Frito and Corn Salad a la Paula Deen, Y’all

I have another Pinterest recipe to share! I made this one for a potluck at work. It’s not going to be healthy, but it’s going to taste good. It’s a Paula Deen recipe, duh!

Here’s what you need.
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Ingredients:

2 (15 oz) cans of whole kernel corn, drained

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup of mayonnaise (Hello Paula Deen)

1 green pepper, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 (10 1/2 oz) bag of crushed Fritos chili cheese corn chips.

I interrupt this post to inform you that as I was typing up that ingredient list from the original blog I pinned, I realized I did not buy chili cheese flavored corn chips. I bought plain-o Fritos. Boring. I’m so disappointed. I bet chili cheese would have added a whole new flavor! Oh well.

Directions:

1. Chop pepper and onion
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2. Drain corn

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3. Add corn to pepper and onion IMG_0770

4. Add cheese

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5. Add mayonnaise and mix it all togetherIMG_0772

6. It should look like this. Go ahead and put it in a pretty serving bowl. Don’t add the Fritos until right before you serve it.

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7. Put Fritos in a ziplock bag

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8. Crush with a rolling pin (or whatever you have)IMG_0774

9. Until it looks like this

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10. Add Fritos when you are ready to serve, and mix it all together

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I actually do not recommend mixing all the Fritos into the rest of the salad unless you know the whole bowl is going to be eaten immediately. The recipe made a lot of the salad…too much for the potluck at work. Normally we leave leftovers in the fridge to be eaten later, but the chips got really soggy and kind of gross. It just didn’t keep well.

I recommend keeping the crushed Fritos to the side and adding to each portion as it’s served. The salad was really good, and I was disappointed that I didn’t get to enjoy any leftovers.

Morals of this recipe story:

1. Chili cheese, not original Fritos

2. Serve Fritos on the side if you want leftoverssig

 

 

 

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French Fry Free Disney: What we ate at Disney World

We went to Disney World in May and I’m just now getting around to posting pictures. That’s just the way life goes sometimes.

One of our favorite things to do in Disney World is EAT, so I thought I’d start my Disney World posts off by writing about some of the places we ate and share our absolute favorites with you. We ate at mostly quick service restaurants to save some money, but we did have a few advanced dining reservations for table service restaurants. I’m also going to include a few remarkable snacks we enjoyed.

I titled this post french-fry free Disney because I made it my mission to not eat french fries the whole trip. Aaron did, so don’t be surprised when you see a few french fries in the pictures of his meals. He can do what he wants. I really wanted to highlight how amazing the food is at Disney World and really show that there are so many more options that hamburgers, chicken tenders, and french fries. I found out that you can almost always substitute cucumber salad for french fries everywhere you eat.

QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANTS

Be Our Guest (Magic Kingdom)

I was beyond excited to eat at Be Our Guest, the new Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant in the Beast’s castle! Let me just say the atmosphere and theming are amazing. I’ll show some pictures in my next Disney post. It is a table service restaurant at for dinner, but we ate there for lunch when it is a quick service location. Dinner and lunch menus are different, but when we were planning, the lunch menu actually looked better to me. It has a little different set up than most quick services. I read all about it before we went. You order your food at a little kiosk, and a cast member gives you an “magic rose.” I had a vision in my head of what our “magic rose” was going to look like (roughly based on a Barbie accessory I had as little girl) and I was a little disappointed. Here is our magic rose.

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It kind of looks like a tomato. The rose is “magic” because you take it to your table and it helps your server find you to deliver your order from a little rolling cart. Be Our Guest really feels more like a table service restaurant than quick service. You get real silverware and everything!

I ordered the braised pork with mashed potatoes and green beans.

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Aaron had the carved turkey sandwich (and french fries)

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I won this round of “who had the better meal” hands down. SO delicious and the price was very reasonable for how huge my meal was. I don’t think I would be able to order anything else on the menu if we eat there again.

My only complaint is that I really wanted “The Grey Stuff.” You know…from the song…It’s apparently a cookies and cream mousse thing that they bring around if you are celebrating something. We were technically celebrating Aaron’s birthday on this trip, but he forgot to wear his button. I’m not even sure if they would give us the grey stuff for lunch. Is it only a dinner thing? I tried to google it and found nothing.

Columbia Harbor House (Magic Kingdom)

We also ate at Columbia Harbor House which is a much more typical quick service experience.

I had the lobster roll.

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And Aaron had the fish and chicken breast nuggets plate. Like I said. He can do what he wants 🙂

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I think I won this round too, simply because I had lobster and Aaron had chicken nuggets. For some reason I wasn’t expecting my lobster roll to be a cold sandwich. It was good, just not what I was expecting. If we ever eat here again, I think I would try the lighthouse sandwich instead. Hummus with tomato and broccoli slaw on multigrain bread. It looked pretty good when people carried it past us in line.

