Operating Room (A to Z Challenge)


If you’ve never been wheeled into an Operating room (O.R.) before, consider yourself lucky.  I’m about to give you a humorous tour of an O.R. from my nursing experience memories I had for over 15 years.   Just a heads up, Grey’s Anatomy and ER is fake compared to the real world 😉  Just sayin’

  • The O.R. rooms are freezing cold. Colder than air conditioning because we stand for long hours and the overhead lights send off a lot of heat and we wear gortex gowns.  We don’t want to faint during your surgery
  • Nurses give warm blankets to patients immediately when they arrive into the O.R. because of this cold temperature. Blankets are kept in a warming cupboard and we joke that we baked them because they’re so toasty and warm.  Patients laugh only because they are nervous
  • Helpful skill for an O.R. nurse is how to be a DJ because everyone fights over the music played in the room and you have to keep up with the program. Knowledge of classical music will get you on the good side of the surgeon
  • Surgeons want everything yesterday. Try to be one step ahead
  • You need to have a thick skin, nobody said it would be easy
  • Prepare to be yelled at, it’s nothing personal, just frustration venting. Breathe…
  • Despite all the equipment and beeps, it’s a very controlled environment and we take awesome care of patients one at a time
  • When helping the anesthesiologist in putting the patient to sleep, have a sense of humor and chat it up with the patient so they feel less nervous. Being a comedian comes in handy.  Hold the patients hand as they go off to sleep, they like this
  • Try to know your wine and beer list and travel destinations if you want to jump into the conversation happening between the surgeons, anesthesiologist and residents
  • R. nurses can give conscious sedation to patients for minor cases, therefore an anesthesiologist isn’t needed. The patient feels like they’ve had a few glasses of wine so having a sense of humor goes a long way because you can joke that you are their own private bartender, take their order and serve it straight up
  • Don’t say you like Rod Stewart to one surgeon otherwise he will kick you out of the room
  • The longest case I was in on was 14 hours, it was a multiple trauma case after a car accident, broken bones, bladder tear, collapsed lung
  • Eye cataract removal or tonsil removal cases take 5-10 minutes. Setting it up takes longer
  • Rule number one is always eat and go to the bathroom before you go into the O.R. because you never know when you will get out for a break
  • R. nurses sometimes start intravenous lines (I.V’s) this is called “breakfast” for surgical patients
  • When doing orthopaedic cases nurses are surrounded by pans of instruments and Murphy’s Law the surgeon asks for the “curvy one” that’s at the bottom of the pile at the back of your second table
  • Having orthopaedic experience is good because you know how to use power tools at home. Learn to love the lead apron and goggles
  • You must have a good memory to be able to remember all the instruments of every surgery and every preference of every surgeon. For example, Bulldogs are clamps for vascular surgery so I think of a dog biting someone and it causes them to bleed a lot. I know we are a sick bunch of people but it’s how we cope
  • My favorite names of instruments are ice cream cone, frying pan, alligators, bulldogs, mosquitos, peanut, persuader (don’t ask), and mother in law
  • The O.R. areas I worked in were General surgery, Vascular surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Urology, Orthopaedics, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology, Thoracic and Plastic surgery
  • Nothing grosses out or freaks out an O.R. nurse. Abs of steel.  We’ve seen everything especially in emergency situations.  Oh the stories….
  • You need to know computers and how to work with high tech equipment
  • Get used to wearing and sleeping with a pager when you are on call
  • Surgeries are ongoing 24/7 365 days a year and 4 a.m. is the witching hour where everything and everyone becomes hilarious for no reason. We’re just dead tired
  • You need to know how to drive very fast and not get caught by the police. I succeeded in this somehow
  • O.R. nurses are a lot of fun, we have big hearts and can be persuaded with chocolate

You are in great hands with an O.R. nurse if you ever need surgery ❤

Or a partner 😛


Much Love ❤



Nursing (A to Z Challenge)


“Put your oxygen mask on first, caring for others requires taking care of yourself first”  ~ Jennifer Juneau, RN

It’s hard to believe it but I’ve been a nurse for 100 years!  Or at least it feels like it some days.

