started going together. Each time I went to work out I noticed people wandering upstairs to the aerobic studio while I was running on the treadmill. After a few weeks I got curious and walked up there to check it out. Indeed they had a huge aerobic studio but next to that they had another studio filled with bikes. Now that perked my interest. I remembered some references to spinning on Sex and the City but I never knew anyone that tried it. I immediately found out when their next beginner class was and signed up.

I was HOOKED! From that day on I was spinning for an hour long class at least three times a week. I loved the rush it gave you. The push of climbing out of the saddle, climbing up the biggest mountainous hill my imagination could cook up. I loved it. 

When I moved to California I completely fell off the wagon and didn't join a gym until almost a year later. After I got a deal at the 24-hour fitness near my house I started up again working out; but they didn't have spinning at their gym. Then running took over my life. Once I started training for the half marathon I needed to incorporate cross training into my routine. EUREKA! I joined the YMCA near my apartment, specifically because they have a HUGE spinning gym there.

They have brand new keiser magnetic spinning bikes which are really fun to ride on. 

These bikes give such a smooth ride!

This is the computer on the front of the bike the little push knob on the bottom of the image sets the gear from 1-24. The digital readout shows RPMs, Watts & time elapsed, much more technical than my last spinning bike. 

What I really love about spinning though are the instructors, they push me further than I would ever push myself if I was just biking alone. I love leaving that classed drenched in sweat and all gross because I leave feeling like I really accomplished A LOT. 

Like they say "sweat is just your fat cells crying" :-)

Do any of you spin? Do you cycle outside? I am thinking that eventually I would like to get a road bike, but I want be biking more regularly before I drop $800 plus on another bike.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Operation Fashionista - Awards Banquet

I have an awards banquet to go to this week and in true Sara fashion I have left all the prep to the last possible second. I was thinking about wearing one of my little black dresses I have stashed in the closet and was perfectly happy to do so. I actually was planning on risking it and wearing it with some pink high heels I had purchased a few months ago for a trip to Las Vegas, bought but never wore :-(

That's also classic Sara, buying something and never actually wearing it out.  One of the books in my inventory really stresses this point.. "never buy anything if you can't think of 3 different ways to wear it with things you already own!" exceptions of course are formal wear and occasion pieces (i.e. beachwear, outerwear etc).

So back to the pink heels. I was out with my friend Alex, talking with her about this party and she made the suggestion of wearing a skirt and white button up with those shoes. I had just bought a blue bubble skirt from j.crew and never EVER in a million years would have thought of paring dark navy with hot pink, but DAMN it looked good! Apparently in fashion speak this is called color blocking

 "Color blocking is a styling technique that hasn’t quite been picked up by the masses. It involves some knowledge of the color wheel and a bit of bravery. The main idea is combining different colors that support and compliment each other."

 So I was ready to try my first foray into color blocking, with my navy skirt and my bright pink heels...

Unfortunately as nice looking as it was it wasn't quite as formal as I wanted for the party. 

When I was out with Alex on Friday we were in Banana Republic browsing and I saw a really beautiful navy cocktail dress on the rack. I left without trying it on but I just couldn't get it out of my head. The next day I went back there and tried it on....the rest is history. I also found some bright pink bangles to accent my shoes and I had a silver clutch which will work too (I think)

Operation Fashionista - Beginning Color Blocking

That is my actual dress and actual shoes...aren't they fabulous!

Here I am with the dress on, 
**please forgive the messy hair as well as the mess behind me**
**also forgive the tan line please k thx**

What do you guys think?
It's pretty far from my comfort zone of the little black dress but I think I look pretty good!!

Operation Fashionista

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

Now I am pretty fashion ignorant to be perfectly honest. When you open my closet you see nothing but a sea of jeans, t-shirts and nursing scrubs. I know pretty pathetic right? Until last month I had about two bracelets, one skirt and two pairs of shorts. I have been stuck in this rut pretty much my whole life; I never really had an interest in dressing up or paying any attention to fashion. Then one day last year I woke up, put on my jeans, a plain t-shirt and my black flip-flops for the 3rd time that week and was so disgusted I didn't even want to look in the mirror. I felt so "Sara plain & tall" I just wanted to hide under the covers and never come out. Then instead of giving up and getting back into bed, I decided then and there that I was going to make the change I wanted to see. I said to myself "Ok, NOW is the time! I am an adult, I am a professional, I have the body I want and feel good about showing off, I (for the first time in my life) actually have some income to use on clothes. I need to build my wardrobe now before I have kids and no longer have the disposable income to utilize :-)"

So it was then and there that my commitment to improving my wardrobe. I was a girl on a mission! Fast forward and now 6+ months have gone by and I haven't yet purchased a single foundation piece. I figure now is the time to get serious.

