Thursday, December 25, 2014

Travel Bucket List Update

If you "follow" this blog, you might deduce that I love to travel.  I love discovering new places, eating lots of new food and knowing more about different cultures and their ways of living.  Because life is not always how we want it to turn out, I decided to make a travel bucket list - places I'd love to visit before I die. This is not in any particular order - more like the order they popped into my head.  I haven't researched any of these places as extensively as I usually do so this list is not set in stone.  Regardless, these are where I want to go for now.

1. Canary Islands
2. Maldives
3. Thailand
4. Santorini (ok, all of Greece)
5. Italy - Positano, Florence, Rome, Venice, Vatican City
6. Siem Reap
7. Forbidden City in China
8. France - Lourdes, Paris,
9. Costa Rica March 2014 (yay!)
10. Peru
11. Argentina
12. Spain - all over, not just Barcelona and Madrid
13. Croatia - September 2014
14. Morocco
15. Mauritius
16. South Africa

Where shall my feet take me in 2015???


Recap of 2014

Time goes by so fast, sometimes it takes some quiet time to think about the past year to even remember most of that has happened.  I'm a fan of lists so I thought I'd sum up my year with a few lists.

1. Finishing school and graduating with a Master's degree.
2. Traveling to Croatia and Istanbul with a crazy friend who made it extra fun
3. Starting a new career (still undecided if this should be here)

Best investment: (it's really a toss-up)
1. Trip to Croatia and Istanbul
2. Classpass

Biggest expense: Trip to Croatia and Istanbul

Trips I took: (in order)
1. Puerto Rico with my brothers
2. Costa Rica with my girlfriends
3. Anaheim for ONS Congress
4. Los Angeles for my cousin's wedding
5. Croatia and Istanbul with crazy Jen B.
6. Los Angeles for Christmas

Now let's see if I can break up the highlight reel by month.

January - trip to Puerto Rico with my brothers
February - degree conferral
March - trip to Costa Rica
April - took and passed the boards, yay!
May - ONS Congress in Anaheim, with a side trip to San Diego; Graduation, YAY!
June - Mimi's wedding
July - renewed my passport; discovered hot yoga at Modo (thanks Sam!)
August - Mount sinai paperwork; shadowed Chelsie at the end of the month
September - lots happened this month. Started of the month traipsing around Croatia and ended the trip in Istanbul. Came back to the US to finish my last two days with NYP (sad).  Started a new job at Mount Sinai a day later.  I'm exhausted just thinking about all that happened this month.
October - birthday month! Yay! Also started using class pass more this month.
November - getting hammered at work; tried anti-gravity yoga for the first time
December - still getting hammered at work; discovered my love for boxing; about to surprise my mom for Christmas (I'm her present!!)

With a few more days left in 2014, I have less than a week to make more memories!!

Take care world.  And Happy holidays!!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Job

I have been at my new job for almost two months now.  Specialty Coordinator is my official title.  If someone asked me what I actually do, I couldn't even begin to describe it.  Is that weird?  I work with a surgeon.  She's pretty intimidating but she's great at what she does.  People always ask me if I like my new job.  To be honest, I can't really tell.  Some days, I'm extremely busy absolutely no time to even eat or pee. And other days, I'm super bored with nothing to do.

The great perk about this job is that the hospital qualifies me to apply for the loan repayment program.  Granted, of course, that I stay for two years.  If I actually get approved for the loan repayment, it just might be worth it for me to keep this job.  Who knows, in two years, I just might learn to love it.

Do you like your job?  XOXO

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Croatia + Turkey - a synopsis

Just got back from vacation and I'm already having withdrawals.  To think that this trip almost didn't happen.  We were originally supposed to go to South Africa this year but a picture of Plitvice Lakes sold us on Croatia.  Istanbul was an extended layover because we flew with Turkish Airlines.

Traveling through Croatia was like a dream, a step into the pages of a fairytale.  Walking the streets of Istanbul was like stepping through the pages of a really well-written and well-illustrated history book.  Although the trip was exhausting, it was well worth it.  This trip is definitely one for the books.