One of the reasons I wanted to become a nurse was because I care about people and I highly value compassion.  In the real world of nursing, time is a big factor in being able to give the proper amount to patients and I had to adjust to minimal time.  I also had to adjust to minimal bathroom breaks and skipping or scarfing down my lunch in 10 minutes flat.  Then it was my pager going off at all hours for emergencies and to this day that beep scares me 😛  Years later, I discovered the maximum benefits of having a massage and pedicure for my tired body and feet.

Florence Nightingale would be proud of me and my cold hands, warm heart 😉

Speaking from experience, nurses are not very good at taking care of themselves because they are too busy taking care of everyone else.  This is a true fault ask any nurse but I’ve learned my lesson and now I practice self-care.  Nurses are also the worst patients, ask any nurse or doctor for that matter.  I’ve been on the other side of that intravenous needle and let me tell you, it’s no party but I can empathize with my patients more because of it.

I’ve worked in three different specialties which have been very rewarding; the Operating room, Fertility In vitro fertilization and Women’s health.  Each area has its ups and downs just like life and I think being a nurse has made me who I am today.  I care deeply about people and nursing has allowed me to connect with them on so many different levels because nurses spend the most time with patients one on one.  I’ve sat with patients who cried then I went home and cried; after all, we’re human too.  Nursing is a great profession because we can promote and teach about health, prevent and treat disease and help people cope with illness and surgery.  It is an exciting high tech world with the equipment we use and sometimes we even show the doctors how to use it.  Those are fun but rare moments.  Patients are the best because they often give nurses hugs and even chocolate.  I love both so they always put a smile on my face 😀

I’m grateful for my nursing profession it’s been quite a journey so far.  I’m also grateful for all the patients, fellow nurses, doctors, managers, secretaries, cleaning staff and co-workers I’ve met along the way.  You are all amazing people!

Do you have any stories about nurses?  Be nice….


Much Love ❤



Music (A to Z Challenge)


I am a HUGE music lover and I can’t imagine my life without it.  Some days I need the music and other days I need the lyrics.  I read this statement on a Facebook post and it really resonated with me.   The thing about music is that it’s universal, it connects us emotionally and spiritually and it’s the best soul food available around the world.

As a child I learned how to play the piano and took lessons for 8 years which gave me an appreciation of classical music and to this day I still enjoy it but only in certain situations.  When I was studying in school it helped me focus and retain more information because music works the right brain while academics work the left brain.  Therefore, if we are studying in silence we’re using half our brain (left side) but when you add classical music, you are adding your right brain which means your entire brain is working together in equalized harmony and you retain more of what you’re reading.  Now I listen to classical music when I am trying to mentally prepare for something stressful like a big meeting.   Olympic athletes are known to listen to classical music to focus before performing.  My favorite classical piece is Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.

My tastes have changed over the years and I have to say I like a little bit of everything except heavy metal.  Sorry!  I love to exercise as many of you know and I always need to have upbeat music because it’s motivating and gives me energy, all my troubles fade away.   Even if I am cooking or cleaning, my music needs to be on loud because it makes the time pass and it’s more fun that way.  Anything by Pitbull gets me moving and lately I’ve been listening to Alright and love it, especially singing it in the car 😛  Other upbeat songs are the ones I dance to at Zumba!

On the slower side of music, that’s when I need the lyrics and some songs are so inspirational I could listen to them on repeat for hours on end.  My playlist consists of hundreds of songs so choosing one is hard but if I had to pick one inspiring song it would be Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell.  The meaning of this song can be interpreted many ways and for me it’s about reflection.  Joni Mitchell uses clouds for her analogy and how as a child you saw both life and love as something light, positive and creative.  As an adult, she describes the dark, negative perspective about how clouds got in the way with life and love.  It’s hard to understand everything about life and love but due to past experiences you see them differently and overall there are no regrets, only memories.  Essentially, the song is about how we look at life and love from both sides now, two sides of the coin.  What I like about the lyrics are the possibilities of perspectives and even though you may lose at something in life or love, you gain the life and love lessons which are both important and beautiful.

