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Saturday, January 31, 2015

The whoas and winnings of NCLEX

If you don't know what NCLEX is, you probably aren't a nurse or in nursing school.

This one test is everything after nursing school and actually gives you your official license number to be a registered nurse and practice.

How scary is that?! NCLEX doesn't care if your nursing school didn't teach you Sjorgen's syndrome. You have to know it. (Btw I still have no clue what that is). Also, an added bonus is this test is  computer adaptive.

What the hell is computer adaptive?! It adapts to all the questions you get wrong (face palm). So if you didn't understand one or two concepts, they start throwing all kinds of those type of questions at you.

I've worked hard for this. I will tell you right now I walked out of that test feeling defeat. I thought there was absolutely no way in hell I passed.

I did the Pearson Trick.. Where you try to register for another NCLEX exam and pay for it, and then it says no, you already are signed up for an exam and can't complete at this time. (which makes you want to get up and start dancing, there might be a glimmer of hope you passed)

Well after waiting for the past two days. I paid for my unofficial results this morning and this is it.

Do you see what that little word of hope says?! PASS. NO WORD HAS EVER BEEN SWEETER.

I can finally start moving forward with everything I want to accomplish. 
I can't wait for what is ahead. 

Today, I am Ashley Coates, RN.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

And their off!

Y'all I got my braces off today. 

It's amazing, I feel brand new. 

The wonderful ladies that always took care of me. 
Never judged me because I looked unkept during nursing school. 

I think.. Any who they are amazing. 

Spent the day with my Bestie. 

This girl saw me the past two years with seaweed, spinach and Lawd knows what else in my teeth. 

And still loved me anyway. 

And then last but not least, my hubs. 

I have to thank him for supporting my decision for braces. 

I've never had straight teeth until today, and I'm so grateful. 

Love you forever and ever. 

It's barely been 8 hours and i'm making questionable decisions. 

Today was an excellent day. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

SPS #4

1. We FINALLY signed a lease! You guys have no idea how frustrating this process was to just RENT. Oh well at least we won't be living out of our car when we get there. Can you even imagine living in a car with two cats? 

2. This weekend while feverishly studying and doing 2.34574395843 million NCLEX questions, we watched two 90's movies on Netflix that I have never seen before. 

We watched Slingblade, which I was really surprised I even like this movie. It has Billy Bob Thornton in it.. and he actually directed this movie. Let me just say, I have never taken this guy serious in my life. Any who. This movie is about a 12-year old boy who kills his mom and his mom's lover-on-the-side and grows up in the state hospital, and gets out. His life out of the state hospital is literally a cluster and doesn't really know how to cope. 

I won't tell you anymore or I'll spoil it. So I will leave you with "biscuits and mustard"

We also watched Swingers. It had a very young Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau. I was astonished at how young they were. We did the math and they were a year younger than we are now, when they did this movie. UGH. Anyways, it is about a group of guys hanging out in Los Angeles, and chasing girls. Typical 90's movie. I have to say that I wasn't as invested in this movie as I was the first. 

I hope you had an amazing weekend. I will get back to studying now. Counting down the days until it will be over. I need all your prayers and if you don't pray positive thoughts/energy/whatever you got! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

California House Hunt

So we went to Los Angeles, CA last week to house hunt. I've never been to the West Coast, so I didn't quite know what to expect, after all this girl is used to the south.

Day 1:

LAX might be the biggest airport i've ever been in. There were tons of people everywhere and was quite a bit to take in.

We met with our wonderful realtor and then viewed 4 houses right away. We saw house #2 and seriously considered it right on the spot. I kind of wished we would have put in an application right away, because let me tell you, if you like a house in California, chances are others like it too.

That night Matt got to pick where we ate for dinner. We had never eaten here before. Texas got their first one in Dallas, but we had still yet to go. The service was amazing and it was literally ran by kids in high school.

Day 2:

We didn't have too much planned for this day, just browsing the area and figuring out where everything was. I will tell you that Los Angeles is so much more than I thought it would be.

