Life in Europe

chocolate in Brugge

It has been exactly 2 years since my last blog post so let’s catch up.

What has happened since Oct 2018 – I was waitlisted for CRNA school and eventually didn’t get in. This actually makes me happy looking back because I think I am in a better path now; something that I will enjoy doing for the rest of my life and be able to balance family life & career.

– Ian and I moved to Germany
– I started graduate school – nurse practitioner

Life in Germany has been a very good change for us, initially stressful to get settled and try to learn some passable German to get by, but I think we are both doing good. Since coming to Germany (it’s only been 2 months) we have become more active since it is very walkable i.e – the grocery stores, restaurants and train stations are all less than a mile from our house, and yet it is a very quiet neighborhood.

Typish Brugge
Things we both love about Germany:

1. Access to the rest of Europe and the ease of traveling​
2. How walkable it is
3. How beautiful Germany​ is and the amount of trails & forests all around
4. How environmental conscious German people are
5. Amount of bakeries & delicious bread everywhere

Things we are adjusting to so far in Germany:

1. The amount of smokers everywhere. I seriously feel like I will get addicted to nicotine just by inhaling all the cigarette smoke
2. Autobahn speed limits – They literally change so quickly, so you have to slam on your brakes because you know there is a hidden camera somewhere behind a bush ready to capture!!! Ian already has been flashed 😦

Ok. That is it for now. I am planning on being a more consistent blogger so please come back every week 🙂

Blumen en Brugge

Enjoy some photos from our trip to Brugge!

CRNA SCHOOL INTERVIEW TIPS

What better way to break the ice on my blog than this?
So, a lot has happened since I last blogged and life has been busy, exciting, tiring, all the above. I took a blogging hiatus after graduating from nursing school and just focused on my career and living life in a different state.

I am at the point of my life where I am planning to go back to school, and have been researching a lot about how to get into CRNA school, which is my ultimate goal in my career.

So, since graduating, I have been preparing for this moment. I got into an ICU right after college and focused on learning and being the best nurse I could be, and man! it was hard initially and I almost lost focus. The challenges weren’t in the job itself but the people I worked with. I met some amazing nurses and learnt a lot from them, and even created friendships, but I also had to put up with some really difficult personalities in the work place, and eventually that led me to leaving that job.

I have however stuck in the ICU and my current job has been very fulfilling and a good fit. The confidence I have gained from this job as a nurse is unbelievable, and that is what led me to consider advancing my career from a bedside ICU nurse to a CRNA.

So far, I have been to 2 interviews, have 1 more scheduled for next week, and have also received a rejection letter from the first school I had applied to, which is a bummer, but I am still hopeful.

Interview tips from my experience:

1. Research the program, the faculty and the curriculum before hand.
2. Write down a list of why you love this school (they will ask you this)
3. Study up on your CCRN information and ICU drugs, pathophysiology of diseases you see on a daily basis in the ICU and hemodynamics.
4. Prepare before the interview by reviewing potential questions you might be asked. (Nurse Nelle has an amazing list on her blog)
5. Look good on the interview day (nice conservative business suit, minimal makeup and hair)
6. Last but not least, be on time. This means be there at least 15 minutes early to the interview room, and give yourself an extra 30-45 mins to find the building or if driving in an unfamiliar​ location.

I hope this tips make your interview preparation easier, and feel free to ask any other burning questions down below.

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Distressed denim outfit

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Hello friends, did you guys have a great weekend?, whether just unwinding at home or doing some fun activities?
The outfit am posting was my favorite this weekend, I wore the comfiest American Eagle distressed jeans and my black and white peplum top from forever 21. I am not big into jeans so I had never honestly bought anything from AE, and the first pair I happened to get are like a dream. I usually wear leggings mostly and this pants feel like leggings honestly, so comfy.
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stripes and denim
Black and white peplum top: f21//Distressed denim pants: American Eagle//Shoes: Brogues from Amazon//Gold watch: Target//Earrings and necklace: F21
This weekend my fiancé and I got to go see Pippin the play and Oh brother! it was amazing. The broadway actors and actresses on the play are so talented and the plot was amazing, I was hooked from start to finish (just so you know the last play I saw…I fell asleep….am not naming names haha). So if you guys like plays or are looking for something fun to do, Pippin is highly recommended.
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natural hair
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Have a lovely Monday ladies and gents, and thanks for stopping by.

OIL PULLING

OIL PULLING

What is oil pulling? : It is an ancient holistic dental care practice that involves putting a small amount of oil in your mouth and swishing for 5-20 mins.

What are the benefits? :  From my own experience of oil pulling for more than a year, my gums stopped bleeding when I brush my teeth – (I grew up with bleeding gums and this was normal to me but when I saw that oil pulling would help with this, I quickly jumped into it and I couldn’t be happier), whiter and stronger teeth, fresh breath and clear sinuses. Other benefits: Less plaque, reduces headache for those with constant headaches, clears skin, boosts immune system reduces PMS and detoxifies the body

What oils can I use? : Coconut oil – use pure/safe for consumption not hair coconut oil haha, sesame oil and olive oil. (some people use essential oils too)

How is it done? : I use coconut oil, which is solid at room temp, so I put it in my mouth and let it melt, then I swish the oil around for 5-20 mins, usually do it while am taking a shower. Spit it out in a trash can since the oil will solidify and clog sinks or toilets
Lastly, rinse your mouth and brush teeth as usual. Oil pulling is best when done before eating or at least 30 mins after eating.