Hvar, view from The Top Bar 
Hvar, view from the Fortress 
Dubrovnik, view from "The Red Keep" 
Dingac, Peljesac Peninsula 
Istanbul, inside Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, Topkapi Palace at night
Istanbul, inside Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, grounds at Topkapi Palace
I would definitely go back to Croatia.  Maybe visit other parts and stay a bit longer in Hvar.  As for Istanbul, or Turkey for that matter, it deserves a separate trip all on its own.

Has the travel bug bitten you yet? XOXO

Friday, June 13, 2014

Where to Eat Update

Remember this post?  Well, I'd like to cross Talde off that list.  Ate there, loved it, would like to go again...  As much as I'd like to write a full review, I didn't take any pictures (surprising, I know) because I gobbled everything up as quickly as I can shove food in my mouth.  Best thing I ate? Probably the Blue crab fried rice.  Runner-up would be the chicken wings.  I also like the pretzel dumplings but it was a tad too salty.  Again, I wouldn't mind having a repeat of that foodgasm.

Now I really wish I had taken pics.  XOXO

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Decisions, decisions...

When I was in nursing school, all we heard was "It's great to be a nurse because there's so much you can do (career-wise)".  And it's really true.  You can do bedside nursing, outpatient nursing, home health, clinical office, research, etc.  Or you can go my route and go for your master's and become a nurse practitioner.  Nursing school prepared me for a lot of things - what to do in an emergency, how to take care of sick people and basically being able to think on your feet.  It did not prepare me, however, to make life decisions.

Sure, I'm in my early thirties (yikes!) and should be able to make these kinds of decisions but it's still so scary and it still shakes me to my core.  Somehow making the decision to switch to nursing and move to New York feels like an easier decision than the one I am faced with.  I always say how much I hate New York and that I can't wait to move back to California.  It should be an easy decision to just move back but somehow it's not.  I am scared about the job prospects in California.  I would only move back pending a great job offer.  BUT, does that mean I shouldn't apply to jobs here in New York?  Does that mean I should just wait it out?

All these questions are making me ill.  My stomach is in knots.  Why is it so hard to be a grown-up?  Maybe I should focus on studying for my boards instead of being distracted by life choices.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Random Thoughts

- It seems like the secret to being a successful blogger is to make time to blog.  I guess that's the secret to success - making time to do whatever you love.

- The secret to passing the boards? Not procrastinating.  Which I am currently doing. Watching True Detective on HBO. Kiddies, don't try this at home

- I'm having Costa Rica withdrawals.

- Costa Rica got me thinking about my life.  Will I be able to give up all material urges and live a simple life and be relatively stress-free.  It's pretty tempting but it's also a hard task especially since we (Americans) have been raised to go for the gold, the American Dream, whatever that means.

- Working on a new project.  But first, let me pass my boards.

xoxo Happy Monday!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Travel Bucket List - Updated

If you "follow" this blog, you might deduce that I love to travel.  I love discovering new places, eating lots of new food and knowing more about different cultures and their ways of living.  Because life is not always how we want it to turn out, I decided to make a travel bucket list - places I'd love to visit before I die. This is not in any particular order - more like the order they popped into my head.  I haven't researched any of these places as extensively as I usually do so this list is not set in stone.  Regardless, these are where I want to go for now.

1. Canary Islands
2. Maldives
3. Thailand
4. Santorini (ok, all of Greece)
5. Italy - Positano, Florence, Rome, Venice, Vatican City
6. Siem Reap
7. Forbidden City in China
8. France - Lourdes, Paris,
9. Costa Rica March 2014 (yay!)
10. Peru
11. Argentina
12. Spain - all over, not just Barcelona and Madrid
13. Croatia - I can't believe I left this off the original list!!
14. Morocco

I will post this every year, adding new places and taking off ones I travel to.

Do you have a bucket list?  xoxo

Quick Updates

Back from gorgeous Costa Rica and I couldn't be more sad.  Costa Rica exceeded my expectations and I can't wait to go back.  Pics will be up soon.  I'm just waiting for the other girls to upload the ones on their phones.  Yes, we all forgot our cameras but thank goodness for iPhones.

