Finding the Perfect Diaper Bag

For me, picking out a diaper bag was extremely stressful (along with all of the other things I had to pick out for my baby registry). I was having my first child and had NO idea what I needed to buy. I made some mistakes (I’m sure all new parents do); I had a lot of unnecessary items on my list that I ended up not using but I learned my lesson (2nd child- I’m ready for you!). The one item that I’m glad I put on my registry and found most useful was the diaper bag. IMG_1443 (2)

I absolutely love my diaper bag by Ju-Ju-Be!

Not only does it look great, it’s also water proof (a must!), easy to clean, has plenty of room, and comes with a matching changing pad. It’s everything I learned I would need in a diaper bag.

At first I wasn’t going to add it to my registry because, well.. I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit pricey (around $180 bucks). But once the baby was here I soon learned that this bag was going to be my best friend (RIP pocketbooks!). But that’s okay because carrying around a handbag AND a diaper bag is just not possible or necessary if you find the right diaper bag. So if you think about it, it’s like buying a designer handbag except, you are actually putting it to use. It’s going to undergo a lot of wear and tear so remember: quality is important! IMG_1454 (2).jpg

What I love most about this bag is that it’s versatile; you can wear it as a messenger bag or a book bag. The straps are removable, but as you can see from my photos, that’s what the bag looks like if you keep them on. This bag was so worth the price! They sell a lot of other accessories (pacifier holder, smaller storage bags) that match this bag as well.  This diaper bag also comes in a variety of very stylish patterns to choose from- you forget it’s even going to be used to hold stinky diapers.

So if you’re wondering if a Ju-Ju-Be is worth the investment, it definitely is! Stay tuned for my next blog on diaper bag essentials.

 

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Angelica Lee (4)

 

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5 Reasons Why You May Not Be Losing Weight

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Let me guess- you’re eating healthier but you aren’t seeing the results. Been there, done that. Although rare- maybe there’s an underlying medical condition impacting the way the scale moves or doesn’t move (and if you feel there might be, please see your doctor!). From my own personal weight loss experience, I know how discouraging that can be. For some, they are closer to their goal weight and the scale isn’t budging. For others, they’ve completely hit a plateau and their weight loss journey has just begun.

Here’s a list of reasons you may not be losing weight, inspired by my own weight loss  and what I’ve come across in my profession as a registered dietitian.

  1. You aren’t keeping track of what you’re eating.  Do you think about what you’ve already eaten before your next next meal/snack? If not, maybe you should. With how hectic life can be, it’s easy to forget what you had for breakfast. It’s important to be mindful of what you eat so that you don’t splurge or make unhealthy decisions throughout the day.  One way to make you more aware of what you’re eating is to plan your meals/snacks in advance. If planning meals in advance isn’t for you, try keeping a food diary. I use MyFitnessPal (a free and easy to use app) to log my intake to help me keep track of what I’m eating.
  2. You don’t count the little things. I’m talking about the salad dressing, condiments, the sugar/cream you put in your coffee, the alcoholic beverages; these things can really add up. Finding healthier replacements for these foods or eliminating them completely can help cut out a lot of unnecessary calories. For example, instead of using a gravy or cream sauce to make chicken or meat more tasty, try experimenting with different spices/herbs.
  3. Lack of exercise.  Sometimes eating less isn’t enough to put yourself in a calorie deficit, especially as you get closer to your goal weight. Try to make time to incorporate exercise into your everyday routine. This may mean parking further from your job, taking the stairs, or getting a gym membership (and actually using it).  Plus, studies have shown that those who engage in exercise are more successful with maintaining weight loss.
  4. Portion control. Even if you’re eating fruits and vegetables, it’s still important to be aware of your portion sizes. When I first started paying attention to calories/portions, I couldn’t believe that a yam (1 cup) was approximately 177 calories! It’s not a bad idea to indulge in veggies at meal time (and I bet you never met someone who said they gained weight from eating too many carrots),  but just be mindful that they still contain calories, especially those that are starchy. One suggestion is to use a salad plate for meals to trick your eyes into thinking there’s more on the plate than there really is.
  5. Emotional eating. This includes, but is not limited to eating out of boredom, eating because you’re upset, or eating just to eat. Figuring out the root cause of your emotional eating is the key to preventing it from happening. It’s important to remember that the only problem food is going to cure is hunger. I believe that eating foods high in carbohydrates (like ice cream) can make you feel better temporarily, but it won’t change the fact that he/she broke up with you.

Best of luck to you on your weight loss journey!

 

Angelica Lee (4)

 

Hosting a Rock Painting Party For Adults

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Who said painting rocks is only for kids? A few weeks ago I hosted my first ever rock painting party. I got this idea after discovering that there’s a local Facebook page dedicated to painting rocks and hiding them throughout the neighborhood for others to find. So what would make rock painting more geared to the adult population?- WINE! Plus alcohol does get those creative juices flowing..