I want to become (in Cosmopolitan speak) a Fun Fearless Female!!

Now every developing fashionista needs resources, and I am lucky enough to have a good friend who is not only pretty; but also pretty adept at putting together an outfit ;-) (love you Alex!). Besides her I also have some helpful written guides to help me in my mission, playfully dubbed Operation Fashionista

This book, written by the editors of LUCKY magazine is really helpful when planning a closet inventory, it also has really helpful tips for trying on different clothes and examples for using stable items in lots of different ways.

Style on a Shoesting
 Love this book. This has a lot of useful information about budget savvy shopping. I liked it so much I bought a copy for my mom, 'nuff said!!

The Pocket Stylist
Something a little out of my league, this book was written by a Pro stylist and is a step-by-step guide to finding your unique shape and using that information to find the best clothes for your body. I think I might have to read this more than once for the info to sink in; it's a lot of industry lingo but all good & valuable info.

& last but certainly not least...

InStyle Magazine

I really love InStyle magazine for inspiration. I have three issues so far and each month if I see an outfit I like I tear it out and tape it inside the shelf of my closet. Each day when I get dressed I try to incorporate some of the ideas into my outfit. Or when I'm heading out to the mall I look at them right before I leave for some last minute ideas.

What do you guys use for your fashion inspirations?

Until next time I remain your humble fashionista in training,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Road to the 1/2 Marathon - Entering the Final Weeks

Today was day two of week 9 of my training program. Only three more weeks to go before race day. I went for a nice & relaxed 5 mile run at a local state park near my house. There are lots of wooded and grassy trails here which make for a nice run. I can't believe I am the kind of person now who can say I went for a "nice" and "relaxed" run for 5 miles.

I am now starting to look into the actual race course to plan the rest of my training runs. I currently have been doing most of my long runs on flat terrain (so I can actually finish them lol). I think the race course is mostly flat but if there are some hills involved I need to incorporate them into my routine NOW. My long run this week is 12 miles, the longest I have ever run and the last long run before race day. After that run I taper off for two weeks until the BIG 13.1 mile race :-). My brother is coming out to see me run and I'm really excited about being able to share this with him.

One (of the many) happy side effect of the running? I have consistently shaved and smooth legs! Since I am in running shorts 3-4 days a week I need to shave my legs pretty much everyday, a good primer for the summer coming up. The other day I was at Bath and Body Works (love!) and picked this stuff up.

I love it! I use it twice a week before shaving and it leaves my legs oh-so buttery smooth. It smells nice and fresh and it's thick which I like. I have used sugary scrubs in the past and the oils always splash around everywhere and I it always makes a huge mess of the shower.

Alright, it's off to bed, this running girl needs all the sleep she can get!

See you on the road!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The 19th Wife

I have really enjoyed having time to read for fun lately. My latest read is The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. Polygamy has always been something that fascinates me. I always think about how miserable I would be if I had to share my husband with another woman, with two other women! I wouldn't be able to tolerate seeing him sharing secrets, asking advice, or spending time with women that were not me; right in front of my face! Not to mention have SEX with and father children with! How did those women do it?

I guess if you really think that's your ticket into heaven, you can tolerate some pretty awful things. 

This book (historical fiction) combines a historical autobiography of Ann Eliza Young, notorious 19th wife of famous Mormon Prophet Brigham Young, with the story of a modern day polygamous family. This book has it all, history, murder, deception and triumph and I really REALLY enjoyed reading it. David's prose really transports you into this lifestyle during turn of the century in rural America, and provides a truly realistic perspective on what the women must have been like living in these Mormon compounds. At the same time he brings you back to present day and a modern day murder mystery set on a Utah polygamous compound.

Final verdict? TWO THUMP UP!!! If you are interested in Polygamy and like historical fiction, pick it up, you won't be disappointed.

When I was looking for a pic of the book cover to post I saw that Lifetime made a movie based on this book last year. Now I'm not one to watch a Lifetime movie clip without rolling my eyes and giggling but i'll TiVo this one and make sure to watch it. I would like to see how the movie matches up to the book. 

It's also cool that it stars Chyler Leigh (Grey's Anatomy) and Matt Czuchry (Gilmore Girls). 

Movie review to follow

Any of you guys as fascinated about Polygamy as I am? I mean I can wonder about how these women must have felt during this time when Polygamy was new in the Mormon church. But that being said polygamy has been illegal and not recognized by the Latter Day Saints for over a hundred years but that doesn't mean people aren't still doing it.

Case in Point. 

Sister Wives? Yes I'm obsessed, but that's a post for another day ::wink::

Until then I am (and will always be) my husband's one AND ONLY wife,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm going to Europe!!!!

next year...

