Saturday, July 27, 2013

My Nursing School Story

I thought I should brush off the ol' blog and talk about nursing school. I've been out of school for over 6 months now!  I found reading about other people's experiences was super interesting and helpful so here is my story.

If I could describe nursing school in one word, it would be: Intense.

Pre Nursing School

I was going to university for psychology. I was in my last year and I realized there is not much that can be done with a psychology degree. I wanted to be a counsellor but in order to do that, I would have to pursue my masters. The whole idea was daunting. During that time, I had a coworker who was a nursing student. One day, she shared with me a story about a patient who yelled at all the nurses and was constantly angry. He gave her a lot of grief. However, she pushed through with her calm and patient nursing care and his attitude changed. His anger was really masking his frustration with a certain situation. She made an impact on him. And that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to help people.

I never considered nursing. I did work experience in the hospital in high school. I fainted the first day. The person I was with told me the hospital probably wasn't for me. Regardless, I decided to apply to nursing school. It was a spontaneous decision. Even more surprising, was getting accepted into nursing school. I started right after I finished my psychology degree.

Nursing school is a lot harder than university. My school is apparently known as the bootcamp of nursing school. They instructors told us the school was one of the best. 10% dropped out/failed each term.  I wondered if that's what all schools told their students. We were thrown into things right away. Our first clinical experience involved meeting our patient, sitting with them, and collecting their history. I don't know why, but I was scared. I wasn't used to being in the hospital. I wasn't used to being somewhere at 7am. I wasn't used to approaching people. I wasn't used to being evaluated constantly. I wasn't used to doing presentations. It was stressful. I cried a lot. I debated if nursing school was worth it.

Soon, we learned real nursing skills. I was placed on a surgical unit. We learned things like injections, IV therapy, and dressing changes. I remember the first time I primed an IV line and hung a med, it probably took a good 30 mins. I also learned very quickly pulling out the spike of an IV bag while it's still hanging will cause it to spill everywhere. I did love dressing changes. This was the first term where I had a patient that I ended up crying over. It was my first experience with a patient who was waiting to be transferred to a palliative unit. She needed constant narcotics for pain management. Her husband sat by her the whole time even though she was asleep for the most part. It made me sad.

I survived the first year. Felt like I barely hung on. Still debated if it was worth it.

Maternity- Not my thing. However, I got to hold newborn babies for the first time which was pretty amazing. The day I was slotted to observe in labour and delivery, my instructor was sick. I never got to see a real live delivery.

Paediatrics- I lucked out and got a good balance of patients. I had an infant, toddler, child and teenager. One time, I had to give a 3 year old, liquid Tylenol. I bargained with her and said she can either take it through a syringe, or I can give it to her in a cup. She chose the cup. Then chucked the bright red liquid tylenol all over her bed. Definitely knew paediatrics was not for me.

Mental Health- I fell in love. Everything I read in my psychology textbooks, I was experiencing hands on. The stories I heard were incredible. It reminded me why I went to nursing school. I wanted something that involved my psychology background but combined with nursing. What more could I ask for? I worked with patients who were going through schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, etc. Worked with patients who were going to through manic stages and didn't sleep for days. Worked with patients who had schizophrenia and were so scared because of their hallucinations.  I thought mental health was so amazing.

More med surg. We learned the rest of the nursing skills such as catheter insertion, complex wound care, trach care, tube feeding, etc. We were now up to 3 patients and pretty much did what a basic nurse was expected to do. I had an incredible clinical instructor who was so patient, kind, and nurturing. I had several incidents where I cried and she was very supportive. One time, I cried over a patient who was towards his end stage in life. He brought it up with me while I was giving him a bed bath. He said he knew he was going to see his wife soon (she had passed away few years ago). I didn't know what to say. I knew he wanted to talk about dying. But I couldn't talk about it with him. It was morally hard for me to deal with. So I just listened. I think that's what he really wanted.

I passed every course and clinical. I was thinking that maybe, this was something I was actually going to do. At the same time, I felt like my self- esteem was challenged everyday and it was a struggle for me.

For community, I was placed in home health. I had no idea what home health was. I learned it's providing acute nursing care in the home. I got to do a ton of dressing changes. I experienced working with the homeless/at risk population. One time, I was during a dressing change and a cat walked into the room and jumped on my sterile field. Seriously, that doesn't happen in hospitals. Home Health was a real eye opener for me. It was nursing that was different from acute care.


