Sparkle Me Pretty

Sometimes the best nights are the unexpected visits from a good friend that include quality catch up time and unplanned hours of drinking a fun new cocktail.  When I know that I am going to be spending a weekend by my lonesome because Mr. Dr. is being a slave to the hospital, it’s the little surprises that get me excited.  It would be fantastic if one of those surprises was Mr. Dr. calling to say that he got off 10 hours early and was on his way home…but since that has never happened I won’t hold my breath.  A call from a friend saying she was coming over for Saturday happy hour with a new cocktail recipe was the second best surprise call I could have gotten.  I’m so lucky that my friends always come to the rescue when I need it.  Even if they don’t know that I was craving a good old fashioned vent-filled session, and that it was just what the doctor ordered to cheer me up on a potentially lonely weekend.

So now for the fun part.  We made a delicious new cocktail that I of course had to share with you all.  The holidays are a fun time to experiment with sparkling drinks so that’s exactly what we did.

Meet the Pomegranate Prosecco Cocktail

-Generous Amount of Prosecco
-Generous Amount of Vodka
-3 Splashes of Pomegranate Juice
-Notes: This cocktail is such a treat.  The addition of Pomegranate Juice keeps it crisp, not too sweet yet adds a touch of fruit flavor.  It really is a nice twist because sometimes Prosecco can be a bit sweet on it’s own.  The vodka element keeps this cocktail honest and really what is better than vodka with a touch of sparkle and a dash of fruit?  Right.  Nothing.  Just looking at the above photo makes me thirsty.  The beauty of this simple recipe is that you can substitute with any juice of your choice.

Happy Cocktail Friday!

Just The Right Size

In my last post I talked about how much residency has changed my perception of the holidays mainly because I anxiously await the dreaded Nov-Dec schedule from Mr. Dr.  I also shared a fun post about my love for NYC during the holidays because of it’s many offerings and spirited presence.  Well what I have failed to mention thus far is how NYC and residency have come together in such a way to create a holiday experience in our little apartment that I never really ever expected.

First the background…living in NYC means (as you well know) living in a small space.  The small apartments that Mr. Dr. and I have resided in do not account for too much decor space.  Although I do add some special holiday touches every year, we don’t have the 6 ft Christmas tree or the lights hanging outside in our non-existent yard of landscaping or on our beautifully constructed roof.  There is no wreath on our apartment door because hey that sucker may just get stolen.  And FYI – if you send us a holiday card we prefer magnetic or postcard style so that it can go on our fridge as opposed to sitting out in our don’t-have-much-shelving-space living room.  But hey, this year being in a 600 square ft apartment as opposed to a 500 square ft apartment I went big.  I put up some lights in our living room around the ceiling  and windows, hung a giant glittery snowflake I collected from a sample sale and threw some silver balls around the curtains.  I completed the look with a lovely little glass tree which this year will probably suffice as our one and only (although Mr. Dr. has had a serious urge to get a real one this year).  And even though I almost fell of the couch a few times while decorating, in the end I think it was worth it.  It looks pretty darn festively cute.  Mr. Dr. was impressed.

Upon my decorating this year I discovered a funny phenomenon.  Take a look at exhibit A:

the best of holiday friends

Our tree is the same size as a handle of vodka!  Coincidence?   Maybe.  I call it…the product of NYC and residency colliding during the holidays.  Vodka has been a dear friend but if it weren’t for residency I could potentially live without the handle and settle for an airplane bottle size.  Well actually we know that’s probably not true.  And this beautiful mini Rockfeller center tree  lookalike that lights up into a gorgeous array of rainbow colors at the click of a button is just the most perfect Christmas tree for a small, cozy NYC apartment as adorable as ours.  So there you have it.  Where else can you find a living room Christmas tree and a bottle of vodka almost identical in size (I will disregard the fact that the handle is just a smidge bigger)?  Search no further.

