Monday, June 29, 2009

Cream Cheese Pasta

If, at some point, you decide to make yourself some salmon for dinner and you go to scoop some rice out of its container into the rice cooker for your side dish only to realize that there is no rice left and you haven't been to the store in weeks so you really don't know what ELSE you might have, then this recipe may be for you.

Orzo pasta
Frozen veggies (I used the last little bit of a bag of broccoli and the last little bit of a bag of mixed veggies)
Olive oil
Cream cheese
Lemon juice (I keep a bottle in my fridge. You could use a real lemon if you want)
Salt & pepper

Boil water in a pot, toss in some orzo pasta (I had about a half a box of this; I'm sure other pasta varieties would work just as well), reduce heat to medium blah blah or whatever just cook the pasta till it is done. Drain it and return it to the pot. Pour in a teeny bit of olive oil, just to make stirring easier. Pour in your frozen veggies (no need to pre-cook!) and stir them all around.

Now grab your cream cheese (I used regular whipped cream cheese) and scoop some into the mixture. I used about half an 8 oz container (in other words, 4 oz) and it was probably a bit much. Squirt in some lemon juice. Shake on some salt and pepper and other spices if you have them. I had oregano, basil, thyme, and garlic powder. I used probably one hefty shake of garlic powder and less of the other 3 spices.

Keep stirring until the veggies are completely cooked and add a pinch of this or that until the taste is to your liking.

Lemon juice and cream cheese-- my secret ingredients. I know this combo probably sounds weird, but it turned out quite yummy. You can play around with proportions of ingredients (I didn't measure anything, I just kept adding stuff until I thought it tasted good) or leave the cream cheese out altogether if you want to be all heart healthy about it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Bowl of Rainbows

Ever wonder what $30 of saltwater taffy looks like?

Actually, this is probably more like $20 worth since a lot of it didn't make it all the way home from the store.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Hello my lovelies! Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway. It was fun to have so many comments on one post! I definitely appreciate all of you who regularlyish read or stopped by to read and experience the preposterous world inside my mind. A big thanks also goes out to Miss Grace who created my new MAGIC header.

I used the random number generator over at (figured it out all on my own thankyouverymuch) and the winner is Danielle from A Little Left of Lost! She seems like a very nice lady with a pretty backyard, an adorable little girl, and a fancy web site. So, Danielle, if you are reading this, please send me address to my brand new blog email address: royaljewels dot feelings at gmail dot com.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Last Day

Today is my last day in Palm Springs. My plan right now is to hang out here pretty much until they kick me out and then drive back to LA. Hopefully I will get to see one or two of my lovely friends there before I head back to Palmdale tonight. C and I had been thinking about going to Magic Mountain on Monday but apparently now he wants to go skateboarding with his friends instead which is all well and good, yet decidedly less fun for me.

Also, ALSO!!! Today is the last day to enter my giveaway!!!! I'm very excited about the prospect of using a random number generator and sending goodies to the winner! I realized yesterday that instead of saying "You'll get, uh... well I'll send you something, uh, awesome or whatever?" I should have said I will send you a SURPRISE CARE PACKAGE OF MAGIC. Which is really what it is. So enter if you please and even if you don't win I will send you happy thoughts and lucky wishes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bloggiversary (+ CONTEST!)

Well it's midnight so it is officially my one year bloggiversary! Is this dorky? Do I care? Do you like the NEW LOOK?

I started doing this one year ago pretty much because Miss Grace was doing it and I liked her web site so much and I thought it looked like fun. And I was making a lot of changes in my life and I thought it would be neat to write about them. I also thought it would be neat to go back and read through my experiences after I'm, you know, all competent and professional and grown up and... stuff.

Anyhow, in honor of me actually lasting a year with this blogging biznass, I'm having a contest!

Here's how it goes: you leave me a comment by 11:59 PM Sunday, June 21. I will get somebody to show me how to use a random number generator by then. I will then pick one person to win! And then I will send you, the one person, a box about yay or so big with stuff in it. Stuff like a CD I make. And probably some candy. And this or that from Target. Okay, so maybe the actual PRIZE part hasn't been thought up quite yet, but it will be good. I'm a good care-packager I swear. So you, dear reader if you are out there, pleast to be entering.


