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Be Good For Something

One of those little things that I love about my relationship with Derek is that amidst whatever craziness going on in our lives  we continue to send each other articles, videos, websites, etc. that the other person would enjoy or find interesting. Just last week Derek sent me the following quote:

“Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.” – Henry David Thoreau

As he anticipated, I love this quote. Being good is about us as individuals, our personal choices. And that’s an essential first step. But being good for something – that is taking action and making a contribution to something bigger than ourselves.

 

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FAQ: January 2016

Happy New Year!! I’m so excited to kick off 2016.

Derek and I were reflecting on the past year, and we decided to describe it as our “grind it out” year. Compared to the excitement of 2014, this past year included a lot of hard, and sometimes monotonous-feeling, work. However, we remain very blessed and thankful for another healthy, happy year, and we still managed to have a lot of fun along the way.

It’s been a LONG time since I last blogged, so I thought I’d catch you up by answering some frequently asked questions in the life of the Pinkertons.


FAQ: January 2016

Is Derek a doctor yet? 

Not quite. He’s very close though! In just four months he will graduate from medical school. I am so incredibly proud of him to the point that I can’t even talk about his graduation because there’s a 100% chance I’ll start tearing up. Yes, I am pathetic.

What kind of doctor is he going to be? 

Derek decided that his speciality will be Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Most people call it Med-Peds for short. He’s actually following in his dad’s footsteps and will be trained to care for both children and adults.

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Derek’s residency application photo. 

How long is his residency? 

Derek’s residency will be four years. It’s a pretty good deal considering the categorial medicine and pediatrics programs are both 3 years. They basically squash 6 years of learning into 4 for this speciality by doing away with a lot of electives.

Where will you go for his residency? 

We don’t know yet, but we’ll find out on Match Day (March 18th).

What’s Match Day? 

Every year, on the third Friday in March, senior medical students across the country find out where they will be going for residency. At UNC, everyone and their loved ones gather in a large auditorium, and they call students up one at a time and hand them an envelope, which contains the name of their residency match.

Wait, what?? You don’t pick where you go? 

Well, sort of. After Derek goes on all of his interviews (he’s going to 10 places), he will turn in a rank-order list of the programs. The programs will also rank order the applicants. The process is blinded, so neither the applicants nor the programs know the orders submitted.  After the lists are submitted, the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) uses a complex algorithm to “match” applicants to programs based on the rank-order lists.

Tl;dr: our future is ultimately determined by a computer.

Woah, that is crazy.

Yes, yes it is. But it’s also exciting! Everyone once in a while I feel a little overwhelmed by the lack of control, but I remind myself that Derek and I have input, and 80% of applicants get one of their top three choices. I also figure it doesn’t do me any good to worry; instead, I’m usually find myself getting excited about all of the possibilities and opportunities for our future. We also try to remind each other that we’re in it together, which makes it a little less daunting.

Where do you want to go?

We’re not sure yet. In fact, Derek still has one more interview later this month. We probably won’t reveal the exact order, but these are some of his favorite programs (in alphabetical order) thus far:

  • University of Chicago
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Indiana University
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Rochester

What are you up to? 

I’m still working as an inpatient medicine social worker at a local hospital. It’s hard to believe I’ve been there for 1.5 years already. I finally feel like I know what I’m doing (most days)!

What’s next for you? 

I’ve officially completed 2,220 practice hours and 74 supervision hours towards my license, so I will hopefully beat the clock and get my license before we (possibly) move in June! (FYI: In North Carolina, 3,000 practice hours and 100 supervision hours are required to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.)

Once I’ve obtained my license, I’ll be looking to make a change, which is good timing because we might be moving anyway. I’m hoping to stay in medicine but find a position that is more clinical. I’d love to work in hospice or palliative care if possible.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

I have a few goals in mind, actually. I’ll be dedicating a separate post to them though, and I’ll be taking a look at how I did with my goals from last year.