How often should I do it? : It is not necessary to do it daily. I do it at least 2x a week and at most 4x

I did a video talking about oil pulling, so click if interested in more info 🙂


I hope this was good info, I don’t know why it took me so long to share.

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All about Hair

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Today I washed my hair and decided not to straighten it. I was craving that tiny afro look, so I did a “wash and go”
Ok, so lets start here….once upon a time (4 years ago), I was obsessed with natural black girls at my school and got sucked into youtube and a few months later I was chopping my permed locks (my roommate actually did it for me) and i had a tiny afro which I was so proud of! haha
However, 8 months into doing my natural hair, I got tired of it….and just wanted to have straight hair again….and so I did, which i really regretted afterwards because it shed so much.
Last year in august I got a weave installed and on take down day, the dang thing was so sewed into my hair that I accidentally cut my hair….so I decided to go to the hair salon and get a hair cut (end of September), I though I would grow out a pixie but it was so cold so I started braiding my hair and I just fell in love with braids.
This helped my hair grow out and now I can hold a ponytail after straightening…yay!, I am happy with my natural hair and hopefully I won’t be tempted to perm it again.
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Below is my wash and go (I am very minimal with products, coz whats the point of being natural if you put in a million products haha)….if interested click on the video…it was a challenging one to film

Have a nice week guys 🙂

50 Random facts about me

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Hey guys, recently I am getting quite the mojo of getting back into youtube videos (even though I know it may not last haha…I just need a little motivation), so I went ahead and did a get to know me or get to know me more type of video……if you’re interested click below 🙂

Disclaimer: there is a place where the video repeats itself…at 13-14 minute, just skip it haha

Minimalist outfit of the day

Hello friends,

Today am sharing my favorite kind of post…outfits!, I have been wearing very minimal outfits because its summer and super hot, and today I got excited when I wore this dress that I haven’t worn since winter because it was too tight, but voila…haha
minimalist hair
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This summer I have fallen in love with the minimalist look..less is more type of deal, or rather am forced to wear less unless I want to literally fry my body parts
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minimalist look
Am also enjoying wearing out my hair since it has grown from the teenie weenie afro that it was last year. Are you guys enjoying your summer so far or winter/cold months, for those on the other side of the world? As you can tell I am soaking up all the sun and packing on the vitamin D before the sun disappears.
minimalist wear
minimalist
Have a lovely week friends 🙂

Shyness

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When I wrote my first monologue of a post at 18 years old, I never thought at 25 years old I would ever talk about shyness..seriously, it would have seemed like a retrogression of some sort, but I have realized, the older we get, the more self-aware and wiser we become, and I have truly grown from that 18 year old girl I used to be.
Are you one of those people who are just going about life and people around you start asking things like, “why are so quiet?, do you want to say something?” etc etc, if yes then stick around..
Growing up, I never would have categorized myself as a shy person/quiet, I always had a group of friends that I talked to, but people especially grown ups (teachers and family friends)would always tell my parents I was quiet or shy, and they gave it a negative connotation, making it seem like it was a bad thing..which made me want to get far away as possible from that label.
In college, shyness/being quiet became even more of a thing because I was in a different country going through a very different social adjustment, with college students who constantly pointed out my differences and socializing just became exhausting to me unless it was with Kenyan people (who obviously I clicked well with).
Out of the school environment, I still get the “quiet girl” label with my interactions with others, and at first I just wondered…is it such a bad thing to be quiet?, I know at times it may make situations a bit awkward with new people, and its required sometimes to feign interest in someone so as to diffuse this awkwardness. It also may make you seem uninterested in others around you, and sometimes you may be….but it paints as rude (in places like a friends house, a dinner or a party etc)
Most times, as a quiet person people may tend to take advantage of you, and thats where you have to clearly set boundaries and say “no am not happy with that and stand your ground”
It is ok to be naturally quiet, there’s nothing wrong with it. Find people who you click well with and be good friends with them, in social situations, fake it! haha it may become exhausting but if its unavoidable, you’ve got to.
Quiet people are also underestimated a lot, and are some of the smartest people I know. For expats living away from home and away from your comfort zone, different social environment with unfamiliar social behaviors may make you a shy/quiet person because you are afraid of embarrassing yourself due to lack of knowledge in certain things that are familiar to others around you, and also people may approach you less or even ignore/lack to acknowledge what you have to say just because you are so different. However, over time, we adjust and are able to socialize easily.
Lastly, if you are this type of person, don’t be intimidated by the crowd..i mean, whats the worst that could happen? (unless your life is on the line haha), keep on living your life and know that there are very many people out there who feel the same way you do…and we are all just people!