I can't believe I get to live somewhere this beautiful. I never knew how many hills there were in LA, there were actually cliffs over water. Now this is in a town a little bit outside of LA, called Rancho Palos Verdes, seriously the nicest area.

A sight like this sure makes me forget about the traffic and all the craziness that is in this city. Look at all that blue water. I had never seen this clear of water in the US. I will buy a kayak. Something you probably didn't know about me, I LOVE TO KAYAK. 

Day 3 and 4: 

We had been contemplating living in the middle of LA or near the water. After seeing all the beautiful sights we knew we had to be near the water. We made the mistake in Charleston of not living by the water and we're not going to make that mistake again. If all goes according to plan, we will live in a little town called San Pedro, right outside of LA.  

And the best part is.. we will get to live 5 minutes from this view. 

Day 5: 

This day was a day to contemplate everything we've planned this far. Our trip was amazing, it was filled with tons of meltdowns and stress, you know because i'm a neurotic mess 97.3% of the time. 

BUT... we are still married and made it back to Charleston in one piece. 

You know what?  It wasn't a total culture shock. Woah. PUMP THE BRAKES. 

Yes, Los Angeles in a weird way reminds me of Austin, TX. I'm just as surprised as you are.  

The people are weird, they are all about saving the environment one plastic bag at a time, and there are hippies everywhere. Most of all people are just doing their own thing, and I love that. 

I might change my mind when I live there, but there were parts that made me feel at ease, such as the really nice people (which a million people said, "oh everyone is so rude"). 

Well.. NEWSFLASH: there are rude people everywhere, some people just stay in a bad mood. 

People also said: "omgosh. California is SOOO expensive." 

You know what, it is. We will probably pay a million dollars to live in a shoebox for 3 years, but you seriously can't put a price on experience in traveling and doing. I'd rather do this while i'm young and can do all the things I want. Because after all 30 years down the road, you'll be mad at yourself for all the things you didn't do while you had the chance. 

I've been told a million different things about moving here. Good things, but mostly bad things, and I couldn't understand why. I'm glad I figured things out for myself. 

Here's to the people that scoffed at me for wanting to move to LA: I hope birds poop on your car. 

Stay amazing, people. 



I conquered one of my goals already for this year. Toes were dipped in the waters of the West Coast, and it was 72 degrees this day in January. Be jealous. Very jealous. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

SPS #3

Super Short Post Sunday!

Plane rides from west coast to east coast = EXHAUSTION. 

Not to mention the time change of three hours. I really didn't even take in to account there would be that big of a difference. My body hates me. 

So we went to Los Angeles this past week to find a house. I will do a real post on that later. Let's just say the real estate market is tough in California. Moral of the story: if you relatively like a place, just put in an application for it right then. Don't wait. 

California is beautiful. I can't believe I get to live there. 

Today I am trying to recover, study, and re-gain the trust of my cats again. It's a process. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

SPS #2

Happy Sunday!

1. Big news.  I got endorsed for my NCLEX, which told me I was allowed to schedule my test date. When I saw the official email I wanted to throw up I was so happy and nervous.

So because I'm a complete spaz, I have schedule and rescheduled the test. First, I scheduled it for February 14, and then I realized that I didn't want to wait that long and prolong the inevitable (passing of course ;)) So I rescheduled for January 28. I'm so ready to stop thinking about this test and never think about it again.

2. So I recently signed up for Ipsy. If you don't know what Ipsy is, it's a whole lot like Birchbox or those other boxes you sign up for and get a monthly box of goodies for $10.

Ipsy gives you makeup and all kinds of skin care items each month. They let you fill out a quiz and you tell them what kind of skin you have, as well as your features and style of makeup you like. They supposedly only give you things that you like.  I'll do a full review for you after I get my first bag. I can't wait!

3. Cat Nap travel kit. I'm sure glad I have friends that love me enough to buy things like this, and support my cat lady aspirations in life. The back is an inflatable neck pillow, a cat eye mask and a little sack to carry all of it in. I'm pretty sure she got here and it's fabulous!