Flame Tree Barbecue (Animal Kingdom)

We loved eating here. We found a lovely little spot to sit right by the water with a great view of Mt. Everest. No competition here. Aaron and I ordered the same thing: 1/2 slab of St. Louis ribs with baked beans and coleslaw.

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Do you think Aaron was happy?

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It was so good we tried to eat here again later in the week for dinner, but it didn’t work out because Animal Kingdom closes so early.

Sunshine Seasons (EPCOT Future World)

We didn’t plan on eating here. Normally if we are in Epcot we would want to eat over at the World Showcase. We actually got stuck in future world because it was monsooning outside, and we were starving. But you know what? Sunshine Seasons has a whole lot of really tasty looking options. We ate here for a late dinner, so it wasn’t that crowded. We saw what it looked like at lunch time, and I would probably avoid this at all costs then. It was a madhouse.

I had the slow roasted pork chop with cheddar mashed potatoes and barbecue sauce. The cheddar mashed potatoes are what sold me, but they were not as cheddar-y as I would have liked. They basically tasted like regular mashed potatoes. Still everything tasted really good!

Pardon my bite out of my pork chop. Like I said we were starving.

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Aaron had the spicy cashew chicken with vegetable stir fry noodles. The chicken was really spicy.

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I think Aaron won that round. Mine was good, but I was disappointed by my non-cheddary potatoes. His just looks better too.

Tangierine Cafe (EPCOT World Showcase-Morocco)

We did get to eat at the World Showcase during our trip. Morocco! We had my sister, brother in law, three nieces and one nephew with us, but we scrounged up a table inside away from the heat.

Again, no competition here because Aaron and I ordered the same thing: the lamb wrap with couscous salad and lentil salad.

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The wraps were excellent. Aaron and I LOVE gyros, and that’s basically what we had. If I remember correctly, my wrap was so big I couldn’t finish it, but Aaron was happy to. As for the salads, Aaron and I preferred different ones, but I can’t really remember which. I think I preferred the couscous and he preferred the lentil. We’d totally eat here again.

Captain Cook’s Snack Company (Polynesian Resort)

Good memories here, y’all.

We did not stay at the Polynesian resort, but that didn’t stop us from eating at almost every restaurant there during our trip. Captain Cook’s is great because they have an interesting menu and they are open pretty late (11pm). We came here for a late dinner on a park day because sometimes it’s nice to escape from the parks for a few minutes. Captain Cook’s is just a quick monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom.

I ordered the grilled cheese with Asian Slaw.

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Aaron ordered the Aloha Pork Sandwich. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of his. I think he inhaled it before I got a chance. I’m going to call this one a draw. Both meals were SO good. Not if, but WHEN we come back here to eat I may try something else because the menu is so good. Aloha Pork Sandwich, Pork Nachos, Stir Fried Noodles with Chicken…Mmmmm.

We also ate at Sassagoula Floatworks (Port Orleans French Quarter Resort). I didn’t take any pictures. Bad blogger. We both had jambalaya.

TABLE SERVICE RESTAURANTS

Ohana (Polynesian Resort)

Hands down our favorite restaurant. I cannot imagine us ever going to Disney World again and not having a reservation at Ohana. This was the first time either of us have eaten here, but it was also the first time Aaron had ever eaten at a “Family Style” restaurant (the best kind). You eat as much as you want. They bring it to you. Kind of like a buffet but way better.

IMG_0607I tried to take pictures, but then I got overwhelmed by all the deliciousness. Plus with wings and peel-and-eat-shrimp my hands were a little messy to be pulling my camera out. All you get is a picture of our appetizer with our welcome bread in the background.

Here you see honey coriander chicken wings and pork fried dumplings.

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They bring out a big plate of stir fry vegetables and noodles as your sides. You also get a couple dipping sauces to try out with everything. Oh yeah. I think we got a salad too. Here’s my advice. Don’t eat the salad or the bread. Save room for all the other deliciousness.

The skewers. The servers bring around these GIANT skewers with meat and just pile it on your plate. Chicken, pork, steak, peel-and-eat grilled shrimp. It’s like they never stop. I’m pretty sure Aaron and I ate our weight in shrimp.

Then they bring out dessert. Bread pudding with icecream, bananas, and caramel sauce. Amazing. We ate ourselves sick.

We love Ohana.

Via Napoli (EPCOT World Showcase-Italy)

We almost didn’t use this reservation because we were trying to save some money on this trip, and Via Napoli can get expensive. We kept it because we decided we could get a pizza and it wouldn’t be much more than it would cost for us to eat quick service.