Life goes on, and so does my music.  Play, repeat.

Have a wonderful Friday everyone 🙂


Much Love ❤



Life Coaching (A to Z Challenge)

One of the things I do aside from being a nurse is life coaching.  The transition from nursing to life coaching is a natural one because they are both helping professions and as a nurse I’ve had to wear a coaching hat at times (figuratively speaking) 😉

For today’s post I thought I would be brave and try out a vlog about what life coaching is all about instead of writing about it.  Please bear with me, I hope you enjoy it and I welcome your thoughts or feedback on it 😀

Enjoy ❤


Kheer (A to Z Challenge)


I wanted to add some Indian spice to my A to Z Challenge since I had such an amazing trip there in January and also because many of my Indian friends are participating in the challenge with me.  If you all lived closer you could try this Kheer I made 🙂

Kheer is a traditional dessert in India which is a rich, creamy, sweet rice pudding that is served on special occasions.  I tried this when I was there at one of the hotels and I absolutely fell head over heels in love with it!  I bought an Indian cook book and since then have been creating recipes in my kitchen and I’m having a lot of fun trying to impress my friends and family and so far so good 😛

I will include the recipe in case anyone wants to try making it.



½ cup basmati rice soaked overnight in water with lemon juice on the countertop

4 cups half and half (milk and cream)

1 ¼ cups sugar

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cardamom

¼ teaspoon saffron

¼ cup each almonds and pistachios (chopped)

4 cups whipping cream


  • Drain the rice and break it up with your hands into smaller grains
  • Add to the half and half in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 30 minutes, stirring continuously so that it does not stick. Reduce heat.
  • Beat with an electric mixer while still on low heat
  • Add the sugar, nutmeg, cardamom and saffron and some of the almonds
  • Add the whipping cream and let simmer for a few minutes
  • Pour into a serving dish and decorate with remaining almonds and pistachios


I would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to one of my inspirational WP blogging Indian friends today, Happy Birthday Darshith, I hope all your wishes come true!   Since you always have a song for us at the end of your blogs, I have a song for you today since you are paving the way to a good and positive life.  Here’s Good Life by One Republic 😀

All the very best and enjoy your cake 😉


Much Love ❤


Jim Parsons (A to Z Challenge)


Jim Parsons a.k.a. Dr. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory is my favorite sitcom character on television.  His quirky comments and nerdy style makes me laugh so hard I think I disturb my neighbours 😛

Jim is an American actor born March 24, 1973 in Houston, Texas.

Parsons was cast as Sheldon Cooper, a physicist with social apathy who frequently belittles his friends and the waitress who lives across the hall. The role requires Parsons to rattle off line after line of tightly composed, rhythmic dialogue, then do something with his face or body during the silence that follows.  His co-star Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) plays Sheldon’s girlfriend and when the two of them get together it’s nothing but fast talking brutal honesty that is both hilarious and creative.

Sheldon is famous for his knocking style on Penny’s door; knock, knock, knock, “Penny, knock, knock, knock, Penny, knock, knock, knock, Penny” and his obsessive compulsiveness drives him to do this each time he appears at her door.  He is also known for saying “Bazinga”, drawing up room-mate agreements with Leonard (Johnny Galecki) he’s a very picky eater and quizzes anyone who picks up take out for him and he makes a whopping $1,000,000 per episode.

In real life, Jim is married to art director Todd Spiewak, and was in gay relationship with him for over 10 years before tying the knot.  Here are Jim’s thoughts on being married; “it’s an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes, taking the dogs [out]—a regular life, boring love.”

Jim is best friends with Kaley Cuoco (Penny) and they are both big tennis fans.  Me too!