We are Cali bound next week! Wish us luck house hunting!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Just some goals and what not.

Goals always sounded better to me than resolutions. I actually really don't like the word resolution because most of the time, they are forgotten and buried two months in. 

I want to work toward something to make me better. 

To live a little better. 

To look forward to something. 

I would encourage anyone to do this. 

Last year, I only completed 16 out of 27 goals, but I'm going to chalk this up to a win, because of all the craziness in my life this last year with school. I still strived to make my crazy, neurotic, emotional self better. 

Here it is Y'all. 28 ridiculous things I'm setting out to accomplish, they include a lot of travel: 

1. Complete 500 miles of cardio: This is a slight variation of last year's goal of 1000 miles. Yes, major fail, but I really feel that this is something I feel like I can accomplish. 

2. Get involved in the community/volunteering. There is no better way to get to know a community than getting involved. That is exactly what I did in Charleston, when I first moved here with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, it was to finish an internship for my degree, but nevertheless it was amazing. 

3. Write in the blog every week. This won't be difficult one. I love talking to you guys!

4. Drive up Highway 1/Pacific coast Hwy to North Cali. I can't wait. I want to travel as much as I possibly can. 

5. Step my feet in the Pacific Ocean.  I have never been to the west coast. Before coming to Charleston I had never come to the East Coast. I'm really excited to experience how different they both are. 

6. Visit 3 National forest in Cali. One very big one will be the Redwood forest. 

 7. Eat at 5 local hot spots in Cali- Yes. I will be one of those annoying tourists for awhile, but I'm hoping to experience Cali like a local. After all most of the best spots are almost always hidden and overlooked.

8. Visit Napa Valley. Wine. That's pretty much what you just read. I have no shame. 

9. Visit the Last Bookstore in LA. This is one of THE coolest bookstores i've seen on Pinterest. I have to go. I love reading, only you'd never know it with the mounds of nursing materials that have consumed my life the last few years. #struggle.

10. Go to a live audience show. I can't wait. I want to go to an Ellen show, She is hilarious. 

11. Pass my NCLEX. My goodness you will hear about the completion of this goal the day I know I pass. 

12.  Get a job as an RN. Two of my friends have already gotten job offers. I feel a little behind, but I pray everyday Los Angeles has the perfect job waiting for me. 

13. Go swimming near a water fall. This seems a little weird, but then again i'm pretty weird. I just want to feel like a mermaid, ok?

14. Read 10 books! Real freaking books, with an ending not involving antibiotics or consistent wound care. 

15. Start a BSN program. Yes, continuing my education.. not just so I don't have to start paying back my monstrous mound of student loans. It's a win, win, right?! 

16. Be good to my body by staying active and doing yoga. I'm getting older and while I love a good Netflix binge, I can't just wear yoga pants around the house and expect that be a good enough step towards health. 
17. Take a picture with the Hollywood sign. #touristalert #dontcare

18. Visit the walk of fame. I want nothing more than to be able to take a picture with Audrey Hepburn's star. 

19. Run a half marathon. This is absolutely ambitious of me, but I will have some free time to work on my running. 

20.  Drink a beer on/near the Santa Monica Pier watching the sunset. Y'all know my love for mexican food. There is a mexican food restaurant on the pier and it's calling my name.
21. Watch a California sunrise. This won't be hard. #nightshiftproblems  Yes, I'm already foreshadowing that I will have a night shift job. 

22. Start learning spanish. Growing up in Texas, I used a lot more spanish, than I actually gave myself credit for, it might have been Tex-Mex Spanish, but I still understood the jest. I want to learn to speak correct Spanish. 

23. Run a 9.5 minute mile. Look, Ashley is trying to be ambitious again. Maybe, this can happen. I did run the 10.5 minute mile.  

24. Visit pier 39. This pier is in North Cali. Can I even start calling it Cali since i don't live there yet? Oh well, this pier has SEALS. LIKE ACTUAL SEALS. I love animals, not just cats (shocker), but all kinds, and I LOVE seeing animals in their own habitat. 

