Category Archives: Nursing

2012 Goals Check-Up: January


It’s now the beginning of February and I’m wanting to check in on how I’m doing towards my goals for the year as of the end of last month.

  1. Sew more clothes for myself and the kids. In Progress/This is actively being worked on. I am working on scrubs for my new job (Yay!), some wardrobe essentials I’m sadly lacking, and I plan to make the girls’ Easter dresses.
  2. Boost my little side business, sewing custom clothing and alterations. This will become a priority this month.
  3. Complete the BSN portion of my RN to MSN Education degree. I’m nearly finished my first course. At my current rate I’ll be done my BSN portion of my education by October 2012. Woo hoo!
  4. Save money for our first house. We are budgeting and saving! Yay! We plan to rent a house this spring, for 12 months, and then buy after that lease is up.
  5. Improve my relationship with Bill and the kids. In Progress/Some days are better than others, but I am trying my best.
  6. Finish one knitted item. I started working on my in progress vintage sweater last weekend. I’ve been working on it when I have nothing to do. I hope it’s done by fall.
  7. Walk the neighborhood at least 3-4 days a week. This will not happen until spring, I’m sure. I have been working out 3-5 days a week at the gym, though. Yay me!
  8. Organize my sewing area and bedroom. Sewing area is in progress. Bedroom is a beast and very overwhelming. I’ll get to it soon. We’re planning on moving and I need to get that stuff under control so we can pack and go when we need to.


New Year, New Goals


So, it’s time for a new year and time for new goals. Last year’s goals were not too bad, really. I did a few of them, which is better than none I think. Here’s the recap:

  1. Rebuild my wardrobe. – This is still in progress by the end of 2011 and I’ve made significant progress. I got rid of a TON of clothing (donated/freecycled) and I have been steadily building a really wearable wardrobe that I love.
  2. Get my craft mojo back! – I hardly did any knitting or crocheting, but I did get my craft mojo seriously going with decorating projects and sewing.
  3. Cull excess crap from my surroundings and life. – I got rid of all the excess knitting/crocheting supplies that I was NEVER going to use and no longer loved. Yay! I also moved my sewing space from the bedroom into the great room and reorg’ed it a bit. It still needs more organization work, though.
  4. Land my first RN job! – I got my RN license and got my first job! Yay! I start Jan. 2012!
  5. Get our finances in better order. – This finally started happening around the end of the year. I got into bulk cooking which has saved us a LOT of money, and we’ve been doing less frivolous spending.
  6. Prepare to buy our first house. – Didn’t happen.
  7. Devote more energy into my relationship with Bill. – Made some small improvements, but there’s still a TON of room left to be better.
  8. Devote more energy into my relationships with Evie and Abbie. – I think I made pretty good strides with this, but there’s always room for improvement.
  9. Try out for another play! – I’ve decided to not try out for acting gigs for now. I got involved in costuming and really love it.
  10. Prepare for my first competitive run. – Yeah, um, didn’t happen. My large rear end was way too comfy to sit on this year.
  11. Go out and sing karaoke! – Didn’t happen.

I’m actually pretty proud of how much I did do as far as my goals this past year. Yay me! Now, this year I want to accomplish the following… or at least make progress towards these things:

  1. Sew more clothes for myself and the kids. I really want more dresses. I also want to make myself a pair of pants that fit me well. I’m currently in process of preparing my dream winter coat for sewing, so that will be first on the list to get done.
  2. Boost my little side business, sewing custom clothing and alterations. I have 5 potential dresses to make this coming year. I need to confirm them asap and make sure I have satisfied customers so they can recommend me to others.
  3. Complete the BSN portion of my RN to MSN Education degree. I’m starting Jan. 2, 2012 with Western Governor’s University. I really think this is totally doable. I’d like to get my MSN within 2 years, tops.
  4. Save money for our first house. We are tightening our belts a bit so we can start saving for a down payment. Now is really the time for us to buy so we just need to get our money in order for it.
  5. Improve my relationship with Bill and the kids. I adore my family and need to make sure they are aware of that daily.
  6. Finish one knitted item. I have a sweater for myself and one for my mother in the works. I need to FINISH something. Even if I don’t love doing it anymore I want to make sure I finish what I promised to do.
  7. Walk the neighborhood at least 3-4 days a week. My large rear end is SUPER comfy, but.. it’s a big BUTT, and I want to get it just a little smaller. So I need to start moving, regularly. Not in the hyper spurts that I tend to do. I have severe motivation issues and lose steam with most exercise, but I really enjoy walking my neighborhood. It’s scenic and peaceful, so I need to use that to my advantage and do something.
  8. Organize my sewing area and bedroom. They both need SERIOUS help. This is a big challenge for me as I’m kind of chaos incarnate and don’t really have an organized bone in my body. lol But I gotta try.

