Piloxing (A to Z Challenge)

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Do you like group fitness classes?  Yes?  Well you are going to love Piloxing®!

Piloxing LLC was developed in 2009 by Swedish dancer and celebrity Viveca Jensen who believes that every individual is powerful and can attain the self-image they want by taking charge of their life.

Piloxing® involves upbeat dance music that makes you burn maximum calories, build lean muscles and increase your stamina.  It incorporates boxing, dance and standing pilates principles while creating a sense of balance both physically and mentally.  I love doing this work out every week because it’s empowering and I feel the burn every time 🙂

You can do the class in bare feet with or without the weighted gloves which give extra resistance for arm strength training.  Whether you are doing the standing or floor exercises you have to think long and lean at all times because that’s what Piloxing® does to your body over time so bend and stretch those arms and legs!

At the end of every class we do three separate moves while yelling:

“SLEEK, SEXY, POWERFUL!!!”

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You have to try it out it’s so fun and gives awesome results!!

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

*All images courtesy of Google

Operating Room (A to Z Challenge)

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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 ❤

Jen
xo

 

Nursing (A to Z Challenge)

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“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 ❤

Jen
xo

 

Music (A to Z Challenge)

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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 ❤

Jen
xo

 

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)

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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.

Kheer

 

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

Method:

  • 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 ❤

Jen
xo

Jim Parsons (A to Z Challenge)

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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 😀

Enjoy!!

Hope (A to Z Challenge)

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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 ❤

Jen
xo

 

 

 

Exercise (A-Z Challenge)

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After all that chocolate and baking you must be thinking how on earth can one eat like that all the time?  It’s exercise people; and it’s best stress buster around 🙂

In this day and age, health and fitness is on magazine covers, the news and on our phones.  It stares us in the face on a daily basis and people are still not willing to see it or how important it is.  I will admit I am a bit of a fitness freak but you don’t have to be.  It’s possible to walk just twenty minutes per day or take the stairs instead of the elevator all the time.  Sometimes I park my car far away from the mall doors as possible but also to find the best parking spot near the exit!  Always have a strategy 😉

The reasons and health benefits for doing exercise are endless and I would like to share with you how it has helped me.  For solo activities like walking or jogging, I can be outside in nature having a constant change of scenery as I move along in my flashy outfit.  I am plugged into my music and I see people I know along the way which is really fun.  The endorphins which are the “feel good hormones” are released when we exercise so if you leave home or work in a bad mood you will come back from your exercise in a good one.  This natural “high” feeling becomes addicting and I am an addict but in a healthy way!

My favorite fitness activities I do on a regular basis are Zumba and Piloxing.  Not only is it a dance party with friends but we are getting in awesome shape at the same time.  It’s literally impossible to go to these classes and not have a good time.  One of the biggest reasons I exercise is for my brain and as strange as that may sound, when I feel stressed or restless whether it’s mental exhaustion or emotional upset, I have to do something physical so my endorphins kick in and make my mood better.  If anything positive on the physical side happens to me, I call this a bonus.  It has literally pulled me out of tough times more than a thousand times.  What I aim to do is exercise 4 times a week minimum and depending on the stress that’s going on, sometimes it’s every day, whether it’s a 15 Km walk or jog or an hour shaking it off at Zumba or Piloxing, or on a rainy day a few laps at the indoor pool.  Plus it helps me sleep better, concentrate better and allows me to eat more…Yaayyy!!

There’s always something healing and inspiring about working as hard as you physically can in order to make you feel better emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  It’s that feeling of accomplishment that you did something for you and we don’t take care of ourselves that much but we should.  Contrary to popular belief, it’s not selfish to take care of yourself because caring for others requires taking care of yourself first.  Since I am a helping professional in two careers, I need to do this more than ever.

I’m off to my Piloxing class now!  What are you doing for exercise?

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo

 

Dahlias (A to Z Challenge)

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These are my favorite flowers in a garden or bouquet and the prettiest Dahlias in my opinion are the purple ones.  The purple flowers are tied to royalty, pride, success, accomplishment and admiration.

When given as a gift, the dahlia flower expresses sentiments of dignity and elegance. It is also the symbol of a commitment and bond that lasts forever. The dahlia flower is still used today in gardens and flower arrangements to celebrate love and marriage.  It is a symbol of inner strength, creativity and standing strong in your values.  These flower symbols are so similar to me 😛

For all the history buffs out there, the dahlia was named after Anders Dahl, born March 17, 1751 who was from Sweden.

In cold climates of North America, dahlias are known as tuberous-rooted tender perennials, grown from small brown biennial tubers planted in the spring.  This is why they do so well here in Canada.

These colorful spiky flowers generally bloom from midsummer to first frost, when many other plants are past their best. They range in color and even size, from the giant 10-inch “dinner plate” blooms to the 2-inch lollipop-style pompons. Most varieties grow 4 to 5 feet tall.  They are so awesome.

  • Don’t be in a hurry to plant; dahlias will struggle in cold soil. Ground temperature should reach 60°F. Wait until all danger of spring frost is past before planting. (We plant them a little after the tomato plants go in.)
  • Select a planting site with full sun. Dahlias grow more blooms with 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. They love the morning sunlight best. Choose a location with a bit of protection from the wind.
  • Dahlias thrive in rich, well-drained soil. PH level of your soil should be 6.5-7.0, slightly acidic. If you have a heavier soil, add in sand or peat moss to lighten and loosen the soil texture for better drainage.

Canada isn’t snow, Eskimos and igloos all the time 😉  We do have spring and summer where it gets warm up to 40 C and that’s when it’s a great time to visit some of the best Botanical Gardens in the country.  Here are a few that are definitely worth seeing; Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Vancouver, British Columbia, Montreal Botanical Gardens, Montreal, Quebec, Niagara Falls Garden Trail, Niagara Falls, Ontario.  There are many more so you will have to come and visit me here and see for yourself 🙂

 

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Photo of Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  Courtesy of Google.

Spring is in the air, time to start planting beautiful Dahlias!

 

Much Love ❤

Jen
xo