One of these days we will have a real Christmas tree with real lights, ornaments and maybe even a tree skirt.  But for now our mini glass tree will suffice.  It will probably get fed vodka instead of water to keep it alive and it’s small enough that we may even forget we have it.  But it will be the perfect little tree for our perfect little apartment.

Let’s Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!  I am sure many of us have a lot we can be thankful for this year.  Since we started residency, my feelings on the h0lidays have taken quite a turn.  While most people are busy looking forward to planning their vacation days, trips home, time off and dinner time schedule with their families and friends, I am stewing over when we will get Mr. Dr.’s holiday work schedule and what it will say.  I anxiously await what the schedule will bring and how it will affect our holiday planning…or lack there of.  It’s not fun but as a phrase I have come to know all too well states: it comes with the territory of being a doctor.  Well this year unfortunately for us Mr. Dr. is working on Thanksgiving… and the day after.  Ho hum.  Bright spot – he is off Saturday and Sunday.  So we will get some quality time after all, just a few days late.  Hey I’ll take it.

Here is my top ten list thank you list for Thanksgiving 2012:

1. Vodka – you have gotten me through many rough times this past year, thanks for the rescue.
2. Shar my mother – you have probably listened to me vent more than anyone, thank you for always listening.
3. Trader Joe’s Wine Store – what would my weekday be like without your product? Thanks for never failing to have something that will take the daily edge off.
4. My friends – you continue to be my strength in times when I need you most even if all it is a laugh…or drinking partner, thank you for making me laugh when I need it most.
5. Martinis – you know me better than most dinner drinks, thanks for adding a delicious twist to any meal when I crave it.
6. My sister and seester – thanks for the unconditional support I can always count on.
7. Chipotle – thank you for giving me something to look forward to every Sunday.
8. My Job – thank you for giving me a paycheck that pays my ridiculous NYC bills and takes me to some pretty cool events where I can swoon over celebs.
9. My Blog and Blog Readers – you have been the best diary I have ever had, thank you.
10. My Mr. Dr. – thank you most for still acting excited to see me when you walk in the door after your 18 hour day workday.  For giving me an extra 2 minutes of cuddle time in the morning before you leave.  For trying so hard to stay awake to hang out with me a little longer.  And for continuing to be my best friend.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

How NYC Stole Christmas

With the holidays fast approaching and Thanksgiving just a few days away I must admit that I am happy to reside in NYC this time of year.   I am always so proud and in awe of how spirited this city becomes during the holiday season.  It transforms into a plethora of holiday cheer from block to block, building to building.  The stores are decorated from top to bottom in red, green and gold.  The big shot stores reveal their annual holiday windows.  Christmas lights are put up and lit throughout the city on balconies, inside apartments (that’s us!), restaurant fronts and buildings galore.  Christmas trees go on sale and line the streets  - big and small – ready for their temporary home in the tiniest of apartment corners or the grandest of penthouse living rooms.  Menorahs are placed on window sills and sat out next to the tree in apartment lobbies from the Hudson across to the East River.

At night, the Empire State building even lights up in blue and white for the first night of Hanukkah and proudly wears the red and green for Christmas.  The above picture represents what it looks like when both holidays overlap.  Check out this cool website that tells you what color the building will be and why for the month.  And of course we cannot forget about the most iconic tree of all that makes it’s appearance year after year – the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree!  If it didn’t…well Christmas in NYC just wouldn’t be the same.

Skating in Rockefeller center under the tree our first year in NYC

Fun secret: a few years ago I actually saw the tree being transported down Broadway avenue from the Upper West Side.  I kid you not.  It lays flat, is netted up and secured safely on the back of a ginormous truck as it cruises downtown to make its annual debut.  It actually stands in it’s coveted spot for a few days with no lights and then every year NYC has the infamous Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony with celebrities and the whole shebang.  Well the year I saw the tree getting transported I felt it was important to be there for it’s lighting.  I had developed a one-sided connection to it and wanted to be there.  So I sweetly dragged Mr. Dr. along with me.  We stood right outside amid the crowd, watched the huge projector screens that air the concert for the public and then got to feel a sense of wow it’s really Christmastime as the tree was lit for the first time that season.  It was a great way to kick it off.