I think that’s it. Fewer things than last year, but things that are far more important to me at this point.

I hope you all have a happy, prosperous and safe New Year!

It’s beginning to look a lot like…


…the Christmas Spirit threw up all over my house. Well, it’s not that bad, yet. Yet being the operative word. The girls and I have been busy the past month making ornaments for our tree, and other holiday crafts. Here’s a sample of what we’ve done:

All of the projects are inspired by Pinterest. Here are the details:

First, I whipped up these holiday decorations in about 5 minutes while the kids were in school. The instructions can be found here.

I absolutely LOVE them! They suit my taste/style perfectly! I removed the bells from the back of the deer before gluing down so they would be somewhat flat against the glass. It cost me $3 to make both. The ornaments were 2/$1 and the frames were $1 each at Dollar Tree. I already had the scrapbook paper. These will go on the mantel.

Next up, ornaments!

The girls and I worked on Santa ornaments first. I used this blog post for instructions and modified them to suit the supplies I had on hand.

We made a total of 5 and I need to finish them. I need to add some embroidery floss to hang them with and I’m thinking I might want to add a strip of black felt to make a belt, but I’m not sure.

Making the Santa ornaments inspired me to fiddle around and create a Mrs. Claus. Here’s what I came up with:

Isn’t she just too stinking cute?! I love her to bits! I need to make 4 more now.

Living in Maryland means we sometimes have snow on Christmas, but it’s not guaranteed.  Well, the girls and I decided we would make sure we have snow on Christmas every year. First we made some Model Magic snowflakes following this tutorial.

We were able to get 11 snowflakes out of 2 packages of Model Magic. I didn’t want to make them too thin so they’d be sturdy once dried. They turned out pretty much awesome! I thought about drawing designs on them with red Sharpie, but I actually like them just the way they are. I hung them on our chandelier to dry, which took about 2 or 3 days.

One of my favorite experiments in high school chemistry was growing crystals. When I saw this blog post I just knew I needed to share that experience with my daughters. Science really can be stunningly beautiful! Here’s how our crystal flakes turned out:

In person they look like they are encrusted with diamonds. So darn pretty! I can’t wait to see them on the lit tree. The sparkles will just be amazing!

I’ve also been sewing. I have nothing to show, though, as I’m still in muslin stages on a couple of garments. As soon as I get some finished pieces I’ll be blogging about them. Also, I’ve been actively job hunting. I’m sick of living in this rental house and want to move ASAP, so I need an income sooner rather than later. It’s been a rather busy month.

Sewing: Tie Neck Blouse and Pencil Skirt


In July I had a LOT going on. My stepchildren were visiting for the month, we did a bunch of fun things, and I had an interview with the local hospice that went really well. I wore this to my interview:

A dress I made from New Look 6643 in red stretch cotton sateen from It fit me the best of all the dresses I owned that would be interview appropriate. I was told at the interview that I would have a second interview soon and a half-day shadowing a nurse to make sure hospice is what I want to do. Well, I got home and immediately started to plan out my second interview outfit, because I was going to HAVE to make one since my handmade dress fit me so well.