Back in NYC now and back to studying.  Also back to exercising.  I wasn't really working out in Costa Rica except for the two hikes that we did.  I did eat healthy, mostly seafood and fresh fruits, BUT I also consumed more alcohol this past week than I have in the last 6 months.  No bueno.  But, like I said, it's back to working out.

Still banned from sweets for Lent.  FYI - no sweets does not mean no sugar.  It means no desserts or pastries.  At least that's how I qualified it.  No meat Fridays is tough not because I eat a lot of meat (I don't).  I just always forget it's friday and sometimes I end up eating chicken or get a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks (I love the new ham and cheese one).  But today is Friday, so I'm going to try to avoid any meats.

Have not bought shoes yet although I am quite tempted.  I'll wait tip I'm done with the boards to see if I truly deserve a new pair.  Also, I'm saving up for my next trip.

Anyway, hope everyone is having a great Friday!  XOXO

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Another Snowy Day in NYC

I'm so sick of the damn snow.  Snow today and more snow this weekend.  People who never have to live with snow do not understand how crappy snow really is.  If you have to park on the street, you have to dig your car out.  If you have to walk anywhere, your pants get all wet because when snow melts, everything around it gets wet.  When there is rain mixed with snow, it's called slush and it makes everything slippery and icky.  The day after a snowstorm, the snow that is left out (meaning what hasn't been shoveled or plowed), becomes a mountain of ice.  If you haven't dug out your car by now, good luck trying to get it out.

This is the view outside my window:

Looks pretty huh?  These are of the street:

Not so pretty, right?  Having to walk through all that slush is not fun.  Ugh, trust me.  I get to do it every winter and it's not cute.  It only makes me wish I were back in Puerto Rico.  Or anywhere warm for that matter.

This has been such a crappy winter.  Stay warm my lovelies, xoxo.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Puerto Rico Trip

This past week was spent in Puerto Rico with two of my brothers.  It was one of those spur-of-the-moment trips for me, meaning I didn't spend half the year to plan it.  I sort of just picked a place and booked a room and bought plane tickets.  Why Puerto Rico?  First, because plane tickets were cheap but most importantly, I knew it was going to be HOT.  I'm sick of the cold and the snow here in New York and I needed a change even if it were only for about a week.

We stayed at Gran Melia.  The resort was HUGE.  It was so big that we needed golf carts to take us to our rooms.  The walk wasn't too bad but it was a lot if you do it multiple times a day - it was best to make sure you had everything you need when you left the room.

The room was perfect for the three of us.  The staff was great.  Everyone was amiable so I really have no complaints there.

The restaurants, on the other hand, extremely pricey for the quality.  The breakfast buffet, for $23 per person, was just eh.  The Asian restaurant was less than eh.  I ordered salmon sushi and I was better off with the ones you get at the grocery store.  The Puerto Rican restaurant was probably the best one there but still not the greatest.

The best part of the resort was probably the pool and the placement of the beach chairs around the pool and around the beach area.  Whoever planned the layout, did a great job.  If you wanted peace and quiet, there were chairs and hammocks for you.  If you wanted to be next to the action, meaning the swim up bar and the dj booth, you had a spot carved out for you.  We had our favorite chairs and spent most of our time there.  We also had our spot by the beach and by the grassy area.  It was so relaxing, soaking up the sun, listening to my music, tuning out the world while still bonding with my brothers.

While in Puerto Rico, we had a chance to visit the Bacardi Rum Factory and visit Old San Juan.  The Bacardi factory is the biggest distillery in the world.  If you have your own transportation, the tour is actually free and you get two drink tickets with it.  The Old San Juan tour was brief but worth it, although I wish I could have explored for a few more hours.  In Old San Juan, we tried more Puerto Rican fare, shopped for souvenirs, had amazing coffee and walked around the cobblestone streets and took pictures of the colorful buildings.  I wish we had time to see Old Cristobal Fort but we ran out of time.  Service is a bit slow so lunch took a while.  We were told that the people run on "island time".