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How it works: If you find a painted rock, you have the choice of keeping it or leaving it. If you decided to keep the rock, you need to replace it with another painted one. On the back of the rock you should write “Please take a picture and post (insert Facebook rock group’s name).” This way, you can see who got the rock you painted.

  1. Join your local Facebook rock hunting group:  Most groups are called “(insert city) Rocks”. If a group doesn’t exist already, create one!
  2. Invite your guests: make a Facebook event or mail out invitations. Tell those invited to bring their favorite wine. Be sure to mention that they should also join your local rock group and explain how it works.
  3. Go rock hunting: I went to the beach to find my rocks but parks are usually a good place to look as well. I recommend searching for rocks of various shapes and sizes to make them more interesting to decorate. If your rocks are dirty, make sure to rinse them off with water and allow them to dry before painting.
  4. Get your supplies: You don’t need amazing quality brushes or paint. I got all of my supplies from Walmart.
  5. Drink some wine and start painting rocks!!russn_fckr-66974

What you’ll need:

Plastic tablecloths (better than newspaper just in case someone spills water or wine)

Paint brushes

Acrylic paint

Paint palettes (plastic plates work just as well)

Acrylic sealer- to keep the paint from fading.

Rocks

Plastic cups with water (for cleaning brushes)

Optional:

Apron

Toothpicks- help with painting details

 

Painting ideas: Add quotes, music lyrics, dates.

Themes- sports, animals, holidays, seasons

 

Angelica Lee (4)

How to Land a Job Working in a Hospital as a New Dietitian 

usethisoneI know how you feel; you’re fresh out of the internship, ready to finally strut your stuff as a new RD! But why aren’t you hearing back from the 100 jobs you applied to?

It took me approximately 2 months to land a job after passing the registration exam. And boy, did those 2 months feel like FOREVER! It’s important to stay patient and remember that your time will come. I’ll admit, I also made some not-so-smart decisions; like applying to jobs that asked for 10+ years experience (yeah not happening-although you may get lucky when applying for jobs that require at least 1-5 years experience). Within the past 2 years as being an RD, I have been offered 4 out of the 5 RD positions I interviewed for. I’ve learned a lot from my job search experience and wanted to share some information I found to be beneficial.

When Creating your resume/cover letter: 

  • List your internship experience as if it were a regular job. After all, your internship experience will be your selling point. If you had a unique opportunity during your internship, mention it! Put emphasis on your clinical rotation experience because this is the type of job you are applying for. Have someone who has experience with resumes review it before submitting. 

The job search:

  • Keep in mind that not all hospitals will post their job openings on popular job search sites. This is why it’s important to go to their direct website and look for the careers section. Also consider food service company websites as these hospitals may contract their dietitians from them. 

Consider per diem positions

  • Although not ideal, it may be easier to get a job that’s per diem. Okay- so you don’t get all of the perks a full time employee may have (job security, health insurance, paid vacations) but it won’t last forever and it usually means you’re next in line if a full time/part time position opens up. Also, from my personal experience, it’s an amazing learning opportunity. Working per diem exposed me to a variety of different patient populations because I covered different units. I guess you could say I was a ‘floater’. This gave me a brush up on what I learned during my internship. Not to mention- per diems have a little more flexibility with days they can/can’t work which means if a part-time/full-time position opened up somewhere else, it’s possible to work at two different places at once. Even as a per diem you may have the opportunity to work 40 hrs a week which is great, especially considering per diems usually make a little more on an hourly basis than their full time counterparts.

Maintain a good relationship with those you worked with during your internship:

  • Networking plays a big role on how dietitians get their jobs. Especially since the field of dietetics is a small world. Keep your preceptors in mind when you need references.

For the interview:

Don’t forget to dress the part. Hospitals are huge on maintaining proper hygiene so it’s best to look as clean cut as possible. As you know from ServSafe- long nails, long earrings, and wearing your hair down is not ideal. Keep in mind that as a clinical dietitian you will be entering the kitchen at some point. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you should arrive to your interview wearing a hairnet. But it’s recommended to keep your jewelry simple, hair out of your face, and your nails natural and short. Business clothing is a must!

Job Interview

Don’t forget about the clinical rotation experience you had during your internship. You may not have any prior experience working in a hospital and that’s okay! This is when it’s important to use your internship experience to answer clinical related questions.

Patient satisfaction is the number one priority of hospitals. You’ll learn very early on what Press Ganey is. Be prepared to answer questions on your interview on how you can improve the care of your patients. When answering patient related questions, put yourself in their shoes and remember- the customer (patient) is always right. Keep this in mind when asked how to handle a patient that may be unsatisfied with their food/diet.