I was placed on a medical unit that was very very intense. We had a simulation lab before preceptorship and the instructor pulled me aside and asked me if I was really ready for this. It stressed me out a lot.  The nurses, my instructor, and the manager told me if you could survive this unit, you can survive anywhere. I thought I was ready for preceptorship but I felt like I was learning everything new again. It was a learning curve of time management, prioritizing, and delegating. I had two great preceptors. I experienced an emergency situation with my patient vomiting blood. I saw a few code blues. Experienced caring for patients who passed away. Had the experience of a patient who yelled multiple times and in the end, did a 180 once we uncovered his anger was masking frustration. When we rectified the situation, he turned out to be a very nice person. I had come full circle from when I talked to my coworker/friend who was a nursing student. By the end, I had experienced 12 hour shifts, working graveyards, and managing 4-5 patients. Even then, I still questioned if this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was so burned out and exhausted.

I applied to the unit. Was offered a job on a different unit. And I declined. I was so scared because I had no other job offers. But in my heart, I knew it's not what I wanted to do.

After School 

I studied a lot for the CRNE (Canadian Registered Nurse Exam). I did over 1000 questions. I studied on my own but also did a few study sessions with my friends. We texted practice questions back and forth because we had different books. It was one more hurdle. I had really poor sleep the night before the exam because of anxiety so I ended up being exhausted. The exam was hard. It was really hard. A lot of us had no idea how we did on the exam. The next 6 weeks were brutal.

I also applied for a job that I did want and was even more shocked when I was offered the position.

I passed my nursing exam.

I graduated with distinction. So did a lot of my classmates.

I love my job. Most of my classmates got a job right out of school. Maybe there is some truth behind what the instructors said about our school.

There are a few things that I wished I knew before I pursued nursing. It really pushed me to be outside my comfort zone of being a follower. Nursing school shot my self esteem but did teach me resilience. A support system was so important to me. They're the ones who pushed me not to give up. I did not realize the critical thinking that's involved in everyday nursing. Things like recognizing when a med a doctor prescribed isn't correct, choosing an action that's different from what another nurse suggest because I did my own assessment, or knowing when to advocate for your patient to be seen by a doctor even though he/she had already been told there's no concerns. Learning to go with my gut instinct. Being confident in my actions and having a sound rational behind it. It really is challenging and rewarding. And I also did not expect to meet classmates who turned out to be solid friends.

In the end, nursing school, was definitely worth it.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Downtown Love at First Sight

Downtown fun 
Sunglasses: Ray Ban, Top: Forever 21, Bag on display: Gucci

My friend suggested that I should go down to Holt Renfrew and check out things that I like, in person, to see if it's something I really want. I still don't know what I want to get myself as a grad gift. I figured, as soon as I saw it, I would know.

There were no prices in the Prada section at Holt Renfrew. My reasoning is if I have to ask, I probably can't afford it. 

I tried on a pair of Christian Louboutin. The red soles were gorgeous. Even though they weren't the right size, I could already tell it wouldn't be comfortable anyway which I expected. But beside the Louboutin table was the YSL table. These YSL pumps were SO comfortable! The insoles were well padded and they were easy to walk in! Price tag at Holt Renfrew was $895. 

This was actually fairly affordable... I think it was just under $500 (can't remember). It was big enough to fit one baby inside haha. I like measuring bags by babies. 

Afterwards, we went our merry way to Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. I saw the pretty Gucci bag on display (posted in the first picture). The one I saw was more beige tan. 

Just as we were leaving, I hopped into the Louis Vuitton store to see my Palermo bag in person because I didn't see it at Holt Renfrew. This was the first bag I wanted when I initially decided I'm going to buy a high end bag.

