Jan 1 2014

Day 1 of 2014

So the beginning of this year has been interesting to say the least. 1. The new beau asked me to be his girl… Of course I said yes :). 2. Met up with some cousins and my aunt. It was a blast. We laughed so hard. This year has so far gotten to a great start. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the 364 days will bring.

Apr 4 2013

Refresh

Hey guys, it’s been over a year since I last posted a decent post. I was just busy with life and enjoying being 26. So what has happened since I last posted? Well, take a seat and read on.

1. Angel broke up with me after dating for 5 months… by phone. I made him face me and we had a talk about why he was breaking up with me. I don’t hate him for his reasons even though I think they were dumb. I’m hoping one day we can just be friends.

2. I got accepted to USC’s MPH program in June. I never did celebrate with Angel but I did start my semester ready to do some learning. Can you believe it? I’m a Grad Student!

3. I’m still working full time as a Research Coordinator. I love my job so much. It never ceases to amaze me. I get to travel to different cities a few times a year and it’s all expenses paid.

4. I gained the weight back that I lost. I fell into a pretty deep depression after Angel broke up with me and I comforted myself with food. I gained about 25 lbs. But now I am back on track to lose weight.

5. I restarted Weight Watcher’s on April 1st. So far, it’s been pretty hard to avoid snacking. I am eating more fruits and veggies. I’m hoping to lose the weight I gained as well as an additional 10 lbs. It’s all about motivation.

6. I reconnected with an old friend and it’s been the best experience. Exactly what I needed. Brigitte and I have known each other since we were about 8 years old. We worked together for a few months and now she is doing physical therapy with kids. I think that’s pretty noble.

7. I am still friends with Angel’s sister, Paola. Sure, I may not agree on some decisions she has made but I am there to support her in whatever her next adventure may be. She is getting married in June and I can’t wait to see her and her daughter. The last time I saw them (along with the rest of Angel’s family) was back in November. It was awkward with Angel and I but I still get along fine with his family, especially his mom. She will always be a friend.

8. I am getting back into my old hobbies. I missed the Q*bee so much that I am definitely happy to start back up again.

9. Princess had a pretty rough January/February. She and I learned a great lesson: She needs to learn how to chew and I learned not to give her any ribs no matter how much she begs. She almost died on me and it was the scariest thing in my life. I spent every single penny I had to make her better. Now she is back to her old self.

10. I have been struggling with a pain on my right ankle. I’m not sure what it is exactly but the Orthopedist believes it may be insertional achilles tendonitis. It’s not fun at all. My foot is in constant pain. I’ve been going to physical therapy for about 2 months and although my ankle is getting stronger, it’s still in pain. I hope that we can finally tackle this problem and make my foot pain go away.

Well, that’s about it for now. If I remember anything that I forgot about the past year I will definitely update you.

Jul 2 2012

Sponsored: Bellacures Review

Hi there! I’m Andie from three-am.org and here is a little review on a place called Bellacures.

My friend Jenny from geekyposh.com gave me the opportunity to write a review on her blog (hello blog readers!) for Bellacures.

Bellacures is a nail salon, with so many different types of services for your hands and your toes. I decided to try the regular manicure and the Monthly Special Manicure. The great thing about this salon is that they send you a confirmation for your appointment. I know that I’m the type of person to forget if I don’t write my appointments down so this is a good reminder.

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My confirmation

Once the day arrived for my appointment, I was excited. My nails definitely needed some tender loving care as you can see from the pictures below.
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They did so many things to my feet, that by the end, they were super tingly in a good way. The Monthly special is called Spicy Summer Pedi. My feet had a dip in some cayenne pepper bath soak, exfoliated with a double mint and cayenne pepper sea salt scrub, covered in a minty clay masque, a dip in some hot wax, and a ten minute massage with some peppermint lotion.

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Minty Clay Masque

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10 minute massage :)

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The finished product!

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and the matching nails to boot

So my thoughts after this experience:

Cleanliness
They autoclave their tools and the tubs are really clean. The emory boards were one use only which is a definite plus.