Here’s what I came up with:

Tie Neck Blouse from New Look 6831, View D *OOP

Fabric:  Polyester Shirting from Hancock Fabrics

Size Made: 18 with adjustments

Pattern Notes:

I modified the pattern with a Full Bust Adjustment and that required one additional button, which I did not have, so I put a snap at the top button place, since it is totally hidden by the bow anyways. I also had to increase the darts, and lengthen them (I’m short waisted as well as a busty hourglass).  I used this tutorial for the sleeves.  Also, I forgot to hem the first sleeve before sewing it together (doh!) so I just hemmed both after attaching. Worked just fine. I bound the shoulder seams for additional support without bulk. This was a great blouse pattern and I made a wearable muslin that I intend to stitch securely (it’s all basted) and put longer sleeves on for fall. I love how this blouse fits me!

Wrap Front Pencil Skirt from Vogue 8154, View C *OOP

Fabric: Vintage Cotton from 2nd Hand Sews

Size Made:  20

Pattern Notes:

This pattern was a perfect fit for me without any changes! That’s a shock! Getting the buttons lined up was a little tricky for me, but once I got it done I realized how to make it easier for myself. Mark through the button holes. Duh! lol Oh well. Yeah, I’m really a beginner but I’m trying to reach for intermediate. I bound all my unfinished edges on this skirt. The inside is really as beautiful as the outside. I love, love, love it! And… I can wear it with nearly every top in my wardrobe due to all the colors in the tiny dot print on the brown fabric. I used a large 1″ snap at the waistline where the pattern specified, and sewed it very securely. I wanted a nice, secure closure. I normally avoid pleats on bottoms, but the inverted pleat on this skirt really works well for my figure. I will certainly be using this pattern again. And the other views are great, too.

Here’s a pic of the blouse untucked:

I made some mistakes along the way, but I took my time and fixed them before getting frustrated. So glad I did! I’m incredibly proud of these two garments! I feel like a million bucks when I wear them. And the shots above are without my Spanx. It is even better looking with the Spanx. I should ROCK my second interview wearing this! I’m in awe that I now have a blouse that fits me like a glove and doesn’t pull across my bust. Let me repeat that… IT DOESN”T PULL ACROSS MY BUST!!!! I think that’s a first, ever. I refuse to wear minimizer bras anymore. I hate them and really I don’t want to hide my assets. lol

I’m linking this post up with:

Tip Junkie handmade projects


17 Day Diet: C1D3


Cycle 1, Day 3

Morning Weight: 178.2 lbs


Breakfast – Yogurt and berries w/ green tea

Morning Snack – Water

Lunch – Salad with tuna and Italian vinaigrette

Afternoon Snack – Sugar snap peas and water.

Afternoon Snack 2 – 1 serving potato chips (yep, I caved)

Dinner – Fajitas at a local Mexican restaurant, didn’t eat the tortilias, but did eat some chips and salsa… I was bad. But I was celebrating! lol Iced tea sweetened with Splenda.

Dessert – 1/2 cup sorbet and water

Exercise: None


I kinda blew the “diet” today, but I don’t really care. I had a day where years of stress and distress, and a lifetime of dreams became a reality. I took and passed my NCLEX-RN exam! I’m a registered nurse now! Yay! I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was 3 years old. A few celebratory calories were in order. lol

Lots of energy today!


It’s a rare occasion, especially here lately, that I actually have an abundance of energy and inspiration.  Today is one of those days.  So, my motto for the day is:

Totally not my creation and I'm not taking credit for it.

I was browsing around while Abbie was eating lunch and saw a high end designer dress that looked mighty familiar to me.

Oscar De La Renta Black Wool Dress

This dress I made on October 29, 2010 from stretch cotton sateen purchased at with New Look 6643 as a pattern, which was pretty heavily modified for what I wanted.















Looks mighty close to me!

I went out to the mail as Abbie was cleaning up her toys in preparation for her afternoon nap.  I was hoping that a package containing my winnings from Moi Minerals would be in the mailbox, but instead I found this:

My order from Sidney @ Limmer Lane Antiques!