Time management is everything. I can guarantee you learned how to manage your time during your dietetic internship! But what would you do if something came up that you didn’t have time for? Think about it. This question is asked a lot during interviews.

You can’t avoid working as a team. It’s nearly impossible to work alone as a dietitian in a hospital. You will be in constant communication with nurses, doctors, dietetic technicians, food service workers, etc. Before your interview, recall a time you had to work as a team player. Think about how you would react if someone on your “team” wasn’t doing their part. If you had any group projects during your internship, it would be a great example to use.

Don’t forget to write a thank you note to the person who interviewed you! A handwritten note in a thank you card is more personal, but I have found that an email is just as appropriate.

I hope some of this information is useful! If you have any questions, please feel free to drop them below in the comment section.

And, as I said before, be patient. Don’t worry- your time will come when you can finally order Ensure without asking another dietitian if it’s okay.

Angelica Lee (4)

Surviving Deployment

survivingdeplo“At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinkin’ I could never live without you by my side”

Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter if you’re a wife/husband or just dating-deployments suck! Okay, seriously- they aren’t THAT bad, just really annoying. You know, cause everyone likes to be known as the third wheel, hairy gorilla, sexually deprived person who sits in front of the TV with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s crying over Army Wives. Nah, we don’t really do that or at least admit that we do.

While these are situations you can’t control during a deployment, there are ways to make light of the situation during those 7-8 months (or longer). Believe it or not, positive things can come out of the distance and lack of communication, especially if you keep yourself busy. If you ask anyone who’s been through a deployment, they’ll tell you that. But what does keeping busy mean? Well, here are some things I’ve come up with on how to keep busy:

  • Set goals: Write down a list of things you want to accomplish by the end of the deployment. Make realistic goals; goals that are measurable and can be achieved by a specific time. For example: “I want to lose 15 lbs in 3 months” or “I want to travel to at least 2 new places by (insert date).” It’s really important that you don’t lose sight of what your goals are, so keep the list where you can see it on a daily basis.IMG_3307
  • Focus on improving yourself for you, for example:
    • Health- now’s a great time to get into a workout routine/healthy eating pattern if you haven’t already. Attend those doctor appointments you may have been avoiding (ex. dentist, primary physician).
    • Managing money- maybe you’re slacking in the credit card department and you need to get out of debt. Take a money management class or meet with a financial adviser. Sit down and write out where your money goes for an entire month and figure out where you can eliminate unnecessary spending.
  • Show your partner you care: It’s important that you make time to make your partner feel special (and they should do the same), especially since mostly likely they aren’t happy with where they are. Some ways you can do that:
      • Care packages- Care packages can be really fun to make, especially if they have a specific them (ex. birthday, holiday).
      • Letters: These are super old school, but you will definitely cherish these forever!

     

  • Plan a post-deployment vacation: When my husband was away, we planned a trip to Disney World. Not only was it fun to plan out a trip, but it also gave us something to look forward to for when he returned.

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  • Spend more time with family and friends: Catch up with those you may have lost contact with.
  • Try new things: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new! For myself, it was running my first 5K.
  • Do things your partner hates doing: Remember that time you wanted to go to the boy band concert and your partner wasn’t down to go (or maybe that’s just my situation)? Or want to eat at that sushi restaurant but they don’t like sushi? Well now’s the perfect time to go without them!

Have some tips of your own? Please feel free to include them in the comments.

Angelica Lee (4)

Designing a Nursery

Designing a nursery has completely evolved from when I was a kid. Nurseries used to be cartoon themed like Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit, or Mickey Mouse. Bedroom decor in the 80’s and 90’s consisted of a piggy bank, a hammock for stuffed animals (aka dust collector), tacky looking wallpaper and a rocking horse. Now, with the influence of Pinterest and home decorating TV shows, nurseries have taken on a more tasteful appearance with styles that flow with the rest of the home. Some may feel disappointed that rooms no longer look like something out of a circus, but believe me, your kids won’t feel robbed of their childhood. And on the bright side, it will probably save you money in the long run since you won’t have to change much in the room as your child gets older.

The two most important decisions to make when designing any room in your home is the style and color scheme.

  1. Pick a style- Shabby chic, modern, country
  2. Color scheme-

To make life a lot easier I recommend sticking with 5 colors.

Examples:

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For a free color scheme generator click here. As long as you stick with a certain style and color scheme, the room will look pleasing to the eye.