It was behind the counter. As soon as I laid eyes on it, it took my breath away. My heart rate increased and I had that "feeling". That feeling that I've been waiting for. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was meant to be. The saleslady let me try it on for size. This is the smaller one than the GM. I checked the price tag and it was $1350. The leather was stiffer than I expected.The size was perfect to fit everything I needed. It looked amazing. I didn't even notice any other bag in the store. Sadly, I didn't take a picture with me wearing the bag. But it was perfect and I could imagine bringing it home with me. It's meant to be my friends. I'm in love. Soon, it will be mine. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Late Bloomer Makeover

In an ideal world, I wear sweatpants and a hoodie. I hate jeans. I like t-shirts. I think Hollister is fantastic. I was depressed to hear Hollister is aimed towards teens and early 20's. Although I highly admire ladies who dress to the nines, I feel unnatural when I do. I also hate trying on clothes and spending an absurd amount. $50 on a shirt or $100 on a dress? Uhm.. that's too much! But I am also near the end of my mid-twenties. The dress code for work is business casual. I have clothes in my closet/dresser that I've had for over 5 years. I finally have income flow now. I decided it was time for a fashion makeover. I enlisted the help of a couple friends. Prior to this, I attempted to clear out half  a third of my wardrobe to donate.

Then, we went on a shopping spree! I had a few requirements.

1) Stay within my $300 budget
2) No orange or green clothes
3) I wanted versatile pieces that I can use everyday

In exchange, I made the attempt to be open to different styles from my normal.

I don't have a full body mirror unfortunately but here are links to the pieces I bought :)

Apparently every girl should have a blazer

A cute versatile summer dress

This top really appealed to all of us. My bf thought we were joking when we said I bought a horse shirt.

I actually did want to add more blouses to my wardrobe

As soon as I grabbed this off the rack, my friends told me they're pretty sure I have this shirt already. Actually.... a lot of my "fancy" outfits are cowls. I like them! They conceded to me buying another one. 

Anyway, the cowl top I have is different haha. This one is from Sears. 

I first saw this dress on ShopwithJenna's (old) blog and totally fell in love with it. I couldn't justify the price back then. But I really do still love it so I splurged. 

I am planning on adding a few more blouses to my closet. I also finally figured out my dress size to be 4. I actually didn't know what size I was before. Shows you how often I buy dresses. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bag Wish List

Currently, I am setting aside money here and there for my very first Louis Vuitton bag. I threw the gifts I received from graduation into that fund so it's slowly building. The other night, I wondered to myself if there was another high end bag that might tickle my fancy. I scoured Louis Vuitton, Prada, Versace, Gucci, Céline, Mui Mui, Balenciaga, Yves St. Laurent, and Marc Jacobs. Here are some top contenders.

Now on the other hand, the logical rational part of me thinks that it's absolutely absurd to drop $XXXX on a bag. My bf is trying to convince me to set that money aside for something like a trip or even a car (since my car has been around for over 15 years). However... when would I get the chance to buy something this luxurious once I move out, have kiddies, blahblahblah. 


I can do both... go on a trip AND buy a bag! My bf and I have plans to go to Las Vegas (my first time) and also our usual trip to Hawaii every two years (so next year). That'll give me longer to save up and in my head, saving small amounts at a time totally justifies me buying a bag. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

MUA Makeup Academy Neutral Palettes Review

This is a MUA Makeup Academy Undress Me Too Palette review and Heaven and Earth Palette Review.

While I was going through my Neutral Palette Obsession, I came across MUA Makeup Academy, a UK beauty company. I was a bit nervous about the shipping based on several posts of people saying they haven't received their products, on their MUA facebook page. But I didn't have any problems! My makeup showed up in 10 days (to Canada). It was bubble wrapped in an envelope and came in tact.

I was really curious to try out their neutral palettes because I knew it was drug store quality but based on people's blog reviews, it was well pigmented. However, I couldn't find any blog posts with people who had tanned skinned like me! My concern was that some of these colours might now show on my skin colour. As expected, some of the lighter colours don't show as well but I can use them as a highlight. I also like to blend different colours together.

The quality is what I expect for a drug store product. I wear Urban Decay Primer Potion underneath my shadows since I have oily lids and these crease after 6 hours. BUT, when I touch it up, blot up the oil, and have a good primer foundation, it lasts me a good 10-12 hours. I do really like the colours and when I do have the extra few minutes to put on eyeshadow for work, I find myself reaching for these palettes.

- a solid variety of neutral colours
- affordable
- decent longevity

-some of the lighter colours don't show up well on tanned skin
- international shipping is £7.50 but still quite afford compared to other beauty products

Would I recommend them? Yes! Which one do I recommend? They're similar but different. However, Heaven and Earth had more shades that don't show up well on my skin. That being said, I still like them both equally.

