5ive List: Tools for Christmas Shopping

Christmas is going to be here in no time! I honestly have not been as prepared this year compared to years before, but this year has been busy for me!

Here are 5 amazing tools I use for Christmas shopping. The best part about these though, is that they can be used year round, especial the first one. 🙂

Amazon.com
I love Amazon and being a Prime member (5+ years and counting)! Prime members get free 2-day shipping with no minimum purchase price. They have a variety of products and competitive pricing. For example, Fry’s Electronics will price match anything they have that is sold by Amazon (not third party sellers). Furthermore, you can track prices on Amazon by placing items in your cart. It’ll update you on any prices changes each time you check your shopping cart. (You can also use the Camelizer plug-in mentioned below.) I have always had great customer service with Amazon too.

Google Docs
I use a spreadsheet to track who I am giving presents to. Mine is sorted by family, but you can just list by category too (i.e. coworkers, neighbors, siblings, friends, etc.). My columns are:

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2014 Project 365: February

 

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  1. Homemade strawberry milkshakes
  2. My niece’s birthday cake
  3. My comforter… Still going strong after 5+ years!
  4. I woke up from a nap without eyeliner on only one eye
  5. A helicopter landing at work! Woah!
  6. Del Taco’s chicken soft tacos… O.M.G.
  7. Homemade tomato and mozzarella on ciabatta
  8. Mayhem of carts at Target
  9. My forehead as I’m using Prentyce as a pillow
  10. Eggrolls or lumpia waiting to be fried
  11. Cake display at Blueberry Hill
  12. Schedule for the skills fair at work
  13. Krispy Kreme donut delivery
  14. Cupcakes made by my coworker for Valentines Day
  15. Playing at the park with our nephew Osiris
  16. On the couch in my robe
  17. Chillin’ at the park
  18. Homemade red velvet pancakes
  19. Lunch at work
  20. Homemade chicken bruschetta; it was a waste of chicken!
  21. Joe, Prentyce’s cousin, with a baby that Prentyce’s sister was babysitting
  22. Delicious cupcakes for the 2/22 birthday party
  23. Homemade pink velvet and white chocolate chip cookies
  24. Lebron James poster at Nike in the Forum Shops
  25. Prentyce looking at a giant woman’s private region
  26. The temperature reading was 82 degrees
  27. The bright blinds in the master bedroom
  28. Delicious. Corned. Beef. Yum.

That’s it for the shortest month of the year! I love February, but it’s always so busy since we have to celebrate Valentines Day, our anniversary, Prentyce’s birthday, and the birthdays of three other family members. Only 10 more months to go!

Mr. and Mrs. Del Carmen’s Wedding!

I love going to weddings. It’s so fun to watch people be happy, eat good food, and be part of the festivities! I shed a few tears, once during the ceremony and a significant amount during the mother/son dance at the reception. It was beautiful to watch… The only sad part was thinking that Prentyce’s mom won’t be with us at our wedding.

My friend Ray of 9+ years got married this past weekend and I couldn’t be happier for him. Honestly, I’ve never seen him so happy!

Here are a few snapshots from the wedding.

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We loved the photobooth so much that we went back twice! They said we could take unlimited pics, but the line started to get long. The company was called Vegas Booths and I liked ’em a lot. The photobooth attendants were super nice! I am definitely going to have one of these at my wedding. It was super fun!

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And, did it mention it was a buffet?! It’s not a Vegas wedding if it’s not a buffet, right?

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Congratulations Ray and Stephanie! I can’t wait for babies!!!

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Red Velvet Pancakes + Cream Cheese Frosting [Recipe]

 

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There’s a very popular breakfast and lunch spot here in Las Vegas by the name of Babystacks Cafe. They have a mix of American and Filipino-inspired dishes and my favorite order is their red velvet pancakes. O.M.G. Prentyce says it’s like having cake for breakfast, but who cares what he thinks? Hehe, just kidding! I decided to make my own and it turned out deliciously.