We couldn’t decide between the Quattro Formaggi and the Piccante (with Italian sausage), so we asked our server which one was better, or what he would recommend. He actually said his favorite pizza is a mix of those two. Basically a four cheese pizza with Italian spicy sausage, so that’s what we got. I think we ordered the medium size and it was good for two people to share.

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It was a good choice 🙂 We also got some Italian singing and a free dessert because Aaron remembered to wear his birthday button.

We really enjoyed our pizza, but it’s not a must do for us.

Kona Cafe (Polynesian Resort)

And we’re back at the Polynesian! Maybe one day we can afford to stay at this resort, we love it so.

This is the regular table service restaurant right next to Ohana. When people were trying to get seated at Ohana without a reservation, it was suggested that they try Kona Cafe instead. Two of my nieces came with us to eat here, so you get to see three entrees.

I had the Grilled Teryaki Steak with Grilled Pineapple Salsa, sticky rice, and pasta salad. Mine was good, but the pasta salad seemed a little bit out of place.

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My nieces ordered the Asian Noodle Bowl.  I was trying to decided between this and my steak when I was ordering. It wasn’t exactly want any of us were expecting (humongous bowl), but it was good. This is a terrible picture. It looked really good.

IMG_0633Aaron was the winner of this round, by far. He got the Kona Surf and Turf Burger Deluxe with sweet potato fries. It’s a burger with shrimp and this cheesy stuff on top. I had a bite, and it was amazing. I never order hamburgers, but if we ever eat here again I will totally order this burger.

IMG_0632We also ate at Sci-Fi Dine In (Hollywood Studios) and the ESPN Sports Club (Boardwalk). Sci-Fi Dine in had a cool atmosphere, but the food wasn’t anything special. I take that back. Aaron ate the picnic burger, which is a burger with a hotdog on top of it. That’s special, right? I had the reuben with cucumber salad.  I didn’t take pictures because it was really dark. The restaurant is set up like a drive in movie theater and you eat in cars. It was only the two of us so we sat on the back end of a car with a family of four in the front part.

ESPN Sports Club was good, but just like a regular sports bar you would find at home. We ate there because we got hungry while we were exploring the Boardwalk area.

SNACKS & TREATS

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake (Hollywood Studios-Starring Rolls Cafe)

Don’t underestimate the size of this cupcake. There needs to be a name for something in between a cupcake and an actual cake, because this is way too big to be considered just a cupcake. People were seriously staring at me while I ate this. It got to the point where I felt like that kid from Matilda. Cookie made it with her sweat and blood.

It’s a chocolate cupcake with chocolate chips in the cake part, chocolate peanut butter icing filling, chocolate peanut butter icing on top, and giant curls of milk chocolate decorating the top. It is something to behold.

You need to buy one.

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Dole Whip (Aloha Isle-Magic Kingdom & Captain Cook’s-Polynesian Resort)

Pineapple soft-serve. Delicious. We got this at both locations, but I recommend getting it at Captain Cook’s because it’s self-serve, and I can get a lot of soft-serve in my little cup 🙂

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One treat I wanted to try that I wasn’t able to find is the Peanut Butter Cupcake that was once available at the Boardwalk Bakery. I read about it on the disneyfoodblog. They said the icing tasted like cookie dough. COOKIE DOUGH! That’s actually the main reason we ventured over to the Boardwalk one day. Sadly, the Boardwalk Bakery did not have it. I’ll have to hunt it down next time 🙂

I was also curious about School Bread from Kringla Bakeri og Kafe in Norway at EPCOT World Showcase. I found this one and then realized it had coconut. I’m not a fan of coconut, so I passed on that treat.

Hope you enjoyed reading about all our Disney World Eats!sig

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SLP Advice: Finding my First Job (CFY)

Some people can probably skip right over this post, but I really just wanted to write a little bit about job-hunting as a new SLP graduate. Why? Because I was desperately searching for advice while I was job hunting, and nothing out there really helped me. I want to share my experience and what I wish I had known.

For the record. I graduated with my Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in May 2012. I have been at my current job for over a year, and it is where I completed my CFY (Clinical Fellowship Year). I work at a skilled nursing facility (SNF), so some of this will relate to that setting, but most of the information is more general in nature.

WHEN TO START

Come January of my last year of grad school I was ready to start the job search. Here’s the problem with that. Very few places are going to hire an SLP five months in advance. Don’t get me wrong. There are a few people from my program that were hired very early on, but I found that looking for a job was really a poor use of my time at that point. Looking back I wish I had just relaxed and waited more patiently. I remember spending hours online applying for jobs. I was contacting people and hearing the same thing over and over again. “It’s too early, but call us back later. We will keep your name on file.”

