Recipe: Bacon Pancakes

Husband and I often have breakfast for dinner. Usually some combination of bread and meat; pancakes or waffles with bacon or hot sausage. When I came across this pin, my mouth dropped open and off to the kitchen I went. Why hadn't I ever thought about this? It's a pretty simple process, but I photoed the steps anyway.

Pancake mix

1. So I just pulled out a box of Bisquick and made pancake mix* according to the directions on the box.
2. Fry up the bacon.


3. I used our griddle instead of a pan - mostly so I could cook more than one at a time - so I could get these in my mouth faster. 
4. I got the griddle to the appropriate temperature and then slapped down a pat of butter. I use butter for added flavor and it helps to create a crispy (and delicious) edge on each pancake. 
5. I used a measuring cup (I think 3/4 c. size) to pour the batter in the long, oval shape. 
6. Once the batter goes down, I laid a strip of bacon on top. 

7. Once the edges begin to bubble and appear to be cooking, I flip the pancakes. 
8. I let the other side fully cook and then pile the pancakes onto my plate! 

These are just as delicious as they look. If you are someone who eats pancakes and bacon for breakfast or dinner I highly recommend giving this a go. I promise you won't be disappointed! I think this is good for kids to participate in making and they will enjoy eating them as well!

*When I make pancakes or waffles I always add a bit of vanilla extract to the batter for added flavor. I don't have a particular amount I add - I just eye-ball it. I would say a teaspoon for smaller batches and a tablespoon for larger ones. 


Daily Threads: Elsewhere

purplewhite 055

Today I am guest posting over at Miss Vinyl Ahoy.
If you want to see more of this look, hop on over there!


Daily Threads: Color Block

I don't know about you all, but I often go through spurts of similar looks (rhyme time). Lately, I've really been into any combo of black and white. You saw this look, but I've also recently worn a white skinny jean/black ruffle tank look and these shorts with a black and white breton striped top. I usually don't even notice when this happens until it's been happening for a while. At least it's not the exact same look day after day, right? Even if it was, I think I would be ok with that. If it works, it works. 


Daily Threads: It's Raining

It's been storming for the past couple of days down here in the south. Down pours, lightening shows, and thunder that rattles the house. Let me be clear, I'm not complaining; I love storms (as long as I am at home) and we definitely needed the rain - so it's been nice. 

I usually dress a particular way when it rains. I do not like to wear long pants - I prefer something cropped or shorts or a dress. Why? If I wear long pants they are most definitely going to get drenched at the bottom - and that's never fun when you have somewhere to go and nothing to change in to. I also prefer sandals or boots. Now, I still have not bitten the bullet on purchasing my favorite pair of wellies (which reminds me, they need to go on a wish list), so I tend to wear sandals - they air out easily and you can just slip them off if necessary and get to where you need to be bare-footed, then just dry off your feet and carry on with your day. Is that weird? No, practical. 

Do you wear anything particular on rainy days?


Daily Threads: Hello, Summer

Happy Summer! It is 90+ degrees everyday, with humidity out the wazoo, and it's only day one. I'll get through it, though - with a water bottle in my hand and a spot by the pool on the weekends. It really feels weird to be welcoming summer today; it's been summer here for months already. 

Oh, also, if you squint your eyes and turn down the brightness on the computer, it kind of looks like I'm welcoming summer with a slight tan. I worked hard this past weekend laying out by the pool. I hope my efforts are noticed. 


Happy Father's Day

Fathers are something special - especially mine! 

He's been there for me since the day I was born and there's nothing more I could ask for. He taught me how to do fun and sporty things like fishing, shooting a gun, tying a knot, and excelling in sports; but he has also taught me how to make wise, thoughtful decisions that have guided me in the right direction of life. 

This is one of my favorite pictures of my family, but especially my dad. This is his move. When he's feeling silly, want's to bust a move, or needs to make me laugh, this little dance comes out. It's a favorite of mine. I don't know what song was playing, but we were all definitely enjoying the moment! 

Dad is the grill master. One of the best cooks I know! He often grills Boston Butts for large events around town - usually 200-300 at a time! They are delicious. My favorite part is pulling the crispy pieces off the grill. He also makes his own bbq sauce which is the best I've ever had - so good I bottled it up in Mason jars and gave them out as our wedding favors. 