But still Kyle and I are headed to EUROPE next summer. We discussed it and (even better) we started saving for it. Now that's where it pretty much ends for us as far as planning goes. I figure it's never to early to start.

How long should we go? Where should we go? Where do we stay? How do we get around? I need a passport AHHH!!!!!!

Obviously I need some help with this.

I know I want to go to Paris, and I want to go to Italy too but I don't really know a whole lot about Germany or Spain, or for that matter all the other countries around there!

I can't wait to walk the streets in Paris....

Maybe see Vatican City

Ride a Gondola in Venice

The truth is I'm in way over my head here, where do I even begin? Any help would really be appreciated. Leave me a comment with some tips pretty please!! Have you been to Europe? How did you do it? Where did you stay? Did you use a tour package? How long did you stay? Where did you go?

Until next time America,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Road to the 1/2 Marathon.

So I have been training for my first half marathon (and first race actually) for the past two months. I am currently in week 8 and I have to say that I am no worse for wear. Actually, I'm doing pretty good with it.

My training program is set around weeks of 4 running days with one day of cross training and the last two days as rest/recovery. Since I work 12 hour days at the hospital I have had to tweak the program to fit my needs. I mean it sounds good to say to yourself "hey, no problem. I can get up at 4:15 am and run 5 miles before working a 12 hour day. If I decide to sleep in I'll just do it when I get home at 8:00 at night. Piece of cake!"....yeah...ok....right. So I do have to admit that some of the shorter runs have fallen by the wayside. What I haven't been skimping out on is (drum roll please) the long run.

Ah, the long run. Nothing in this world can strike such anticipation and terror into the hears of beginning runners like myself. Now I can say (honestly people, always better to keep it honest) that before last year I wasn't a runner, and I mean AT ALL. Back in 2010 I made a new years resolution to start and complete The couch to 5k running plan, it was the first new years resolution I EVER finished. By the end of march I was running like a champ. Then summer came, and I got busy, and I stopped.

Fast forward to September. My birthday came and went and I decided to start lacing up the sneaks again. I felt like I had to start over even behind where I initially began. That was brutal. It took me almost twice the amount of time to work up to three miles again. I can still remember the brutal run/walks (emphasis on the walk), the failed goals, I remember "if I can just make it 10 minutes without stopping to walk, 12 min, 15 min. 15 minutes was a real benchmark for me. I clearly remember the first time I ran for 15 minutes without stopping. I felt like I could conquer the world! I finished the run with both arms in the air like I was running across a finish line ribbon. It makes me smile inside just thinking about it.

It was after that run that I decided to reach for the stars and sign up for a 1/2 marathon. I had talked about it at work (it's always easy to say "hey maybe I'll run a 13 miles in a race this year." Doing it is an entirely different ball of wax) but after that run I felt so good and accomplished that before I knew it I was clicking away on the register here link online.

The great thing about running your only competition is yourself. Remember that great benchmark victory feeling I got when I ran 15 minutes without stopping? It happened again at 30 minutes, then again at 4 miles, then at 5, 6, 8 and now 10 miles running. I started out huffing and puffing after 5 minutes, and last week I ran for two hours, you hear that? HOURS, without stopping. At each milestone I finished with my arms up strong. I am woman, hear me roar!!!!

I have four more weeks before the race; and I have to say; bring it ON!!!!!!!!!!

See you at the finish line,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hi Old Friend, I missed you

To my readers,

I have been pretty lost over the last few weeks. To anyone reading this who is also a Mil-spouse you can understand how it's always a transition trying to teach yourself to live as an individual when your husband is gone. I have been "adjusting" and "transitioning" for the last month and now I finally feel like I have my feet back on solid ground again. Last week a fellow nurse sat me down and told me that people are concerned that I'm not bringing my A-game to work anymore. It was that proverbial "slap" over the head that really woke me up; where have I been for the last month? I was so deep in a haze that I didn't even realize I was sleepwalking through my life for the past 4 weeks.

As most of you can obviously tell, I have been neglecting the blog BIG TIME. This is especially sad considering I had just gotten a blog makeover, courtesy of Danielle. It would be such a shame to get all of that done and just leave my blog to collect dust, which is exactly what I did. I have been so busy working and training for the 1/2 marathon that I haven't had any time for shooting, or blogging for that matter. It wasn't until last weekend that I realized that weeks had gone by without me even picking up my camera, or opening my laptop.

Well I have woken up out of my proverbial haze. I am determined to turn over a new leaf at work & put my game face on. I'll blow the dust off my camera and make time to shoot; and I'll get back in the groove of blogging.

I hope you guys didn't write me off as just another loser who abandoned her blog, never to post again. I'm committed to prevent that from happening. Sorry we haven't talked in awhile

Hang in there!!