5 Shows To Start Binge Watching This Weekend

Oct 28, 2016
//1// Amanda Knox 

Monster or victim? British student Meredith Kercher was murdered Nov. 1, 2007, in Peruga, Italy. Knox, Kercher's roommate and an American student studying abroad, and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were arrested and convicted of the murder. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, Sollecito to 25.

Three years after Rudy Guede was convicted for the murder and sexual assault of Kercher, the convictions of Knox and Sollecito were overturned in 2011, allowing Knox to return home to Seattle after spending four years in jail. But she and Sollecito were tried again in 2014, again found guilty, only to finally be exonerated by the Italian Supreme Court in 2015.

Amanda Knox gives the participants of one of the most sensational trials of the century a chance to tell their story, straightforwardly, directly to the camera. For a case that often seemed like a horror movie played out in the nightly news, this documentary allows the drama's main characters to step out from their media-crafted roles.

//2// The Americans 
Amazon Prime

Philip and Elizabeth Jennings are two KGB spies in an arranged marriage who are posing as American in suburban Washington, DC, shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected president. The couple have two childern, teenager Paige and preteen Henry, who are unaware of their parents' true identities. The complex marriage becomes more passionate and genuine each day, but is continaully tested as the Cold War escalates. Futher complicating things is the arrival of the Jennings' new neighbor, FBI agent Stan Beeman, who is part of a new division of the agency tasked with finding foreign agents on US Soil.

//3// Cheer Squad 
Freeform App

Cheer Squad follows the two-time World Champions, Cheer Sport Great White Sparks, on a quest to keep their crown. The Sharks are young, smart, beautiful, and driven. They are a sisterhood, helping each other through relationships, school, new jobs, and everything in between. But they are also elite athletes idolized by thousands, and members of the best cheerleading squad in the world. Can they balance the challenges of life off the mat with their all-consuming battle to stay on top?

//4// The Man in the High Castle 
Amazon Prime

The Man in the High Castle is  based off an alternative history novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. Set in 1962, fifteen years after an alternative ending to World War II, the novel and show is about the intrigues between the victorious Axis Powers—Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany—as they rule over the former United States. The series follows central characters Juliana Crain, Frank Frink, Joe Blake, John Smith, and Nobusuke Tagomi through an alternate 1962.

//5// The Crown

The Crown follows Queen Elizabeth II as a 25 year old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world's most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with legendary Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. At this time, the British Empire is in decline, the political world in disarray, and as a young woman takes the thrown a new era is dawning. The Crown reveals the Queen's private journey behind the public facade. See a world of power and privilege, and go behind the locked doors of Westminster and Buckingham Palace.

My Reading List

Oct 26, 2016
This morning in Michigan we had frost and it was a chilly thrity seven degrees. My favorite activity to get me through the freeze of Fall and Winter is reading! With snow stroms, temps below zero, and lots of darkness I can usually get through a bunch.

Today I'm featuring some of the books on my 'to read' list. If you've read one, please make sure to comment on what you thought and if it is worth reading!

The Bay at Midnight
by: Diane Chamberlain

Her family's cottage on the New Jersey shore was a place of freedom and innocence for Julie Bauer -- until tragedy struck when her seventeen-year-old sister, Isabel, was murdered.It's been more than forty years since that August night, but Julie's memories of her sister's death still color her world, causing turmoil in her relationships with her teenage daughter, Shannon, and her mother, Maria.
Now an unexpected letter from someone in her past raises questions about what really happened that night. Questions about Julie's own complicity, about a devastating secret her mother kept from them all. Questions about the person who went to prison for Izzy's murder -- and about the man who didn't.
Now Julie must harness the courage to revisit her past and untangle the shattering emotions that led to one unspeakable act of violence on the bay at midnight.

