Friday, May 31, 2013

Letters to Exes

Dear Control Freak,

You were such a jerk.  Like really, I can't even actually start this letter to you with any sentiment other than that.  You were abusive in more ways than one, and arrogant in more ways that I can count.  You also were literally dumber than a box of rocks.  What were your saving graces?  Your amazing, incredibly sweet, generous and kind parents who always made me feel welcome (even if they did make me sleep on the couch at your house, which was sort of odd) and comfortable.  I think you had a lot to learn, and I'm hoping, for your sake, you've learned it by now.

Dear Church Boy,

I can't help but smile when I think of how innocent you were when we met.  Not that I corrupted you or anything, but I don't think you saw me coming and I know your parents didn't.  You were kind and nice, and deserved someone who wanted the same things in life as you - which wasn't and still isn't me.  I often wonder if you ended up finding someone who makes you as happy as my husband makes me, and I hope you did because you really deserve it.

Dear Giant,

You were my first...everything.  At the time, I remember being so very enamored with you and thinking how cool I was to be dating a senior when I was just a lowly sophomore!  For years afterwards, our relationship haunted me.  Not in a tragic way, but it was something that people remembered - the odd couple (we were a foot and half apart in height), and they reminded me often that they remembered.  I don't really remember why things went from a typical high school break-up (you were moving away and going to college, I was only going into my junior year), but somewhere along the line after we broke up, things turned really ugly for a few years there.  You were mean and hurtful and spiteful, and that?  I won't ever forget.  Also, I know you think you're very cool now with your big city job and lifestyle, but I gotta tell you - you look like such a tool in half the crap you put on Facebook. 

It is my sincere hope that these letters are more anonymous than real, but if any of you are reading?  I mean every.  single.  word.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Summer Summer Time

In May...
Gardening Mom took me as her date (I'm a lucky girl!) to a fabulous Kentucky Derby Party at one of her coworker's beautiful Corona Del Mar home.

Handsome Husband officially finished his first year of law school!  We were both overjoyed and ready for a summer break!  We celebrated the end of the year with his fellow classmates at a White Trash Bash where camo, wifebeaters (the tank tops, not the people), and cut-offs were everywhere.

With the end of his school year, came the beginning of his softball season!  That's right, HH is back on the field with some former coworkers hitting home runs out of the park this summer!

To celebrate Mother's Day, we hosted our families at our home for a lovely brunch and gift exchange.

HH started his summer intership, which has already proved to be challenging, exciting and a learning experience!

We got together for some Taco Tuesday (of course I had to be different and get a sandwich) fun with some friends - a few members of the good old Taco Tuesday Club.

My dear Best Cousin made the big move from Oregon to So Cal, and we headed over to my parents' house (where she'll be staying while she builds a little life here for herself!) to greet here and have some yummy grub with the family.

Almost a year ago at the river for Father's Day Weekend in 2012.

We had a very long overdue (like seriously, it was originally planned in March) double date in at Best Friend Cute Apartment and her boyfriend, Number Cruncher's house.  She made a fantastic spread of grilled salmon, asparagus, brocolli, mashed potatoes and more!

HH and I had a romantic and super fun (not to mention, healthy!) date night at home on our own the following weekend, sponsored by Fresh and Easy! 

We got to watch Brother AG graduate college, and spent the day celebrating with him and my Father-in-Law and HH's younger half-sisters!

On Memorial Day, HH headed to Temecula to spend some time with Brother AG and company, while I spent the evening at a BBQ at Hat Dad and Gardening Momma's house.

Both Sister Swimmer and Singer finished up their very first year of college - I can't believe it's already been a year since we watched them graduate high school!

What's coming in June? Sisters and Gardening Mom will all celebrate a birthday, I'm hoping we're heading to Arizona for Father's Day Weekend again, and I better get to spend some time lounging at the pool this summer!  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Instagram Love

I think my current favorite social media app is staying loyally at Instagram for the time being.  I don't post a ton, but I think it's such a fun and easy way to keep up with my favorite friends, family and bloggers!

I recently (yep, I'm behind the times) stumbled upon Statigram, and spent way too much time sucked in to my Instagram stats! 


Apparently y'all really liked HH and I heading out in NYC to celebrate our two-year anniversary a few years back, a #ThrowbackThursday to our wedding day, painting our master bedroom, a holiday wish to you and yours, and my Honey Boo Boo Halloween costume!