Undress Me Too Eyeshadow Palette

Heaven and Earth Palette

Saturday, March 2, 2013

February was a Whirlwind

Holy moly I didn't realize I haven't blogged since Feb.12.

It's been a really busy month!

1) I started my new job. I love it so far.

2) I officially graduated nursing school

3) My makeup came in the mail! I will blog about them in the near future.

4) I totally splurged on a leather jacket. I don't know if I mentioned this but during last Boxing Day, I was sitting on the fence about a leather jacket on sale. Of course, it sold out and I totally regretted it. I told myself if the opportunity arises again, I'd jump on it. And oh boy, did I. When I was walking by Danier, I saw they had a winter sale. There was a classic leather jacket at the front on sale from $400 to $159!! There was only one left in XS. The salesgirl pegged me for XXS but I like wearing sweaters under my jackets so this gave me extra room. I fell in love. I didn't want to take it off. Shopping fate, my friends. But it's been pouring rain in Vancouver so I haven't had a chance to put the protective spray on it :( A very spontaneous buy. 

5) It was my birthday! I picked up my birthday gift from Sephora. I haven't had the time to try them out yet. 

6) A friend of mine gave me a Sephora gift card for my birthday. After a short deliberation, I bought the Sephora Pro Smoky liner #24 brush. I've been looking to invest in a firm pointed end/pencil brush that'll help me create an outer v with my smokey eye looks. 

Whew. That's it I think. Hopefully more blog entries to come. I've been really sleepy lately. I think it's because I'm not used to waking up early. Also, I kinda suspect I need more than 7 hours of sleep. Ideally like 9... 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Neutral Palette Obsession

While studying, I stumbled across a makeup blog sale selling the Urban Decay NAKED palette. That deal didn't work out but it re-lit my obsession to find a neutral palette.

The palette is $50 USD or $60 here in Canada at Sephora. I've been sitting on the fence for years about this palette but just couldn't justify spending that much on something on colours that I probably already have. All the people I know who have it, like/love it. It's a nice size for travelling. It has colours for day or night looks and I know I would use the majority of the palette. My cousin was heading down to the states and asked me if I wanted her to pick up the palette for me. I sat in a pool of indecisiveness and finally declined her offer.

Then I came across this palette on Sephora. It's priced at $36 USD or $45 CAD. There aren't as many colours as NAKED but I would use all the colours in the palette and I don't think I have half of these colours in my eyeshadow collection.

I spotted this Dior gem on 15 Steps, Then a Beauty Blog. It was only $40! For Dior! And comes with the Diorshow mascara. But I couldn't find it on any Canadian websites and it looks like they discontinued it :(

Chai Latte, Mocha Motion, Sunlight Bronze

I thought to myself, I could just build my own collection by using the Maybelline quads. I really like the Natural Smokes Palette I have now so I could add to it. And I think theses are around $6. 

I had spent hours and hours on the computer trolling websites, blogs, and youtube looking at various palettes. I have become obsessed. 

Then.... I came across this brand called MUA Makeup Academy. I've never heard of it. It's a UK beauty company. I imagine it akin to E.L.F. cosmetics. But according to the reviews I read online, apparently it's really good! Similar to Sleek makeup (another UK beauty company) I reckon. 

They seem to be dupes of the Urban Decay Naked palettes. Based on the reviews I read online, they are well pigmented. And they are only £4 each! I sent the links to my friend because I couldn't decide which one to get. They are both fairly similar but different at the same time. Additionally, shipping to Canada was £7.50 which is almost twice the amount of one palette. Regardless, if you added it up, it'd still be way cheaper than the palettes I posted above. My friend suggested I wait it out and see if a deal comes up. At 3am, I couldn't help myself. I bought both palettes. With shipping, it ended up coming to $24 USD. 

Makeup is my drug.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Heroine Make Mascara Volume Review

My friend recently came back from Asia and gave me this souvenir! Very excited. We all know how much I love makeup. I find it's hard to get a hold of Japanese products unless I pay an atrocious amount for shipping. 

The wand is a brush on one side and a comb on the other. The instruction states to use the comb side to lift and brush to separate the lashes. I actually found the comb was better for separating. 

No mascara

Mascara and curl 

I really wanted to love this mascara but it's tricky to work with. 