I love you, dad! Thanks for being the best! 


Summer Essentials

So I was recently featured on Good Life for Less sharing my summer essentials, and I thought I'd share those favorite summer items with all of you as well! 

1. Easy and loose clothes. I'm from the south. Last year my husband and I made the move from NC to Alabama - I thought summers were rough in NC... they are nothing compared to the hot, humid air here in Alabama. When I'm hot, I want clothes that are easy to wear, will allow a nice breeze through my body, and that are simple. 

2. Bright nail polish. Essie is by far my favorite nail polish brand. I love the way the formula goes on my nails and I love all the colors they have to choose from! One of a Kind is perfect for an indecisive mind like mine - it's a blend of red, orange, and coral which are all colors I love for the summer. It's on my toes all summer long! (I'm also currently loving Cute as a Button)

3. A moisturizer that provides color and SPF.  This DDF Enhancing Sun Protection moisturizer is perfect. Not only does it moisturize and protect your skin from the sun, it also has "self-blending" color spheres that give you a more even skin tone and a hint of color. During the summer I usually skip foundation and lather up in this!

4. Lip Butter. Anything that will keep my lips moisturized is in my bag - no matter the season. This particular lip butter provides the perfect pink-coral tint you want during the summer months. 

5. A fishtail braid. Much like my clothes, I like my hair to be easy. I like it to be easy and out of the way. A fishtail braid is the perfect way to keep your hair out of your face and off your neck, but still looking fabulous. I honestly love a fishtail during any season of the year, but summer time just screams fishtail braid - for me, anyway!

What are your summer essential items?


Daily Threads: Blending

top & shorts: gap
earrings: c/o jess lc

You know those pictures where people are painted to blend into a wall? That's what I feel like now that I'm seeing these pictures. I need to find a new wall. The tribal print against this was great, the wall worked perfectly. Today, not the case. My top and my legs blend right in - move a bit farther down, my shoes disappear into the sidewalk. Sigh. Lesson learned. 

I really do love this look - even if it completely blends into the background. I love this color combo. It's different, but it works. Pastels look so pretty together. Also, this is my first time in heels since my foot injury - it feels nice. 


Daily Threads: Rules

necklace: c/o jc penney

There aren't that many fashion rules I follow. I wear white whenever I want, I mix black and brown, and I wear a scarf when everyone else is shedding layers. If I do follow rules, it's common sense rules; pay attention to fit - not size, dress for your body type, and, my favorite, dress how you feel. 

I haven't always been a fan of following trends. Some of them aren't worth investing in and others are difficult to participate in without breaking the bank. But that's not true. You can wear trendy items without spending a lot of money - you just have to keep a look out for a good deal. I promise, they're out there! My rule when it comes to trends: participate, but without breaking the bank.

This is me, being a part of the Tribal Trend, and spending less than $50. I found this gorgeous Nicole Miller dress on sale for $35 and the necklace was $9 - I already had the Navajo sandals - and an outfit was born! The colors are vibrant, perfect against a tan (which I'm lacking, oops), and the pattern is eye-catching without being in-your-face (or, as I like to say, in-yo-face). Also, how gorgeous is the necklace?

Do you participate in trends? Spend a lot for trends? Do you like my tribal-trend look?

Thank you JC Penney for sponsoring this post!


Music Monday

I'm not sure of the exact year, or even how we discovered Kathleen Edwards (ACL maybe?), but it was a good day. Her music is considered alternative country - I would say because her songs vary so much. Although she does rock out on many of her songs, she also pulls back with softer and more emotional songs. Her CDs flow perfectly and it's pure joy listening to them from start to finish.

Kathleen Edwards' music reminds me of summer. The summer we started listening to her must have been one where we visited the beach often. All of my memories of her music involve us driving in husband's old Explorer, with the windows down and the music up, and us enjoying each other, good music, and a warm breeze.


