Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My exciting 6 days off...

One thing I love about my job is that I only work 3 days a week. Those are loonnggg and hard 3 nights, BUT I can schedule myself how I want and I can strategically schedule myself to have a up to 8 days off in a row without taking any vacation time! This week I randomly had 6 days off and no plans to go anywhere. Let's see what I did...


I think I didn't leave my couch for 18 hours! The night shift really takes it out of me! And it takes a day or two to switch over to "normalcy" If I ever really get to that...
Also Friday, I went with some friends to a local bar for a drink or two...

Shopping around town for our Dr gifts {post to follow}
Dinner with some friends out on a patio. The weather was nothing but absolutely PERFECT! 
Downtown for some late night fun!
my picture taking has really been slacking sorry...

Church & lunch with the fam
Then my trip to Lowes and my home decor project! {Post to follow...}

My cousin sells Mary Kay make up and I hosted a party for her. There were 7 of us girls having a little facial party! Sadly I forgot to take any pictures...but really you wouldn't want to see my makeup-less face!
For hosting, I got $100 of product for $35!!! SCORE. I've never used their I'll trial them and report back! 
I got...

Firming eye cream
Gotta stop those wrinkles before they start!

Fights fine lines, boots collagen, refines pores, and achieve beautifully looking skin.
85% saw an improvement in skin texture
73% saw a reduction in fine lines
71% saw smaller looking pores

Pressed Mineral Powder
My powder is almost out, so good reason to get a new one now anyways.

Paid fun...
I went to Chase bank to pay the difference in an Escrow on my mortgage payment and I talked to the banker about the details...nothing I understand. Then I was about to stand up and leave and she says,"I see you don't have your primary banking with us, where do you bank?" I respond and say the bank that I use and she proceeds to turn into a sales woman for Chase bank. I sit and listen to everything she says while thinking...
-This was supposed to be a quick errand
-Her headband isn't very becoming on her
-Nod and smile
-What is a good question {not knowing banking information} I can ask that the current bank I use as a competitor does better?
-It's just a royal pain to transfer everything. I'm sure your bank is grand. I just don't want the hassle. 
Then I politely respond and say I'll discuss it with my parents because they are my financial advisors. Again, I stood up and tried to leave and she said she was going to go get the mortgage person to come talk to me regarding interest rates and see if he could get my interest rate lower. This would be a GREAT benefit...but luckily he was on a conference call. I do NOT understand this stuff and I really do need my parents present to discuss and TRANSLATE. My brain is medical trained. Not biz/banking. So she took all my info and wants to follow up.
Again, I'm sure your bank is grand, I just don't want the hassle of transferring. 

Then I went to the mall.........
I intended on buying 1 thing. 1 thing only. I repeat 1 thing only was my intention.
This is the 1 thing I went for: 
Eye primer

It was cloudy and overcast today. I blame the weather. If it had been sunny this wouldn't have happened.

While I was there I also bought my BFF's favorite lipgloss by Hourglass called Origami. She absolutely loves it and I've never found one GO-TO, I'm trying this one this time around. 

I have about a zillion perfumes. Maybe a zillion and one. Because I have this many I've never used a whole bottle of any one of them...UNTIL NOW! I used my entire bottle of Chloe. I LOVE it THAT MUCH! So today I also bought a new bottle. One of sales girls showed me a gift set that was a perfume AND a lotion for the same price as a single perfume bottle. Good deal Lauren!

I'm very particular about hair volumizer. The worst probably. I have quite a few expensive salon root lifter, volumizer, mousse products under my sink that were basically used only a few times because in my opinion they were crap! I would really like to know how much money I've wasted spent on these worthless products. So, I'm always on the prowl for a new, better one! This is risky business here people! I was a little skeptical after all the failed attempts at salon caliber and expensive products. The best one I've found is...drum roll please...$4. So, I bit the bullet and paid the $26, but after using it today...I was pleased! I think I'll keep it! 

All these items ON SALE!!!

I also got a few other things, just no picture to show.

I'm really upset about this weather...I was hoping for sunny lay out weather on my days off...but no, they decide to show up when I go back to work...

Well that was my recap of the last week...
Do you all have fun 4th of July plans?! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quick and EASY Summer Dessert Recipes

I am no Martha Stewart or Paula Deen so trust me when I say these are EASY and you can whip up these delicious treats of yummy goodness in an a jiffy. You can have them ready in less than 20 minutes for your backyard grill-out, or girls night! 