- does not flake
- does not smudge
- it's lengthening rather than voluminizing (it advertise as a volume mascara) 
-the wand gives you two choices
-it's solid for the rest of the day (except...see below)

- I curl my lashes after I apply mascara. But I found out the formula is like cement. Once it sets, it sets like crazy glue. When I went to curl my lashes, they stuck to my curler :( So I couldn't curl as high as I normally do 
- Did I mention it's like cement? 
- I normally use lotion to remove my makeup but I could tell by my stiff lashes that this needs a heavy duty oil makeup remover. Unfortunately my mom threw mine out when she did her random cleaning sprees. I used olive oil but it was hard to remove. Even now after washing my face, my lashes still feel quite stiff 

So if you're looking for a long lasting solid mascara, this is quite good. I could see it great for special occasions or when I'm out all day. It'd definitely be fantastic once I figure out how to curl my lashes properly with this mascara. And buy another makeup remover. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Casual Curls Hair Curling Tutorial

I tried out my Pro Beauty Tools 1 1/2 inch curling iron today and decided to do a tutorial on how I curl my hair. I like my new curling iron! It gets hot. There's a swivelling cord which helps to avoid the cord from getting tangled. The only thing with it is it doesn't hold my curl as well as my Cricket curling iron. But still gets the job done. Can't complain for $20 :)

Casual curls

1. I prep my hair with heat protectant and a serum. Tresemme Heat Tamer Protective Spray all over and Chi Silk Infusion at the ends. 

2. I put my hair half up and start with the bottom half. 

Correct method
Very important! Make sure hair is wrapped around the curling iron and not the clamp! If you start with wrapping the hair over the clamp, you'll get a dent in your hair. 

3. I like to curl outward. For the right side, with the clamp facing away from me, I clamp on the end of the section of hair and wrap clockwise towards my head. I have my iron set at medium and hold it for about 15 seconds. If I want tighter curls, I hold it for longer. 

4. For the left side, I start with the clamp facing towards me, and turn counterclockwise. I also curl my hair starting from the middle of the strand if I want the curl higher up on my head (as above). 

5. I twist the curl afterwards with my finger. Other times, I use curlers to hold the curl in place. Continue curling for the rest of the head. I tend to go from back to front. 

6. C'est finis. I hate the feel of product in my hair so I don't use hairspray. On rare occasion, I use hair wax to hold the curls in place. Sometimes I flip my head and run my fingers through my hair for some body. The whole process took me about 15 minutes or so. 

If this tutorial was entirely useless, you should watch PurseBuzz's video below. This is the youtube tutorial I watched years ago to teach myself. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Beige Pumps Galore

My best friend has asked me to buy beige pumps for her wedding. I happily obliged as I don't have a beige pair in my shoe collection. There are so many choices out there! I was looking at a row of beige pumps at the shoe store thinking they all look the same. Along with the fact there's different shades of beige!

If I was filthy rich....

Side story. My friend and I told ourselves that once we finish nursing school, we are totally buying Louboutins. I ended up not and spent money on Italian lessons instead. But I really do dream of owning a pair of Loubs. I think when that day comes, my first pair will be classic black. Also, another side story, I am storing money away in a Louboutin fund. I read this thing online where you start in the first week of the year with $1, then $2 for 2nd week, etc. By the 52nd week, you should have $1300 or so. Hopefully I can treat myself at Christmas time! 

There's also these cute Jimmy Choos. I hear Jimmy Choos are known for their comfort which is right up my alley. But I have a low pain tolerance so I'd probably die anyway. 

But that's in dream world. In reality, it would be one these ones below... 

Aldo Stever is on sale right now. They were fairly comfortable. But they're more tan beige. And shiny leather... I'm not a fan of it. 

Aldo Kenzie was recommended to me by the sales girl. It's a light beige that would be perfect for the wedding. They were fairly comfortable when I walked around in the store and the platform helps alleviate the heel height.. plus it's not that high to begin with. But it's $70. 

I'm also keeping my eye on this pair of Chinese Laundry Whistle on eBay. But it'd be also around $70. 

We'll see... I know Aldo does go on sale often so I could wait for the Aldo Kenzie. Or just snag the Chinese Laundry pair because it selling at a good price compared to the original. Or I wait and see what summer has in store for beige pumps.