The recipe I used is listed below. Feel free to replicate and let me know what you think.

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2014 Project 365: January

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Project 365 is always a fun photo project. I did a photo for every single day in 2012 and I’m back at it. This time, though, I’ll include a short description of each day’s image.

  1. My family and I on a trip to Mt. Charleston
  2. Daddy’s photo from when he was younger; we were looking at his college transcripts
  3. Chillin’ in the loft with my laptop next to me
  4. Studyin’ for the NCLEX-RN
  5. Papa John’s pizza – half & half
  6. Duck face selfie
  7. Lab values for NCLEX
  8. Painted my nails & took a photo of my ring
  9. NCLEX day breakfast
  10. The calendar on my wall that was my NCLEX-RN countdown
  11. My sisters, Mom, and I at my niece’s party
  12. A funny photo that my friend Jodie sent me
  13. Desserts from M Resort’s Studio B buffet
  14. Painting my toenails
  15. Oreo cookies
  16. Palabok, a Filipino dish, that Mommy made
  17. Index card with notes
  18. Me posing with a cracked open coconut
  19. Homemade burgers
  20. My bestie
  21. Brandon’s shirt; we kept calling him Sharkeisha that day
  22. Remote controls, MacBook, & iPad
  23. Homemade broiled pork
  24. Dinner from Island Flavor
  25. Brayden’s 2nd birthday party
  26. Homemade sweet potatoes fries
  27. Asparagus with bacon from our ABC Potluck
  28. Red velvet pancakes from Baby Stacks Cafe
  29. Watching my mom-in-law’s celebration of life video
  30. Old notes from my pediatrics nursing class
  31. Ingredients for yemas, a Filipino dessert

5ive List: Best Events of 2013

The last one of these I did was in 2011! So much has happened, since then. (Please see my life update blog post if you’d like to know!)

1. Mom and Dad are back from the Philippines!
I don’t tell all my secrets to my parents, but gosh, I loooooove spending time with them. My parents just love me and I’m so lucky to have them. Since they’ve been back, we have spent so much time together. My mom has been sewing for me, cooking up a storm, and she even taught Prentyce and I how to cook sinigang a few weeks ago. My dad is back making us all laugh, especially when he teases Prentyce and I about our past. I hope they don’t ever move back to the Philippines!

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2. Our Housewarming Party was so very warm!
This was the first big event we threw at our house. We also had a super fun Super Bowl in February, but it definitely wasn’t as big as our housewarming. We had family come in from California; it was so sweet they would travel all this way. My Tita Nene also came to America with my parents and was here for the housewarming. We had international guests! Ha! There were over 50 people in our 3,000 sq. ft. home. Yikes! Thanks to everyone for not complaining, it felt a little tight. People are so nice to us, we got such wonderful, wonderful gifts. The weird part was that so many items were left in our house after the party, including a pair of sneakers, an iPhone charger, and a Bluetooth earpiece.

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NCLEX-RN: After Test Day

A few of my nursing friends and I at the Nevada State Board turning in our applications.

A few of my nursing friends and I at the Nevada State Board turning in our applications.

After the exam, I did the Pearson Vue trick (AKA PVT) in my car while still in the parking garage. I just couldn’t wait! If you don’t know about this trick, please search the forums on AllNurses.com. A lot of people have gotten good results when they have gotten the “good pop-up”. Although, I have read that a “bad pop-up” does not necessarily mean that you did not pass. (It even worked on my iPhone. Check the screenshot of the pop-up below.) I checked it about 5 more times until I got my results.

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The PVT pop-up on my iPhone after going home & rechecking AGAIN.