Other considerations:

  1. Furniture- Will this take up too much space? Is this useful? Now- use may not be important when it comes to other rooms in your home, but it is with a nursery. From my own personal experience you will be doing a lot in your child’s room; changing diapers, feeding the baby, trying to calm the baby down- so use your space wisely.
  2. Décor- When picking out decor it’s important to keep in mind that it needs to be kid friendly.  Once that baby is able to walk, be prepared to have things get tossed around! I found that nursery decor can be extremely overpriced, especially if you are purchasing it from baby stores. There are so many cute DIY decor ideas you can get from Pinterest that will cost half of the price. To save money, I recommend shopping at stores like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Kohl’s, and TJ Maxx. You may also want to wait for sales and slowly put the room together, after all you will have 9 months!

Don’t forget to check out how I designed my daughter’s room here.Angelica Lee (4)

 

 

Selena’s Nursery

When planning out how I would design Selena’s nursery, I had no idea what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I wanted the color scheme to be white, pink, and gold.  After researching ideas on the internet, I decided I wanted to go for a shabby chic look. I’m really happy with how everything turned out and how inexpensive it was. Let me know what you think!

 

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Distressed Mirror from hobby lobby. Perfect for that shabby chic look.room2Flowers

Gold vase and flowers from hobby lobby (sold separately).room3

Crib- 4 in 1 Serta Bethpage from Buybuybaby.

Pink glider from Wayfair.

Let me know what you think!

Angelica Lee (4)

5 tips on how to make a long distance relationship work

longdistancerelationshipA long distance relationship (otherwise known as LDR) isn’t for everyone and it really takes work from both parties. When I look back on my 2 ½ year long distance relationship there were some things that played a vital role in keeping the relationship healthy and exciting. So I’ve decided to create a list of my LDR tips.

1. COMMUNICATE- The most important part of any relationship is communication but with an LDR it takes a lot more work and is more meaningful. Why? Well it’s really easy to go a day or two without speaking to someone when you are able to see them on a regular basis. Communication should occur as often as possible even if it’s via text. When my husband and I first started talking we spoke every second of the day and would even lose sleep just to talk to each other. Okay.. Maybe we were a bit extreme and we’ve toned down since but what’s important is you make time to talk. None of this-“I’m gonna wait until he texts me” or “I’m too busy to contact her today” excuses. The reason communication is especially important for an LDR is because you cannot provide your partner with the same type of attention you would if you were physically there. All you have is communication, really.

2- MAKE PLANS- What are you going to do the next time you see each other? After all, time is a valuable thing to waste. Making plans can really help keep the relationship exciting because it gives you and your partner something more to look forward to. You also don’t get the opportunity to experience doing things together on a regular basis and it’s important you make this time to do those things when you see each other. Plans could be going to the movies, museum, dinner dates, zoo, ice skating, etc. My husband and I made a bucket list together and actually accomplished most of what was on the list.

3- SET GOALS- Where do you see this relationship going in a couple of months? Years? If you’ve just started dating you probably don’t have long term relationship goals because you are just getting to know each other. Once you’ve established a serious relationship it’s important to figure out where it is headed and when the distance will come to an end. If you need to finish school before then or have to move, you’ve got to start preparing for that.

4- GET SUPPORT- If you don’t have a friend or family member to support your LDR it’s important to find someone who does. There are plenty of support blogs & groups, especially for military relationships on social media sites including tumblr, wordpress, and Facebook. Even though I had many people who supported our relationship I found useful information from these Facebook groups. I had no idea what to expect dating someone in the military and had a lot of questions that no one I knew could answer.

5- BE INDEPENDENT- Just because you are in an LDR doesn’t mean you have to sit by your phone and wait for them to call you. One of the best ways to handle distance is to keep yourself busy and have a life of your own. This may mean going out with your friends, working, or going to school to better your career.

 

Feel free to share your tips in the comments!

Angelica Lee (4)

How to make a floral letter

 

I made this floral letter for my daughter’s nursery. It adds an elegant touch to a room and is super easy to make!

Things you need:

  • Fake Flowers- I found It’s usually cheaper to buy a bouquet along with a few individual flowers to add a variety of color. From my experience, individual flowers tend to be pricey compared to bouquets.
  • Glue gun and Glue sticks– For gluing the flowers to the wood. I’m sure other types of glue would work great but at least with a glue gun you can usually peel off the glue if you mess up.
  • Wooden letter- I bought mine from hobby lobby. These are great because they already have a drilled keyholes for hanging. Get yours here.
  • Nail/screw

Step 1- Gather your flowers. It’s easy to pull the flowers from the stems by hand. If needed, you may want to cut off the excess plastic on the stem so that the flower lays flat on the wood.

Step 2-  Before gluing the flowers onto the wood, plan out how you want to organize them. I suggest placing the flowers onto wood as if they were glued and then take a picture of it. That way you can use the picture as a guide for when you are ready to start gluing!

Step 3- Glue the flowers on the wood. If there are any spots in between the flowers you can use any extra flower pedals to fill in the spaces.

Step 4- Hang it up!

 

Angelica Lee (4)