And I know this may seem strange but I even think New Yorkers tend to be a bit more pleasant than usual during this time of year.  The kind deeds happen more, if you get bumped on the street you might actually get an apology and taxi drivers might even entertain a conversation with you in their cab instead of the typical blue tooth phone call with their family member in another country.  It’s really hard to be a Scrooge when you are walking around here during the holiday season.  So Grinch….back off buddy because NYC has got you beat.

Happy kick-off to the holiday season!

Walking In A Winter Wonder Commute

Brrr.  I am not a fan of cold weather and the fact that winter is upon us is somewhat disheartening.  It is my least favorite season.  I guess it doesn’t help that I walk to work everyday.  I’m not hopping into my nice heated car every morning enjoying a friendly stop & go commute to work.  People ask if I take cabs to work when it’s really cold out or raining or just crappy weather.  Well the answer is no.  Some days its tempting, reallllllly tempting.  But over the years I have just had to slowly figure it out.  Like understanding the need to invest in rain boots after I ruined 2 pairs of shoes walking to work in the rain the first year I was here.  So my walking commute is pretty nice minus the cold days, rainy days, blizzards and oh yeah…now I can add in Hurricanes.  I must say though, I would rather walk to work through the rain in August than in dry, windy 30 degree weather in January.  But like I said, I have learned to cope.  Instead of hopping in my warm, cozy car I am throwing on my puffy coat (I like to call it the down comforter coat because that’s how warm it makes me feel), zipping it up past my neck and putting on thick socks over my stocking-covered feet and legs.  I finish my look with a pair of UGGs and oh so cute lifesaving earmuffs.  The fashion statement I make with the hood of my coat, earmuffs and aviator sunglasses from the neck up when it’s 30 degress and  sunny out is quite the look.  It would either be a Glamour mag DON’T or with the way any trend goes these days…it might just get a spot in the DO section.  I sweat for about 1 minute while I hop out the door into the elevator of my apartment building and hit the lobby.  But as soon as I step outside I am reminded why I bundle like I live in freaking Alaska.

My 23 minute commute is a blissful 23 minutes filled with fresh, crisp outside air.  The birds are chirping and it’s a great day to be alive.  Then BAM.  I am attacked by the weather like a pack of wolves pouncing on an innocent sweet deer.  Oh its nothing really…just the wind tunnel feeling I experience on a daily basis between the months of November-March.  You know, those days when I am walking uphill towards Park avenue and a battle breaks out between me and Mother Nature.  As I trudge up the hill my body contours into a slightly forward tilt walking stance to ensure I don’t get blown backwards into an over-accelerating taxi in the street.  And the one part of my body that is exposed – my face starts to feel like its slowly freezing into chipmunk cheek pouches of ice cubes.  Even my glove-covered hands sitting in pockets begin to feel numb by minute 12.  Then there are my legs.  I can’t help that I wear a lot of dresses and unfortunately that means not a ton of coverage except for a thin line of stockings on the skin.  As I get older I may need to reconsider the pants look more because I swear it’s getting harder with age in the cold.  So I get to my door at work after 20-25 minutes of hard work and pain, and still am amazed every time at the workout I just had to endure on my commute, not to mention the sweat that has built up inside of me because I’m feeling so frigid I don’t realize that my body is actually quite warm inside.  Fast forward to the end of my workday and I leave my building in the pitch black to do my battle with nature/workout/commute/walk home all over again in an effort to make it home to my warm, cozy apartment.