Lo-fi is where it's at.

Everyone (I consider 13 people everyone) wanted to know how I got my phone so dang cute!

Apprently these are my favorite Instagramers - seems about right!
What is your favorite social media app?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bottom Three

I am probably the one loser person who hasn't been regligiously participating in Blog Every Day in May, but today - that changes!  Granted, I didn't blog every day, but I'm linking up with Jenni today and joining in on the fun.

Day 24, Friday: Your top 3 worst traits 
Unsure why I chose to chime on on such a self-deprecitating topic, but what can ya do?
Instead of calling them my top 3 worst, I'm going to dish to y'all about my bottom three traits.

1. I'm needy - I need to be told or shown that you love me, that you care about me, that you're interested in my life.  I'm not comfortable with just knowing it, I need to feel it.  I need my friends to make an effort, or I feel lost.  I need my husband to tell me how much he loves me.

2. I'm a mean fighter.  Okay, to be fair, I have gotten so much better as I've gotten older about this, and I actually almost never fight with anyone (except the occasional bicker with HH) anymore, thank goodness.  But still, if I get super heated, I don't play fair.  I play dirty.  I've been told I have a way with words, and not in a good way.

3. I'm pretty judge-y.  I love my true friends no matter what, and their choices don't change that.  But, that doesn't mean I don't get a bit Judge Judy on them, thinking I know better than they do when they're making some questionable choices.  I don't know when I got crowned Queen Knows Everything, but often times I think I'm rocking that title.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Little Siblings

This Sunday, Handsome Husband and I have the extreme pleasure of watching his little brother walk across the stage and graduate college!  This is such a big deal, and I think in this day and age where college-educated is the norm, it doesn't get celebrated nearly as much as it should!

College graduations aside, something else that doesn't get celebrated enough are little siblings in general.  Granted, Brother AG is a half-sibling blah blah, but siblings are siblings and they are little obnoxious gifts from God! 

I've never had an older sibling, but I personally think being one is an honor.  It's nice to go through things first, one because obviously that makes you cooler in your siblings' eyes, but also because it helps you to appreciate what those a few years behind you are going through.  I can appreciate the love Sister Swimmer has for her boyfriend because I remember exactly what it felt like to be in love at eighteen-years-old.  I know how empassioned Sister Swimmer is about her many political causes, because I was that girl fresh outta high school who wanted to change the world.  And HH knows what a big deal it is for Brother AG to be getting his diploma from college this weekend, because he just did himself a few years back.

Despite what this collage seems to imply, Sister Singer has, in fact, graduated before (High School, what up!).  I just really love our Amigos picture!

Brother AG,
We are so very proud of you, and so happy to be attending your graduation this weekend.  We can't wait to see what the next step of your adventure is!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Man Jewelry: A Qalo Ring Review by HH

Hello, again, Stress Case readers, Handsome Husband here!

My friend started a company called QALO (pronounced “Kay-low”) not too long ago and the idea behind it is pretty great. The company sells wedding bands for people with an active lifestyle. The wedding bands they sell are made of a thick silicon material that makes it soft, flexible, and very comfortable to wear. They come in three different colors (so far!) including black, slate grey, and cobalt blue (my favorite). I also like the slate grey color because it is quite similar in color to my actual wedding band.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that this silicon wedding band has completely replaced my tungsten wedding band that Casey put on my finger on our wedding day (she’d kill me if that were that case). The QALO ring is, however, perfect for a lot of activities that I personally would typically not wear my wedding band while doing. My wife and friends can tell you all firsthand that I do not wear my wedding ring into the gym when I would work out, which used to be almost everyday (I need to get back to that routine but I digress). The reason for this is that tungsten cannot be polished so I don’t want to scratch my wedding band from the metal on metal contact with the weights. Also, I tend to take it off when I go for long runs, take showers, and even when I sleep. Now, I wear the QALO ring when I do all these things because it is ultra light weight and very comfortable; so comfortable I seriously forget I’m wearing it sometimes.

Plus, how many of you women reading this would prefer that your hubby is wearing at least some sort of ring on his finger when he’s doing activities where he might normally take his ring off? This would include any sports, any activities like swimming or surfing, or anything else predominantly involving the use of your hands and the potential for damage to your hubs’ wedding band. Some of you might say that your husband never takes his ring off under any circumstances, and that’s great! More power to him! But, if he happens to have a tungsten ring that cannot be cleaned or polished, does it still look like it did when it was brand new? Or, if he has a very expensive ring, it would suck to lose it while swimming or something like that. With the QALO ring, you can take the wedding band off sometimes and keep it safe and in great condition while still having a band on that ring finger.