As months passed and it got closer and closer to graduation, so many more job opportunities opened up. I was going crazy sorting through jobs come the end of March and beginning of April.

WHAT TO DO FIRST

Here is what I did do very early on that seemed to be the best use of my time. Start doing these as soon as possible.

  • Write your resume. Do this as soon as possible so you can take your time and do it right. Nothing is as frustrating as seeing a job opening and not being able to apply right away because you don’t have a resume yet. I used this article from ASHA as well as a bunch of sample resumes like this one to get started. The sample resumes helped me the most, and there are tons of others. Just use search words like “slp,” “cfy,” “resume,” “example,” “sample,” “template,” or anything along those lines.
  • Get your professional references lined up. I already had a good idea of who I wanted to use as my references, but you need to start thinking about it early on. Go ahead and get their permission. I used people who spent a good deal of time with me and knew me pretty well. For my list of references I found examples online like this one and modified it to fit my needs. One thing I did differently was list their professional title as well as their professional relationship to me.  (ex. Professional title: Associate Professor, Professional relationship to me: Thesis Advisor)
  • Get your priorities straight. Start figuring out what you want in a job. Here are some things to think about: setting, location, age group, schedule, flexibility, work environment, salary, benefits. This will be different for everyone, but I started out with a very open mind as far as setting goes. I was willing to work with kids or adults, in-patient, out-patient, whatever. I was open to working in a school, but really as a last resort. (The schools in my area actually pay SLPs relatively well compared to other schools, but not compared to other settings). I knew the level of supervision was important to me, and I wanted to have my CFY supervisor available on-site. My biggest priority was location. I wanted a job along the Gulf Coast, preferably in my home town. As you start really getting into the interview process and comparing different companies, more of your priorities will become apparent.
  • Get a game plan. Here is where I think a lot of people get frustrated with the job search. They get on the computer and only type “slp JOBS” into Google. After doing that over and over again, I decided to change my tactics. I started searching for SLPs or speech therapy in the area as if I was a parent or patient looking for a place to get therapy.  I went online and made a list of all the facilities in the area that employed SLPs and their contact information. Another great place to look for facilities is in the yellow pages of the phonebook under “speech-language pathology,” “speech therapy,” or “rehabilitation centers.” Honestly, I found the facility that hired me from the phonebook. You can also just look for facilities as you are driving around town. It’s amazing the places you don’t notice until you are looking for them. Make a list and keep it handy for later.
STARTING THE JOB SEARCH
Ok, so as graduation starts getting closer and closer you can really kick the job search into high gear. Positions are going to be available, and employers are going to be looking to hire you. Here are some tips:
  • You know that list of facilities you made. Call them. Who cares if they don’t have listed a job opening online. Call them and ask to speak to the therapy director. If no one answers leave a message (I hate leaving messages). It got to the point where I had this little speech I said over and over again: “Hi, my name is Haley Bee, and I am going to be graduating in May as a speech therapist. I am looking for a CFY and I was wondering if there will be any job openings at your facility.” If I had to make an estimate I heard back from about 3 out of every 5 facilities I called and about 2 out of those 3 were looking to hire someone.
  • Staffing Agencies. They sure are annoying aren’t they? Don’t get me wrong, some of the people I talked to were very nice and helpful, but others gave me a bad feeling. One I talked to tried to get me to tell her all of the other companies I was in contact with. Maybe that’s normal, but I didn’t have a good feeling about it, so I lied to her and told her no one. I called a few agencies when I saw some job openings online, but by the time I got to them the jobs were never available anymore. They always had wonderful opportunities available halfway across the country. I would be extra cautious with all of these agencies because when it comes down to it, they are trying to make money by hiring you. Now here I go being a hypocrite. I was hired through a staffing agency. Here’s the difference though; most SNFs use an agency to hire therapists. I contacted the SNF first, knew that I liked it, and then was sent to the agency for that specific job.
  • Just to be extra thorough, keep an eye open for job postings online. I bookmarked the ASHA career center and  therapyjobs.com and checked them periodically. Here is why this is not my number one recommendation for job searching. For almost every job you apply for, you have to set up a profile and fill out a long application. And all of this, just so someone can call you to tell you the job you wanted isn’t available and to harass you about taking a job 1000 miles away. This seemed like the biggest waste of time for me. You may want to have a cover letter template ready, because a lot of the online applications required one.
INTERVIEWS
So, you found an opening, applied for a job, and heard back with good news…they want to interview you! While I was job searching I had a couple different types of interview experiences: phone interview, long drawn out direct hire interview, and SNF interview though a staffing agency. The most important thing I did for interviews was make a list of questions for employers. During each interview I looked at this list to make sure they told me everything I needed to know. Then when they asked for questions from me I was prepared. That’s what I started with, but of course I asked more questions based on what they told me. Here is my list:
  1. What’s the typical caseload? (# patients, types of patients)
  2. How much of the day would I spend doing therapy vs. evaluations?
  3. What are the typical hours?
  4. What happens if a client does not show up for their appointment? Do therapists still get paid for time?
  5. Is there a productivity standard? If so, what is it?
  6. What paperwork/documentation am I expected to complete on a regular basis?
  7. Is there time dedicated to paperwork?
  8. What technology resources are available to me here?  (ex:  laptop, AAC devices, iTouch, iPad, etc.)
  9. What type of support will be available to me as a CFY?
  10. Do you have a CFY mentor available for me? Have they had a CFY before?
  11. How many other therapists work here?
  12. What types of support for continuing education do you offer (Does the company pay for CEUs)?
  13. What opportunities would I have to become specialized in something such as FEES, Vitalstim etc.?
  14. What about license/ASHA reimbursement?
  15. Therapy materials?
  16. How does time off work? Do you offer paid time off?
  17. If I completed my CFY here, would I be able to continue working afterward?
  18. At what point in the interview process do we talk about salary? What is the salary range?
  19. I don’t graduate until May. What is an estimated start date?