Daily Threads: Working for the Weekend

tee & belt: target
shorts & bag: tj maxx
sandals: c/o ruche {giveaway}
necklace c/o jess lc {contest}

Generally, unless we are going out to eat somewhere nice or doing something that calls for a slightly more sophisticated look, I'm wearing shorts and a tee on the weekend. These Target Boyfriend Tees are my new obsession (also worn here and here). I have three, but I'm tempted to go buy multiples of the white and a couple other colors. This tee is loose, but still, somehow, flattering. And I'm in love. This is definitely a go-to, weekend look for me - I'll vary the color of the tee and the shoes and the shorts, but otherwise, generally speaking, this is it! What's your go-to weekend look?


What I Do: Part II

As you all know from Part One, I went to school for speech-language pathology. I received an undergraduate degree in communications, with a concentration in disorders, and I went to grad school and received a master's of science in speech language pathology. This post is pretty lengthy, but I figured it would be better to say more than to say less - for this particular post. Anything I don't explain is linked. Enjoy!

I was recently hired as a SLP for the inpatient population at a near-by hospital. The main disorder we treat in the acute setting is dysphagia - which is the medical term for a swallowing disorder; however, we also see patients for aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, voice, and cognition. Dysphagia typically occurs in the elderly population; however anyone can suffer from the disorder - including premature babies. When we receive a swallowing eval referral from a doctor, our patients usually suffer from one of the following: stroke, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, cancer of the head and neck, brain injury, heart, brain, or neck surgery, and problems with the esophagus such as acid reflux. So basically anything that causes a patient to have pain or difficulty swallowing is a cause of dysphagia.

Typical signs that a patient is suffering from dysphagia are coughing and/or throat clearing during or after eating or drinking, a "wet" or gurgly sounding voice after eating or drinking, needing extra effort or time to chew or swallow, food/liquid that's leaking or getting stuck in the mouth (pocketing), recurrent pneumonia, weight-loss, dehydration, or malnutrition.

When the referral comes in I do my research on the patient - look at why they were admitted, their past medical history, CT/MRI/MRA of the brain, and what diet they are currently on, if any (sometimes they are NPO - nothing per oral - until we do our evaluation). From this research I can get an initial picture in my mind about how this patient might do when evaluated. Before going into the patient's room I talk with the nurse. Nurses are a great resource to us as they are constantly with the patient and can give great information about how they did eating a meal or taking their pills - this is also true for family members as they can provide an accurate baseline of the patient before being admitted.

The initial eval that I do is called a bedside evaluation. I go in, explain who I am and what I'll be doing, I ask the patient a few questions just to see how oriented they are, and then I do an oral mechanism exam. During an oral mech I typically have them move their tongue around, pucker their lips, and smile - I'm basically looking at coordination and symmetry - I also check out their dentition. I don't want to give an elderly man with no teeth a hard cracker...

At bedside, I give the patient trials of several different food and liquid consistencies. Typically the patient is given ice chips, pureed food (applesauce or pudding), honey-thick liquid, nectar-thick liquid, thin/regular liquid, soft food (nutrigrain bar), and regular food (cracker) - in that order. Now, every patient is different - some ending up trialing all of these and some we have to stop after the pureed. It just depends on the patient. From this evaluation I determine if the patient is safe for oral intake. If so, I decide on a diet that is safest for the patient, call the patient's doctor to discuss the results and my suggested plan, he'll say "ok", and I'll write the order in their chart - at the next meal time the patient is ready to eat! If I feel like a patient isn't safe for food or liquids or I feel like I need to see what's going on during the swallow I will call the doctor, explain what's going on, and ask that a Modified Barium Swallow Study (MBSS) be ordered.

A MBSS is a moving x-ray of the patient's swallow. We give the patient all the foods and liquids mentioned above except with this test we put contrast (barium) on the food and in the liquids so that we can see the food/liquid and exactly where it's going during a swallow. I say "we" because there's always a SLP (me) and a radiologist in the room, giving the test. So you can get better idea of this test, here is a link of a MBSS for a patient who aspirates (watch the second swallow) and one who swallows normally.