This last part of the trip is probably my favorite - a visit to El Yunque National Forest and kayaking the bioluminescent bay in Fajardo.  It was a LONG day but a lot of fun, as I'm sure my brothers can attest.  This was probably their favorite part of the trip as well as it was the most active.  The day started out with a short presentation and history about the rainforest in their visitor center.  It was followed by an hour and a half hike through the rainforest where we learned about the flora and fauna.  You probably don't know this about me, but I love this type of stuff - being one with Mother Nature.  It is so humbling and just so breathtaking.  We hiked through trees and waterfalls and rocks and more trees.  The air was so fresh and the water was sparkling.  James even filled his water bottle with water from the falls.  Supposedly it's good luck and great for staying young - it must be good luck because I received a phone call for an interview that same day!

After the hike, we were dropped off at Luquillo beach for lunch.  My brothers picked a Puerto Rican restuarant and were treated to beach views while we ate.  After lunch, we headed to Fajardo Bay for our sunset kayaking trip to experience the bioluminescent organisms - only can be seen after dark.  It was probably the hardest two hours I have ever experienced.  Kayaking is hard to begin with, but kayaking in the dark, with the tide coming in....hell.  I had jello arms when we were done...but surprisingly wasn't that sore the next day.  I did have some swelling in my injured arm but even that didn't last that long.  Anyway, it was an awesome experience and wouldn't have traded it for anything else.  James probably wanted to switch with Justin after a while though, LOL.

Next time I visit Puerto Rico, I want to stay on the other side of the island or maybe even in Culebra.  Well, I guess it depends on who I travel with.  Til the next adventure...


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Get Lean Beginner Program Recap

I just finished the Get Lean Beginner Program.  Thirty days - 2 runs, 30-min workout x1, 45-minute x1 and 15-min yoga per week.  According to the app, I completed 65% of the workouts.  I call BS though.  I have a non-conventional work week meaning the days I work changes from week to week.  The problem with the app is that the workout days are a little bit too rigid.  For the Get Lean program, I had to switch some days around but the program thinks I skipped those days.  It's great for those who keep strict schedules, not so great for me.

Overall, I think this was a great beginner workout program.  After 30 days, I can actually run on a treadmill instead of just walk.  Combined with a healthier diet, I also lost about 6 pounds.  For the next 30 days, I am still undecided on which workout program to try next.  Whatever it is, I hope it works with my schedule.

PS - The last week of the program was completed while on vacation in Puerto Rico while also enjoying rich Puerto Rican fare.  Still lost 6 lbs at the end.  Like I said, not bad for a beginner program.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

NTC+ Workout Week 2

Started week 2 of my Get Lean Beginner Program on NTC+ and definitely feeling slightly stronger.  My diet is still the same as last year, no real big changes there since I've been eating healthy anyway.  The only difference is I probably eat less.  The sugar cravings have also subsided plus I've been drinking more water.

I probably should've taken "Before" pics so I can track the changes in my body.  Since I'll be in Puerto Rico on the 4th week of the program, I'll probably have some "After" pics then.


Friday, January 10, 2014


I have been using the Nike Training Club (NTC) App to workout for over a year now.  I don't use it as regularly as I should but I do what I can with the schedule that I had.  Had, yes because now that I'm done with school, I get to workout more.

NTC recently updated the app where you can create 4-week programs and some of the workouts are customizable.  The programs also incorporate other types of workout such as running, swimming and yoga.

I'm almost done with the first week of my 4-week program.  I am not trying to bulk up.  I am just trying to get a little leaner, you know for swimsuit season.  Of course, working out alone won't do the trick so I'm trying to eat healthier as well.  Less carbs, more greens and lean meats.  At the end of 4 weeks, I'll let you know how it works out for me.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bad Ass

When I was a young girl, I asked my mom if I could take martial arts lessons.  She said no.

Thirty years later, I sit and wonder what would have happened if I took said classes?  I would've been a bad ass mofo who could actually kick ass.  Probably why my mom said no.  It's probably enough that I'm a bad ass.