Flexibility + Caramel Brownies

Before I started residency, my impression of the difficulties were pinpointed mostly on the long hours and the relatively low wages that came with those long hours. That and the ridiculously steep learning curve that would inevitably accompany intern year. Especially after M4 year. Surprisingly (somewhat), I am finding that the hours are bad yes, but once you get into a rhythm and schedule, they’re not ALL that bad. I’m tired and waking up is still the worst part, but once I get going, it’s very doable. Learning curve steep yes, but again, there’s no learning like learning on the job. Seeing the pathology, seeing how to treat it and seeing how the treatments take effect. All of that really helps solidify the concept 100x better (for me anyways) than just words on paper.

No, the most difficult at this point, and probably to continue until graduation and beyond, is being mind flexible. Everyone has their own way of doing things. All with the same goal in mind, but with small subtle differences here and there. Before residency, I would hear this and think “Man, that’s awesome, I will get to see so many ways to do things and find a way that I like and agree with.” Still true, but it does become a bit frustrating when you start doing things one way then the subtle difference of where to pull, push, anchor, put your hand, which hand to use, etc. with each person you work with enters the picture. I end up feeling like maybe I really just don’t know how to do whatever action it is I’m supposed to be doing. Or thinking “wait, I thought I was doing this right…but…no??” and putting myself back at square one. Every resident, every staff has their own way of doing things. And they all do admit to it too, which is nice, but as the intern during the moments of doing things, it really just makes me feel a bit behind. They all say, you’ll learn how “so and so” likes to do their “_____” and I guess as residents we shall just have to keep a mental filing cabinet of who uses what where and when.

Anyways. The WORST part so far is probably just living alone alone here. I mean I don’t mind living by myself. It’s kinda nice, my own schedule, my own mess, all my responsibility, etc. But it does kinda suck that there isn’t anyone else around here to talk to or greet me at home or de-day with. Maybe I should get a dog. Except the Bing is too big. 😦 And then what if I get a new dog and he’s not as cool as the Bing!?

Moving on, something you guys can do! I made these absolutely AMAZING caramel brownies last week. I did my first night call and my time was so confused on Sunday when I slept when I got home and then had to sleep again to go to work early Monday AM. Hum.

So I decided to pinventure! Found the recipe from Chef in Training who I believe found the recipe from another site. These are definitely worth it worth it to make.


  • 1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a heavy saucepan, combine caramels and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth; set aside.
Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix, melted butter and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk by hand until dough holds together.
Press half of the dough into the prepared pan, reserving the rest.
Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crust, pour the caramel mixture evenly over the chips. Crumble the remaining dough over the caramel layer and return to the oven.
Bake for an additional 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven.
Cool in refrigerator to set the caramel before cutting into bars.

The only thing I would suggest about changing is that it doesn’t necessarily need the 1 cup of semisweet choco chips on top of the caramel. They’re really sweet and cutting that part out may help it out a bit. For my brownies I did end up using all of the ingredients though.

Also, keep the caramel on low low heat after it’s all smooth. Or just re-heat it prior to pouring it onto the first layer. The final layer on top of the caramel does not need to cover all of it. Compared to the site I got the recipe from, I had it spread out more evenly, but you can leave more holes too! You can put these in the fridge if you want to help them stay better longer (?) and they’ll get harder, which made me sad at first, but if you leave it at room temp for a while, they will get back to super gooey. 🙂 Just keep them in an airtight container! If I liked milk, these would probably be really good…with milk.


Fishtail Top Bun + Birthday Love

Almost a month without a post. I’m not quite keeping up as well as I had hoped. Hum.

In any case, since I haven’t done a pinventure post in a while, thought I’d put this one up. I’ve actually used this hairstyle a couple times already. Found it (of course) through Pinterest, and love love the blog. They have fantastic hair tutorials and gift guides and giveaways and… 🙂 A Cup of Jo with direct access to their Braided Top Bun tutorial. This is one that works quite well and stays in place all day. Very cute and convenient for running around the hospital.

