Thought switching up the language here and there would be fun. For me. Probably not for whoever is reading this. Unless they can read both. 

Finally had a weekend off! After 12 days of work, we get 2 days off. Golden weekends they call it since we get BOTH Saturday AND Sunday off. It’s so rare it’s golden. People not in residency and working jobs are probably like what…but yes. The system here is tricky. They’ve made it so that you still are technically getting 1 day off a week. With Sunday as the first day and Saturday as the last. But you still work 12 days in a row and get the golden weekends. Get it? Tricky tricky. I only realized this as I was logging my work hours.

ZJL came over the weekend. Was supposed to take the Megabus. Which did not show up for almost 2 hrs before they informed people it was canceled. Bad Megabus. Made me sad because I thought my first weekend free was going to be alone…many buddies on call. T.T But then he said he would drive here on Saturday! Huzzah! Happy again ^_________^

Dinner with my bud Mere and her man and some URO folks. Mediterranean. Flaming. Cheese. Is. Amazing. I think I may always order it now.

Ate brunch today at what is supposed to be a wonderful place. Cafe Patachou. Being from the Chi, there are a myriad of brunch places all supposedly amazing. M. Henry is still probably my favorite. Anyways, wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. Loved the atmosphere, the service and the healthy fresh food. For the first time since moving here and going out to eat, I did not bring left overs!

Also got to make more of that breakfast cake. Which btw was dubbed delicious by my fellow residents. I added strawberries to it this time too. Hopefully still good.

ZJL so great. Made all the dinner today. Which is exactly what I needed. Something Asian, home cooked, and enough to have leftovers to feed me for the week. ❤ And he put everything in the dish washer afterwards. <33



Worth the read. PROMISE!

This is super long. But I encourage you to read it! It’s extremely interesting. And partially the reason that I deactivated my own Facebook account a couple months ago. And to be honest, I feel much happier and more connected now than I did before. I don’t know what people’s lives are like, they don’t know what mine is like, I end up calling/skyping more, chatting more, etc. More direct contact. And it’s helped divide those “friends” from FRIENDS. 

The Atlantic – Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?

It’s also not concentrated solely on Facebook. Talks about social media in general, human characteristics and how social media may amplify those. Love this quote. Because I saw it being displayed more and more before I quit FB.

“Facebook users have higher levels of total narcissism, exhibitionism, and leadership than Facebook nonusers,” the study’s authors wrote. “In fact, it could be argued that Facebook specifically gratifies the narcissistic individual’s need to engage in self-promoting and superficial behavior.”

Anyways, if you have some spare time, give it a whirl. Even just 5 minutes of reading. 

Love articles like this that make you think. Credit to blee for it. 🙂

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake + Tomato Alfredo Pasta

Today was the first day of grand rounds and clinic (for me) for the year. Which also means…break from the floors!! Early arrival home!! Which is so so necessary. Last week I went straight through (as did my R2) and I think we were both pretty exhausted. Unfortunately, my one patient on my list for clinic was a no show. 😦 No one wants the noob doctor to see them. But I got to see one of my R2’s return OBs it was just good to be able to see how things in clinic work since it’s on a completely different computer system than I’m used to on my current block.

Anyways, got home early. Really early. I got to do some real life things like cancel a credit card, pay bills, set up online payment, clean off my ridiculous table covered with rounding papers. And I also attempted to cook. 

There’s a grocery store about 0.2 miles away from me, so I just took a quick trip, picked up some ingredients I didn’t have and popped back home. Of course, being a terrible cook and baker, I didn’t really read the whole recipe. For either dish. And had to improvise here and there…I think things turned out okay. Haven’t really tried the breakfast cake yet. 

Anyways! These are recipes I found on Pinterest. I’m always looking for healthy quick easy things to eat (grab and go) for the morning and easily packable for lunch (non sandwich!). Found the buttermilk breakfast cake recipe from Alexandra’s Kitchen and it seemed pretty easy. Until I tried it. Okay to be honest, it’s not difficult. Here’s the recipe from her site.

