Thursday, April 14, 2011

Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough...

Wow! It has been a while since I posted something! I have been insanely busy and on-the-go nonstop the past couple weeks. I am excited to finally have a second to sit down and write about it!

Saturday, April 2nd was my 24th birthday (Yay!) and it was a whole weekend full of fun. Friday night was doing Irish Car Bombs with my mom, Saturday was a 5K in the morning in Washington, DC for an amazing organization very dear to my heart called David Pinks Foundation. What an honor is was to meet him, talk, and be a part of the start of what is definitely going to be an incredible journey for him. Saturday night was drinks in Canton with my good friend, Heather (Thank you!) where we talked, drank, danced, and steered away from Ocean City wannabes (haha). Sunday was another celebration with family and friends, dinner, and of course, my birthday cake: a vanilla cake with a raspberry center filling. Yum!

I didn't even have time to soak my birthday weekend in before it was opening day for the Orioles! Over 47,000 fans attended the yearly ordeal and I had the pleasure of serving probably half of them (it seemed) on the club level at Oriole Park. Did you know that the park did more in revenue this 2011 Opening Day than the past two years?? Wow! Let's Keep It Up O's!

After over a 13 hour day at the park, I had to go home and pack because the next day I was heading to Salt Lake City for the National Student Nurses Association convention. Over 3,000 were in attendance to this 4 day event! I apparently did not pack very well because it snowed the whole time we were there- that's right...snowed! We had four jam-packed days of breakout sessions, meetings, Resolution hearings, etc. All states have the opportunity to bring forth resolutions to the NSNA in hopes that our very own House of Delegates will pass them onto Congress. There were 38 resolutions in total- Maryland brought forth four! Congrats to all the schools and authors involved in this process! You help the future of nursing and health care become reality! (Also, congrats to the state of Maryland, especially Nicole and Jill for winning the Most Outstanding Newsletter Award!) If you had the opportunity to change one thing in nursing or health care, what would it be?

Salt Lake City!

The IMMENSE Salt Palace Convention Center where our activities were held!

Also at the convention were exhibits filled with universities, NCLEX review material (the Nursing Boards), and hospitals from all over the country. I came home with BAGS filled of freebies (gotta love those!) and talked to people from Tennessee, Indiana, Florida, California, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland, etc. During my time at the convention I also made new friends from Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Montana, etc. What a great way to spend time with those who know EXACTLY what you are going through! To learn more about the NSNA and all of the wonderful benefits it has for students as well as today's health care, visit their website! I cannot wait for our Mid-Year Convention in October which will take place in Memphis, Tennessee!

Memphis, Tennessee (Ahh, can't wait!)

In the midst of my crazy schedule the past couple of weeks, I did manage to find even more great recipes for you all! If you ever try them out for yourself, let me know! I would love to hear how they turn out for you!

I don't know about you but I love pears and I found an easy, summertime recipe that will do just the trick for a light snack!

Cran-tastic Baked Pear Slices (98 cal., 20mg sodium, 5g fiber!!)

4 medium pears, sliced
1 1/2 cups Diet OceanSpray Cranberry Spray
Dash of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large baking dish lightly. Lay pear slices flat in the dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and pour cranberry drink on top. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until pear slices are soft. Remove and let pears sit in the "juice" for at least 30 minutes. Drain any excess liquid from pears. Enjoy hot or cold!

"It's a Snap!" Ginger and Peach Parfait (158 cal., 285mg sodium!!)

1 Jell-O Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding Snack
2 gingersnaps, crushed
1/2 cup diced peaches
2 Tbl. Fat Free Reddi-wip

Spoon half of the pudding into a parfait glass or small bowl. Top with half of the peaches. Sprinkle half of the crushed cookies over the peaches. Top with the remaining pudding. Add the rest of the peaches and top with remaining crushed cookies. Finish with Reddi-wip and enjoy! (How easy was that?!)

Hungry Girl-nola (165 cal., 70mg sodium, 4g protein and fiber!!)

1/2 cup bite size freeze-dried apples
1/4 cup regular oats
1/4 cup puffed wheat cereal
1/4 cup puffed  rice cereal
1 1/2 Tbl. sugar free pancake syrup

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, puffed wheat, puffed rice, and pancake syrup, stirring gently to coat the oats and cereal with the syrup. Spray a baking sheet and spread the cereal mixture out on the sheet. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, rearranging mixture with a spatula about halfway through. Granola is done when crispy and lightly browned. Allow to cool completely; then stir in with the apples!

I am now on my Spring Break (finally!) and am trying to look for fun things to do. I am going to try to head to Indianapolis this weekend to volunteer for Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure and spend much needed time with friends I never see. Any other ideas for when I come back? What's your favorite Spring Break getaway activity?

I hope all of you are enjoying this wonderful weather! Keep your fingers crossed that it will stay like this! So go out there and conquer the day...on your own two feet...

Until the next step bloggers...