Small Great Things
by: Jodi Picoult

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

by: Lindsay Zart

Graham Malone is my roommate, my personal eye candy, the reason I get up in the morning smiling (that could be from the illicit dreams I have about him too, I suppose. Let's move on.). He's also beautiful to look at, but his heart is where his true beauty lies. Take away the exterior and the interior still shines.
I love him. I mean, I'm pretty sure I do, having never been in love before. Anyway, it seems legit.
And now his brother Blake is here, and, well, he's the complete opposite of Graham. Sarcastic, brooding, and totally available. But he's leaving soon, and Graham's the one I want. I shouldn't have to remind myself of this, right? I wouldn't have to if Blake would quit looking at me like I'm something yummy and he's starving.
Here's a toast to roomies; the ones you should never fall in love with. Or something.

Cancel the Wedding
by: Carolyn Dingman

A heartfelt fiction debut that will appeal to fans of Emily Giffin’s Southern charm and Jennifer Weiner’s compelling, emotionally resonant novels about the frustrations of blood ties, Cancel the Wedding follows one woman’s journey to discover the secrets of her mother’s hidden past—and confront her own uncertain future.
On the surface, Olivia has it all: a high-powered career, a loving family, and a handsome fiancé. She even seems to be coming to terms with her mother Jane’s premature death from cancer. But when Jane’s final wish is revealed, Olivia and her elder sister Georgia are mystified. Their mother rarely spoke of her rural Southern hometown, and never went back to visit—so why does she want them to return to Huntley, Georgia, to scatter her ashes?
Jane’s request offers Olivia a temporary escape from the reality she’s long been denying: she hates her “dream” job, and she’s not really sure she wants to marry her groom-to-be. With her 14-year-old niece, Logan, riding shotgun, she heads South on a summer road trip looking for answers about her mother.
As Olivia gets to know the town’s inhabitants, she begins to peel back the secrets of her mother’s early life—truths that force her to finally question her own future. But when Olivia is confronted with a tragedy and finds an opportunity to right a terrible wrong, will it give her the courage to accept her mother’s past—and say yes to her own desire to start over?

The Best Man
by Kristan Higgins

Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she’s ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family’s vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there’s some great scenery there....
Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief - and best friend of her former fiancé. There’s a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it’s not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she’s having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the

Christmas in Paris
by: Anita Hughes

Isabel Lawson is standing on the balcony of her suite at the Hotel Crillon as she gazes at the twinkling lights of the Champs Elysee and wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. She was supposed to be visiting the Christmas tree in the Place de la Concorde, and eating escargots and macaroons with her new husband on their honeymoon. But a week before the wedding, she called it off. Isabel is an ambitious Philadelphia finance woman, and Neil suddenly decided to take over his grandparents’ farm. Isabel wasn’t ready to trade her briefcase for a pair of rubber boots and a saddle.When Neil suggested she use their honeymoon tickets for herself, she thought it would give her a chance to clear her head. That is until she locks herself out on the balcony in the middle of winter. Thankfully her neighbor Alec, a French children’s illustrator, comes to her rescue. He too is nursing a broken heart at the Crillon for the holidays. With a new friend by her side, Isabel is determined to use her time in the city of lights wisely. After a chance encounter with a fortune teller and a close call with a taxi, she starts to question everything she thought was important.

Understanding Heart Disease

Oct 21, 2016
Heart disease the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.

With so much emphasis on cancer, heart disease is often over looked. Approximely 610,000 people die of heart disease every year in the US. That's 1 out of every 4 deaths! Every year nearly 735,000 American have heart attacks.
High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans  have at least one of these three risk factors. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease. They include:Diabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

Here's what heart disease means for women:
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.
  • Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a 'man's disease,' around the same number of women and men die each year of heart disease in the United States.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for African American and white women in the United States.
  • About 5.8% of all white women, 7.6% of black women, and 5.6% of Mexican American women have coronary heart disease.4
  • 64% of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.
  • Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.

Here's how to reduce your risk of heart disease:
  • Know your blood pressure. High blood pressure has no symptoms so it’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should be tested for diabetes.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Discuss checking your cholesterol and triglycerides with your healthcare provider.
  • Make healthy food choices.
  • Limit alcohol intake to one drink a day.
  • Lower your stress level and find healthy ways to cope with stress.