  20. How often can a therapist expect a raise, and how much would it be?
  21. Benefits package?
  22. What do you feel is the biggest benefit for working for your company?
Also as you leave, be sure to ask when you should expect to hear back from them.
As for questions all the interviewers asked me, they were pretty straightforward. They didn’t ask me any hard questions (no one in any of my interviews quizzed me on speech pathology). Just the usual strengths and weaknesses questions, describe your experiences, what population do you want to work with the most? Basically I just repeated my resume to them with more detail.
  • Phone Interview. I had one phone interview while I was job searching. It was for a small private practice pediatric therapy center about 2 hours from where I live. Overall the interview went well (they liked me and wanted me to come tour the facility), but I ended up stopping the process because it was too far away, and the salary and benefits just didn’t compare the the other places I was looking. They contacted me and scheduled when they would call me for the interview. I read a little bit about preparing for a phone interview online, but did not follow any advice. I mean it just seemed a little ridiculous to “dress professionally” when talking on the phone. I think I was wearing workout clothes, but I was able to turn my “professional voice” on just fine. (To be honest I make professional calls in my pajamas all the time. No one can tell.) I was super nervous that I was going to forget about the call, so I taped a giant sign in my room with “PHONE INTERVIEW @ 5:30 on THURSDAY” written on it. I had my laptop opened up to a word document so I could write down important information. I also had my giant list of interview questions for them pulled up on my computer. When they called, I was on speakerphone talking to the two owners and therapists. I have never talked on a conference call, so it was a little weird to get used to. Overall it was a great interview. I preferred the other interviews where I met people face to face and got to tour the facility right away though.
  • Long, Drawn out, Direct Hire Interview. This interview was all kinds of ridiculous, but I really liked the facility and therapists. They emailed me to schedule the interview, and included a questionnaire. I thought the questionnaire was kind of redundant to my resume, but whatever. They wanted it, so I did it. I was also an over-achiever and printed out samples of evaluation reports and therapy plans I had written. They liked that, but I wouldn’t say it was necessary. The interview went well, but it was really long. Like 2 hours long. I got to meet all the therapists and they seemed like a great group of people. Again I asked my long list of questions. They told me they had a lot of other people to interview, but I should be able to hear back from them after the first round of interviews at the beginning of the next month. Next month rolled around, and I got a second interview. This one was a lunch interview with all the therapists. I dressed professionally as usual, but lunch included sitting on the floor of the therapy gym, eating barbecue, and chatting with the therapists about The Hunger Games. It was a nice time, but totally not what I was expecting. Afterward, I got to ask the therapists a bunch of questions about working there, before meeting with the owner again. I only talked with her for a few minutes, but she told me I could expect to hear back from her by the next Wednesday. Well next Wednesday rolls around, and I get a text from a friend from my program who I knew was also applying for the job asking me what I wore. She had an interview that day! I was a little confused. Later that evening I got an email from the facility telling me interviews were taking longer than expected, and I should hear back from them by the following Wednesday. Well I didn’t hear anything from them on that Wednesday either. By the time they got back to me (about a month and a half later), I had already accepted the job I have now.
  • SNF Interview. I had two interviews with SNFs, but the process was similar for both. The interview was scheduled through the staffing agency.  I showed up dressed professionally. Got a tour of the facility. Then we went to the therapy office and they asked me the typical questions and answered all of my questions. Easy as pie. The only thing different about SNFs is that the interviewers can’t answer questions about salary and benefits. That is all answered by the staffing agency. I left the interview and called the staffing lady to tell her I liked the facility. She contacted the therapy director and made sure they liked me. Then she called me back the same day with an offer. There is usually some time frame to accept the offer.
One of the main issues all of my classmates struggled with during interviews was negotiating salary. Salary is a big secret that no one will talk about. It’s very frustrating. Obviously I am not going to post my salary online, but it wouldn’t really mean much to you unless you were looking for a job in my same geographic area and in my same setting. I wish I could give you really great advice about this, but this is all I have.
  • Talk with a few of your closest friends about what they have heard is a typical starting salary, what they are asking for, what they are expecting. Don’t put people on the spot. It makes people very uncomfortable. When classmates hear that someone else has been given a higher wage than them they start to get secretive because it really stinks to hear that someone with the exact same qualifications as you is going to get paid more than you.
  • I had very specific criteria for my first job. I had to realize that it doesn’t matter that that one classmate got paid a few extra dollars an hour to take a job 4 states away. I needed a job in my hometown. You can’t compare salaries from 2 different geographic areas or even across settings. If you want to work for the school system it really stinks hearing people working in SNFs talk about salary because you will make less. Take a job that fits your needs and is what you want to do.
  • You are worth more than you think you are, and more than companies will make you think you are. (This may not be true, but this is what I have gathered from my work experience.) Don’t think of yourself as less qualified just because you are a CFY. Most places really prefer a CFY. Do you know why? You are green. You can be taught to do the job exactly how they want it done. You are not set in your ways. AND you are cheaper labor than someone who has been working for 10 years. Companies want to make money and Medicare pays the same amount for therapy from a 30 year veteran SLP or a newbie graduate CFY.
  • To share my own experience, I had two interviews for different SNFs on the same day. I was negotiating salary back and forth, and I was open and honest about having another offer on the table. Company A offered what I thought was a good hourly rate with a sign on bonus. Company B offered me the same rate with a higher sign on bonus. Both companies had very similar benefits packages. Out of the blue, Company B contacted me and offered me $5 more an hour. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse and that was the job I currently have.
  • Make sure you know if you will get a raise after completing your CFY. I think you should, but I did not. In my situation I got the higher rate, and an opportunity for a raise after 12 months instead of 9 months which was more ideal for me.