The first year I lived in the city I did not have earmuffs and I’m not sure I have had a game-changing experience quite like the one I had when I wore muffs outside in this city for the first time.  It was a revelation.  I felt stupid to not have known or understood sooner.  And my ears?  My poor ears.  They had been getting abused for far too long.  Thank goodness for the invention of earmuffs.  And UGGs?  Oh UGGs…I don’t care who your spokesperson is, with or without Tom Brady I will be buying your products for the rest of my life for as long as I live in cold weather climates.

So over the next few months just remember something my friends.  The next time you run out to jump into your chilly car and have to give it a couple of minutes to warm up, there is a gal over here in NYC trucking it on two legs bundled up from head to toe with a little show of blonde peeping out from underneath her hood.

Happy five months until spring!

Investments

Throughout their lives, most people make pretty big investments – like houses, cars, savings, stocks, the list goes on.  Well let’s see.  My car was a graduation gift from my parents in college – thanks mom & dad.  Mr. Dr. doesn’t have a car and since we live in NYC we can share one car more than comfortably.  So we have been lucky enough not to have to invest in a new car yet.  A house…well, I can assure you that we won’t be investing in one of those anytime soon.  If we did in NYC it would be a pentHOUSE of course.  HA.  Yeah right.  I dream.  There was a $100 million penthouse that just went on the market near Central Park.  Maybe I should put it on my Christmas list this year and see what kind of rise I can get out of Mr. Dr.  But even in our 650 square foot apartment our monthly rent payment is probably more than most of your mortgages so we got that covered.  I think I can sort of paint a picture in my head of what I might want our future house to look like one day but even that’s hard.  Our little apartment now is even ‘big’ for us.  No really it is.  For the last three years we lived in 500 square feet and only last year did we get a bedroom.  True statement.  Yes, you really learn fast if you can live with someone when you live in a studio apartment.  That’s true love people.

“What’s that hunny?  Oh you’re in a bad mood…rough day?  Don’t worry, I will just go hibernate in the other room and give you your space.  Oh wait, we don’t have another room so I will just go pee in the bathroom 5 ft away to give you your space.  Then maybe I’ll open the door and just step right into the kitchen to tidy up a bit.  I’m sure running the dishwasher across the room will give you some nice soothing background noise while you decompress on the bed.”

You may think that’s funny but that was our life.  The best part was Mr. Dr.’s 4am wake-up calls during his 4th year med school rotations and he was into drinking fresh homemade smoothies for breakfast.  Those were some super fun months for me.  Don’t worry, he got really kind and made sure to put a pillow over top of my ears right before pressing that blender button.  What a gentleman.  How sweet of him to walk those five steps over to the bed and save me from wanting to jump out the window.  Yeah that phase did not last too long.  While I thoroughly enjoyed the roaring blender noises at the butt crack of down, I’m not sure I preferred it over the roaring ambulance sirens outside of our window.  That’s why I didn’t jump out.  We lived above the hospital so I guess we were doomed from day one with the sirens but even 16 floors up those suckers were nonstop.  It was a no win situation.  OK ya know what?  I take it back.  I can picture our future house.  It’s with the bedroom as far away from the kitchen as possible.  In another wing even, with triple pane glass in all of our windows so that I can catch up on all of the sleep I have lost from living in this city.  Don’t get me wrong, I am all about the crazy late bar nights that NYC has to offer, but when it comes to sleep can’t you just leave a girl alone?  Nope.  Not when you’re married to a resident and not when you are living in NYC.  Fine.  I’ll suck it up.  After all, you only live once.