My cousin just told me a story a few weeks ago about how he broke his tungsten ring at work recently. He was reaching for a box on shelf up high in the warehouse and his ring got caught on the edge, came off his finger, and fell to the ground breaking in two upon impact. If he were wearing a QALO ring, that would not have happened and he’d still have his original wedding band that he got from his wife on his wedding day (of course, his tungsten band was looking a bit dirty after having worked out with it on and not a QALO ring. To his defense, they weren’t around yet then).

Additionally, for you ladies who are thinking “hey this sounds great and all but my husband doesn’t need it as much as I need it so I can keep this big rock safe,” worry no more! They just released a line of women’s bands. The pros of you beautiful ladies wearing a QALO ring instead of your huge engagement and/or wedding rings during some activities are obvious. No one wants to lose a diamond. Ever.

Finally, these rings are only $20 each and the company donates 10% of its annual profits to Lupus research. Who doesn’t love a company that provides a great product and gives back?

Anyways, enough of my raving about these guys. To learn more about QALO rings and about who the company is, check out their website at, and you can check out their Facebook page for updates HERE.

I want to thank my old buddy over at QALO for providing me with this awesome ring (he actually went above and beyond and gave me all the colors!), and introducing me to his very cool new venture.

HH was given this Qalo wedding ring from QALO for review.  All words and opinions are his alone.

The Nail Files

So happy to be linking up with Tara and Vicki again after a little nail break!  I am loving the colors I'm rocking this week, and couldn't wait to share with y'all!

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in 320: Love Rocks
Wet 'n' Wild Crystalic in 477A: Psycho

I love the color of this pink Sally Hansen shade, but goodness it was hard to paint my nails with!  Very goopy and sticky, however to be fair, I am pretty sure both of these polishes are ancient, so it could have to do with beind old and not the formula in general.  The Wet n Wild sparkles are amazeballs, and I can't believe I didn't find this bottle earlier!  I anticipate this bottle coming out a lot this summer! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Mother's Day Brunch

Last weekend, for Mother's Day, we hosted my parents, my sisters, Mother-in-Law Red and her beau, Mr. Bear for brunch.  I have so loved owning our home for many reasons, but by far my number one reason?  I love to entertain. 

I spent quite some time deciding on the perfect spread - balancing the necessities of sweet and savory breakfast items to please all those in attendance, and I did pretty well, if I do say so myself!

This, to me, is the perfect brunch spread:

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins
Bacon - soft and crispy!
Smoked Salmon
Strawberries and Bananas with Nutella
Cheesey Egg Bake
A Mimosa Bar (duh!)
And obviously, no Mother's Day is complete without some gifts.
My gifts for Mother-in-Law Red were lovingly bought at a craft fair (the adorable sign) and the phone case is from Etsy.
For Gardening Momma, I got a little crafty and my Pinspiration was from none other than the Saw it-Pinned it-Did it Queen herself, Steph
My Pinspiration:
My Creation:
I went with a big of a fluffier succulent arrangement, and a different type of wooden letter, and skipped the bow for Gardening Mom's wreath, but I loved Steph's so much I just couldn't stray too much for her adorable wreath.
I wasn't the only one who got crafty for Mother's Day this year, Sisters Swimmer and Singer worked with Hat Dad to create the coolest succulent planter for GM also!
So cool, right?!
Sisters showing off their handiwork.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The School That Won't be Named

I've mentioned my time in nursing school a few times here on the blog, and every time I refer to the school I attended I call it "The School That Won't be Named".  The reason for that is that, while I was greatly disappointed in many aspects of my time at my school, I don't feel the need to run their name through the mud, and bash them here on a public website.  It's not really my style, and I think it would reflect poorly on myself just as much as said school.

However, today I'd like to share a little bit about my time at The School, and some things that I've changed my mind about over the last few years since I've graduated.