You can help raise awareness by joining the American Heart Associations 'Go Red for Women' campaign. Find out more about the campaign here.

Today is the last day of National Medical Assistants Week. Make sure to give your favorite MA a hug, a thank you, or a special treat!

Understanding Pediatric Vitals

Oct 17, 2016
National Medical Assistant's Week continues and today's topic is for all of my blogger moms, teachers, and anyone else who works or has contact with children.

In July I took a position in pediatrics. I didn't expect to love it as much as I do. But when I started I had a major learning curve. One important element I needed to learn was pediatric vital signs. Pedatric vitals are VERY different from adults, and my number one question from parents is 'what is normal for my child?'

The tables below feature normal vital signs based on age. Don't forget to pin them for future reference!

The best way to take an infant's pulse is my using the brachial atery (this is called a brachial pulse) or by listening to the heart with a stethoscope and couting the beats (this is called an apical pulse). Count the pulses or beats for one minute to get the heart rate.

 You can taken an older child's pulse by using radial atery (this is called a radial pulse).

You can count an infant's respirations by placing your hand on their stomach and counting the rise of their belly for 60 seconds. For an older child, you can watch the rise and fall of the chest for 60 seconds.

Leave blood pressure to the professionals. At-home blood pressure machines can be inaccurate, and there are many elements involved to getting an acurate blood pressure, including the size of the cuff and techniques for different ages. A trained health care professional is your best bet for an accurate blood pressure.

Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents, and the age limit usually ranges from birth up to 18 years of age (in some places until completion of secondary education, and until age 21 in the United States

Five Lies You Should NEVER Tell Your Doctor

It's Medical Assistants Recognition Week! And, everyone, I LOVE my job. So this week will features a celebration of health! 

Patients are often uncomfortable talking about about their bodies with their doctors. It's important to know that even a small fib can be harmful to your care. As a medical assistant, I can tell you that we've heard it all. Don't be afraid to speak up and be honest about your body and habits, even if telling the truth makes you uncomfortable. Your doctor's office is a judgement free zone!

//1// I only drink on weekends.

Patients tend to under report the amount of alcohol they drink. Having more than one drink a day (including wine!) can increase the risk of pancreatitis, heart disease, ulcers, and breast cancer. Have three drinks at a time can be even riskier. Make sure to make your doctor is aware of how much you're actually drinking.

//2// I always take my prescribed medicine.

A patient may lie about taking prescribed medication even when they haven't been. They may have stopped the medication because they felt better or due to cost, stigma, and side effects. Whatever the barriers are, your doctor can help you work through it. If you claim you are taking your medication when you're not, the doctor may double the dose or add another medication when neither is necessary.

//3// I don't take any other medication besides what was prescribed. 

Most patients omit homeopathic remedies such a vitamins, supplements, and essential oils because they don't think of them as medication. Other medications such a birth control, Advil, and sleep aids also often go unreported. If you're taking it more than once a week, your doctor needs to know! While most herbal supplements are safe on their own, they can interact with medicine making it less effective or cause side effects.

//4// Nothing has changed.

Someone concerns, such a sexual concerns and concerns with your digestive system, can be hard to talk about. No matter what the symptoms, it's important that your doctor knows and has the chance to rule out anything serious. Many people worry they will be judged or assume nothing can be done about the symptoms. Just remember - if it matters to you, it should matter to your doctor.

//5// I'm just stressed.

Everyone feels stressed from time to time, but if you're starting to notice physical changes that may be due to stress, it's important to speak up about it. Stress may not just be stress. You could be feeling overwhelmed and frazzled due to a mood disorder or hormonal issues. If a patient doesn't speak up about he/she is feeling, symptoms instead of underlying causes get treated.