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk

* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Now…my first mistake. Was not having any mixing bowls. So I was just using the largest bowls (ramen size maybe) I had to mix things. I also did not have a whisk or any sort of electric mixer. So I used…chopsticks. And then…I did not put the butter out early so it was not at room temp. To fix that, I somewhat chopped it up and mixed it in with the sugar, then put it outside on my mini balcony/porch where I attempted to have the 100 degree weather soften it up. Worked ok I think. My salt was also not kosher, and I used less lemon zest than they indicated. Maybe some more blueberries. In any case, I also did not have a square pan. Only 9×13. So I ghettofied it and made my own version with aluminum foil. 


Square enough!!! While that was baking, I started attempting the Tomato Alfredo Pasta, which I found from Kitchen Trial and Error through Pinterest as well. I LOVE LOVE pasta. Especially “stabbable” pasta – the only kind I like to eat with a fork. Apparently no one calls this kind of pasta “stabbable” and I just made it up. Her recipe is below.

creamy tomato pasta
alfredo sauce adapted from cook’s illustrated
30 minutes, serves 4

for the tomato sauce –
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (about 9 medium)
1 small onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
olive oil

for the alfredo sauce –
(if you want to lighten it up, halve the alfredo and keep the tomato sauce the same)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup half & half
2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 pound farfalle or other short cut pasta

  1. bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. start the tomato sauce. bring a large pot of water to boil. score the bottom of the tomatoes, blanch in the boiling water for about a minute, cool and peel. discard skins. roughly chop tomatoes and set aside.
  3. in a small saucepan, sweat the minced onion and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  4. add the tomatoes to the onion and garlic. if you want a thin sauce like mine, blend the sauce with an immersion blender. cook about 15 minutes until thickened.
  5. while the tomato sauce thickens, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.
  6. while the pasta and tomato sauce are cooking, make the alfredo sauce. melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. whisk in the flour until smooth and cook about 2 minutes, until brown.
  7. whisk in the milk, half & half, and garlic and season with salt & pepper. continuously whisking, bring to a simmer and cook about 2 minutes until thickened. fish out the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard.
  8. whisk in the parmesan. the sauce will be very thick, so add 1/3 cup of the hot pasta cooking water to the alfredo sauce to thin it out a bit. remove from heat.
  9. drain the pasta and add to the alfredo sauce.
  10. mix the basil into the tomato sauce and add the tomato sauce to the pasta. mix well.

I for one, did not follow it exactly. I used 3 large tomatoes and just store bought the alfredo. I did happen to make the tomato sauce from scratch though. And it turned out pretty well. I hate raw tomatoes, but I love tomatoes in sauces, salsas, chunky tomatoes in sauces, etc. If you’re going to use store bought alfredo sauce, I recommend just putting the whole jar in. I didn’t exactly measure things as accurately as in the original recipe, but I think without adding any salt to the tomato sauce, you’ll need the saltiness/richness from the alfredo to balance out the fresh tomatoes. 


Final product there…before I went back and added the rest of the alfredo. I think you can adjust it to your own liking though. I love pastas with lots of sauce for the most part…and I love cheese so that worked out well for me.

I actually baked the breakfast cake 10 minutes longer (as she had said!) and went by color more than the toothpick stick. Partly because I don’t have any toothpicks here. Still deficient in many normal household goods..


Not bad though eh? Now I have breakfast for the rest of the week! And lunch for a bit at least. 🙂 Baking is supposed to be pretty exact, but a little bit of improvising couldn’t have hurt that much right? I haven’t tasted it yet though…so who knows…

Hi, this is the OB intern…

They were not kidding. Hours are not amazing here. No sir. Last week woke up at 4am everyday, except Sat and Sun. Left the hospital and got home around 8pm. Don’t know how I did with so little sleep. Even after I got home I had to dictate op notes and discharges and write notes or procedures that I didn’t finish in house. 

I felt extremely extremely lost. It felt so surreal, going into rooms, being introduced or introducing myself as Dr. Sheng instead of just saying “Hi I’m Jessica.” (Reminded on Day 1 I have to stop doing that, I’m not a student anymore) People call my phone (we carry around in house phones) and I’m supposed to be the first person they ask about things like “The patient in room 6 is in pain. Can we give her some morphine IV?” Um…um…um…yes? “How much do you want to give her?” Um………….can I ask my 2nd year? That happens a lot. Or the calls from triage like “Hi, triage bed 5 had a nonreactive NST in clinic, she doesn’t look that great on the strip here, can you do a BPP?” Um…I have never done ultrasound before for real…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So lost.

