lifetoast

Month: February, 2016

mini party menu

The clinical (aka LAST PORTION!!!!!) of boards is this Friday and I am counting down to CELEBRATION!! It’s party brainstorming time, yall. I am especially a fan of parties with a food theme. If you know me, food is love, friends. I usually do potluck-style parties and my friends always come through with some great bites! My favorite one in my apartment last year was my mini party.

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Doesn’t the spread look amazing!? Here’s the menu:

All you need is

Some deets on the above:

    • caprese salad skewers// grape tomatoes, halved + mozzarella balls + fresh basil, torn+ balsamic glaze
    • roasted fingerling potatoes with avocado aioli// a riff off these smashed potatoes
    • bite-sized corn dogs//using this recipe
    • prosciutto wrapped asparagus//brought by a friend; check out this recipe for inspiration
    • chicken & waffles//brought by a friend; I’m thinking Tyson chicken fingers + Eggo mini waffles
    • grilled cheese//a regular grilled cheese cut into eighths (soldiers would be cute too!)
    • pizzas//brought by a friend and made using tortillas cut with a cookie cutter + tomato sauce + mini pepperonis + shredded mozzarella
    • meatballs//brought by a friend; check out this recipe for inspiration
    • apple pies//brought by a friend who made the pies in muffin tins
    • caramel apples//use a melon ball scooper to make mini apple balls and dip in caramel
    • for the remaining desserts// use a mini cupcake tin!
To jazz up this party EVEN MORE, I wish I had gotten shot glasses for plating and travel-sized liquor bottles. Anyway I hope this inspires your own mini party and, if it does, please let me know!  I would love to see what your beautiful results are!

iceland travel guide

TRAVEL

In a week, it’ll be MARCH. For those of us lucky enough to have a spring break, it’s way past due for you to start planning your vacation! For most spring breakers, they head south to the balmy weather of tropical islands. My family opts instead to head from overcast London to the wind-biting wild land Beyond the Wall. Yes, Iceland.

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When we last left off, my family was stranded in the Heathrow Airport due to delays in Iceland. We arrived in Iceland bleary-eyed. Still, there was a drive to Hotel Ranga, located in Hella. We had chosen Hotel Ranga in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights. We were on the tail end of the season but Hotel Ranga would have given us the best shot to see them. Bonus: the hotel has staff keep watch for the lights and buzz anyone who is interested.

Iceland 13 of 13

AND they have an awesome breakfast buffet.

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Drank a shot of cod liver oil every morning! It was so smooth!

Day 1.

Iceland 1 of 13

Thingvellir National Park// for Almannagja, a canyon formed between two tectonic plates!

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Geysir// for the first geyser described in a printed source

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Gullfoss//for a gorgeous waterfall

Dinner at Hotel Ranga//
We had dinner at Hotel Ranga both nights. Honestly, there isn’t much food in the area. The overall food was okay.
Must try: smoked puffin, reindeer carpaccio

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Iceland 8 of 13

Things to do: Take pictures with Icelandic horses by the road!

Other places to consider visiting:

Day 2.

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Black Sand Beach// in Vik

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Jokulsarlon aka Glacier Lagoon// for a large glacial lake

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Skaftafell National Park// for a gorgeous waterfall (+ hiking)

Day 3.

We head back to Reykjavik! On the way we stop by Alafloss to check out wool sweaters. We were all dying for an adorable Nordic sweater but reality check: wool is SO itchy. Yikes.

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Pylsur// for a hot dog with everything (onions + ketchup + mustard + mayo + gravy)

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Rex Hostel// One of the best places we ate and drank! We whetted our appetite with bread and then polished off our orders: burger, lamb, and smorrebrod. Everything was delicious. I loved our apartment in Reykjavik but this hostel seemed like it would have been a nice choice!

We checked out The Sun Voyager before heading to Kringan (for shopping) and Hagkaup (for groceries).

Other activities to consider:

  • Visit Laugardalur Pool for swimming (kid-friendly!).
  • Check out geothermal baking.

Day 4.

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Reykjavik Roasters// for coffee

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Hallgrimskirkja// go up the tower for a great view of Reykjavik

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Einar Jonsson Museum// for a sculptural museum which was fascinating and my favorite in Iceland

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Sundhollin// for a local swimming pool

3 Frakkar// for dinner

Day 5.

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Kaloportid Flea Market// The flea market wasn’t quite what I was expecting.. I wouldn’t particularly put it on your things to do list.

National Museum of Iceland// for history about Iceland

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Sjavargrillid// for dinner

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Icelandic Horse Tour// for a 2.5 hour horse riding; These horses are adorable and the guides were very sweet and animated. It was also great because a shuttle came and picked us up from our AirBnB so we got a chance to nap!