Another swallow study performed by SLPs is called a Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES). This test is different in that it can be performed at bedside and instead of doing a moving x-ray, it's a camera that looks down on the patient's larynx. So basically, in layman's terms, a FEES is done with a flexible fiberoptic endoscope (camera) that is inserted through the nasal cavity and looks down onto the vocal folds, trachea, and esophagus. Here is an example of a FEES - it's a longer video, but it gives you a good idea of how the camera is inserted, what you look at during the test, and the swallowing mechanism itself. At the hospital I am currently working at, we do not have any FEES machines - some hospitals have them, some don't. At the hospital I did my clinicals at they did have them - so I've seen my fair-share of FEES.

After either of these test we have a clearer picture of exactly what's going wrong during the patient's swallow. From there we can determine an appropriate diet and/or if further testing needs to take place - sometimes an esophagram or a neuro consult if we think the dysphagia is secondary to something else that's going on.

Shew! That's a lot! I've spent the majority of this post talking about dysphagia because it's honestly 80-90% of what we see with the inpatient population. I hope I was clear and thorough in my explanations above. Let me know if you have questions - I'd love to answer them or explain anything further. Also, here I am in my scrubs:

*I don't usually wear Wallabees to work, but with my recent foot injury I've had to trade in my Nike's for a looser fit. 


Daily Threads: Purples

top: j crew, shorts: gap, shoes: c/o modcloth, bag: jessica simpson 
jewelry: kohl's, jess lc, michael kors

Husband grabbed Maeby and jumped in for a family photo. I feel like I should address that a.) he is wearing house shoes outside, b.) cradling Maeby like a baby, and c.) the wind is blowing his shirt causing him to look like an early-stage hunchback.

Also I should note that I am not wearing only one sock; that's a bandage. Sunday afternoon I was cutting into a delicious, bright red watermelon and when I finished I didn't set the knife completely on the counter - so it fell off. Straight into my foot. Like someone held it perfectly above my foot and just dropped it straight down. It was shocking and there was a lot of blood. I wanted to wait it out, but husband insisted on going to the ER. And then I received my first stitches ever. I've been hobbling around the hospital, but I'm definitely feeling better. I took my bandages off tonight - it's bruised and ugly, but the doctor insisted that there would be little to no scaring. I actually would have rather worn nude heels with this look, but heels aren't allowed right now.

On to my outfit - I'm keeping with my monochromatic theme. I'm rocking two shades of purple. Purple is one of those colors that people either love or hate. I never think to name purple as a favorite color of mine, but I always gravitate towards it, and I really like these two shades together. Also, how fabulous is this Jessica Simpson clutch? My MIL, Frannycakes, snagged this gem up at her local Goodwill in Savannah!


What I Do: Part I

Since I've recently started a new job and I often get comments and emails asking what I do for a living, I thought I would do a two-part write up about speech therapy and exactly what I do. Part I will be more about speech therapy in general and a brief summary of my grad school experience and Part II will be more about what exactly I do in my specific job.

It would be extremely difficult to put everything there is to know about a speech-language pathologist (SLP) into a blog post; however, I am going to try to sum what we do up into a few paragraphs.  A lot of people think "you help kids with /r/ and kids who stutter" - and yes, that's true, but there's more. A lot more. 

A basic definition: a SLP is someone who evaluates, diagnoses, and treats speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing disorders. We work with newborns, toddlers, elementary age, high school age, young adults, adults, and the elderly on a variety of different types of disorders and/or delays - articulation, phonology, fluency, cognition, language, voice, swallowing, and literacy. We work in daycares, pre-schools, school systems, rehab centers, nursing homes, hospitals, private practices, traveling, and some even participate in telepractice. Our clients could have autism, down's syndrome, MS, cochlear implants, accents, a stroke, aphasia, dysphagia, dysarthria, and several other disorders/conditions.

Moving on - grad school was two years (five semesters) of balancing classwork and clinicals. Not all graduate programs for speech are set up the same way. I know some programs have the students take the classes first and then do all their clinicals, but I love the way ours was set up. We had classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and clinicals on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays - we were learning the classwork as we were performing the therapy. During our last semester, in addition to classes and clinicals, we also had our master's project - and the majority of us also took the praxis. So definitely a stressful time, but rewarding to complete everything! 