Royal Jewels

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Wading Carefully into my Fudge Experiment

I was super close to my grandmother when I was a kid. She really was the BEST. I remember one of my favorite treats was to go spend the night at her house. After dinner, we would unfold the sofa bed in her living room, settle in, and watch a movie. I would eat ice cream and popcorn and little cups of marshmallows. Then, she would read to me and we would go to sleep in the twin beds in my room at her house. I would wake up early and watch another movie and play with my dollhouse (that she built for me). Later on, we might go on a walk around her neighborhood, looking at all the other houses with their funny lawn ornaments and gnomes. Or we might go the park and play the statue game. Or make cookies or fudge together.

She made the very best fudge in the world. I remember it being firm and not squishy to the touch. I would take a bite and it would literally melt into tiny swirls of fairy dust and unicorn magic. I don't know how else to describe it, but trust me it was the best. And you'll have to trust me because she died and no one knows her precise recipe. We all remember eating it though, and I remember helping to make it. I also remember this one graduation party for my sister when my dog ate THREE PLATTERS of my grandmother's fudge, drank a bunch of water from the pool and then whimpered all night long.

Anyhow, I was at the Grocery Outlet with Kelly a couple weeks ago and I came across this fudge making kit. I thought it would be the perfect way to begin the process of experimentally trying to re-create my grandmother's recipe. The kit seemed to come with stuff that I either already had or could find with little effort, but the idea of a kit suckered me in because it was all pre-measured and whatnot and only $2.69.

Experiment 1: Starting Out
The first hiccup in my process was that the directions referred to the sugar as "sugar mixture" even though the ingredients list appeared to indicate that it was just plain cane sugar. I started getting nervous that when I actually began experimenting with ingredients, I was going to have to figure out proportions of sugar and some other mystery sugar materials. So then I decided to look online and see if most fudge recipes use sugar or sugar + _______ which turned out to be a HUGE MISTAKE since some of the recipes use confectioners sugar, or brown sugar, or even NO SUGAR AT ALL and of course I have no clear memory of what my grandmother used in terms of sugar.

Undaunted, I followed the first set of instructions and poured the (mystery package of) sugar into the pan (It looked like approximately 1.5 cups). My recipe made clear that I was supposed to use a heavy duty saucepan, but I used the only medium sized saucepan I own and then I gave the recipe the finger.

I stirred in 2 tablespoons of butter and the can of evaporated milk and turned the burner on medium and stirred it occasionally until the ingredients were mixed together.

It came to a boil, so I stirred it continuously for 4 minutes.

It stated to look like this-- all bubbly and frothy-- for some reason. I thought that was probably good. After the 4 minutes, I took the pan off the burner and turned it off.

I added the little package (2 cups?) of marshmallows and 1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips.

And then I stirred.

And stirred.

And when the chocolate chips and marshmallows were all melted, I stopped stirring and poured the mixture into the crappy paper fudge pan that came with the kit and stuck it in the fridge.

Well, it LOOKS like fudge, doesn't it?

I'm not sure what happened, but between the stove and the sink, a lot of the residual chocolate left in the pan got scraped off and went... somewhere.

While doing this, I realized I did remember some things about my grandmother's recipe. I remember that she used nestle chocolate chips because I recall fetching a bag from the pantry and dumping it in the pan. I also remember that she used marshmallow spread, not marshmallows.

This fudge turned out yummy. It tastes like, well, fudge. But not quite like my grandmother's. I remember hers as having not quite as strong of a chocolate taste. It was... lighter, somehow.

Next Time
I will actually buy the separate ingredients from the grocery store and look for a recipe to follow. I will also use a bigger ratio of other ingredients to chocolate to try and decrease the strong chocolate taste.

Optimistic and excited! And nostalgic.

Fried Rice

If you wildly overestimated the amount for rice you were going to eat in one sitting and have a whole bunch leftover but are kind of tired of eating it plain, might I suggest making fried rice? It's easy!

Rice- cooked & refrigerated (mine was from the day before)
Frozen mixed veggies

Pour some oil (I used extra virgin olive oil) into a large skillet. The amount of oil depends on how much rice you are using. I suppose I could give you quantities to work with, but the amount of rice I used was "one plastic tupperware container-full" and the oil was "two glugs" so I'm not sure that would help. Anyhow, use enough oil to lightly coat the whole pan.