ACCEPTING A JOB

Hopefully all of this advice pays off and you will be accepting a job in no time. My biggest advice for immediately after you accept a job is to apply for your state licensure as soon as you can. It’s different in every state, but in Florida I had to have a provisional speech-language pathology license before I could start work. I waited until after I graduated to apply and that was unnecessary. I could have gotten the process started much sooner. Waiting resulted in me not starting work until the middle of June after graduating at the beginning of May. (It was actually kind of nice having time off. Consider it.) Other classmates started the day after graduation.

That’s all the job search advice I have for you! I worked very hard trying to include all of the information that would have been the most helpful to me when I was looking for a job. sig



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Cresent Roll Sopapilla Cheesecake Semi-failure

I made another Pinterest recipe, Y’all.

This one was a semi-failure. I was cooking at Aaron’s apartment again, and his oven is less than ideal. I blame it for the extra crispy bottom. I also failed to follow the recipe correctly but whatever. It’s only a semi-failure because it still turned out pretty delicious. So delicious, in fact, that Aaron told me to leave it at his apartment when I went back home. Then he called me later in the week to tell me it’s extra delicious served cold.

Let’s get to the recipe. I’ll start out simple and tell you what you are supposed to do, then what I did.

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Ingredients:

2 cans of Pillsbury Butter Crescent Rolls (or Great Value)

2 packages (8 oz) of cream cheese softened

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup butter melted

cinnamon & sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Unroll and spread 1 can of crescent rolls on bottom of ungreased pan

3. Mix softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together

4. Spread mixture over crescent rolls

5. Unroll and spread the other can of crescent rolls over the top of the mixture

6. Spread butter on top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar

7. Bake for 20-30 minutes

Enjoy! Eat hot, room temperature, or cold.

So that seems simple, right? Not for me.

Here’s where I went wrong.

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I read somewhere that the best way to prepare the crescent roll dough is to roll it all together into a big ball and then roll it out flat. Easier said than done. Aaron didn’t have a rolling pin, so I used a plastic cup. No matter what I did, the dang dough kept shrinking back up. I wrestled with it forever. I’m pretty sure my frustration with the dough contributed to me messing up the rest of the recipe. I finally got it looking like this.

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Then I mixed cream cheese, sugar, and BUTTER together. W-R-O-N-G. It is supposed to be cream cheese, sugar, and VANILLA. I didn’t realize my mistake until after I had already spread the mixture onto the crescent rolls, so vanilla was just omitted from my version. Oops. There was really no turning back, so I just went with it.