1 cup marshmallows
1 can drained Crushed pineapple
1 package of pistachio flavor pudding mix
1 large container Cool Whip

-Add all ingredients into bowl
-Just MIX altogether 

This doesn't look like much, but it is DE-LISH!!! I PROMISE! I could eat the whole bowl in 1 sitting! (Don't forget Cool Whip is in it...Duh...yumm!) 

(never heard a cute name for this one :( )

Ice Cream Sandwiches
Caramel Syrup
Cool Whip
Heath Bar

1. Lay ice cream sandwiches to fit in bottom of pan. (However you can fit them in your pan best.) Cut any to size to fit.
2. Spread layer of whip cream over ice cream sandwiches
3. Drizzle caramel sauce over whip cream layer.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 on top of current layer in pan.
5. Crunch Heath bar and crumble on top. (I put Heath Bar in a Ziplock bag and smash with the blunt end of a knife)
6. Serve and eat! 

Step 1: 

Step 2 & 3:

After this, repeat 1-3, then add Heath bar...
Ready to Eat!

Fruit Pizza

1 tube of sugar cookie dough (if you'd rather make your own cookie dough, you can use your own/another recipe)
1 16oz package of cream cheese
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp of milk
assorted fruits- I used strawberries, bananas, grapes, and blueberries. 

-Roll out cookie dough onto cookie sheet-follow directions on cookie package, let cool.
-Wash, cut up fruit.
-Mix together cream cheese, milk, sugar. Then spread onto cooled cookie. 
-Top with fruits!
i was in a hurry tonight, and forgot to take more pictures of the fruit pizza process!

Please enjoy and let me know if they were a success!

Monday, June 20, 2011


With that being said...My roommate and friend Stephy is getting married and I NEED a dress to wear for her
 "Oh So Special" occasion!
I'm probably the most indecisive person on the planet {a quality I need to work on...} but until then...

Option 1

Option 2
{same dress, obv. different color}

Option 3
{concern: not dressy enough???}

Option 4

Option 5

Keep in mind there are going to be MANY single, attractive fellas at this wedding! :) Please vote on a dress for me! Thank you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

are you a Coppertone baby?

Do you all stand in the long isle in front of the countless sunscreens at the drug store like I do?! I guess it's marketing at it's best...I never know which product is "best." For the first time in 30 years, the FDA has released new guidelines for sunscreens. With the increase in skin cancer awareness and skin protection, it's important to educate yourself and be knowledgeable of what the labels are telling you, especially since it's prime-time summa and prime-time sunnin' time!

Factors I look for:
UVA/UVB block
SPF number
{yes, weird I know, but I do buy based on better smelling product}
Oil free.
{I have had face issues the past year, so I don't need anything else contributing to that problem. I have found most brands make a smaller bottle that is a faces oil free!}

Things to Know:
UVB rays cause sunburns
SPF=protection against UVB only
UVA rays cause premature aging and skin cancer 
"Broad Spectrum"=sunscreen products that pass the FDA’s test for protection against both UVA and UVB rays
Key Ingredients: Zinc or Titanium--minerals that scatter/reflect the sunlight 

The word "sunblock" has to be discontinued because it overstates the product's effectiveness.

Sunscreens will be required to protect against UVA and UVB rays, or they must label with a warning. 

Products will be required to stop claiming their sunscreens are "waterproof" or "sweatproof." Instead, they can be labeled as "water resistant" for 40 minutes. You should be re-applying!

Sunscreens labeled as both Broad Spectrum and SPF 15 (or higher), if used regularly, as directed, and in combination with other sun protection measures will help prevent sunburn, reduce the risk of skin cancer, and reduce the risk of early skin aging.

The maximum sunscreen will be 50+ because there is not sufficient data to show that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide greater protection for users than products with SPF values of 50. 

UVA protection Four Star Rating System:
* low protection
** medium protection
*** high protection
**** the highest UVA protection available in an over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreen product.

Be smart, lather up!
Have a fun and safe summer!

Please follow all sun safety tips and see your dermatologist if you have any skin conditions that are abnormal and require attention.
all information researched from,, & Please forgive my lack of appropriate citing! I've forgotten all legal rules since college...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

45 seconds

My grandfather sent me this e-mail Sunday. It's a letter from an ER doctor who was working the day the tornado hit in Joplin, MO. It's very touching to see one person's view of the event's that day and just how everyone helped out in a true emergency; a mass casualty event. I don't think on paper {or a computer screen} it can truly recount the devastation that day, but it shows how people truly care about each other and will do everything in their power to help one another. Working in an ICU, I have experienced "crazy" nights, but nothing like this. Unimaginable.