But it’s getting better. I’m at a wonderful place with wonderful seniors all around. My second year is amazing. I ask a million questions and she gives me a million answers and more. The Gyn team which is around once in a while who don’t even really have to interact with me will answer my questions if I have some. The nurses are great, the CNMs are great. Even with the hours, love love love my job so far. On my feet, doing things, time passes pretty fast. Attendings are all so approachable too. Could not have asked for a better first rotation. Even though it’s long hours and kinda difficult. 

It’s a bit lonely, but thanks to the wonderful internet, I’m able to still talk to the people I love. Being away has really helped me put things in perspective. I have amazing friends who I know are there for me, that I can talk to about anything even if we don’t see each other everyday. People that know me well that will listen to anything. People that will drop what they’re doing and come if I need them. They aren’t necessarily the ones that I will hang out with often, but they know that that isn’t the most important part of a friendship. And I love them for that too.


Love. 🙂 

And my new family. My new res family. I am starting to really love them too.

Week 1 Orientation

Although we are all doctors, DOs and MDs, I honestly still feel like a student. Unqualified for the title that now lives after my name. We have our own nurses in clinic now? And medical students that follow us around and ask us questions? Really? Me? I am qualified to ask these people to help me do things and teach some of them? Are you sure? I don’t even feel like I know anything.

Starting residency feels like Day 1 of school all over again. You leave your groups of friends that you became close with and saw all the time for the past 4 years. All the faces in front of you are new and you will be spending the next 4 years with them. 

My first thoughts? I hope I don’t screw this up. Otherwise it will be a long, difficult four years. 

The lunch we had on the first day with the residents and some attendings was probably the most awkward. I still felt like I was on interviews. Making proper small talk with the other “applicants” aka my co-interns and talking to the other residents but not really wanting to say anything too crazy. I must have answered the question “So where are you living?” 10 times during that lunch. But this also might just be me. I’m super introverted before I really meet people or know them well. And I’m probably quite cautious as well. 

To be honest, I was more than a little bit concerned about moving to a new city on my own. True, I was very excited to be living alone for the first time and start the true “growing up” process, but I had seen that I was one of the two people that was going to be solo there. Out of 10 residents, 7 are married, 1 will live with her boyfriend and that leaves me and the other intern. Solo. So many things ran through my head after finding out. Odd one out. 17th wheel. Would there be anyone to hang out with? Lonely. 

To my surprise, it has been absolutely wonderful. This longer than normal orientation has allowed us all to bond and chat and share thoughts on a daily basis. We’ve even gone out together some with their SOs, some without and I honestly had a great time. 🙂

I love my class so far. Everyone is so diverse, so friendly, funny, warm. Of course we haven’t really had the chance to start getting on one another’s nerves, but so far, so good. I’m really happy to be where I am. And I feel lucky that I am a part of such a wonderful intern class. 

One more week of orientation for further bonding, before the real work begins! 

I hope to try to keep this blog as a mix of DIY/Pinterest quests and residency journal. Don’t know how interesting the residency part will be, but it’ll be a good log for me. 🙂

Oh. Also. I love my studio. I love living there! Being alone takes some getting used to, but I am growing to like it. It’s only 577 sq ft, but I honestly feel like that’s all I need. I’m really only in a couple places ever.

(1) the kitchen table/desk

(2) the bed

(3) bathroom

(4) closet

(5) kitchen for fooding.

I’m actually not really ever sitting in the chairs I bought in front of the coffee table and TV. So I bet even if I had a separate bedroom and living room, I wouldn’t utilize that very much. Plus, this allows me to have a lot less furniture. The only issue is storage. There isn’t as much space to put things like dressers, bookshelves, etc to store…stuff.

I do love it though. It’s quiet! Unlike my last apartment. Walls were way too thin, could hear everything. Either the insulation is excellent, or I just have awesome neighbors.

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!