Here is a hilarious video of some of the best moments with Jim Parsons.  If you need a good laugh today, you have to watch this 😀


Investing (A to Z Challenge)


Does investing in the stock market give you heart palpitations?  It’s not my intention but I think it’s worth talking about.   Now before we get all carried away, I’m a nurse/life coach, not a financial planner but personally, I do know a thing or two about buying and selling stocks on Wall Street.  Not the movie Wolf of Wall Street with our Leo, but the real Wall Street in New York City 😉

I visited Wall Street in the summer of 2012 and it was impressive to see it in person.  The buildings are huge with high security and people are bustling everywhere, not to mention the men in suits looking so handsome 😛

Prior to that I became interested in the stock market and how it worked.  I didn’t want to be a crazy person checking the papers every day but I wanted my money to start working for me since I was working for it.  I read some great books to get me started like “The Lazy Investor” by Derek Foster who is Canada’s youngest retiree at 34 years old.  Then I began searching on Google for the stocks I was interested in.

So let’s start there.

What products or services interest you?  What do you love?  Think about every day products not the wild unknown things.  Who makes your toothpaste, Kleenex, baby products, coffee, where do you buy gas, where do you do your banking, which medicines do you take, what kind of phone do you have, which social media site do you love, which fast food restaurant do you like?  These are the types of stocks you need to buy and HOLD THEM.  Reliable well-known companies are the best because you don’t have to worry.  And the stocks that pay dividends to you, even better.  Just a hint, all Canadian banks do this and I highly recommend them.  A dividend is a payment made to you from the stock profits outside of what your stock actually makes whether the stock market goes up or down.  Win-win!!  When the market does go down and you lose some money, don’t sell anything.  Instead it’s time to buy more because think of it this way, it’s like a sale just went on at your favorite store.  50% off all Apple stocks!  Perfect time to stock up on stocks 😉  When the market goes back up, which it always does, you have more stocks which means you make more money.

No need to panic when the market takes a dive.

Once you have your list of preferences, you can consult Google again and find out what the ticker symbol is for each stock.  For example, the ticker symbol SBUX represents Starbucks on the NASDAQ.  Find out how much each share costs and how many you can afford to buy.  Right now Starbucks costs around $60.00 US each so buy 10 if you can and HOLD ON TO THEM.  My favorite stock right now is Apple (AAPL).  We all know how well the iPhone is doing and all their products.  You don’t need to own any of them but if you buy their stock, any time a new phone or product comes out.. cha ching!!

Now you are armed and ready to make an appointment with your financial planner.  Knowledge is power so do your homework ahead of time so not to waste time with the planner.  They can do the purchasing of your stocks for you.  Once you feel comfortable doing some investing, you can try buying your stocks online yourself because it’s much cheaper than having the financial planner doing it for you.  This is how I do my investing and it’s working well.  Just think basic not complicated when it comes to investing in the stock market.

Your heart will thank you for it and so will your wallet 😀


Much Love ❤



Hope (A to Z Challenge)


Hope is a function of struggle. When hope leads, love follows and miracles can happen.

Hope is often thought of as an emotion but it’s not. It’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process. Emotions accompany hope but it does not stand alone. Hope happens when we have the ability to set realistic goals and we are able to figure out how to achieve those goals, including the ability to stay flexible and develop alternative routes. In other words, you know how to get there by being persistent and you can tolerate disappointment and try again. Expectations are more rigid.  Most importantly, you believe in yourself by saying “I can do this!!!”

People with high levels of hopefulness often have experience with adversity. They have been given the opportunity to struggle and in doing so they learned how to believe in themselves found their way and carried on.  I know I have been in this situation before and I struggled my way out of it with the love and support of people around me who didn’t judge or criticize me.  I have high hopes for my future and I am doing my best to get there.  Whatever your personal drought has been; love, health, money or work, I know how hard it is to get to the other side but with hope it helps to increase our resilience.  There will definitely be times when our hopes are low and our knees hit the floor.  Maybe while we’re down there we could pray for a miracle and sometimes when we loosen our grip that’s exactly when the miracle arrives.

If we want our children to develop high levels of hopefulness, we have to let them struggle and stop protecting them so much because they need to learn that they have the ability to dare greatly on their own too.

That is a great sign of strength and it’s how we encourage them to grow.   And when we witness them growing, we grow too.  Funny how that happens.

The important thing we need to remember is that we must never take away someone’s hope because it might be all they have left.

We don’t always get what we want but we can hope so.


