Discovering Cleveland and a Life Update

Saturday, January 21, 2017
Hi everybody,

I hope you're all doing well! I'm here to share a few of my favorite things of the new year, and give a little life update. Since it has become increasingly difficult to blog while in residency, I thought I'd shift the style to journal-like entries so I can look back on my memories many years from now. First thing on the list: pieces that bring me a little burst of happiness!

This is the best smelling Bath and Body Works candle ever! Also I picked up the cutest mug from Marshalls, it reminds me so much of my grandma. Miss her every day 💜

Still the talking point of my apartment! You can pick one up at World Market.

These tiny books are what I use to take notes during rotations. Perfect size, and don't weigh my white coat pockets down!

I had the joy of having my favorite people coming to visit me in Cleveland two weekends ago. 👪 My parents drove through a horrible snow storm (which hit unexpectedly), and took six hours to get to me! I was praying the entire time because the news was showing pile ups on the freeway. YIKES! We spent a lot of time staying cozy, shopping, and eating yummy food. Also, Z Gallerie (my fave home decor & furniture place in Chicago) finally opened up in Cleveland! WHAT UP! 
Staying cozy with my hand knit scarf (courtesy of my wonderful cousin), and doing some studying. Writing notes is always therapeutic for me. Plus, I'm slowly prepping for Step 3. The exams never end in medicine!
Obligatory white coat dump at the end of a rotation to prepare for the new one! 
Loganberry Books - the cutest bookstore in Cleveland! I picked up 3 novels from the Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer). Only a few more left to complete the full set. Woot!
PS. If you haven't read them, I can do a quick review in another post. Think childhood princesses stories set in a sci-fi world, but they're NOT represented as helpless protagonists. They're kicking some serious butt!
WOLFS - a beautiful art gallery/dealership. I wished my apartment were this cool!
A quick visit to the Natural History Museum!
Whole Foods sponsored an exhibit about...FOOD! It incorporated a ton of different agricultural practices, how science has changed farming habits, and eating changes through time. They even had a chef come in and talk about healthy eating, as well as provide samples of fast, nutritious snacks that have a 'fancy' appeal and taste. It was awesome!

What have you been up to this month?! 

My Most Used Kitchen Pieces

Wednesday, January 04, 2017
Hola everybody!

Today I'm sharing some of the kitchen items I use most frequently that have made a positive impact on my daily routine. I hope I can convince some of you to add one of these pieces to your kitchen to make cooking more streamlined and enjoyable. Here we go!

1. Electric Kettle
This is my most loved and hence most used piece. It allows me to have over 1 L of boiling water in under a minute, and this goes right into the pot to start cooking my pasta/eggs/potatoes/veggies etc. It really does shave time off the meal preparation process! I also use it for rapid tea breaks, or for my french press. I love it!

2. Knife set with sharpner
I love cutting produce and meats, so I become acutely aware of how poor quality a knife is the minute I use it. My parents brought my their home set for my apartment because it was my favorite one growing up, and I love being able to sharpen my knives whenever I want. A good set, as you can tell by the age of mine, will last you ages. It's a wonderful investment.

3. Bamboo cutting board
I have a very thick, sturdy board. The biggest plus is that it moves around much less than a plastic board, and it also looks nice hanging out on your countertop. I have stopped using my plastic cutting board completely.

2. Solid pots
I look for heavy aluminum and stainless steel pots. This allows for better heat distribution when cooking, and also permits food to cook evenly. In the future I would love to have copper cookware but I don't think I have the patience to reline the pot when necessary. What a hassle!

3. Sturdy skillets
Non-stick pans are my personal preference, but I also have cast iron skillets & pans. My father typically picks these out for me. They're heavy and just like the pots, they distribute the heat evenly so your food cooks at the same rate on all surface areas.

4. Rubber spatulas
I started using these this year to protect my cookware after my dad noticed I was ruining my expensive pieces by scraping the coating off my skillets. Woops! You live and you learn.

5. Keurig
An extremely useful gadget for those of you who leave little time to get ready in the morning! I have the water and coffee pod prepared the night before. I use a reusable pod with my favorite coffee instead of the prepackaged ones.

6. Containers
The ones with a rubber seal so you don't leak all over your lunch bag/purse/knapsack. This is harder to find than it looks! I like the Sistema containers, but a couple have also leaked on me. Nevertheless, they are the most reliable. I used to use glass only containers, but they just got too heavy to carry multiple cases for one lunch.

7. Shears
Ones with a good hand grip that can cut through tough plastic or meat/chicken. Packaging nowadays is insane!

8. Olive Oil Dispenser
A fancy one for the table. I didn't think it was appropriate to pull out the jug with guests, and the Portuguese love their olive oil.

9. Extra: spoon rest
My stove top is so much cleaner after cooking thanks to this little guy. I picked it up in October, so it's the one with the least wear on the list but I highly recommend for cutting down on cleaning time.

Tell me what your most useful kitchen items are, and I can put it on my next shopping list!