45 Seconds: Memoirs of an ER Doctor from May 22, 2011. 
My name is Dr. Kevin Kikta, and I was one of two emergency room doctors who were on duty at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin , MO on Sunday May 22,2011. 

 You never know that it will be the most important day of your life until the day is over.  The day started like any other day for me: waking up, eating, going to the gym, showering, and going to my 4:00pm ER shift. As I drove to the hospital I mentally prepared for my shift as I always do, but nothing could ever have prepared me for what was going to happen on this shift.  Things were normal for the first hour and half.   At approximately 5:30 pm we received a warning that a tornado had been spotted. Although I work in Joplin and went to medical school in Oklahoma , I live in New Jersey , and I have never seen or been in a tornado.  I learned that a  “code gray” was being called.  We were to start bringing patients to safer spots within the ED and hospital. 

 At 5: 42pm a security guard yelled to everyone, “Take cover! We are about to get hit by a tornado!”  I ran with a pregnant RN, Shilo Cook, while others scattered to various places, to the only place that I was familiar with in the hospital without windows, a small doctor’s office in the ED. Together, Shilo and I tremored and huddled under a desk.  We heard a loud horrifying sound like a large locomotive ripping through the hospital.  The whole hospital shook and vibrated as we heard glass shattering, light bulbs popping, walls collapsing, people screaming,  the ceiling caving in above us, and water pipes breaking, showering water down on everything.  We suffered this in complete darkness, unaware of anyone else’s status, worried, scared. We could feel a tight pressure in our heads as the tornado annihilated the hospital and the surrounding area.  The whole process took about 45 seconds, but seemed like eternity. The hospital had just taken a direct hit from a category EF-4 tornado.

 Then it was over.  Just 45 seconds.  45 long seconds.  We looked at each other, terrified, and thanked God that we were alive.  We didn’t know, but hoped that it was safe enough to go back out to the ED, find the rest of the staff and patients, and assess our loses.

“Like a bomb went off. ”  That’s the only way that I can describe what we saw next.  Patients were coming into the ED in droves.  It was absolute, utter chaos.  They were limping, bleeding, crying, terrified, with debris and glass sticking out of them, just thankful to be alive.  The floor was covered with about 3 inches of water, there was no power, not even backup generators, rendering it completely dark and eerie in the ED.  The frightening aroma of methane gas leaking from the broken gas lines permeated the air; we knew, but did not dare mention aloud, what that meant.  I redoubled my pace. 

 We had to use flashlights to direct ourselves to the crying and wounded.  Where did all the flashlights come from  ?  I’ll never know, but immediately, and thankfully, my years of training in emergency procedures kicked in.  There was no power, but our mental generators, were up and running, and on high test adrenaline.  We had no cell phone service in the first hour, so we were not even able to call for help and backup in the ED.

 I remember a patient in his early 20’s gasping for breath,  telling me that he was going to die.  After a quick exam,  I removed the large shard of glass from his back,  made the clinical diagnosis of a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and gathered supplies from wherever I could locate them to insert a thoracostomy tube in him.  He was a trooper;  I’ll never forget his courage.  He allowed me to do this without any local anesthetic since none could be found. With his life threatening injuries I knew  he was running out of time, and it had to be done.  Quickly.  Imagine my relief when I  heard a big rush of air, and breath sounds again;  fortunately,  I was able to get him transported out. I immediately  moved on to the next patient, an asthmatic in status asthmaticus.  We didn’t even have the option of trying a nebulizer treatment or steroids, but I was able to get him intubated using a flashlight that I held in my mouth.  A small child of approximately 3-4 years of age was crying; he had a large avulsion of skin to his neck and spine.  The gaping wound revealed his cervical spine and upper thoracic spine bones.  I could actually count his vertebrae with my fingers.  This was a child, his whole life ahead of him, suffering life threatening wounds in front of me, his eyes pleading me to help him..  We could not find any pediatric C collars in the darkness, and water  from the shattered main pipes was once again showering down upon all of us. Fortunately,  we were able to get him immobilized with towels, and start an IV with fluids and pain meds before shipping him out.  We felt paralyzed and helpless ourselves.   I didn’t even know  a lot of the RN’s I was working with.  They were from departments scattered all over the hospital. It didn’t matter.  We worked as a team, determined to save lives.  There were no specialists available-- my orthopedist was trapped in the OR.  We were it, and we knew we had to get patients out of the hospital as quickly as possible.  As we were shuffling them out, the fire department showed up and  helped us to evacuate.   Together we worked furiously, motivated by the knowledge and  fear that the methane leaks could cause  the hospital could blow up at any  minute. 