Price
The prices were a bit high for my budget but if you want to splurge on your nails, definitely go for it.
Parking
There is a parking lot and metered parking around this place. Just make sure to arrive a bit early to find a spot. It costs about $1 per hour at the particular location. There are other locations around L.A. that offer free parking. It just depends on which one you go to.
Service
The service was amazing. Ken and Rebecca were definitely professional and caring for my nails. The nail polish hasn’t chipped at all and it looks so well. My boss thought that I had on gel on my nails but it is just regular nail polish. It’s still very shiny and looks fresh. Ken wasn’t sure what kind of pedicure I was there for so I docked a point for that. Once I cleared it up, it was a good experience.

Location
The location was close to my house which made it so much easier when I had to drive home. I think I will definitely come back when I need my next pedicure. There are shops and other venues around the area so you can do a little shopping around there and get your nails done. This locations was in a part of Los Angeles that I had never had the chance to explore. I am glad I was able to find the location easily.

Would I recommend this place to my friends? Yes, if they want to go in and get special treatment on your hands and feet.

 

I give this place 4 out of 5 hearts.

Jan 18 2012

It’s been a while

It’s been more than six months since the last time I blogged. Wow, so much has happened. Well first, I turned 26. It’s interesting being this age. Definitely feeling older. Second, I lost 20 lbs on weight watchers. I was surprised how fast the program worked. Third, I’m applying to Grad school. I hope to get into the Masters in Public Health program.

Well, that’s my life right now.

We’ll see what else is new.

Jun 30 2011

Brownie Fail

They didn’t taste as great as they looked and they felt a little dry to me… Next time, I’ll use real sugar and not Splenda.

Jun 24 2011

Headaches

I’ve been getting tons of headaches for the past three months. It’s just so frustrating getting them so often. So my doctor followed up with me, I did a headache diary for two weeks, then she told me to come back in a month. I came back to a different doctor and she prescribed me some hardcore pain killers and Amitriptyline, an antidepressant. She is using it off-label because something in the med helps with headaches. I am really hoping that it works. I need relief from these headaches. Maybe even the antidepressants will help with my mood. I have been feeling down a lot lately so maybe this is my cure. Kill the headaches and kill the sad moods… Two birds with one stone. So here’s hoping.

May 26 2011

Something Unexpected

Theme: Something unexpected you experienced recently

I experienced something really unexpected last week. I couldn’t talk about it until now so here it is:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/boosting-good-cholesterol-useless-study-finds/2011/05/25/AGXnK0BH_story.html

Boosting ‘good’ cholesterol fails to prevent heart attacks in study

By Rob Stein, Thursday, May 26, 8:02 AM

Boosting “good” HDL cholesterol did not protect against heart attacks and strokes in an eagerly awaited study that was abruptly stopped when the surprising outcome became clear, officials said Thursday.

The federally funded study of more than 3,400 U.S. adults at high risk for heart attacks and strokes was halted 18 months early after researchers realized that the HDL-boosting drug niacin failed to cut the risk — as was hoped and suggested by many earlier, smaller studies, officials said. In fact, there was a hint that niacin might increase the risk for one type of stroke.

The findings are the latest blow to what had been one of the most promising hopes for reducing the toll from cardiovascular disease, which kills about 800,000 Americans each year, making it the leading cause of death in the United States.

“This sends us a bit back to the drawing board,” said Susan B. Shurin, acting director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which funded the $52.7 million study.

Other experts agreed.

“This is surprising, given some of the preliminary data,” said Ralph Sacco, president of the American Heart Association. “We are always looking for new, more effective ways to reduce cardiovascular risks. It’s disappointing.”

The researchers emphasized, however, that they were not ready to abandon the approach. Raising good cholesterol with another drug might be beneficial or higher levels might help other types of patients, such as those who are less stable than those in the study, they said.

“We don’t know if the same outcome would have occurred in a different population or with a different drug,” said Jeffrey Probstfield, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Washington in Seattle who helped lead the study.

The risk for heart attacks and strokes can be reduced by cutting “bad” LDL cholesterol, which can clog arteries. Researchers hoped that a new generation of drugs that boost HDL cholesterol, which is thought to clear LDL, would provide an important new tool. A large body of research had found that people with low HDL levels were more likely to have heart attacks and strokes.

Doubts about the HDL-boosting hypothesis began to emerge, however, when the HDL-raising drug fenofibrate failed in 2005 to cut heart attacks and strokes among diabetics. Another study the next year found that a different HDL-raising drug, torcetrapib, increased the risk. But researchers held out hope that niacin might be beneficial.