And it contained these:

1940's Rayon (L) and Cotton (R)

I want to make this dress from the rayon:

Coffee Date Dress free pattern found at

I want to make a couple of these with the cotton:

Apron found here: Art Threads


I should also be expecting the fabric and notions today, via UPS, to make this dress:

I’m just giddy!  So many things that I can pick to work on! I’m test knitting a hat for a friend, and I will start working on a sewing project as soon as I’m done with that.  I’m excited!

Now that Abbie is napping I will be reviewing for my NCLEX-RN exam (boards for nurses) since I have peace and quiet to focus. I hope everyone is having a lovely day!

Walking on sunshine!


I have been riding a mental and emotional high for a number of days now.  I GRADUATED with my nursing degree!  YAY!  It feels so incredibly good to accomplish a 30 year old dream.  I’ve wanted to be a nurse since I was 3.  Yes, 3 years old.  Here’s proof:

This is me celebrating my 3rd birthday at my mother’s home.

And now just before I turn 33, I am a graduate nurse getting ready to get my license to be a registered nurse. Here’s what that looks like:

Pure JOY! That’s me hugging my mom, who was in tears, right after I got pinned as a nurse.

Bill and I went out to celebrate this past weekend and we had a great time with my nursing graduate  friends at National Harbor.  I really want to go back there again.  Dinner at Bond 45… OMG so good!  After that, fun at Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar.  Good times!

I don’t know how long this high will last, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.

Diving head first into my goals!


I’m not one to hesitate when I want to accomplish something.  I give it all I have from the get go and do my best not to burn out before I reach the desired end.  Here’s what I’ve done so far on my goals for the year.

  1. Rebuild my wardrobe. -I have been knitting myself a new wrap/rectangular shawl today.  It’s going to be soft, fuzzy, lacy and warm!  Love it!
  2. Get my craft mojo back! – As above, I’m KNITTING again!  Yay!  I’m using Joann’s Sensations Angel Hair yarn in the Neutrals colorway (it really is anything but neutral.. brown, beige, orange teal, navy with a mohair’esque fuzzy ply wrapped with it) and I’m using the Stolen Moments Wrap pattern.  I’ll write a new post on it and give pictures and such.
  3. Cull excess crap from my surroundings and life. – Lots of crap went out to the toter yesterday.  It will go to the dump on Wednesday.  Yay!
  4. Land my first RN job! – I’m waiting until tomorrow to do follow up calls and emails.
  5. Get our finances in better order. – Not there yet… need #4 first.
  6. Prepare to buy our first house. – See #5.
  7. Devote more energy into my relationship with Bill. – He’s been sick the past two days.  What a way to enter the new year!  Poor guy!  I have been doing my best to care for him and let him rest, though.
  8. Devote more energy into my relationships with Evie and Abbie. – They’ve been hineys for a few days, I think because they’ve been out of school for a while for winter break.  Hopefully they will get to be nicer girls this week since school starts back up tomorrow.  I’ve been trying to be a great mom, even in spite of them at times.  Not the easiest thing to do sometimes.
  9. Try out for another play! – Waiting for the next season to be posted.  There’s really none that interest me for the current season now.
  10. Prepare for my first competitive run. – We got a Kinect for our Xbox on Friday.  I picked up The Biggest Loser game for it.  Did the eval yesterday, and honestly I thought the game might be too intense for my current fitness level because of it.  But in spite of that slight worry, I did a 40 minute workout today.  The eval put me at the moderate level.  Glad it did.  Today’s workout was challenging, interesting, and left me feeling better than I did before I started it.  I’m certainly feeling it in my muscles, but I won’t be too sore tomorrow.  Yay!  In that 40 minutes I burned about 200 calories.  I want to try a light yoga program on the game this evening to get a good stretch.
  11. Go out and sing karaoke! – Had friends and family over yesterday for Abbie’s birthday party (post will follow soon) and my friend, Jennifer, asked if I’d like to go out and sing karaoke after graduation on Jan. 13th.  Woo hoo!  Just gotta arrange child care first but Bill and I are so there!  Woo hoo!