My first two semesters my clinicals were in pre-schools. I traveled to different pre-schools and mostly performed articulation and language therapy - although, I did have to do a couple evaluations. My third semester (over the summer) was in a hospital. The hospital had a rehab center beside the facility, so I was also able to get a few hours there - which was nice for the experience. In the hospital the majority of the patients seen is for dysphagia - which is the medical term for a swallowing disorder. More about this in Part II! My fourth semester was at a K-5 elementary school which also had a More at Four program, so I was able to get lots of screening and evaluation experience with pre-schoolers. In the elementary school my caseload was mostly articulation therapy, but I definitely had some language and literacy in the mix. My final placement was in an after-school literacy program that a group of us (plus our supervisor) put together. We basically spent the first couple of weeks testing and determining a baseline for the children - so we could put them in groups determined by skill level. Then we spent several weeks coming after school for about an hour and a half following an evidence-based literacy program - teaching them about letters, sounds, combining the two, and new vocabulary words. At the end of the semester we re-evaluated them and they all showed improvement. It was fabulous - definitely a favorite clinical of mine!

In addition to classes and clinicals, I was also an officer for our local chapter of NSSLHA - which is our national organization for speech-language and hearing. My specific title was Historian/Creative Director, but we were all so close and worked so well together that with most events we all pitched in, shared roles, and just worked to get the job done. To name a few, we participated in Operation Christmas Child, local food drives, local festivals, and we put together an inaugural 5K run/walk for Full Spectrum Farms - a fabulous organization our program worked closely with. Here we are! Such a fabulous group - love them! 

So this is a very quick and dry explanation of my grad school experience - there's so much more to share, but I could end up writing for days. If you want to know more about something specifically, or have a question about anything - ask in the comments - or email! After I complete Part II, I'll write up a Q&A for any questions you all might have. So ask away! 


Awkward Comment of the Day

Today at work I was coming out of a patient's room and saw a nurse that I recently met and talked with - not leisurely, but about a patient she had and I was seeing. So I came out of the room, said hey, she said hey, and then proceeded with this:

"You look like one of those girls that's in those scary movies."

Me: {awkward giggle. awkward face.} "What do you mean?"

"You just look like one of those girls that's in those movies. Those girls that be running around stabbing people."

Me: {even more awkward face.} "Ok. That's weird." And then I walked away. What else is there to say?

How the heck am I supposed to take a comment like that? And who the heck says that to someone they don't know? So weird. I feel like I could take the comment two ways. 1.) Most girls in horror movies are attractive girls - maybe I just remind her of a girl she saw in some horror movie. Or 2.) I had such a determined look on my face (and slightly upset face as I was given a lot of patients to see this afternoon) that it reminded her of a horror movie. I don't know?

I like to think the first option is what she was referring to, but I can't be certain. I did walk by her later in the day and do a stabbing motion, while laughing, of course. Then she smiled and said, "We straight." Not sure how to take that either...

What a weird and awkward situation.

On a different note. Maybe you've noticed, maybe you haven't - but I've definitely been lacking in the posting department this week. Besides working 40 hours, it's been a pretty busy week with appointments after work and classes to attend. Ok, just one class. During work. Which, by the way, if you read my twitter, you'll know that I pray to the Lord that I never need CPR from the majority of the ladies that were in my class today. It was scary. Anyway, sorry about the lack of posts. I'm thinking I may need to pick out two to three days of the week where I have a "themed" post. Like Music Monday or Five Things Friday. What do you all think of that?


Daily Threads: Mellow Yellow

cardigan: j.crew 
dress: c/o modcloth
shoes: c/o jc penney {via giveaway}
earrings: c/o jess lc {via contest}

So I'm not sure if there exists some type of faux-pas when it comes to wearing different shades of the same color - but I don't care. I recently received this light and lovely, yellow, seersucker dress and I had it paired, in my mind, with my bright yellow cardigan. I had tunnel-vision and couldn't imagine it with anything else. I personally love the look - I feel bright and spring-y-ish (what?). 

Husband was running Maeby while I took these photos. After playing she insisted on taking a break from playing for a quick photo-op. I scooped her up and snapped the picture. I'm sure you all can tell how badly she really wanted to be in the picture...

Also, check me out on Modly Chic today wearing another lovely Spring dress!