Day 6.

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Blue Lagoon// NOTE: buy your tickets ahead of time!!! This was our last stop before leaving for home BUT we didn’t buy our tickets ahead of time and the place was BOOKED. Learn from our mistakes.

I hope you enjoyed the guide! Visiting Iceland was such an unique experience. I wished we got the chance to do ice walking but it was a bit risky with a squirmy toddler. My biggest advice is to pack well. You will need multiple layers. I usually wore a tank, long sleeve, sweater and then a jacket over it. For bottoms, I would do fur-lined leggings and jeans over it. I would highly recommend a waterproof jacket.  I would love the opportunity to visit again in warmer weather. It is a gorgeous place.

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saturday surf

SATURDAYSURF

I just need parmesan cheese to make my own caesar salad dressing.

Elderly prostitutes in South Korea. It’s a sad story of neglect and loneliness.

These poems for married people crack me up.

Found a way to drink my soju!

Analysing Beyonce’s new song “Formation.”

Why fruits and vegetables taste better in Europe. Priorities, people.

On my freezer to-make list: chocolate chip cookies.

My mom and I had a discussion before about prepping. According to her, it’s time to hoard my kim chi and fermented bean curd.

How much should I sacrifice to make a relationship work? I have a not-so-secret love for advice columns.

David Tran was just making a humble hot sauce named Sriracha.. The important lesson is to make sure you can trademark your product so others can’t taint it.

job questions to ask as a dental school grad

I know I d do it all again even if it waswrong

Throughout dental school, we have a number of “Lunch and Learns” where people provide a free lunch in exchange for an opportunity to talk to future dentists. The food, even if it’s pizza again, is a huge draw for poor dental school students. (It’s also an hour where you can day dream about that long-awaited graduation day.) Once you hit third year the recruitment evolves into happy hours and fancy dinners. We aren’t being wined and dined every night but it’s always nice when we are. These events are primarily to discuss one of four things: dental products, financial planning, insurance and JOBS.

In order to consider the first three things, we need that last one the most.

It’s overwhelming because everything sounds great, especially when there is an open bar. To guide you, here is a list of questions to consider while looking for that first job. I have included questions for all types of clinic models from practices with one owner/dentist to dental service organizations (DSOs)/“corporate dentistry”. As of last week, I matched into a general practice residency so I can put off the stress of job hunting for another year; however, I have been to a number of these events to prepare nonetheless. Good luck in your search! Let me know of any other questions you would add to this list!

ABOUT THE CLINIC

  • How do you advertise? Do you actively market or do you depend on referrals/word of mouth?
  • Who supplies the patients? Am I required to build my own patient pool or will patients be supplied to me?
  • Tell me about your patient base.
  • What is the average number of patients I would see in a day?
  • What are the most common types of treatment?
  • How often do you refer cases out?
  • Do you have specific specialists you refer to?
  • How many operatories are in the office? How many are hygiene chairs?
  • What type of equipment do you use in the office?
  • How would you describe the clinic’s culture?
  • What personalities flourish here?
  • What is the staff compose of currently (i.e., how many receptionists/hygienists?)
  • Do you have an office manager?
  • Who manages billing?
  • What is the staff turnover?
  • How is conflict managed in the office?
  • Who has left in the last five years and why?
  • Where do you see the clinic in 5 to 10 years?
  • What goals do you have for the practice?

ABOUT THE LEAD DENTIST

  • How long have you owned this practice?/How long have you worked here?
  • What is your treatment philosophy? Do you expect your associate to have the same philosophy?

ABOUT THE POSITION

  • What is the average age of dentists who work here?
  • What would be expected of me as an employee?
  • What are you looking for? Ann associate dentist, a partner, a dentist who will buy the practice?
  • How do you define your ideal job candidate?
  • Are you expecting a new associate to bring in anything in particular to the practice?
  • Will I have any administrative responsibilities?
  • What are the greatest challenges of this position?

ABOUT YOUR AUTONOMY

  • Will I have to work under another doctor’s treatment plan? If so, when can I start making my own treatment plans?
  • Would I be limited to certain types of cases (i.e. only doing operative)?
  • Who makes the decision in regards to the type of materials and  brands of materials used in the office?
  • Who decides what lab we use?
  • Are there opportunities for growth or advancement within the practice (example: If I work under a lead dentist, what is the progression rate for an associate dentist to become a lead dentist?)
  • What is the typical career path for this position?