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There was no way I was going to roll out the crescent rolls into one big piece again, so I just pieced it together on top. I melted some more butter to spread on top (since I already used the butter the recipe called for in the filling) and then sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top.

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Here’s where I’m going to blame Aaron’s oven. The instructions say to bake for 20-30 minutes. I checked on it at about 11 minutes and it was already starting to burn on the edges. I had to let it cook a little longer (20 minutes total) because it wasn’t done in the middle.

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Not beautiful…:/ When I took it out of the oven, I immediately transferred it from the pan to a cutting board so the bottom wouldn’t continue to burn.

IMG_0765But when I cut into it, it looked pretty good! You can see the “extra crispy” bottom here. Aaron and I were pleasantly surprised when we dug into it! Very good. The filling tasted like cheesecake even with the extra butter. Ha.

For the record, I would totally make this recipe again. I would obviously follow the directions, use the right ingredients, not use Aaron’s oven…and I would probably buy the “sheets” of cresent rolls that they sell at the grocery store.

Anyway. That’s what happened. Here is the link to the original recipe I pinned if you want to see what it’s really supposed to look like 🙂

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My Invisalign Experience Part 2: Getting My Aligners

phonto

Check out part 1 of my Invisalign experience here, where I talk about all the appointments building up to getting my aligners.

In this post I am going to talk about the most exciting day of this whole experience: the day I got my aligners.

Like I mentioned in my previous Invisalign post, I had read a lot of blogs discussing this day in detail, so I felt very prepared. My course of treatment included 14 trays for top and bottom. That was a little different from my ClinCheck appointment. I think it was originally 12 uppers and 10 lowers. (I found out at my last appointment that the lower teeth will be done at tray 12. I still get new lowers 13 and 14, but they are passive trays. That way I don’t have to wear old ones on the bottom for 6 weeks).

Putting on Attachments

Attaching the attachments took up the vast majority of this appointment. It started out with them giving me a little flimsy version of an aligner to put on my teeth. This acted as a template so they knew where to put the attachments. They used those little hook things to pull my lips back and just went to town cementing those things to my teeth. They had to dry my teeth with this little mini dryer thing. Kind of funny.

One of my attachments would not stay on. The girl working on me tried 3 times, and it kept getting stuck in the template. I mentioned in the previous post that I was supposed to have 12 attachments, 3 on each side of my upper and lower teeth, starting with my incisors. She had the orthodontist come over and take a look so they could decided what to do. He said it would be ok to just not have that one. He said he didn’t think I really needed that many attachments anyway, so it would be fine. That’s why I only have 11 attachments.

Interproximal Reduction (IPR)

Ugh.

I hate IPR.

I read about it. I was prepared for it. Most of the blogs said it wasn’t a big deal.

It was a big deal for me.

It started out with the orthodontist taking a thin strip of metal and threading it between my teeth. The metal is basically sandpaper. Back and forth. Back and forth. He flossed my teeth with sandpaper.

Then it got big time. There was a drill involved. It had a big circular thin piece of “metal sandpaper” that was placed between my teeth. My teeth were sanded down high speed this time.

Does that sound pleasant? It’s not. I will say that it is not actually painful, just extremely uncomfortable. The best way I explained it to someones is like this. It is the most physically uncomfortable I have ever been without experiencing pain. I’d rather have experienced a little bit of pain than deal with the extreme amount of uncomfortableness. Nails on a chalk board. It’s painful for your brain. I would rather get a shot than IPR.

Anyway. I dealt with it. The purpose of IPR is to make room between your teeth so they have room to move. I wondered if it made you more susceptible to cavities since it’s taking enamel off of your teeth, but when I googled it, the answer was no. The amount of enamel/tooth shaved down is apparently the same amount that would come off with the movement of teeth rubbing together with traditional braces. At least that’s what the internet said.

After IPR, there was visible space between my teeth that I was kind of embarrassed about, but you could not see it when I put the actual aligners in. Also I’ve had to have IPR at almost every appointment I’ve gone to (on different teeth) and the spaces are always gone after a day or so.

First Time with Aligners

After all that mess, they had me practice putting my aligners in and taking them out. I didn’t have much trouble, but I could imagine it would be difficult if your teeth were more crooked than mine. I know they sell little plastic hooks to help people with this, but I have had no need for anything like that. They did tell me I didn’t have to be as gentle as I was being when I was taking them out. Loosening the back teeth first made it easier. The orthodontist gave me the first 5 sets of aligners. They come in little baggies and are marked with the number they are. I am supposed to wear each set for 2 weeks and then switch.