So back to investments…that rules out cars and houses for us at the moment.  Savings?  Ohhhhhhh yes, that extra money you are supposed to put away for your future.  Well that account hasn’t grown too much since moving here 5 years ago so we break about even there.  Stocks?  Well the money that would probably go into those on a monthly basis is being sucked out of our account by a vacuum called medical loan payments.  But if I did have a stock I could invest in, it would obviously be Greygoose.  But really who needs all of that other stuff when you have this…

Yours Truly, Mr. Dr.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, for now, this lovely Dr. is our investment (really mine at this point because I have stuck around for quite a while waiting for my dividend).  It would, of course, be nice to have all the other stuff too but I have a good life now and know that we are slowly creeping towards an even better one.  And one day hopefully I will be writing this blog from my triple pane windowed bedroom thanking my lucky stars that we made it through this journey together still in love, happy and somewhat sane.  I am certainly looking forward to it.

The Pumpkin Strikes Again

I know I already told you all that pumpkins aren’t just made for pies anymore.  Well this continues to remain true as I have stumbled on a cocktail that I think would be a delicious addition to…Thanksgiving dinner.  Ladies and gentlemen I would like to introduce to you the pumpkin pie cocktail.  I think it may be worth a shot.  Its probably a little less filling than eating a real piece of pumpkin pie so that’s a win.  And maybe even less calories which would be a double win.

Pumpkin Pie Martini (aka: Pumpkin Pietini)

-Generous Amount of Vanilla Vodka
-1 Spoonful of Pumpkin Puree
-2 Splashes of  Hazelnut Liqueur
-2 Splashes of  Milk
-1 Splash of Simple Syrup
-Garnish with a Dash of Cinnamon
-Notes:  I am intrigued at the thought of trying this.  I don’t usually love dessert in a glass (although a spiked milkshake sounds delightful) but I’m really into trying this one.  It seems like it would be heavy so perhaps only one would do the trick.  The best part?  You can use the leftover Hazelnut Liqueur for yummy coffee drinks after the holidays.

Happy Friday!

VA Rotation = DONE

I have been so preoccupied with the weather and getting our life back on track that I almost forgot to be excited that rotation #2 for the year is done.  (PS: we have power back!)  I’m so happy we have another rotation under the 2nd year resident belt.  This means we are 4 months into 2nd year.  And that means after the next rotation we are halfway done R2 year.  Woohoo!  The rotation Mr. Dr. just finished up on was quite draining both emotionally and physically.  But aren’t they all?  I probably said the same thing two months ago.  We definitely had the ups and downs with this one though.  This time around I got to experience what real home call is like.  I can’t say I love it or that I hate it.  It has it’s pros of potentially having him home and around more, but it’s cons of house arrest and being at the mercy of that little black device, the pager.  Mr. Dr. was working at the Veteran’s hospital in Manhattan.  He was lucky to have lots of time in the OR where he got to perform some awesome surgeries on his own with the supervision of his chief.  Here are some other learnings over the past 2 months:

1. Pagers can look cute and innocent…but do not be fooled.  They can run your life.
2. Veterans can be quite demanding with their healthcare.  One might think this is acceptable because they served our country, worked hard for a living and more than deserve their lifetime free healthcare. For those that this applies to – my hat is off to you.  And yes it is well-deserved.  Unfortunately Mr. Dr. has also come across those “vets” that served for less than 2 months and now because of those 2 months have voluntarily decided not to gain employment because they can live off of the government for the rest of their lives.  And unfortunately, those are the ones that scream at doctors when they tell them they have to wait a week to get their surgery.  To each their own but it’s unfortunate that there are people out there like that who give veterans a bad name when its undeserved.
3. When a hurricane comes through there will be lots of flooding in the basement if the hospital is next to a river. They learned this the hard way with a massive evacuation to other veterans’ hospitals throughout the boroughs.  The result? A closed hospital for weeks…maybe even months.
4. I’m happy this rotation is over.  And I can safely say that Mr. Dr. is too.

This week he started at Hospital for Joint Disease which is the ortho hospital in NYC.  And might I add, the only one affiliated with NYU in Manhattan that is not flooded.  The start has been rough to this one already especially because of playing catch-up from the hurricane so I anticipate quite an interesting 2 months.  Wish us luck!