25. Visit the Food truck event on First Friday in Venice, CA. OMG. I want to be healthy, but I want to eat all the good foods at the food trucks too. That is being to your body too, right? and supporting local business.. Win, Win. 

26. Be more expressive with my blog. I actually haven't told a good amount of people about this blog, because I feel very protective about my thoughts and feelings and I just wanted to be the blog that everyone stumbles across for some reason or another. I hope to be more confident in telling everyone about it. 

27. Create more. Food. Art. everything. I hope to start doing. What I mean by doing is being creative and embracing all my ideas, whether it be creating ridiculous, hideous art/paintings/odd shaped pottery, or creating a recipe with kale and chocolate chips (and I don't even like kale, I know, how un-bougie of me). 

28. Trying the Asian restaurants that look questionable and eating something other than shrimp. No one really knows this about me, but, I have a strange phobia that all asian restaurants use nutria, instead of chicken and beef. I only eat shrimp, because I know what shrimp looks like. How irrational, but I know Los angeles has a very large Asian community with all kinds of different culture, and I'm excited to try to experience all of it. 

I have a lot i'm working on, but I'm very excited to tackle it. I'm even more excited to see what this year will bring, I know moving to the West Coast will be amazing. 

Talk to me: 

Do you have any resolutions, ahem, goals for 2015?

Anybody have any other suggestions for Los angeles/California bucket list things?!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Short Post Sunday #1

Happy Sunday!

It's the first Sunday of 2015 and I wanted to do something new. One of my 28 goals for 2015, was to post on the blog weekly(don't worry that list will make it's debut soon enough.). I love this blog and want to do more things with it, just don't know what yet.


I hope everyone has had a relaxing weekend, before everyone gets back to the grind. I'm sitting on the couch watching football, while my husband cooks. ****This never happens****

So to say the least, I'm pretty excited, because he is making something carb-y of some sort.

I have been working a lot, so not a lot has been going on. BUT I will tell you two fabulous things I have done lately. 

1. I watched the movie, "Chef" This movie is amazing, just watch the trailer if you don't believe me. My goodness, the storyline is awesome and let me tell you, you will be ravenous after you see this movie. I read the backstory and this is about a guy in Venice, CA that is a chef for a nice restaurant. He isn't really happy about his work there because the owner won't let him cook anything he wants. SO he starts a business with a food truck, an amazing food truck and apparently it still does business in LA. I'M TOTALLY GOING TO EAT AT FROM THIS FOOD TRUCK. 

2. I read the book, "Gone girl". I have several feelings about this book. I'll start out with saying, I really liked this book. It was suspenseful and I stayed up many late nights trying to finish. I think I read it in 3 days, now this book could have easily been read less than that, but reading this was competing with studying for NCLEX. Anyways, its about a husband and wife who have several issues and the wife one day comes up missing. This story is full of deceit and secrets. I would tell you more about it, but I feel I would give it all away. 

 Ps. If you judge a book by the ending, then you shouldn't read this book. The ending is ridiculous, I never saw it coming.

Lunch/dinner is ready and I have to go take a nap for tonight's nightshift. 

Hope you start your week amazingly!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome to 2015!

Hello everyone! I hope y'all are enjoying the New Year already! I'm was sad to see 2014 go because it was an incredible year for me. I accomplished Nursing school, we got through a long deployment, and I started this amazing blog.

In 2014, I wrote a list of 27 things I wanted to accomplish. I always like having a goal or something to work toward. Here is how I did:

1. Graduate Nursing school : 12/16/14 Done and completed like a boss.

2. Complete 1000 miles of Cardio: FAIL. MAJORLY. I maybe got up to 400 miles throughout the year. I will try to do better this next year. Of course you know I'm counting my spinning days and elliptical days.

3. Celebrate 3 unusual holidays: National popcorn day (jan 19), National ice cream day (July 17), and National smores day (aug 10). Any holidays that require eating food, consider it done.   