ABOUT CONTINUING EDUCATION

  • Is continuing education offered?
  • If there is, what is offered?
  • Is there a contingency for the continuing education? For example, do I need to sign a contract for number of years prior to taking courses?
  • Can I decide what I would like to take?
  • If there is no continuing education offered, do you provide an amount for me to use for continuing education?

ABOUT THE SALARY

  • What is the average salary of dentists who work here?
  • What is the salary? Is it a base salary or is it based on a percentage of production or collections? Average for percentage is 30-35%. 
  • Is there a draw? A draw is an advance against estimated future earnings. 
  • Is there a guaranteed salary for the first few months of employment?
  • Who takes care of lab costs?
  • Is there a signing bonus? Are there any other bonuses based on the clinic’s profits?

ABOUT THE BENEFITS

  • How much paid time off is there?
  • How many vacation days are there?
  • What about leave (i.e. emergency, maternal, etc.)?
  • Are there medical benefits? What does it include? (Think medical, dental and vision.)
  • What about insurance? (Think malpractice, disability and life.)
  • Do you provide a 401-K or other investment opportunities?
  • Is there a buy-in option?
  • Are business expenses covered? (i.e. licensing, travel, moving expenses, etc.)

TO ASK EMPLOYEES

  • Why do you like working here?
  • What frustrates you the most about the people you work for?

massachusetts travel guide

1

Boston, famous for its rich history, distinctive accent and seafood, is also the current home of my nearest and dearest. As the ever-doting aunt, I visit about every few months SO below are a few of my favorite things to do/eat in Massachusetts.

Background: My family lives in Brookline so we mainly stay there. However, we do like to explore on the weekends!

Things To Do

  • Walk the Freedom Trail
  • Walk along the Charles River
  • Check out the Waterfront
  • Visit Harvard Yard
  • Go to the New England Aquarium
  • Enjoy a baseball game at Fenway Park
  • Visit a nearby beach, like Crane Beach (Ipswich, MA)

Eat at

  • Neptune Oysters// for seafood
  • Flour Bakery// for delicious pastries
  • Mike’s Pastry// for HUGE desserts
  • Taiwan Cafe (Chinatown)// for stinky tofu + other yummy Taiwanese food

IN Brookline, MA (From Boston- 0.5 hours)

  • 4A Coffee// for a damn good latte
  • Kupel’s Bakery// for bagels (and the Miami lox!)
  • Tatte// for huge, flaky croissants
  • J.P. Licks// for ice cream
  • Super 88 Market// for Asian food (go to Lollicup for bubble tea  + the place next door for banh mi)
  • FuGaKyu// for Korean-style BBQ
  • Brookline Booksmith// for new + used books

IN Cape Cod, MA (From Boston- 1.5 hours)

Cape Cod 1 of 4

Cape Cod 2 of 4

  • Provincetown, MA (From Boston- 2.5 hours)
    Note: We took Route 6A on the way there which is supposed to be scenic but was really more woodsy than anything else. I would recommend just taking Route 6.

    • Kohi Coffee Company// for Blue Bottle Coffee
    • Pop+Dutch// for sandwiches
    • Race Point Beach// for seal and whale watching
    • Other places to consider visiting: Herring CoveCape Cod 4 of 4
  • Wellfleet, MA
    • Beachcomber// for a college vibe
      Note: there is a $20 fee for parking in the lot

saturday surf

Saturday

I’m daydreaming about my trip last year to Austin with the girls. A little heat on my face sounds fabulous. Until then, I invite you to curl up with a cup of coffee and surf the Web with me!

Sunday roast sounds excellent. I’ve never made Yorkshire pudding so this article about the method to the madness is perfection.

I need to go here for pizza. Especially since it’s local! It’s been gaining a lot of attention.

Being pregnant with your wife– I imagine it’s hard enough dealing with a pregnant spouse but being pregnant at the same time…eye-opening.

I’m curious to try the exercise routine from THE class of exercise classes. And, yes, it’s literally called The Class.

Modern Love, one of my favorite NYT columns, now has a podcast!

These tips on how to freeze everything is AMAZING. Especially necessary since I recently went crazy at Costco.

I started bullet journaling during my second year of dental school and have done it on and off. I’m back on and using this notebook with this pen. I don’t love flipping up with the Rhodia notebook but I do love the grid paper. (This will be my next notebook.) I love the Pilot G2 0.38 mm pen. Sometimes the ink snags on finer paper because the tip is teeny tiny but I absolutely love how smoothly it writes.

I’ve been seeing harissa popping up everywhere and am excited to try it in my own cooking.

And, finally, an app for girls to make friends. Can’t lie, I’m intrigued.

Pictured above is the view from Mount Bonnell in Austin, Texas.