Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Updated Bullet Journal with Exercise Journal & Student Planner Inserts

This is my second week with University of Phoenix. My first course towards my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education is what is called GEN 200. Basically, it's a college skills course. Which I took in 2010 with MTC. So....it's quite boring. However, I know that I need to focus on getting used to the classroom setup and how UOP works. So, I'm trying to look at the information with fresh eyes and be open minded. One of the first things that we talked about in the course was goal setting and time management. I am still using my bullet journal from this post. However, I've discovered over the last week during this course, that I needed a few more "tabs" in my journal- an exercise journal (I call it Healthy Me) and a Student Planner to help keep my to do lists separate.

The original post was written back in April of this year, so needless to say, I've incorporated quite a few things. So, I'm going to give you a brief overview of the changes. If you want to see the meat of the journal and the idea that sparked it, go here. I hope this helps you, and I can't imagine using any other system to keep myself organized. The moleskin has stayed gorgeous even with toting it around in my purse everyday and using it everyday. I would literally be lost without it. I've found that since using this, I rarely forget to do anything and I seem to actually get things done. My house is running smoother, my life is less stressed, and I feel more in control. All important things! :)

One more quick thing- I had someone ask when I write my daily to do lists. I try to do it every night before I go to bed for the next day, because it gets everything out of my brain and helps me fall asleep. If I wait till the next morning, I tend to think about all the things I might forget and it keeps me from sleeping!
I used to have two tabs- one for the Current Month to go along with my calendar in the front, and one for my current lists, which I choose to put on my monthly to do list and use my bookmark string on the moleskin for my daily to do lists. What's the difference, you ask? Monthly to do list is things I want to accomplish during that month, but aren't necessarily priority. Things I don't want to forget are happening or need to be done. For instance, car taxes needing to get paid that month, or making an appointment to go over our life insurance. Daily to do lists are just that- simple things that need to get done that day. Things like, grocery shopping, mop the kitchen, emails that need to be sent, phone calls that need to be made...and so on. Now, the two I added- Healthy Me & Student Planner.
This used to be my class schedule when I was going to a local college. Since, I graduated with my Associate in Science and moved to finishing at an online college, I no longer needed that space for that. Instead, I came up with a general housework and weekly schedule that works for me. These things are pretty much a standard for my daily to do lists. It needs tweaking, but for right now, it's working. And the goal here is to be better at getting things done, not overloading myself and feeling overwhelmed.  
The new "tab"- Healthy Me! This is my exercise log. The first page, I made about goal setting. The second page, was a very quick "get started" and I wasn't happy with how it turned out. So, I thought about it and...(see below)
This will be what the pages look like from here out in the Healthy Me section. It gives me a place to be accountable for what I did that day- walked, swam, aerobics, etc. Also, I want to keep up with how much water I'm drinking, because drinking any water is a struggle for me. I'm trying to take in at least 4 bottles equaling about 68 ounces a day, but right now, I've found it hard to do half of that. So, keeping a journal of it, will help me understand where I'm at. Also, I am struggling with sleep. I always seem to be tired, so I'm worried that maybe I sleep too much (ha!) and maybe that is actually causing me to be tired. So, I'm trying to sleep only 7-9 hours a night and keep a schedule. Hopefully, this helps. And lastly- I have a goal for the week and a motivational quote.
And lastly, the tab for my Student Planner. This is really personal to just me, because most student's take more than one course at a time. At UOP, we take one course for 5 weeks. So, I only need to plan for one day at a time. But, this allows me to get more in detail with what needs to be done each day for the class without mixing it into my daily to do lists.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why Failing Was Good for Me

Failing is never something we want to admit. Failing hurts. It sucks the very life out of you and drains your soul and makes you want to stay in bed and never get up again. Especially when it is something you wanted. Something you were absorbed with.

And it's even worse when you took out loans for it.

I failed nursing school.

There. I said it. It's been almost 9 months now since I decided I couldn't do it. And it still gets to me. I am not someone that fails...I am not someone that gives up. I spent a good portion of 3 years to get a degree in nursing. And I truly wanted it. I almost finished it. And then, right there in the middle of clinicals....I discovered I couldn't do it. It wasn't the clinicals, or the patients, or the gross factor, or anything of the sort. I understood the concepts. I knew my medications. I knew my pathophysiology. I even could recite nursing diagnoses in my sleep. Well, maybe not sleep....because I didn't sleep in nursing school. I lived on caffeine. But, that's another story.