The main problem with The School was a huge lack of organization, and professionalism.  I had never attended an educational institute that was so disorganized, and so wildly innapropriate.  The professors were not professors - in fact, we often called them "Nurses Who Read Slides", because that was really their main purpose.  I have to mention that there were one or two Nurses who taught at the school who greatly impacted my education and the nurse I am today, and to those women, I will always be greatful.  But as a whole?  Their staff was lacking in their training and the essential traits it takes to make a good teacher.  The exams were hardly fair, and they were often not on what we had been told they would be on.  There were constantly debates about the exams post-grade-handing-out, which was both bizarre and warrented, considering how out of left field the exam questions often were.  It was a lot of memorization and less learning, but I think that has a bit more to do with nursing and science in general than the school.

The clinicals were better in some ways and worse in others.  The sites we were sent to were often unfriendly, ill-managed, and unhelpful to as as learning future nurses.  There were certainly exceptions to that rule, but in general?  Not so much.  There were days that Nurse Sarcasm and I spent 50% of our clinical time walking in circles around one nursing home because there was literally nothing for us to do.  I will always be greatful to one of my Clinical Instructors however, who pushed me beyond my limits, paired me with an inspiring preceptor, and made me feel more like a nurse and less like a scared student.

There were times throughout the thirteen months I was enrolled at The School that I truly did not know if I was going to make it.  I didn't know how many more surprise exams, random canceled classes, dramatic high-school fights, and unprofessional Nurses Reading Slides I could possibly deal with.  But at the end of the day, my education and my future career was more important to me and I pushed through the bullshit to get to the other side.

What have I changed my mind about in the nearly three years it's been since I graduated (wow I can't believe it's been that long)?  My attitude was part of the problem.  Not the entire problem by any means, but I went in with an attitude and it certainly affected my time at The School.  I could have been much more positive, and I think I might have caught more flies with honey, if you know what I mean.  Another thing I've gotta give credit to The School for, is that it taught me some pretty valuable study skills.  Sure, part of that is because there was so little guidance on what you needed to know that you basically had to know everything, but those skills have stayed with me and they are great skills to have, as I have big plans for continuing my education.

So there you have it.  The reason I don't refer to The School That Won't be Named by it's actual name, the parts that made me hate it, and the personal growth that brought me to where I am today about the whole situation.

Have you ever changed your attitude about something after you've been removed from it for a few years?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Would You Quit?

You just won a million dollars.
Would you quit your job?

I tend to think the obvious, easiest and most popular answer to the above question would be a resounding yes!  But, to me, this isn't all that much of a no-brainer.
First things first, a million dollars is a lot of money - but it's not a billion dollars.  I mean, a million won't even buy me a mansion in my neck of the woods.  So while it would be nice to quit the old job and roll around in money all day, I've got bigger goals than a million will buy me. 
Secondly, I work for money and for satisfaction.  I don't work for just the paycheck, but the feeling I get from working, and working in healthcare.  I wouldn't want to give that up for just about anything. 
So, what would I do?  I think I would probably, in fact, quit (Sorry, employer!  The good news I don't see myself winning a hot million anytime soon) my job, but simply to send myself back to school instead.  And I wouldn't stop going to school until I was done.  Not done with my RN, not done with my Masters,  but done with every bit of education I could cram into my brain because a million dollars might just give me the luxury to do so.
Oh, and I'd go on a badass vacation.
What would you do?

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Half Week Break

Those of you who read religiously (Hi, Mom and HH!) may have noticed that I have not been blogging very much this week.  There is not much of a reason, but for having less inspiration and energy!  Not to worry, I will be back to your regularly scheduled programming next week.

Now, please enjoy this photo of two piggies swimming:

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Best Customer Service

I am a stickler about Customer Service.  It comes from working 2 years in the Retail industry and another 3 in the Food Service.  You're taught that the customer is always right, even when you know they're wrong.  And most importantly?  Respect.  So when I don't get that from business establishments where I am the customer, I don't take kindly to it.  And let's just say I've given my fair share of complaints to managers, supervisors, and Customer Service phone lines.

But, I also give credit where it's due!  And today?  There is a certain fast food chain that deserves some kudos from this girl.