The only thing that feels better to me than forward momentum is actual accomplishment!  I’m definitely getting there!

Why, hello there 2011!


I used to do resolution lists when I was a teen.  I never kept them.  A few years ago I decided to set goals for myself, instead.  Those worked a LOT better for me.  So, without further ado, here’s what I want to accomplish over the next 12 months.

  1. Rebuild my wardrobe. – I have a TON of clothes.  Problem is, about 90% of them don’t fit!  I’ve been in process of cleaning EVERYTHING and separating out the things that no longer fit or are in too sad of shape to even attempt to repair.  Anything worth wearing I will be donating and the scrap clothes will either be tossed or salvaged for their fabric.  Once I see exactly what I have that I can wear well I will asses what I need to flesh out my wardrobe.  I want to do more sewing and knitting/crocheting this year, so I am going to try to make the things I need.
  2. Get my craft mojo back! – I spent nearly all of last year hardly making anything.  That is a sad state to be in for someone like me.  If my hands are idle I’m miserable.  So, I’m going to start working on creating beautiful things with my hands.  First up is a lovely sweater that I have the yarn for already!  Once I get that done I’m going to focus on finishing up some long abandoned projects that I need to get finished.
  3. Cull excess crap from my surroundings and life. – This is a twofold goal.  As I cull I also organize what I have left.  Yay! Anything worth any good is either going to be given away, donated, or sold.  Crap is going to the dump. I’m a hoarder and really, it’s gotten out of hand.
  4. Land my first RN job! – Kinda self explanatory.  Of course, I have to take my NCLEX first to get licensed.  I’ve sent out a ton of applications for jobs already.  Gotten one “NO”, one “get back in touch with us later” and a whole slew of crickets.  I need to start following up STAT!
  5. Get our finances in better order. – They aren’t AWFUL, but they are a little chaotic.  Gotta get back to where we were before I went to college.
  6. Prepare to buy our first house. – I hate renting.  I want my own house, yesterday.  Need to start saving ASAP.  Kinda need number 4 and 5 first, though.
  7. Devote more energy into my relationship with Bill. – He puts up with my crap.  It’s the least I can do.
  8. Devote more energy into my relationships with Evie and Abbie. – I love being told “You’re the best mom EVER!” and I want them to be able to say it more frequently than they previously have.
  9. Try out for another play! – I had so much fun trying out for Shadowlands, and got a callback from my first audition EVER!  I’m still beaming about that.  I want to try out for another one this year, or more.
  10. Prepare for my first competitive run. – I really want to do the Warrior Dash right around my 33rd birthday.  I’ve gotta exercise and get my stamina up as well as my strength.
  11. Go out and sing karaoke! – I haven’t done this in years!  And I loved it when I did it.  I’ve always wanted to stand in front of a crowd and sing, and really karaoke is about the only way it’s ever going to happen for me.  I know my childhood dream of being a professional singer is never going to come true, but I carry a decent enough tune for drunk folks to applaud.

So, tell me, what do you want to do this year?  Leave me a comment!

Where did she go?!!


I’ve been MIA from the blog for a while due to life getting CRAZY stressful.  Here’s the news…

I passed all my classes this semester and will be graduating the nursing program in January.

I am signed up to take the NCLEX-RN exam for my Maryland RN license but I’m waiting for the Authorization to Test from the Maryland Board of Nursing before I can schedule a date.

Christmas is coming up WAY too fast for my liking.

Abbie has blossomed into a big girl practically overnight.  More will follow soon on that.

Evie’s been a little sweetheart lately.  I like that and I’ll take it as long as I can.

I’ve been on a organization/decluttering kick with the house lately.  Watch out!!!

I’m trying to get used to not having to worry about college.  lol

I’ve been attempting to earn my mom of the century award by doing fun stuff with and for the girls.

I’m so happy that now I can devote more time to my husband and my kids.

I’m enjoying the Christmas spirit for the first time in 14 years.  That is an incredible experience for me.

I’m flipping exhausted and could probably sleep for a week before I felt rested fully.

I promise I’ll post more often now.