If you prefer seeing me talk about the topic, click on the video below…warning: I have a cold and may have blood shot eyes and a strange voice haha, please bear with me, I really wanted to talk about this. I would appreciate your feedback too 🙂

The fear of being truly you

We all have a crippling fear of completely letting others see who we truly are at times, because we are afraid of judgement and labels. In today’s world where everyone is so digital, we all somehow have an online presence and its scary to know that what we put information out there that is free for masses and masses of people all over the world to see, and of course judge you from this content, so in most cases, people fabricate or sugar coat their lives to seem more pleasant, more interesting and its almost like competing against each other. However it doesn’t have to be so, for example, when I started a blog, my intent was to write content that I would look back on someday and be reminded of how I thought at a certain time, what I was up to etc..but I kind of found myself shifting towards posting what seemed relevant to others and this is ok, but its not what my goal is.

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It is incredibly amazing to have the freedom to express your thoughts without having to put up walls or please others, but the human part in us is always striving for the latter and sometimes peer pressure is involved too. I have had friends tell me to write about certain things because that’s whats trending at the moment and I need to be in the same current as everyone else, but they obviously miss the point of why you are doing what you are doing.

Life is too short to do what you do for the approval of others, be your own competitor, encourage and help others so you can learn and grow, go against the current and don’t look around to see what others think of you and for a moment……just go offline, read a book or talk to someone new face to face and just live life!

Another wrong thing that has been ingrained in us today esp in the western world, is the need to always surround yourself with a ton of friends all the time, which completely false. We all should be very comfortable being able to spend time alone, and its totally ok to not go out every night or every weekend with tons of friends. It does not mean you are incapable of being liked/being sociable, some people have said to me at some point that people usually don’t last as their friends or they are not likable etc (self-deprecating) and its just so wrong to have this mentality, be comfortable with yourself, we are all weird in some ways and thats what makes us unique. Not everyone will like you, and that is fine, be you most importantly.

Lastly, be one to make others feel good about themselves, be honest with friends who lack self-confidence and help them realize how incredibly unique and amazing they are. The things we do for others help build who we are. Just live life and worry less about other’s opinions.

-love jackie-

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Nursing Interview tips

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In the last month, I managed to interview quite a bit in search of a new job and I honestly did get called back by all of them, which was very fulfilling to know that I do interview well, even though I did not take all the jobs. To be honest, I hate interview processes, its nerve wrecking especially if you really want that specific job, and you’re scared you might ramble on or not know the answers to the questions etc. Am sure we’ve all been there and we know the gist.
Instead of writing a long post about it, I made a video, so click on it at the bottom and let me know what questions/feedback you may have. I specifically talk about nursing interviews because those are the only interviews I have done, but I think most tips relate to other jobs as well 🙂

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Garlic tofu with rice

 

 

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A few months ago I discovered a new recipe that quickly became one my favorite meals. I love tofu, but never really knew how I would make it myself but with google only a finger tap away, I have learned a million ways to incorporate tofu into my meals. I am not vegan or vegetarian and do not supplement tofu for meat, I simply like it as I do any other ingredient. So for the garlic tofu recipe, the ingredients are:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (I use the less sodium one)
  • Green onion (one stalk)
  • Vegetable of your choice (I use green beans or broccoli)
  • Extra firm tofu (one, pat completely dry before slicing)
  • 1 cup rice (or however much you need)

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Instructions

  1. Slice the tofu into 1 inch slices, mix the sauces together and stir in garlic then add the tofu pieces and marinade for an hour at least
  2. Cook rice as instructed or as preferred (I use coconut oil in boiling water,  a dash of salt and pepper to make it flavorful)
  3.  Once the tofu has been marinated, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan or wok on medium heat and add the tofu evenly.
  4. Let it cook without stirring, for five minutes or until browned on one side, then flip onto the other side to brown.
  5. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the green onion (sliced) and stir to mix in with the tofu
  6. Serve with rice and vegetable of choice
  7. Bon apetite!
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Target dress

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striped dress
Hey friends, It’s been so hot!! I have been living in my work out clothes unless obviously I had to be in scrubs for work, but I have had no motivation to dress up or go anywhere in this heat. I had my share of heat during vacation haha…thats enough
However today I decided to whip out my target dress which is literally like pajamas in terms of comfort and ran around all day in this today without looking like a hot sweaty mess. The sandals I am wearing are my favorite, from Nordstrom’s (couple years ago), and my purse and necklace are from forever 21
I hope you guys are having a wonderful summer, if you love the heat..enjoy it while it lasts, I personally can’t wait for fall 🙂
I have also been working out a lot lately and currently using the Nike running app to coach me into running a half marathon by mid-august (am super excited!), its super fun and easy to use and you can add friends and do challenges or motivate each other. I also have been using the under armor my fitness app to track how I eat and my activity level and this was actually very informative. I got to change up a few things in my diet and also learnt on what spectrum of activity level I was on and got to fix that as well. In just 2 weeks of using these apps regularly, I have lost 2 pounds, which are super necessary because I gained quite a few pounds in the last few months. I hope you enjoyed this post, if you get any of the apps (which are free), let me know how you like them 🙂