Monthly Archives: January 2015

Favorite Posts: January 2015

How is the first month of the year already over?? I guess getting back to my normal routine after Christmas made it go by fast. It was also a pretty calm month in the Pinkerton household, other than Derek working a lot during his internal medicine rotation. Things will pick up for us a bit in February. We’re meeting up with friends for the Super Bowl, and we’ll be celebrating my 25th birthday next week. Derek has 4 more weeks of internal medicine, specifically with nephrology, at UNC. I’ll be busy at work prepping for our annual social work retreat in March. It’ll be a busy month!

But first, here are my favorite posts from January 2015:

New Year, New Goals

The Impeded Stream

I Bet I’m Ice Cream {Fun Friday}

Meal Plan: An Ode to Trader Joe’s

Medicaid Expansion in NC {Social Justice Issue}

 

 

A Perfect World

When I think of Chipotle, I think of delicious burrito bowls, quirky stories on the cups, and the weird music that they play in there. However, my recent visit to Chipotle was inspirational. Yes, last week I was inspired by a Chipotle bag. (I’ll file that one under “Things I Did Not Expect to Write in My Blog.”) The quote on the bag was from Steven Pinker, psychology professor at Harvard. The bag I saw had the last line from his “Two-Minute Case for Optimism.” Hope you enjoy the quote and essay as much as I did!

“We will never have a perfect world, but it’s not romantic or naïve to work toward a better one.”  -Steven Pinker

Meal Plan: An Ode to Trader Joe’s

Hello there! Hope you had a great weekend! I was one of those lucky people who had a 3-day weekend. Don’t worry, the universe balanced itself out, and I’m working this Saturday. I really can’t complain since I don’t have to work weekends very often, but I’m a bit nervous about being the only social worker in the hospital. :/

In an unfortunate twist of fate, I’m working on Derek’s only Saturday off this month. He’s on his internal medicine rotation right now which means long hours (65-70 hours/week), intense studying, and only one day off each week. Bleh. With both of us working a lot this week, meal planning was crucial. I needed easy, quick, preferably healthy meals for the week. On crazy weeks like this, Trader Joe’s is a life saver.

Like my previous meal plan posts, I included the meals that I plan for each day this week. I’m also highlighting the time-saving Trader Joe’s products that I enjoy.


Meal Plan- Week of 1/18/15

Sunday: Jambalaya + Salad

Monday: Rotisserie Chicken + Broccoli + Roasted Potatoes

roasted-potatoes

Roasted Potatoes with Roasted Peppers & Onions. Source.

Tuesday: Steak and Asparagus Stir Fry + Brown Rice

Wednesday: Curry Chicken + Green Beans + Naan

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My “curry chicken” is the easiest meal ever. Step 1: Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in pan. Step 2: Dump simmer sauce on top of chicken. Step 3: Cover and cook on medium for 10 minutes. Voila! Source.

plain-tandoori-naan

This is one of my absolute favorite TJ’s products. It’s SO delicious, especially the garlic version. Source.

Thursday: Taco Salad

Friday: Dinner Out

Saturday: Chile Lime Chicken Burgers + Sweet Potato Frites + Salad

Trader Joes chili lime burgers

These burgers have a simple ingredients list, and they pair perfectly with avocado or pepper jack cheese. Nom. Source.

92157-sweet-potato-frites

Because sweet potatoes are the best potatoes. Source.

 

I Bet I’m Ice Cream {Fun Friday}

Happy Friday!! We made it y’all.

It’s been a while since my last Fun Friday post, so I thought I’d share a few pictures, videos, and stories that made me laugh or smile this week. Enjoy!


I’ll kick things off with a sweet dog who just can’t figure out where that squeaky noise is coming from.

With every squeak she just looks like, “What was that?! Oh well, back to frolicking in the snow.”

I have some good news for the optimists out there. According to a recent study by lead author Rosalba Hernandez, a professor of social work at the University of Illinois, optimistic people have healthier hearts. The study showed optimists were “50 and 76 percent more likely to have total health scores in the intermediate or ideal ranges, respectively.” The association remained significant even after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and poor mental health.

Here’s to seeing the glass half full!

Moving on to a completely different, but health-related story, I want to share a short article by Elaine Ambrose entitled “Don’t Fart During an MRI.”  I don’t think this one needs much explaining. Just read it.

I’ll close out this week’s edition of Fun Friday with an excellent prank video.

How low can you go?

Have a wonderful weekend!!

The Impeded Stream

One of the oldest sayings in social work is, “I’m a social worker, not a miracle worker!”

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While it’s mostly a joke, I am frequently called into situations when no one knows what to do. In some ways, it’s intimidating to be viewed as the resident problem solver, but I also love the opportunity to be creative and explore options. Those “What now?” situations can be frustrating, especially if I’m in a time crunch or none of the options are good, but they keep me on my toes and teach me so much, no matter the outcome. My friend Caroline introduced me to the following poem, and it resonated with me. Perplexity, though trying, is what brings out my best work and the most important lessons I learn.

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

– “The Real Work” by Wendell Berry

New Year, New Goals

Can you believe it’s 2015?! As usual, it will take me until about March before I get used to writing “15” at the end of the date. If you read my year in review post, you know that it was a crazy year for me. Between getting married, graduating, and starting my first job last year, I decided that 2015 is a year for low-key goals. Without further ado, here are my goals for 2015:

1. Floss. I know, this one is just waaaaay too exciting. 😉 I’m terrible about flossing though, and I dream of the day when I’m not scolded at the dentist’s office. Is that sad or what?

2. Read more. I love watching my favorite TV shows, but sometimes I end up watching random stuff just because I’m bored. I also love to read, but the convenience of flipping on the TV often wins out. Instead of mindlessly watching shows, I want to pick up a book more often. I’m even considering following along with NPR’s book club the Morning Edition Reads. (I ❤ NPR.)

3. Run in a few fun races. After the let down of training for a half marathon last fall, I decided to focus on having fun with running shorter distances this year. The first race I’m looking at is a St. Patrick’s Day race that includes a Kilt Run and free beer after the race.

4. Clean for 20-30 minutes each day. I started doing this over the past couple weeks, and it makes a HUGE difference. The house looks better, and I spend less time cleaning on the weekend. It’s a win-win!

5. Be a supportive spouse. This is my most important goal for 2015. It’s going to be a BIG year for Derek. This summer he will decide what specialty he wants to pursue, and he’ll start applying for residency programs. He also takes his Step 2 exam and will travel for interviews in the fall. It will be a stressful, exciting time, and I know that I will need to be there for him more than ever. Derek was wonderful and supportive through my crazy 2014, and I’m glad that will be able to focus on supporting him more this year.

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