Charlotte Girls Getaway {Weekend Recap}

This past weekend was the most adventurous that I’ve had in a while, and I loved it.  It felt good to be really active and get out of my comfort zone.

Jenna, my best friend, organized a great weekend trip for a group of girls. We went out on the town in Charlotte on Friday night and spent all day Saturday at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. (Fun fact: USNWC is an official U.S. Olympic Training Site.)       

On Friday, right after work, my friend Julie and I hopped in my trusty 9-year-old Honda CRV and headed to Charlotte. We got to our hotel around 7pm and met up with Jenna and Sam in our room. After grabbing some dinner, we bar hopped around Charlotte’s Epicentre.

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Apologies for the extreme blurriness. Also props to whoever photo bombed us. 🙂

At one point we accidentally stumbled into some exclusive party for Charlotte’s 30-under-30. Whoops.

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Jenna and I trying to blend in.

We decided that if anyone asked we would tell people that we were the inventors of the flash tattoos we were wearing.

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#flashtats

There were a lot of fun bars, but my favorite was Rooftop 210. The music was lively, and it was the perfect night to be outside.

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The views weren’t shabby either.

It also had giant Jenga and corn hole, which as a game-lover, is a major plus.

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For the northerners out there, you may also call this “bags.” Let’s be real though, we all know that corn hole is a better name.

The night eventually ended with a lovely bucket of some sort of blue alcoholic substance. Which is NEVER a good idea.

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Jenna delivered the doom drink.

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Don’t try this at home.

Needless to say, the next morning was initially at little rough. Fortunately greasy, not-at-all healthy diner food cured my hangover, and I was ready to head to the whitewater rafting center.

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Pumped for a day of adventure!

Megan, another friend, met up with us there.

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Flash Five

Besides slowing down for a couple of intense thunderstorms, we were on the move all day.  We started with whitewater rafting.

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We had a blast, and our guide was great.

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We also completed a intermediate-level high ropes course. As someone who is scared of heights, it wasn’t exactly fun, but I was proud that I did it. Check out the video below if you want to see what it’s like.

After the ropes course we went on the mega zip. It’s a 1,123 foot zip-line. You launch from the top of the 46 foot Mega Tower and fly over sections of the whitewater rafting area. It was really fun and a great way to see the whole center.

Finally, we went to the Hawk’s jump, which entailed climbing up a 40 foot pole only to jump off of it. Trust me when I say it feels even higher than it looks in the video below.

It took me a few minutes to shake off the adrenaline from that one. My heart was pounding after I made it down.

We did a lot in one day, but there were still so many other things to do.

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The US National Whitewater Center also has trails for mountain biking or hiking, kayaking (whitewater or flat water), stand-up paddle boarding (whitewater or flat water), more ropes courses,  and climbing walls. We bought an AllSport pass for $54 that gave us access to everything. I think it’s an awesome deal for everything you can do there, and I would definitely go back again.  (By the way, it was quite the workout, too. I was sore for a few days haha.)

Going out in downtown Charlotte and our outdoor adventures were certainly fun, but the best part of the weekend was spending time with an awesome group of ladies!! Now we just need to plan our next getaway . . .

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

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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.

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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.

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Because sweet potatoes are the best potatoes. Source.

 

5 Questions – Part III

Hello there! It’s been a while since I’ve done a 5 questions post, so I figured now is as good a time as any to do another one. I was inspired by this list:

Instead of my usual questions, I’ll be filling in the blank. If you want to see previous 5 questions posts, check out the original and part II.

1. I’m currently watching . . . 

Gilmore Girls.

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Netflix added Gilmore Girls to instant streaming back in October, and I’ve been addicted ever since.

2. I’m currently listening to . . . 

Derek occasionally yell things while he plays DotA. What a goober.

3. I’m currently reading . . . 

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.

DWCity

I love the book so far. It’s nonfiction, but it reads like a novel. The story focuses on the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Larson particularly focuses on Daniel H. Burnham, architect of the fair, and Dr. H.H. Holmes, a serial killer who lured women into his “Murder House.”