After that we were done. But then craziness happened. They sat me up in the chair and a piece of metal from the tiny lightbulb in the overhead lamp fell and hit my arm. And it was HOT. Oh my goodness. It only touched me for like a split second though, so I thought it was fine. They brought me an icepack and I held it on my arm for a bit. At first there was no mark, but when I got to my car it started getting red, and by the time I got back to work it was a full on blister. Luckily I work at a nursing home and one of the nurses put some silvadene on it for me. It got worse before it got better. This happened in May. It’s August and I still have a small scar on my arm. So that happened…But back to my teeth 🙂

After I left (and paid) I got in my car and stared at my teeth in the mirror for a bit. I was satisfied with the invisibility of the aligners. The attachments were there, but I didn’t mind them. Some people notice them and some people don’t. On my way to work I called Aaron to tell him about it all and to practice talking with my aligners in because, guess what you guys…

I HAD A LISP.

I am a SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST.

I had to go to work after all of this with a LISP.

It cleared up in a few hours, but for about the first 2 weeks, I had a noticeable lisp whenever I first put my aligners back in after eating or whatever. Not cool. Haha. I just went with the full disclosure method. If I lisped while talking to a patient or patient’s family member, I would just point to my teeth and say ” I just got Invisalign, and it’s affecting my speech.” Everyone was cool about it. Haha.

Pain Management

I really only had pain the first couple of days, but those first few days were pretty bad. I think wearing my aligners made me more tired at work because of the pain, and I would crash on the sofa immediately when I got home from work. I could distinctly tell which teeth were moving from where the pain was.

My aligners made me feel claustrophobic. I would want to take them off so bad, but when I did the attachments cut up the inside of my mouth so much that I was happy to put them back in. I was able to eat ok. When I first took the aligners out, my teeth would be very sensitive, but after chewing for about 1-2 minutes it was like normal.

Note: this was only for the first 2 or 3 days. After that everything got much better. I couldn’t eat apples or nuts for a while. I actually went to Disney World the first week after I got my aligners. Yep. I was the weirdo brushing my teeth in the bathroom at Disney World. 🙂 The inside of my mouth toughened up, so the attachments didn’t hurt anymore. I don’t feel claustrophobic wearing them either. If I’m honest I actually really like them. They’re cozy. Haha.

That’s all I have for today. In the next Invisalign post I’m going to talk about day to day care of the aligners including my daily routine and some advice!sig

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Sprucing up my Burlap Wreath

Like my new wreath decorations?

To see my DIY Burlap Wreath tutorial, read this post. (My most popular blog post ever, thanks to Pinterest!)

To see how I added the flowers and decorated it before, read this post.

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I think the magically floating “H” is a nice touch, don’t you? Dental floss. Voila! Obviously I need to get a bigger letter because it does look a little silly, but it will work in the meantime. I used 4 pieces of dental floss on each corner of my “H” and fastened it to the wire wreath frame. I secured all 4 corners tightly because I didn’t want the “H” to tap my door and creep me out late at night.

The main reason I updated my wreath is I saw so many cute burlap wreaths on Pinterest using that gray chevron burlap. It’s the most adorable thing ever! I just pulled my lace strand out and switched it for the chevron. I started with one end where the flowers are and just picked a spot here and there to pull the chevron under the wire frame. The opposite side of the ribbon doesn’t have the pattern on it, so I did have to work with it a bit so the chevron was always showing.

I was pretty happy with how it turned out! sig

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Chickfila Secret Sauce Recipe

Using ketchup at Chickfila is like eating chicken fingers at a Mexican restaurant. You can, but you’re kind of missing the point.

The Top 2 Best Things About Chickfila:

1. the sweet tea

2. amazing sauce selection

If I haven’t been upfront enough, I love Chickfila. I know it’s not good for me, but I eat there about once a week because there is one close by my work. As a Chickfila regular I know the best sauces.

3. spicy salad dressing (for sandwiches, nuggets, and fries)

2. honey roasted BBQ (Do people not know about this one? Ask for it. It comes in a squeeze packet, not a dipping one.)

1. my “secret” concoction

You may be wondering “Why are you giving away your secret?” The last time I went to chickfila and asked for Polynesian and Buffalo sauces the cashier said, “Do you mix them together? I DO TOO!”

My secret is getting out. I need to lay some sort of claim to my invention. This is the best I got. Whenever Chickfila starts marketing Spicy Polynesian sauce, at least you’ll know it was my idea first 🙂

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Here’s how you do it. The order is very important. First dip your nugget/fry in Polynesian, then dip it in Buffalo. Is it high maintenance? Yes. Delicious and worth it? Totally. Haha.

Did this really call for it’s own blog post. Probably not 🙂

Oh well.sig

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