Much Love ❤





Genuine (A to Z Challenge)


“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier.  The way it actually works is the reverse.  You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want.” ~ Margaret Young

Is being genuine something you have or don’t have or is it a practice?

I believe being genuine is a choice we make every day where we show up and be real and honest.  We show our vulnerable side to others by letting our true selves be seen.  It’s a daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we really are.

There are people who consciously practice being genuine, then there are those who don’t and there are most people who are genuine on some days and not so genuine on others.  After all we’re human not robots, therefore we’re all made of strength and struggle.

It takes courage to allow ourselves to be imperfect, vulnerable and to set boundaries.  We need to live and love with our whole hearts even when we feel unworthy.  Being genuine isn’t always easy or the safe option.  Sometimes being real over being liked is about living outside your comfort zone.  When we do that, we are exposing ourselves to potential cruelty attacks but cruelty is cheap and hurtful whether it is true or not.  Yes there’s risk in putting your true self out there in the world.  But there’s even more risk in hiding yourself and your gifts from the world.  Our unexpressed ideas, passions, contributions don’t just go away, they gnaw at us from the inside out and at our worthiness.  If you decide to hide being genuine, you might feel anxious or even depressed which doesn’t get you very far.

Why would you want to sacrifice who you are for the sake of what other people think?

Maybe being genuine is contagious and if I’m brave enough to be genuine, it will inspire other people to be genuine too.  I mean let’s face it, if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve gotta walk the walk 🙂


Much Love ❤

Genuine Jen 😉


Family (A-Z Challenge)

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This is my family, the three Amigos, the three crazies, the three Musketeers…no wait, that’s my WhatsApp group chat right Pratyusha and Bhavya?

For everyone who doesn’t know me, I am a mom of two awesome boys who test the waters with me in a very fun way when I see them.  For us, family means love, communication, support, and respect.  I am extremely fortunate to have all these values with them, in our family of three.  Sometimes it’s them who support me on those “off days.”  They even like to read my blogs and ask me to do some life coaching with them, how awesome is that?

Family is about having fun and at my place, it’s never a dull moment as you can imagine.  At home it’s about fighting over who gets to take a shower first, teaching them how to cook to impress their girlfriends one day, showing me new vines on YouTube, watching The Big Bang Theory or spending a night in watching movies and eating pizza till we burst.  As their appetite expands so does my grocery bill 🙂

In the car, whoever calls “SHOTGUN!” first sits in the front seat beside me.  I always remind them it’s the hot seat and they need to be in charge of the music as the DJ.  Being DJ is one of their strengths so for them it’s their brotherly competition and for me, it doesn’t matter who sits in front, I know I’ll always have good music coming from someone’s phone hooked up to the AUX cable in my car.  Summer is the most embarrassing time because if I decide to have my windows down, the music is always loud and when songs like Gangsta’s Paradise comes on with heavy bass, let me tell you, I get a lot of stares and smiles because they just have to take one look at who’s sitting next to me and they understand completely.  Doing car karaoke is another story 😛

When we go out for chicken wings on wing night, that’s when it gets competitive.  We order several types of spicy chicken wings and see who can survive the spice and how many we can eat without seeing flames come out of our mouths.  It’s really fun seeing how much pain we endure as we try each kind and I can just imagine years from now as we wash them down with a beer instead of a Coke like we do now 😉

Going on vacation is always fun whether it’s a beach destination where we body surf in the waves all day, get all geared up and do zip lining, have a campfire at night under the stars or go to Disney World in Florida and ride every roller coaster screaming our heads off 😀

All because of them, I’ve learned how to be more grounded, to go with the flow, and the most important lesson of all is how to throw a football…like a guy.  It’s been a few years but I finally got the hang of it and this is one of the beauties of having boys in the family; they are easy to entertain, just grab a ball, go to the park and throw it around for hours.  They taught me how to play football and I taught them how to play tennis.  For now, they still enjoy being around me so I’ll take that as a good sign.

Life is full of adjustments and re-adjustments where you go from normal to finding your new normal.

We are definitely not normal!

I love you guys ❤


Much Love ❤