To put that strategy to the first rigorous test, researchers launched the AIM-HIGH study involving 3,414 people with a history of heart disease. All were taking the statin Zocor to keep their LDL levels low but remained at high risk because they had low HDL and high triglycerides.

The subjects took either a high-dose, extended-release prescription version of niacin known as Niaspan or a placebo. Some also took another cholesterol-lowering drug called Zetia. HDL levels rose and triglycerides dropped as expected among those taking niacin, which is also known as vitamin B3. But an independent panel of experts monitoring the experiment terminated it April 25, after just an average of 32 months of follow-up, when it concluded that those taking niacin were no less likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

“The lack of effect on cardiovascular events is unexpected and a striking contrast to the results of previous trials and observational studies,” Probstfield said.

Moreover, the analysis detected a small increase in “ischemic” strokes among participants taking niacin. Such strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is obstructed. There were 28 strokes among those taking niacin, compared with 12 among those taking a placebo.

It remains unclear whether the high stroke rate was a fluke or related to the drug, the researchers said. Nine of the strokes that occurred among those taking niacin occurred at least two months and up to four years after they stopped taking the drug.

Study participants were immediately informed about the findings so they could schedule a doctor’s examination within the next three months. They will continue to be followed for at least a year.

In a statement, Abbott Laboratories, which makes Niaspan, said it would be premature to conclude that the findings apply to all patients.

“The relevance of these results to patients outside the study population is currently unknown and it would be premature to extrapolate these results to a broader patient population at this time,” the company said.

In a statement posted on its Web site, the Food and Drug Administration said it was not recommending any changes in niacin use yet based on the study, but would analyze the data when it becomes available.

This means that a study I have been working on for almost 2 years was bust. The medication had no effect with helping to prevent coronary events. It actually increased the incidence of strokes. I still can’t believe that my baby will be done in about 18 months. Well, I guess now we learned that Niaspan was not beneficial to this specific group of patients. It might have to do with the fact that the population we had was too well controlled on their medication. The next couple of months are now gonna be intense.

May 18 2011

Handwriting

The Questions:

1. What’s your name/your blogger name?
2. What’s your blog’s name/URL?
3. Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
4. Favorite quote?
5. Your Favorite song?
6. Your favorite band/singers?
7. Anything else you want to say?

 

And in case you can’t read it:

Handwriting

1. What is your name / your blogger name? A: Andie! =)

2. What’s your blog’s name / url?

A: well, I have 2. Andiepandie. net and three-am. org (under construction)

3. Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”

A: Ok here goes! The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog (princess… ahem) lol

4. Favorite quote?

A: “I’m in yo ass!” (inside joke)

5. Your favorite song?

A: At the moment it’s Pumped up Kicks by Foster the People

6. Your favorite band / singers?

A: Sara Bareilles

7. Anything else you want to say?

A: HOLA! BONJOUR! Nihao! Oh! and BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ!

 

 

May 18 2011

Practice

Theme: Write about something you need to practice more, be it a skill, a life lesson, however you want to interpret it.

Hmm… I think I need to practice the guitar more. I tried to learn about a year and a half ago from my uncle, but after that, I haven’t even touched the thing. I think if I start with a new guitar (the one I have used to belong to my best friend’s ex-husband) I will have more motivation to actually touch it. I want to be able to at least play a few songs. My only talent right now is singing so if I were to add guitar to the mix I think it would be an awesome outlet to everything.

The guitar has always fascinated me. I have always dreamed of being able to play the guitar and sing along to it. One day I will hopefully start the learning process again. I think I just need someone (or myself) to tell me to practice so I will become good. I think I also need a teacher willing to be patient with me.

May 14 2011

Challenge

For this week’s Q*bee challenge, we are supposed to answer the following question:

What’s the biggest challenge you’re currently facing?

It got me to thinking. I believe the biggest challenge I’m facing right now is studying for the GRE’s. I signed up for the test a few months ago so that I could finally take it and apply to graduate school. I still haven’t opened my study books. I just don’t have the motivation to do it. I think that I just need to find a balance, to get someone to push me to start studying. I really need to do well on this exam so that I can apply for the global health program that they offer at the college I work at. I need to take advantage and have them pay for part of my education while I work.

I hope that by overcoming this challenge I will get further in my educational goals.