5 Thoughts for Friday

Oct 14, 2016
//1// My sister sent me an article this week '11 Reasons Why Your Little Sister Is Your Biggest Blessing.' She's so humble! (haha)

Seriously though, she is one of my biggest blessings! I love that she's one of my best friends.

//2// I'm a self-proclaimed feminist so this whole Donald Trump business has got me really hot and bothered to say the least. A fellow blogger, Steph from The Life According to Steph, has an excellent take on all of it. It's impassioned and beautifully written. Go and read it now!

//3// As a Bachelor/ette fan I watched Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? on Tuesday night.

I was disappointed for so many reasons. First, it's obvious that it is heavily scripted. Second, in the premiere episode they talked about how they are "distancing" themselves from the Bachelor world. Huh? You're doing a reality tv show for ABC's sister network. How is that distancing yourself from the franchise? Third, Lauren has the personality of dry toast. I understand being an introvert, but damn, the girl has zero personality, and I didn't really see any chemistry between the two them.

Will I continue to watch it? Yup, because I'm a sucker.

//4// I really need to get to the laundromat this weekend to wash my king sized comforter. My washer isn't big enough and I've really pushed the limit.


The Royal Report: Canada Tour Edition

Oct 12, 2016
September 24
The Cambridges touch down in Victoria, British Columbia to start their tour of Canada. The family was greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie, Governor General David Johnson and his wife, Sharon, and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark. 

The entire family wore shades of blue. Kate wore a Penny Packham dress, tazanite earrings, the Queen's diamond and platinum maple leaf broach, a Syliva Fletcher for Lock and Co hat, and Gianvito Rossi suede nude pumps. 

Upon arrival, the family was taken to the Government House where they will be staying for the week. The Duke and Duchess then traveled to a welcoming ceremony at the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.

The Cambridges paid their respects at Victoria's Cenotaph and unveiled a new plaque which pays tribute to the Canadian veterans who were involved in the Afghanistan conflict.

Later William addresses dignitaries at the ceremony. Spectators watch on a jumbo screen.

Will and Kate spent time with Prime Minister Trudeau and his wife after the official ceremony ended.

September 25
Will and Kate arrive in Vancouver from Victoria by sea plane.

Kate emerges wearing a tiered red and white Alexander McQueen dress. 

The Duke and Duchess' first stop was in Downtown Eastside Vancouver at Sheway. They met with mothers recover from addiction.

Kate and William then traveled to the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSBC) where they were joined by the Trudeaus. The couples spent time with Syrian refugees.

The pair's last stop was to Kitsilano Coast Guard Station to discuss the mental health challenges of first responders.

 They mingled with the Canadian Rugby Team and others at a reception for Canada's young leaders.

September 26
The Duke and Duchess flew to Bella Bella. Due to the weather, the couple's aerial tour of the Great Bear Rainforest and a boat trip around McLoughlin Bay were canceled. 

Kate went causal in a Holland and Holland jacket, a checkered shirt from Top Shop, Penelope Chilvers Long Tassel boot in the 'conker' color, and ears by Pippa Small.

Will and Kate were warmly welcomed at the Heiltsuk First Nations community hall. They were greeted by community members and about two dozen hereditary chiefs who were part of the official welcoming party.

After events at the community hall concluded, the couple made the short walk to the Elders Lodge. The day's focus was officially adding the Great Bear Rainforest to the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, an initiative creating a network of conservation programs throughout all 53 Commonwealth countries. William spoke about the initiative at the Elders Lodge.

Will and Kate were able to make it out to the forest to unveil a plaque.

Later in the evening The Royals attending a reception for government and civic leaders at the Government House. 

Kate wore an off-the-shoulder dress 'Finella' by Preen in a deep red color, Gianvito Rossi pumps, carried a clutch by Jenny Packham, the Queen's maple leaf broach, and Soru Barque Double-Sided Pearl Earrings.

September 27
The Duke and Duchess touch down in Kelowna. Kate wears a green dress by Dolce and Gabbana, LK Bennett clutch and shoes, and green onyx earrings by Monica Vinader.

