Sunday, February 5, 2012

Big News....

Want to guess what it is? Actually...please don't. I'm afraid of what some of you might think is the Big News.

The truth is...I have accepted a job here in Alexandria! I will be working in a facility that has several different units including sub-acute, tracheostomy, dementia, and specialized care. This will be quite different than my last two jobs, which were in outpatient orthopedics and balance/vertigo clinics. However, I do feel this is where I'm supposed to be, and I'm excited and anxious to learn all the new skills this job will require.

There are many reasons why I accepted this job and declined the other opportunities I was offered. One thing for sure, though, the decision did not come easy. I spent much time in prayer and thought, trying to figure out just what my daily life would look like in each of the job situations. I had to consider many daily commute time, car versus metro, daily hours working, hourly wage, clinical setting, holiday/weekend hours, staff, environment, benefits, etc. I was fortunate in that I had a positive experience with all the companies I interviewed with.

At this facility, every staff member I met was extremely nice, and I felt very "wanted". The executive director of rehab called me twice, once after my interview to see if I had any clinical questions, and again after I accepted the offer to let me know how excited she was that I am going to be joining their team. There are about 14 PT's and OT's...and I will be the only PTA. Apparently, PTA's are hard to come by in this area, which explains why they were so persistent!

Looking back, I can see so many "ironic" things that happened that all led me to this job, including the fact that I almost exited the online application three different times because I was so fed up with the 20 pages of personality questions that took me over 2 hours to complete! And then I almost canceled my interview because I thought I was going to accept a job with a different company. And since I had the mindset that I wasn't going to work at this facility, I was not stressed or anxious going into the interview...which means I probably interviewed much better than normal! Good thing God knows me better than I think I do. I start orientation Monday...goodbye domestic life, hello working life!

I have to pause here and give a little belated birthday shout-out to my favorite little man. I remember the day his mommy found out she was pregnant with him. I happened to be at her house that afternoon and can recall all the details very clearly...especially all the rounds of pregnancy tests. I bet she took 13. It's hard to believe that was 5 years ago...

Happy 5th Birthday to my favorite Ring Bearer!

We have been really blessed with some incredible friends here  in NOVA. Multiple times per week/weekend we get together with friends and cook, eat, drink, talk, hang out, watch movies, etc. Last weekend was Grace's birthday, so people went over Saturday night for "cultural movie/foodie night". She and Scott made butternut squash soup, Indian food and green tea cookies (my new fav, seriously). They even made a veggie dish for me...aren't they great?! Grace also taught us some Korean words. I would write them but I don't know how to really spell them.

Happy Birthday Grace!

Yesterday, a bunch of girls from my community group got together for a "Crafty Valentine Brunch" at Starr's house. I feel like I can be crafty sometimes, as long as I'm in the mood and have an idea/vision for a project. All day on Saturday, I was surrounded by some insanely crafty and talented girls (who can also make yummy food!)...we had so much fun!

Meet Starr and Steven's dog, Pancakes. She's adorable (and I don't normally like dogs) well behaved, polite (yet curious), and never made a sound the whole day!

Now onto recipes. I haven't cooked as much this past week for a variety of reasons, but I have made a few things.

For Saturday's party, I made mini frittatas, but put my own spin on them with spinach, mushrooms, sauteed onion, garlic, soy chorizo, cheese, and oregano. They were quite delicious.

I had a request from one of Tim's friends for a stuffed pepper recipe. I have never made stuffed peppers before, so I made it my goal to find the best one. It was more difficult that I thought. I ended up using parts of three different recipes as well as adding some of my own ingredients. Sorry, Matt, I don't have a "real" recipe for you to follow, but here is a list of ingredients that I cooked up, combined, and stuffed into those peppers! I did learn that it is good to microwave or boil the peppers prior to stuffing, in order to soften them and decrease baking time in the oven.

My version includes:
1/2 cup organic quinoa cooked in vegetable broth
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 can red beans, drained and rinsed well
½ cup chopped mushrooms
½ cup red onion
2 garlic cloves
(sautee garlic, onion, mushrooms together)
½ cup soy chorizo, warmed in skillet
1 cup corn
oregano, salt, pepper, to taste
1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 tablespoon (or more, depending on taste) cilantro chopped
cheese (mixed some inside, then put some on top to melt)
salsa and plain Greek yogurt, for serving, if desired 

Tonight, we are heading over to join some friends for a super bowl party. I'm bringing Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip dessert hummus. Oh yes, you read that right. You think it sounds gross? They address that topic on the recipe website, so go check it out. Serve it with graham crackers or cinnamon sugar pita and you are in heaven. At least in my opinion...

Until next time...


  1. I'll have a couple of the mini frittatas and one stuffed pepper, please! Not sure about the dessert hummus--but would definitely try it. And, that dog is adorable--looks so 'clean'.
    Happy working tomorrow--they'll love you! LYM

  2. Congrats on the job, Asha! Love your blog and seeing your interesting recipes :) I'm determined to try that peanut butter hummus soon!

  3. You are awesome and I already miss you. I want to hear about orientation today...

    Coffee, stat!

  4. Mom-Sure, just come on over!
    Katie-Thanks! I had to force myself to stop eating the hummus, I thought it was wonderful :) I tweaked it to my taste so I ended up adding some cinnamon and extra vanilla and peanut butter when I made it. Oh and you have to use pure maple syrup, not the fake stuff. You'll have to try it and let me know what you think!
    Grace-I'm going through Hulse withdrawals, so yes, sounds like a wonderful plan!