4. Wear RED lipstick: I'm so disappointed to say I didn't wear this once. Fail. :/

5. Eat at home for one whole month. Fail. 

6. Clean cat box everyday for a month. Fail. Don't judge me with your judgy eyes.This year was crazy busy. Just to be clear I usually clean every other day. 

7. No alcohol during each semester. This is only half of a fail, Spring semester I didn't drink any alcohol, my last med-surg class was going on and this girl had to be on her A-game. 

8. Get a B in one nursing class: Conquered- high risk OB (4/29/14) and RN management (12/16/14)... I know what you're thinking. How hard can it be to get at least a B in Nursing school. Well it's hard as hell. Nursing school is where my GPA came to die. My motto in RN school was "C=RN". 

9. Get Braces off. Fail... I get them off Jan 27. Picture will be plentiful. 

10. Do an Advocare Cleanse for the full 10 days without cheating. (3/1/14 and 10/30/14)

11. Do weight training for 2 week straight. Fail. :/ I only completed 1.5 weeks. 

12. Be able to run a 10.5 minute mile. This was a difficult task for me, but I made it. I've never considered myself a runner, but in 2014 I pushed myself harder than I've ever pushed myself as far as working out goes. I plan to take myself even further this next year. 

13. Buy something decorative for the house every quarter. Well this one was easy. I'm a shopper. 

14. Go Crabbing. Sad Fail. This was on my Charleston bucket list, and over the summer it was pretty impossible. Maybe in Cali. 

15. Go to SC aquarium (1/19/14) It's a really cool place and if you have kids, this place is must to go. 

16. Make 5 new recipes that you wouldn't normally eat. I am one of those creatures of habit and only make about 4 recipes and so I knew I need to broaden my horizons. 

  • Chimchurri sauce (1/2/14)
  • Chilequilas (1/11/14)
  • White bean and fennel soup (1/15/14)
  • Artichoke and quinoa (3/14/14)
  • Cauliflower Mash (3/14/14) 
Out of these recipes I would make all of them over again and have over the past year. 
17. Donate to the goodwill (6/1/14)
18. Take more Pictures (all year) Starting this blog helped remedy not taking enough pics. 
19. Go the National Student Nurses convention in Nashville, TN: 4/9-4/14 2014. I wanted to get more involved in nursing school and an organization. It was one of the best things I ever did and made lifetime friends. 
20. Read 5 Novels: Fail. Oh how I wished I would have been able to complete this. I love reading and would read each of these again. 
  • Mockingjay 
  • Book Thief 
  • Gone Girl
21. Try 10 NEW restaurants. Like this one was hard.. I had it in the bag. All of these places are in Charleston and everyone should try them!
  • Rio de Brazil (1/10/14)
  • Angel Oak (1/15/14)
  • Stars on the Rooftop (1/17/14)
  • Basil (2/21/14)
  • Groucho's deli (1/20/14)
  • Closed for Business (3/15/14)
  • Fleet Landing (4/5/14)
  • Claim Jumper (4/11/14)
  • Coast (9/14/14)
  • Swig and swine (7/29/14)
22. Complete a squat month Challenge. Fail. I didn't complete this because I was lazy, but I completely forget. I need to get it together. 
23. Do one Pinterest craft every quarter for the house. Fail. I wish like crazy I had the time. 
24. Do at least 3 Volunteer events. Conquered!
  • Miracle League
  • SC Nurse's Walk 
  • Trident Nursing student orientation
25.  Watch a baby born to this world. (3/26/14) It was a great goal to see.
26. Start an IV on an actual person. (8/9/14) I got it on the first try!!
27. Apply for BSN Programs at several colleges (12/30/14) Education never stops. I applied at University of Lousiana at Lafayette and University of Texas at El Paso. They are only online, but I'm so excited to further my nursing career and get my dream job in the Emergency Room.

16 out of 27 ain't bad at all. I'll strive to better ones this next year. I'm starting my list now for 28 things, since I'm turning 28 this next year. 2015 is going to be great, I can just feel it!!!

Stay fabulous, my friends!