 Things were no better outside of the ED. I saw a man crushed under a large SUV, still alive, begging for help; another one was dead, impaled by a street sign through his chest.   Wounded people were walking, staggering, all over, dazed and shocked.   All around us was chaos, reminding me of scenes in a war movie, or newsreels from bombings in Bagdad .  Except this was right in front of me and it had happened in just 45 seconds.  My own car was blown away.  Gone. Seemingly evaporated.  We searched within a half mile radius later that night, but never found the car, only the littered, crumpled remains of former cars, and a John Deere tractor that had blown in from miles away.

Tragedy has a way of revealing human goodness.  As I worked, surrounded by  devastation and suffering ,  I realized I was not alone.  The people of the community of Joplin were absolutely incredible.  Within minutes of the horrific event, local residents showed up in pickups and sport utility vehicles, all offering to help transport the wounded to other facilities, including Freeman, the trauma center literally across the street.  Ironically, it had sustained only  minimal damage and was functioning (although I’m sure overwhelmed).  I carried on, grateful for the help of the community.   At one point I had placed a conscious intubated patient in the back of a pickup truck with someone, a layman,  for transport. The patient was self- ventilating himself, and I gave instructions to someone with absolutely no medical knowledge on how to bag the patient until they got to Freeman.

 Within hours I estimated that over 100 EMS units showed up from various towns,  counties and  four different states. Considering the circumstances, their response time was miraculous. . Roads were blocked with downed utility lines, smashed up cars in piles, and they still made it through.

 We  continued to carry patients out of the hospital on anything that we could find: sheets, stretchers, broken doors, mattresses, wheelchairs—anything that could be used as a transport mechanism.

 As I finished up what I could do at St John’s , I walked with two RN’s, Shilo Cook and Julie Vandorn,  to a makeshift MASH center that was being set up miles away at Memorial Hall.  We walked where flourishing neighborhoods once stood,   astonished to see only the disastrous remains of flattened homes, body parts, and dead people everywhere.  I saw a small dog just wimpering in circles over his master who was dead, unaware that his master would not ever play with him again.  At one point we tended to a young woman who just stood crying over her dead mother who was crushed by her own home.  The young woman covered her mother up with a blanket and then asked all of us,  “What should I do?”  We had no answer for her, but silence and tears.

 By this time news crews and photographers were starting to swarm around, and we were able to get a ride to Memorial Hall from another RN.  The chaos was slightly more controlled at Memorial Hall.  I was relieved to see many of my colleagues, doctors from every specialty, helping out.  It was amazing to be able to see life again.  It was also amazing to see how fast workers mobilized to set up this MASH unit under the circumstances. Supplies, food, drink, generators, exam tables, all were there—except pharmaceutical pain meds. I sutured multiple lacerations, and splinted many fractures, including some open with bone exposed, and then intubated another patient with severe COPD, slightly better controlled conditions this time, but still less than optimal.

 But we really needed pain meds.  I  managed to go back to the St John’s with another physician, pharmacist, and a sheriff’s officer. Luckily, security let us in to a highly guarded pharmacy to bring back a garbage bucket sized supply of pain meds.

 At about midnight I walked around the parking lot of St. John’s with local law enforcement officers looking for anyone who might be alive or trapped in crushed cars.  They spray painted “X”s on the fortunate vehicles that had been searched without finding anyone inside. The unfortunate vehicles wore “X’s” and sprayed-on numerals, indicating the  number of  dead inside,   crushed in their cars, cars  which now resembled flattened  recycled aluminum cans the tornado had crumpled  in her iron hands,   an EF4 tornado, one of the worst in history, whipping through this quiet town with demonic strength.   I continued back to Memorial hall into the early morning hours until my ER colleagues told me it was time for me to go home.  I was completely exhausted.  I had seen enough of my first tornado. 

 How can one describe these indescribable scenes of destruction?   The next day I saw news coverage of this horrible, deadly tornado.  It was excellent coverage, and Mike Bettes from the Weather Channel did a great job, but there is nothing that pictures and video can depict compared to seeing it in person. That video will play forever in my mind. 