Dump the rice in the pan and turn on the burner to medium. Add the frozen veggies (no need to pre-cook!) and stir it all around. If you want to stand there and stir to make sure the veggies are cooking and the mixture is mixing, then you go right ahead. Or you can cover the pan, reduce the heat a bit and go do something else.

When the rice looks done (another relative term, but I think it should be slightly browner than it was and also not sticking togther. You can also measure by eating one of the veggies. Still frozen? Maybe leave it all cooking for a bit longer), turn off the burner and remove the pan. Add soy sauce to taste.

I also ate some (store-bought, frozen) boiled potstickers with the rice. I tried pan frying the potstickers once but now I think I would rather deal with the "less yummy taste" problem than the "potsticker skins stuck to my pan that need a week to soak off" problem.

Friday, June 12, 2009


The other day I was searching the house high and low for my black opaque tights. I hadn't worn them in over a year but I KNEW they had to be SOMEWHERE because though they may look like legs, tights don't just get up and walk away, do they? And I wanted to wear them for mini graduation because I was wearing a mini skirt and a mini skirt is only appropriate in school if it doesn't look overtly slutty. So I pulled out the drawer of my little 2-drawer "dresser" to search more thoroughly through it. And Bowie took that opportunity to crawl in and use it as a napping/hiding facility.

And he actually broke the wooden piece that separates the two drawers. Bowie, sweetie, if you're going to do things like BREAK heavy wooden pieces of furniture, it's going to be harder for me to convince people that you're just big boned.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

All Accomplished and Stuff

Tuesday was our mini graduation for completing the prelicensure year of the program. Since it wasn't a "real graduation," it wasn't like a "real graduation ceremony." Which basically meant that it was nicely short and sweet and had a party atmosphere-- lots of hooting, hollering, and laughing. It was the perfect balance of recognizing our big accomplishment of getting through the year, thanking our families and loved ones for helping us through it, appreciating the faculty and our patients, and making fun of us M3PNs and the crazy stuff we've done and been through.

Afterward we mingled, took photos, and did some serious snacking. My parents gave me a new UC$F sweatshirt and my sisters had sent me my very own pair of Danskos. It's like I'm a real nurse now or something!*

The school year is officially over. I really did it. Huh.

* Well, not quite. I still need to take the NCLEX. I've started the Kaplan prep class and signed up for my test date. Now if I could only find a job. That would be nice.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gradumication Day

Excuse me while I pile up and shove aside all of my anxiety and weepiness.

*Brushes off hands*

Now then.

Tomorrow is mini graduation! My parents and Kelly are going to come to the ceremony (I think we get some kind of certificate?) and reception (which will hopefully involve spirits). So it's real. I made it. I completed all of the academic and clinical requirements for becoming an RN in one year. And I did it without losing my cool. Oh, wait....

Anyhow, hooray for me!

Now on to the important question: Whatever shall I wear?

Have I mentioned my love of unicorns?

I don't think I'll need to anymore. I think it's pretty obvious now....

I think he did a really good job on the outline, what with all my squirming and writhing.

As for the FAQs:
Yes, getting it hurt. Especially the inner arm bits (the tail and part of a rose).
Yes, I'm going to get it filled in with color. I'm thinking red/green for the roses and some pretty mystical colors for the unicorn and background.
No, people at the hospital don't act weird about it. I've been getting lots of compliments from everybody from patients to doctors.
No, it doesn't hurt very much at all anymore. It feels really good to have Vitamin A & D ointment on it, which is kind of a pain because it gets all over everything.
I went to George at Seventh Son. He was excited about doing a unicorn and designed it for me based on my feeble attempts at describing what I wanted ("Um. I want it to be really pretty and, like, triumphant? And magical looking. But not too overly realistic or cartoony."). He researched different photos of unicorns and was able to have in-depth conversations with me about the shape of its mouth and the swish of its tail.
Yes, tattoos are awesome, you should get one.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Note The Time

It is Sunday, June 7 at 3:34 PM and I am now and forever officially finished with my last M3PN* assignment!!! I just click click turned it in online and I'm done. All that's left for me is our mini graduation on Tuesday.**

It still hasn't set in that I'm actually DONE with this year. Maybe it's because I had serious doubts as to whether or not I would survive this year or maybe it's because the whole year has seemed so insurmountable that it didn't feel like it would EVER end. But now it has.