I am sooooo satisfied with the Nevada State Board of Nursing. The day after my NCLEX, which was a Friday, I saw that a temporary license posted for me on their website. I texted my nursing friends, nurses I knew, and a previous professor to for their input regarding this ‘temporary’ license. I called both their Las Vegas and Reno offices and asked them to clarify what this meant. They said that I needed to send in my transcript and that then it would become a permanent license. I asked both the women I spoke to if this meant I had passed the test and they told me yes. After I got off the phone, I screamed at the top of my lungs with excitement. I called and texted my family & friends to share the good news. Continue reading

NCLEX-RN: Actual Test Day

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I drove to the Pearson Vue test center the day before my exam. I even parked, got on the elevator, and found the exact floor and room. I did it the day before instead of a week before because I didn’t want too many changes to occur that would alter my path, e.g. new construction.

The location in Las Vegas is not hard to find (due to the great directions provided by Pearson Vue, which I failed to read so I got lost), but I still didn’t like that the parking is underground and that it is near the Las Vegas Strip. Don’t forget to bring cash for parking, which at a max, is $10 per day. I suggest bringing cash; I was told they can take cards, but I haven’t tested that out myself.

Don’t forget to go through the NCLEX online tutorial the day before the exam. You will need to do it on a Windows computer (or one that opens .exe files). It was helpful to do this, so you know how the exam will look and how to maneuver it. Doing this decreased my anxiety. Find it here on Pearson Vue.

I woke up early and made my self a hearty breakfast. I had eggs, rice, and bacon. Delicious, right? This might not be the best breakfast for you, but this is what I like to eat.

I wore comfortable jeans (not the tight ones you wear to make your butt look nice), a tank top, a long-sleeve top over it, and my UNLV School of Nursing zip-up sweater. I brought my ATT (which you no longer need to bring; they didn’t even ask for it), my driver’s license, bottled water (with the label removed), and snacks (rice cakes, granola bar). I also had a hair-tie on my wrist. Bracelets are not allowed, so I put the hair tie in my hair (which I was planning to do anyway). Continue reading

My NCLEX-RN Study Plan

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It was the day after I took the NCLEX and after numerous times of doing the Pearson Vue trick (AKA PVT) that I finally found out that I passed. I was in denial for hours. I texted a (previous) professor of mine, texted nurses I knew, and called the Nevada State Board of Nursing twice before I finally accepted the fact that I passed. That is when I stood up and screamed at the top of my lungs. I felt so smart, accomplished, and excited.

And, because I got so many tips from the internet that helped me, I thought I would post my NCLEX-RN study plan. This blog post will include the following sections: an about me section (detailing stuff about the one and only), the books I used (including links), and the actual day to day (including # of questions done).

About Me
I’m writing about me because I think it will help you to see if this plan would work for you or not. Everybody studies differently and every person knows and retains different information. My graduating GPA was 3.5. I attended College of Southern Nevada (CSN) for my prerequisites and I graduated with my BSN from University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). I passed all my nursing classes the first time & finished in 16 months, which is the length of my program. I have healthy anxiety prior to tests.

My HESI Exit Exam was on Dec. 13 and my NCLEX-RN was Jan. 9, exactly 27 days later. I scored a 1039 on my HESI Exit Exam; the requirement for my school was 900. I scheduled my exam on Dec. 23, the day I received my ATT, and picked the soonest date possible. I started to feel nervous after a week and thought I needed more time, but I eventually decided NOT to reschedule.

 

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What’s been going on the past 18 months?

 

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Hi there loyal blog fans. There were two of you last time. I think there might be zero now. Haha! : ) I don’t know what you guys have been up to, but for me, it has been awesome, stressful, fun, crazy, and absolutely phenomenal. I didn’t blog because during my free time because I spent it actually resting and trying to enjoy myself. Not that blogging isn’t fun, but it is a lot of work. (I make tons of typos! Some that I don’t find until months later…)

The past 18 months, I do have to say, have been the most life-changing 18 months of my life. That seems a bit dramatic, but it’s true!

9/2013: Started nursing school
12/2013: Moved into our very first home!
4/2013: My parents came back from the Philippines
5/2013: Housewarming party
5/2013: I got a brand new car!
12/2013: Graduated nursing school

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