 I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone involved in helping during this nightmarish disaster.  My fellow doctors, RN’s, techs, and all of the staff from St. John’s .  I have worked at St John’s for approximately 2 years, and I have always been proud to say that I was a physician at St John’s in Joplin , MO.    The smart, selfless  and immediate response  of the professionals and the community during this catastrophe proves to me that St John’s and the surrounding community  are special,.  I am beyond proud.

 To the members of this community, the  health care workers from states away,  and especially Freeman Medical Center , I commend everyone on unselfishly coming together and giving 110% the way that you all did, even in your own time of need. St John ‘s Medical Center is gone, but her spirit and goodness lives on in each of you. 

 EMS , you should be proud of yourselves.  You were all excellent, and did a great job despite incredible difficulties and against all odds.
 For all of the injured who I treated, although I do not remember your names (nor would I expect you to remember mine) I will never forget your faces.  I’m glad that I was able to make a difference and help in the best way that I knew how, and hopefully give some of you a chance at rebuilding your lives again.  

 For  those whom I was not able to get to or treat, I apologize whole heartedly.

 Last, but not least, thank you, and God Bless you, Mercy/St John for providing incredible care in good times and even more so, in times  of the unthinkable, and  for all the training that enabled  us to be a team and treat the people and save lives. 


Kevin J. Kikta, DO
Department of Emergency Medicine
Mercy/St Johns Regional Medical Center, Joplin , MO

You never know that it will be the most important day of your life until the day is over.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ludacris Aldean

My life was made complete, well almost, on June 8 when this was delivered to the world....

Such a beautiful and poetic song. Perfectly delivered by these two talented artists. Just the perfect collaboration with two perfect genres of music: country and rap!
No lie, I've downloaded and put this song on repeat.
I love Jason. I love Luda. Together.

The Band Perry is also a favorite of mine. Have a listen...


I saw these boys in concert Memorial Day weekend and it was so awesome!
I'd rather be "Knee Deep" in water somewhere too!

This duo sang a sweet little number then danced together. Too sweet. I know Kidd is just the
*PERFECT GUY* But, it's still sweet.


There were plenty of other performances that I just LOVED, like Lady A {I'll have to show & tell you all my claim to fame with one of them :) I'm still hoping I'll be a famous country music star's wifey one day but until then I'll still dream...} but I can't play the whole CMT Awards on ma blog. haha!  
I was so disappointed that Carrie didn't sing or the new
Mr. & Mrs. Shelton :( Oh well, next award show.
So...who's your favorite singers or performances?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

been shopping...

While at work on a Friday night, I was browsing the web and come across a few little cuties that I just had to have didn't need!
all from VS
First, this little number for fun outings with the girls:

I'm thinking jazz it up with a gold longer necklace.
Simply Fab.

Next, this little swimmie. I bought it because I absolutely looooove the bottoms. Not a huge fan of the top. (Only because I don't tan very well and can't wear white well...) So...I bought the next suit to wear the pink triangle top with the patterned bottoms. Good idea?

Annnd Vicki's should hire me as a swimsuit model because this is what I look like in these swimsuits!  I kid, I kid...I wish!

 Pink top with patterned bottoms and...get this...
this suit was only $19! The whole thing! Couldn't pass that, I also got it in green and white stripe...not shown, sad face.

And this lovely cover up. I got it in off-white last year. It's a loose, slinky fabric. SOO comfy and
air-y. It's one of my favorites.

Where do you all shop for swim suits?! I'd like a new site/store to shop!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

thoughts and things this week...

1. Summer has finally arrived! We had continuous rain and literally didn't see the sun for 2 months. {I don't know how people live in regular climates like this} But if it's not technically summer by the date {June 21 to be exact} I'll take the PERFECT weather we've had this week! 

2. Casey Anthony: GUILTY. no discussion needed. Except, that if she doesn't get the life sentence, something is wrong with the system.

3. Jack Kevorkian "Dr. Death" dies. By assisted suicide?!

4. 12 year-old Michigan boy pushed a 4year-old friend out of the way of a truck driver to save him and suffered the injuries. He's a Hero! 

5. Scarlett Johansson and Sean Penn are over. Why did that even start?

6. These two hotties together in a movie soon. I'll go see it! 

The list is short and sweet...just got home from work...gotta get to sleep! Good night and hope you all have a wonderful weekend!