4. I’m currently enjoying . . . 

a relaxing weekend. After several weekends traveling and going to weddings, I’m thankful for some downtime.

5. I’m currently thinking . . .

about what to do on Veteran’s Day. I get the day off from work, which means I want to have a great work-play day. I love those days when you get a lot done, but still have time for some fun. I’m thinking a morning of cleaning, laundry, and cooking before spending the afternoon hanging out with Jenna.

Why I Love Blogging {100th Post}

I was going to write about something else, but then I noticed that this is my 100th post! I started Brown is the New Pink back at the end of April, and it’s crazy to think that I’ve been blogging for almost 6 months already. It’s been a fun, insightful experience thus far, and I’m excited to continue my blogging journey.

Since it is my 100th post, I want to share a few reasons why I love blogging.

  • Blogging is my creative outlet. After I stopped writing papers and developing projects for grad school I realized that I needed to find new ways to be creative. Cooking is definitely my art, but I also missed writing. What better way to combine my love of cooking and writing than through blogging?
  • Brown is the New Pink serves as a journal for me. Like most people in their mid-20s, my life is changing all the time. I think it will be really neat to look back on this blog and see snapshots of my life.
  • Blogging creates another opportunity to connect with people. I’ve corresponded with a few different readers about living in Chapel Hill, social work, wedding planning, and what it’s like to be married to a med student. It’s fun to connect with people who have common interests, especially because it’s unlikely that I would meet them otherwise.
  • Blogging helps me leave work at work. As I’ve mentioned in a few of my Fun Friday posts, I use Brown is the New Pink to separate myself from work. Burnout is common in social work, but finding ways to leave the stress at work makes it less likely to happen to me. My hope is that some of those posts help other people, too.
  • It encourages me to continue learning and sharing what I learn. Researching for social justice posts keeps me updated on issues as well as new, innovative solutions. I’m in a direct practice role at work, so it’s easy to get caught up in the details and forget about the big picture. Brown is the New Pink keeps my macro skills sharp.

Whether you’re a regular reader or you’re stopping by Brown is the New Pink for the first time, thank you for reading! I blog because I enjoy it, but the fact that other people enjoy Brown is the New Pink or learn something from it definitely makes it even better. 🙂

4 Bridges Training {Week 10}

Greetings! How was your weekend?? I had one of those great, rare weekends when you have fun AND get a lot of things done. I spent Friday night over at my best friend Jenna’s house drinking wine and watching the Shonda trilogy– Grey’s AnatomyScandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. Saturday was spent around the house with Derek. We did a lot of cleaning and organizing, which was much-needed. We also started watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It absolutely cracks me up; I definitely suggest checking it out if you haven’t already. Today we had our friends over to watch the Panthers game. The game was not pretty, but we had fun and ate a lot of delicious food. On Tuesday, I will be sharing a vegetarian chili recipe that I tried out for the party. NOM.

On a sad note, I did not run last week. My foot wasn’t doing well, so I decided to rest and just do my long run today. At first I felt great. My legs were much better than they have been in a couple of weeks. Then, around mile 4 of 10, my left calf suddenly started to hurt. It wasn’t bad at first, so I kept running. By mile 5 the pain got so bad that I couldn’t continue. I actually had to call Derek to come pick me up. (He’s the best.) I’ve been limping around since then because it hurts just to walk. I am so bummed. I’ve been training for 2 months, and I really hope things will get better so I can run on the 19th. 😦

Needless to say, I’m not sure how running will go this week. I’m hoping this is just a strain, and I’ll be good to go in a couple of days. Cross your fingers for me, please! Anyway, below is my tentative plan for this week.


4 Bridges Half-Marathon Training – Week 10

Monday: Yoga + strength

Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday: 5 miles or cross-train

Thursday: 3 miles + strength

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Cross-train for 50 minutes

Sunday: 10 miles

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