I thought, normal braid works well, why not try fishtail with it? So it’s exactly the same as the original except braided fishtail style. Worked out alright, fishtail braids don’t tend to stay as tight as a regular braid, but still looks pretty good. If nothing else, it looks nicely coiled.

On another note, had my first bday away from home. Was able to spend a nice weekend with friends at home, delicious dinner with authentic Chinese dishes which I have missed very much since moving. (Aside from the food my mom has packed me!) And a nice night out (with some drama, but that just adds spice to the memories)…although I did get very sleepy early on. Alas what waking up at 0430 does to you!

Then had a wonderful dinner on my actual birthday with my classmates! Got slammed on the floors and didn’t get out until later than anticipated, but I was so happy to walk into the restaurant and see everyone there!! A pretty big deal considering everyone’s schedule doesn’t always pan out. (Just missing our nights lovely girl) Homemade birthday cake decorated with real flowers. Delicious shared pizzas since I got out late and didn’t order. Made it quite perfect. 🙂

Not to mention a gift sent from across the country. Distance don’t mean a thing…just like that meme I posted before.

Despite being away for the first time, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start off another year of my life!

Pics to Canvas

So technically this pinventure was done before any residency activities began, but I’m going to blog about it anyways because I learned some interesting things along the way. Tips for the next time I do this and I do not want to forget!

I originally found this great pinterest DIY from A Beautiful Mess Blog where I also ended up pinning other genius ideas! I loved the way that her canvas had turned out, especially the imperfections making it look all “vintagey.”

Since I was about to move into a new place, I decided a couple canvas portraits would be a great idea to decorate! My friend Kathy concurred and we went out and purchased the materials.

  • canvas in size/shape of your choosing
  • gel medium from Liquitex – we chose just the regular one, heavy not super heavy and not matte
  • pictures printed to your chosen size – laser copy
  • brushes to apply gel medium

***When buying the canvas, make sure you buy one that is smaller than your print!***

We bought canvases before prints at FedEx/Kinkos so we guesstimated what we wanted the sizes to be. All turned out to be a bit too big. =/

When we went to print out our pictures, it turns out that the photo had to be sized correctly prior to them printing it out. Depending on the dimensions of your photo, especially if you had cropped it, it may not print out properly. For THEM to resize it, it would cost a ridiculous amount of money (around $8/resizing + printing costs). They also print only on 8 1/2 x 11″ or the elongated version. Otherwise prints have to be custom and would take much longer (the guy told us next day) and of course be more expensive. Therefore, the 8×10 canvas that was used in the original post seemed to be best.

***Size your photos properly especially if cropping! Check before you bring to get them printed out!***

That being said, we did our best and lugged everything back. As described, we applied the gel medium to the blank canvas giving it a generous coating. You can see our photos in the background which don’t extend to the edges of the paper!

After the gel is applied, we stuck the photos on face down onto the canvas. Be careful because once you stick it on, it is difficult to move around. If your photo is larger than the canvas it shouldn’t be TOO much of a problem unless yours is really crooked!

Then just leave it overnight to dry!

The next day we took a dishtowel and dipped it in water (generously!) and applied the water to the paper on the canvas.

When the paper is wet enough, you’ll see the image. Then just roll the wet paper off. You can actually peel it as well if you can. This part takes the longest time and you’ll probably have to go over it multiple times to make sure the paper is off. If it isn’t, it’ll dry with some white fluffy material which is additional paper. As you remove the paper, you will get the “vintage scratches.” We kept trying to figure out how the scratches were appearing…

***It seems like the scratches appear only in the direction that the brushes applied the gel medium and was dependent on how hard you stuck the photo on. Areas that were looser (more air trapping?) seemed to have more scratches. One photo that Kathy REALLY stuck on there had no scratches at all!***

Our final product wasn’t a perfect as the original I had seen and pinned, but they were pretty darn close and now after going through it once and figuring out some tips, I think I’ll have a much better second round!