The pair was there to visit the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus and celebrate the University's 10th anniversary. The Duke and Duchess then watched the UBC Heat women's volleyball exhibition, and met with players and students.

Their next engagement of the day was at Mission Hill Winery. 

After the winery tour, the pair met with young chefs and tasted various food dishes as part of The Taste of British Columbia.

The couple later boarded a plane and touched down in Whitehorse, Yukon. They were greeted at the airport by Governor General David Johnstone and his wife Sharon. They were also met by a young Syrian refugee, a Special Olympian, and members of the Canadian Rangers honor guard.

Shortly after arriving the Duke and Duchess headed to Kwanlin Dun Culture Center for a performance of performance of a 'Land of Gold - A Yukon Cultural Celebration.' After, they spent time with the performers.

For this engagement, Kate wore a recycled Hobbs coat, LK Bennett shoes and clutch, her Cartier Ballon Bleu wristwatch, 'Siren' earrings by Monica Vinader, and carried a scarf in a maple leaf tartan pattern.

September 28

After staying the night in Whitehorse, the couple started their day in the Yukon at the MacBride Museum of Yukon History. Kate debuted a coat by Carolina Herrera, Tod's Fringe Leather Pumps featuring at 4-inch heel, a Mulberry Bayswater clutch, Annoushka Pearl Drops and Kiki McDonough Diamond Hoop Earrings.

The Duke and Duchess then headed to the town of Carcross. Will and Kate were greeted with a traditional welcome from the Carcross/Tagish First Nation at Carcross Commons. The Duchess was outfitted in a wrap coat with ribbed sleeves by the Canadian brand Sentaler, a pair of cowboy boots from R. Soles, and earrings by Shelley Silversmith.

The pair also visited visit  the workshop of renowned Tlingit carver Keith Wolfe Smarch and Montanta Mountain to watch mountain bike training and meet local families. 

September 29
Prince William, the Duchess, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte enjoy a children's garden party in Victoria. The rest of the day was reserved for private family time.

Kate wore the See dress by Chloe, an Acne Studios leather belt, her Monsoon Fleur wedges, and Kiki McDonough earrings.

September 30
William and Kate visit Haida Gwaii, previously known as Queen Charlotte Islands. The couple arrived to the Haida Heritage Center via canoe and were greeted by Haida chiefs and hundreds of spectators who came to see the Royals.

The next stop was the new Haida Gwaii General Hospital. The pair toured the facility and unveiled a plaque commemorating their visit.

Kate wore 'The Duchess' blazer by Smythe Les Vests, an ivory 'Spot Pretty Blouse' by Alice Temperley, boots by R. Soles, Zara jeans, and Kiki McDounough drop earrings.

The Duke and Duchess later joined teens from Skidegate Youth Center for a fishing outing. For this outing, Kate ditched her blazer for a red cable knit sweater from J. Crew and added an animal print headband and the 'Wax Parka' by Troy London.

October 1
The Cambridges last day in Canada was spent in Victoria. The Duke and Duchess, outfitted in a white Zara blazer, H&M top, Zara jeans, and J. Crew 'Avery' heels, started their day at the Cridge Center for Family. The pair then went to a local cafe where they met families who have benefited from the services offered by the Kelty Mental Health Resource Center. 

Later in the afternoon, Kate and Will toured Victoria Harbor aboard a Tall Ship piloted by a crew from the Sail and Life Training Society. They also toured the inner harbor before returning to the Government House to prepare for their departure.  

That evening, William, Catherine, and the children leave the Government House for the Victoria Harbor seaplane terminal for their return in England. Kate choose a Catherine Walker coat for the farewell.

"Catherine and I are incredibly grateful to the people of Canada for the warmth and hospitality they have extended to our family over the last week.
We have loved our time in British Columbia and Yukon and will never forget the beautiful places we have seen and the many people who have been kind enough to come to welcome us in person." 
- The Duke of Cambridge

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