First Sunset of 2016!!


IMG_3690.jpgWe spent the afternoon at Hurricane Ridge last weekend and stayed to watch the sunset, the colors were a beautiful blend of gold, peach, pink, and lilac!! Happy New Year!



Learning to suture and more!

I have wanted to learn how to suture for the longest time, and was able to finally practice at a workshop hosted by NAPNAP recently! Yay for sharp needles and fake skin! I went a little overboard on the stapling, but it was so cool. I have been a student member of NAPNAP ever since I’ve wanted to be a pediatric nurse practitioner, and I love going to their workshops, but THIS one was my favorite. Do any of you know how to suture (people, animals, couches…)? If so, I’d love to hear your pointers!


Bonus: my toilet training presentation of a sampling of professional vs. lay literature for my child development and behavior class.

Here are a compilation of tips for any parents who are interested in toilet training (and probably already know way more than me!). These are based off of The American Academy of Pediatrics and Dr. Brazelton’s method.

Toilet Training Practice Pearls for Pediatric Providers & Parents

1. Introduce potty scenarios and language starting at or before the 1st birthday

  • Decide on terminology, e.g. “pee-pee” vs. urinate
  • Comment on diaper contents when changing your child
  • Allow your child to observe you using the bathroom

2. Watch for developmental milestones suggesting readiness for training (18-24 mos)

  • Physical: walking, stays dry for 2+ hours, removes own clothing
  • Mental: recognizes urge, able to imitate behavior
  • Psychological: willingness to please, curiosity, impatience with soiled pants

3. Prepare yourself first

  • Plan around stressful events, e.g. trips, family changes, moves
  • Purchase at least one potty, training pants, easy-off bottoms
  • Plan a routine for others who watch your child, e.g. grandparents, childcare

4. Take action

  • Have your child pick special underwear that is a size too big (easy removal)
  • Practice sitting on the potty fully clothed for a few minutes at a time for 1-2 weeks
  • Teach complete hand hygiene to the ABC song
  • Empty dirty diapers into the potty with your child
  • Place your bare-bottomed child on the toilet for 5-8 minutes every 2 hours or 45 minutes after liquids
  • Maintain a low-pressure environment with praise and stories
  • Avoid battles by keeping expectations low and allowing accidents to happen
  • Do NOT create power struggles (parent back down first), child has to learn autonomy vs. shame & doubt on their own
  • Take a 1 to 3 month break if the child is not having successes, rebuild trust and communication
  • Motivate your child with praise for the big and small successes
  • Rewards are optional (e.g. stickers, charts, trinkets, pants-free time..yipeee!)

5. Looking forward to nighttime dryness

  • Place a potty and nightlight in the bedroom and/or bathroom
  • Avoid pressuring for nocturnal dryness
  • Usually achieved by 4-5 years, is genetic; boys > girls nocturnal enuresis
  • 5% of ten year olds still have nocturnal enuresis
  • If your child is > 6 years old and still having nocturnal enuresis go see your pediatric provider


  1. The ABCs of Potty Training. Updated July 2014. Accessed February 9, 2015.
  2. Bookout K, Williams K. The Everything Guide to Potty Training. Avon, MA: Adams Media; 2010.
  3. Choby BA, George S. Toilet training. American Family Physicians. 2008; 78(9): 10591064. Accessed February 9, 2015.
  4. Faull J, Neville HF. Mommy! I Have to Go Potty! A Parent’s Guide to Toilet Training. 2nd ed. Bonney Lake, WA: Raefield-Roberts; 2009.
  5. Frankel A. Once Upon a Potty: boy. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books; 2013.
  6. Frankel A. Once Upon a Potty: girl. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books; 2013.
  7. Hockenberry MJ, Wilson D. Wong’s Nursing Care of Infants and Children. 8th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier; 2007.
  8. Port DR. Step-by-Step Guide to Potty Training. 2013. Accessed February 9, 2015.
  9. Toilet training guidelines: parents-the role of the parents in toilet training. Pediatrics. 1999; 103(6): 1362-1362. Accessed February 9, 2015.
  10. Vermandel A, Kampen VM, Gorp CV, Wyndaele J. How to toilet train healthy children? A review of the literature. Neurology and Urodynamics. 2008;27(3): 162-166. Accessed February 9, 2015.

What’s on my skincare shelf!