I could spend hours upon hours upon more hours studying, reading, making charts, reviewing, and reciting. Yet, I couldn't pass the tests. I gained weight. My face broke out. I was beyond stressed. I was never happy. I was always on edge. Sleep was not something that I could even find when I had time for it. I became such a disaster at exam time, that I literally would have horrible stomach pains and shook like a leaf. I started to not care anymore. I just wanted my life back. I wanted to be happy again. I wanted to be able to spend time with my family and not feel like I was doing something bad. So, I failed. I actually failed TWICE.  I failed the one class, and tried again. And gave it even more of myself. And failed again. One could definitely say that after that second time I could have been diagnosed with Failure to Thrive. I became a recluse. I didn't want to talk to people. I didn't want to leave my bed. I didn't want to get dressed. It was pretty bad. And I'm still recovering- 9 months later.

So, I'm sure you are wondering right now, why the heck I say that it was good for me.

As someone that really had never really failed, I needed to realize what it was like. I needed to see that I had let something consume me in a way that was seriously unhealthy. I'm not saying nursing school is unhealthy (lol), but for me, it was. Failing made me reevaluate who I am and what I want out of life. I realized that while I loved doing my clinicals, and I would probably make a great nurse, I had always wanted something else...I wanted to teach. I realized that my Plan A, was not really my Plan afterall.

I'm now in school for my BS in Elementary Education. And I'm happy. :)

I've grown as a person from my experiences with nursing school. I've realized how lucky it is to be healthy, and to be proactive with that health. It's amazing how quickly something can happen inside of us. I've learned I have a strength inside of me that I didn't know existed. I pulled myself up and brushed myself off, and now, I'm a better person for that.

I now know things that the average person doesn't when it comes to health care. Which is beneficial for me and my family due to my husband's health condition. Heck, it's beneficial just going to the pediatrician's office. I know what it means when my kids' chart reads NKA or says they have rhinorrhea. (NKA- no known allergies & rhinorrhea simply means a runny nose!)

And I'm not afraid of failure anymore.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Easy Weeknight Chicken Quesadillas

It's that time of year again...that time when the kids' go back to school, and we have soccer practice at least 4 nights out of the 5, and games almost all weekend. This means my family eats out way more often than we should. One major goal of mine this year is to end this cycle of spending money on and eating  junk. So, while I wouldn't call this a "healthy" meal, it is better than eating a frozen pizza or eating a cheeseburger from McCrappy's. I'm going to try to post a new "quick" weeknight meal that my family loves at least once every two weeks or so. So, here is the first installment-

Easy Weeknight Chicken Quesadillas

This is a really simple idea that can be expanded upon or just made as is. Even picky eaters will love!
3 cans of chunk chicken (12.5 oz each), drained
1 can of green chiles (7 oz each)
1/4 cup of taco sauce, or more/less to your taste
black pepper, onion powder, and chili powder to taste
2-3 cups of fiesta blend cheese, shredded
16 flour tortillas
1 tbsp of butter
sour cream, salsa, and guacamole for dipping

Mix chicken, chiles, sauce, and seasonings together in a bowl. Preheat a skillet on med-high heat. Add a small pat of butter. Place a tortilla shell flat in skillet. Add chicken mix and sprinkle cheese on top. Place another tortilla shell on top. Cook until browned. Flip and repeat on other side. You can even make a simple cheese quesadilla for your picky eaters! Repeat.  Serve warm with dipping sauces. Cut with pizza cutter. Makes 8 quesadillas- enough for my family of 5.

I have found this to take about 5 minutes to prep, if you make this according to my recipe, and another 10-15 to cook. Next time I make it, I'm going to prep the chicken mix and place in the fridge till we get home to save even more time. I really want to try sauteing some peppers and onions and using some grilled chicken breasts chopped, but the point of this meal was to be quick and easy, so maybe another time! Enjoy!
~Mom dribbling weeknight dinners and a soccer ball
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