I'm off to celebrate with a mall pretzel.

*I know that looks ridiculous but I don't want the whole interworld knowing where I go to school or my school knowing where I write. But I couldn't just say "my last assignment" because I'll be back there again in September starting the M@s+er's in Nur$1n9. Okay, now I'm just playing.

** It's mini because we're not technically graduating since we still have to complete our Master's programs. But we did finish all of our RN requirements in 1 year, which I'm glad the school sees as deserving of some sort of ceremony/celebration.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bittersweet June

Today was our last community health clinical day. I had my evaluation, closed all my TB cases, and finished my journal. Then my group went out for a delicious lunch. I'm so, so happy to be finished with this quarter and with this year. But I'm also a little sad that it's over. And I'm really anxious about the future-- preparing for and taking the NCLEX, finding a job, etc. And of course I still have that ONE LAST PAPER that I can't seem to sit down and just FINISH already.

What I will mostly miss about this year is my class. I tend to be a socially awkward person, but I did make some good friends this year. I was with more or less the same clinical group for the whole school year so we were together a lot and it is such an intense program that people's personal lives tend to fall apart at some point or another so we were there to support each other. It was nice; I know that I appreciated it when my turn came. I will miss all of my classmates, even the ones I did not get along with as well. We were all together ALL THE TIME for a whole year. It's like a special bond or something.

What I'm not going to miss are the 12 hour clinical days. Certain classes/professors/Clinical instructors that irritated me. Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted all the time and having to just keep going going going. Having to explain to people "well, no actually it's a master's entry program. The RN portion is one year, and then there are 2 more years for nurse practitioner."

Maybe now I'll have more time for a personal life. I hope?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Girl Talk: Intoxicating Libations

You wanna know my favorite kind of alcoholic beverage? Here it is: anything that doesn't taste like alcohol. You know, those fruity, foofy drinks that silly, princessy girls like. That's me! I especially like drinks that come in a fancy glass with an umbrella and a variety of excessive garnishes. My absolute favorite drink is called a Hula Girl and you can get it at the Mariott Hotel in Wailea. It's a little out of the way to go for a beverage, but I suppose there is other stuff you could do while you're already over there. But seriously, this drink. Heaven. I think it's essentially made with POG and rum, but all blended and delicious. It also probably doesn't hurt that you are, you know, in Hawaii when you drink it.

For actually going out on the town and imbibing beverages for the span of an evening, I prefer the standard rum&coke or vodkacran. I used to order it "with the cheapest alcohol you have" until someone told me that I could just say "well" and that would mean the same thing.

Jenny and I have also perfected the recipe of Vanilla Vodka + _______ = perfect for predrinking. She had some nebulous idea about vanilla vodka + creme soda which turned out amazing and I think I experimented with vanilla vodka and rootbeer a few weeks later. The only thing about this is that it is INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS because you are likely to drink far more than you had intended since everything tastes like candy.

Also, for football games, I maintain that Malibu rum is the only thing that tastes good warm and by itself.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Finishing up

I'm almost done! I'm almost done! I'M ALMOST DONE!!!

One of my professors scheduled an extra class next Monday to make up for us "missing" class on Memorial Day (wtf? who does that? it was a holiday, it doesn't need to be made up) but I won't be able to go to it since I will be starting my prep class for the NCLEX on that day. So that effectively makes this week MY LAST WEEK!!

And what a week it is. I had Labor & Birth yesterday in which we watched a movie and then had a warm fuzzies session. Then, in Community Health we presented our project and watched other group presentations. Labor & Birth clinicals ended last week, so I'm off today. And our class was cancelled, so I'm off tomorrow. I just have one last real clinical day at the TB program on Thursday, and then on Friday my group will celebrate our last day by going out to eat or bowling or drinking or something.

Somewhere in there I MUST find one final boost of energy to finish my last paper. My LAST PAPER! I'M ALMOST DONE!!

On an unrelated note, I was assigned to a "buddy" from next year's class so I can meet up with her and tell her about the program and give her some words of wisdom. The only words I have so far come up with for her are "Oh.... man. Good luck" coupled with a pitying head nod.