A month or so ago, Handome Hubs picked up some In N Out on his way home from class, and I was giddy at the thought of their super yummy cheeseburgers and animal fries (don't judge).
HH got home with the grub and we had a super fancy family dinner on the couch watching something from the DVR.  Being the compartment eater (shoutout the Cousin Study Buddy for that term!) that I am, I scarfed my burger before moving onto the fries.  The burger was great, but that is where the excellence ended during this meal.
The fries were the worst fries I have ever had in my entire life.  They were like potato chips they were so crunchy.  Anyone who knows me knows I hate crunchy food, so I thought maybe I was being oversensitive but even my garbage disposal husband was disgusted.
I was pissed.  I mean, In N Out is not cheap, and I had been so excited about it!  My aggravation lead me to call the number on the bag and bitch it out let them know my concerns.
And that is where the bad experience ended, and In N Out gave some pretty ballin' customer service.  First of all, they wanted all sorts of detailed information, and let me know they were going to call the store as soon as we hung up to make sure they remedied the sitch ASAP.  Awesome already.
The best part?  To make up for the nasty fries we ended up with, they mailed me not only two coupons for two more orders of animal fries, but two more coupons for full meals!  This was way above and beyond what I could have expected, and it truly seemed like they were just sincerely sorry for their error and wanted to make it up to me.  I have never felt so valued as a customer.
I was so surprised and impressed when the vouchers they told me they were mailing out showed up at my house two days later. 
It's official: In N Out has the best customer service!
Have you ever received over the top amazing Customer Service before?  I wanna hear your story!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Dear Hobby Lobby,

Thank you for being closed on Sundays.

Thank you for making sure I don't spend unnecessary money on your adorable home decor, trinkets, and your extensive selection of craft supplies.  Because you see, when you work all week, and have obligations with friends and family most Saturdays, Sundays are the days I feel extra crafty.  And when you're closed on Sundays, you know what I don't do?  Go on Monday.  I just don't go at all.  So, uuber thanks from my wallet!

I sort of get where you're coming from with the whole day of rest thing, but then again - I don't.  Because while you've got one partner in crime (coughCHICKFILAcough), there are many businesses who consider themselves rooted in faith, who are, in fact, open on Sundays.  I can think of one fast food chain who even prints Bible verses on their cups who stays open on Sunday - In N Out ring a bell?  (Also PS, I have a post coming on In N Out's amazing customer service, so double win for them!)

I'm totally not the only person who should be sending you a thank you note, you know who else should?  The CEO and stakeholders at Michaels.  Because some Sundays I can't just say no to crafting, some Sundays I am desperate for some hot glue, glitter or rhinestones (the main components in my crafting), and you know where I head to?  Michaels.  Because they're open

Wtih Great Thanks from my Wallet and Michaels,
Stress Casey

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lots of Link Love

Lots of Link Love
Like Tara, I think it's important to emphasize the importance of community in the blog world and not only focusing on ourselves and our own blogs, but to spread lots of blog love to those who deserve it.  Every once in a while, I will highlight the posts over the last few weeks that touched me, made me laugh, pulled at my heartstrings, and inspired me.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy Nurses Week to Me: Dansko Nursing Shoes Review and GIVEAWAY!

Next week is Nurses Week 2013, and it's always a fun week for us nurses.  It's one week where we tend to get a few extra thank you's and depending on how generous our employers are (mine is very!), sometimes we even get a little gift or treat!

Speaking of treats, Dansko surprised me for Nurses Week this year!  I was delighted to receive an email from them asking if I'd like to participate in their Nurse Week celebration, and of course I was glad to!

First things first, a little announcement for all you nurses out there who love Dansko product! Dansko is sponsoring an enter-to-win contest for anyone who visits a Dansko retailer during Nurses Week (5/6-5/12) and tries on Dansko apparel or footwear. Five lucky nurses will win a Dansko prize pack! To find a Dansko retailer near you, check out their find-a-retailer page.

Dansko didn't stop there, though!  They also offered my some brand new shoes to replace my very loved pair that I've been wearing every single day for nearly two years. 

Dansko gave me a few options and I settled on the Sedona Elise in White Smooth Leather.  The shoes arrived pearly white on my doorstep and I couldn't wait to try them out at work!

But first, a photo shoot:

I've been wearing the Elise shoes at work for a few weeks now, and they are great!  They have a little bit of a heel on them, so it's been great to give my dragging scrub pants a break from hanging out under my shoes!  I was a little nervous wearing the shoes to work for the first time, afraid they might hurt as they got broken in.  I was very happy to find out that there was no pinching, no hurting, no nothing!  The shoes felt as if I had been wearing them for months, except for that they were sparkling white!

Dansko couldn't forget all my nurse readers, too!  They were kind enough to offer a pair of the Sedona Elise shoes to one lucky Stress Case reader!  Enter via Rafflecopter below!

I was given 1 pair of Dansko shoes by Dansko for review, and offered one to giveaway to one of my readers.  All opinions are my own.
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