I loooove trying out new products, and am always rotating through something new. The only thing that stays the same in our bathroom it the Dove shampoo and conditioner in the shower (I love Dove’s ethics and how soft my hair feels after it)! The items in this photo are mostly from fall and winter of 2014, but I am still using most of them in the spring now.

1. Bath & Body Works hand soap: I love these for ease of use and especially the seasonal scents. Yum!

2. Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer serum: I love that this serum can be worn during the day. I have found that most serums are too greasy or heavy to wear under makeup, but THIS one is not-it actually mattified my skin. I definitely noticed a difference in how soft my skin became after going through one bottle.

3. Clinique Pore Refining Solutions: Now this little friend is a secret weapon! I first found out about it from a Sephora gift, and promptly bought more when that ran out. It reduces appearance of pores, and has a mattifying effect as well. Wears great under makeup. A little goes a long way. Definitely a great value, and if you only try one of these items, this would be the one I recommend!!

4. Dove Clinical Protection anti-perspirant/deodorant: Another great Dove product that really makes a noticeable difference! I try not to wear this everyday because it is potent (20% aluminum, which I don’t love), but when I need to be confident that I won’t have underarm wetness this is my go-to.

5. Essie: Ok, who else is looking for the perfect nail polish formula that paint on easily, has good coverage, and cute colors? I may be late to this bandwagon, but Essie has my heart nails now!! Seriously, this is a beautiful product. You need to give it a try. IF you can decide on a color or 10.

6. EOS: Confession, I my have bought the Costco 12,376 pack of these lip balms. I have them stashed everywhere…purse, work bag, school bag, car, bathroom, makeup bag, etc. They are the best little balms. I have a bad habit of licking my lips (when I should just drink more water) when they are dry, and EOS withstands for hours. Like post 10 mile run. Lips still shiny and moisturized.

7. Rapid Lash: Who doesn’t want long, full lashes that barely need mascara (unless you have blondies like me and look like a rabbit without it!)? I found this at Costco also (not sure if it is still there…but I plan to repurchase from Amazon when it runs out). I got a 2-pack last summer and am still using the first one. This eyelash serum really makes your lashes grow (and can be used for eyebrows too!). Once your lashes are the length you want, just use it every other day to maintain the length.

8. Zapzyt: This a a 10% benzoyl peroxide acne treatment gel. I put it on trouble spots at bedtime and wash it off in the morning. If you have sensitive skin, this product may be too drying for you. It works well for me, but try it in an inconspicuous place first to see how your skin responds.

Well there you go, my favorite skincare products right now! What are some of your must haves? I’d love to hear what works for you!


Valentine’s Day Mochi

I have had 2 boxes of sweet rice flour in my cabinet for a while, and in the true sprit of homework procrastination I decided to make mochi today! Gummy sweets are my soft spot, and I’ve wanted to make mochi because the remind me somewhat of Turkish Delight (which I have craving ever since we watched a foodie documentary last week that had some in it—ahh, not good for my sugar-reduction intentions!!).

I cross referenced a few recipes on the web, and decided to follow this one (I may have been influenced by all of the pink in her photos…). I followed her ingredients exactly, and they turned out great! My recommendation to you: make a 1/2 batch of her exact recipe, unless you want to feed the 5,000. I put some in my freezer because one full recipe made soooo much. The only other thing is that depending on how thick your batter is in the baking pan, you may need to cook it longer. The edges will get a bit golden and crispy, but don’t be fooled if the center is still soupy. Let it cook until the center is set. It will still seem soft and sticky, but the texture really firms up after the 1 hour of cooling.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!


The flowering Camellia in our yard was my color inspiration! Isn’t it pretty?


Don’t mind the excess cornstarch, haha!


Happy Friday & Crab Cakes!

I am thankful another Friday is here, and especially excited for this weekend because, well…….Super Bowl! I’m planning to make some tasty snacks for Sunday, but I want to make something a bit more festive AND beyond chips and dip! These crab cakes seem like the perfect Pacific Northwest appetizer. I love watching Byron Talbott’s YouTube channel because his food is beautiful, tasty, and he makes it look so easy. Plus, he seems to make a lot of desserts, which are definitely a temptation of mine. I get excited to replicate his recipes because they look so simple, but…he is really quite talented and I love his techniques. Check out his channel if you want to salivate over some fresh food!