Archive for the ‘potatoes’ Category

Before I get into the latest and greatest from the hippie kitchen, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time to offer their thoughts on yesterday’s post.  The discussion certainly got more heated than I anticipated (and some comments were a bit harsh), but it was great to read how others felt about sharing your views with your family/friends.  Being brave enough to stand up for your beliefs while not pressuring others to feel guilty about having differing opinions is definitely a fine line…and it seems that many feel there’s a time and place for being outspoken (as well as a time and place for simply shutting your lid).  I’m very grateful for everyone who commented in a thoughtful and respectful way.  I tried to respond to as many of the comments as I could.

In the meantime, however, I was at the hospital doing my thang.  As a result, I have compiled quite a collection of work eats on my computer…


Breakfast #1 – granola by Big Sky Bread (an Alabama based company with cute home-made wholesome products).  It’s actually a granola plank not granola since it’s one big crispy crunchy granola block.  They also make bread products (as you’d guess from the company name), all of which feature their stone ground whole wheat flour that they make in the bakery every morning.


So how did I discover this adorable company?  Well, Big Sky Bread was at Expo West and they were kind enough to hook me up with this sample.  For some reason I have been saving it and saving it, waiting for the perfect time to try it.  Well, I’m not sure when I thought that time would be, but the other day I spotted it in the pantry and it was exactly what I wanted at that exact moment.  So I guess that makes it the perfect time.


You can (kinda) see the nutritional stats above.  At two servings a package it rounds out to 400 kcals a pop.  The granola planks are basically a lightly sweetened oatmeal base with whole almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.  It was crispy and crunchy like granola, not chewy like a granola bar so I had to break it into bite sized pieces in the bag so the crumbs wouldn’t get all over me (thus enabling me to sprinkle them atop yogurt later).  The flavor reminded me EXACTLY of these bars I used to get at the Union Square WF in NYC.  I haven’t seen them since moving to CA and now I realize how much I miss them.  I think it’s the sesame and pumpkin seeds that makes the taste so unique.


Breakfast #2 – oats with cinnamon, dried cherries, and Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter

Dried cherries are a really good way to bring a new twist to an old simple morning routine.


Lunch part I – Boca vegan burger (lazy much?) and apple x2, orange x1, Bakery on Main Cinnamon Apple Granola Bar

Bakery on Main is another Expo West discovery.  They make both granola and granola bars and I got a big ‘ol shipment of their goodies to try out.  🙂  The granola bar kinda reminded me of those Nutri-Grain bars (by Kellogg’s).  The texture and flavor seem nearly identical (I think?), but the ingredients are way better in terms of being whole foods without preservatives or additives.

[NO GMOs • NO Dairy • NO Casein • NO Wheat • NO Trans Fat • NO Cholesterol]

I liked the flavor, but the bar was really small and therefore didn’t have as much staying power as I typically like in my on-the-go options.  It did taste just like a bite of the top of an apple pie, though.  So there’s definitely a yummy factor going on.  As an FYI, the soft & chewy bars are gluten free (made with certified gluten free oats, amaranth and quinoa).  They also have flax and chia seeds (hello healthy omegas!).


Lunch II – leftover purple potato salad with peas for extra green


All together now!

Night shift doesn’t require quite as large of a line up.


I’ve been craving lots and lots of fruit at night.  Apples and cuties and mangoes, oh my!


I know for a fact I looked like a primitive cave(wo)man as I ate this.  I had juice dripping from my chin to my elbows.  Not attractive.  Maybe I’ll cut it up first next time, huh?  😉


This salad was a twist on one of my favorite recipes of my mom’s.  Growing up she made a bomb a$$ poppyseed salad with avocado, butter lettuce and cantaloupe.  It is seriously fantastic.  Unfortunately, my dairy-free life now makes the dressing she used a no-go.


Enter Follow Your Heart!  They make oil-free salad dressings that are vegan and this Citrus Poppy Seed flavor is a new one!  However, unlike the other oil-free salad dressing on the market, this one doesn’t compensate for the fat with excessive amounts of sugar.  Have you ever noticed that?  So many fat-free dressings are jam packed with other sh!t to make your taste buds forget that you are missing out on the oil.  Not this one.  It’s got the same pure and wholesome ingredients that you’d find in any home-made dressing, minus the oil.


Vegan.  Gluten free.  Dairy free.


Strawberry and Avocado Poppy Seed salad

  • spinach
  • clover sprouts
  • carrots
  • strawberries
  • avocado
  • dried cherries
  • Follow Your Heart Citrus Poppy Seed salad dressing

I have to be honest, normally I don’t use salad dressings, aside from basics like extra virgin olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar (or Bragg’s liquid aminos).  But ever since I received Follow Your Heart’s line of vegan dressings, I’ve been experimenting more and more.   And loving them more and more.


This salad is a winner.

And when I got home from a loooong 12 hours, I had overnight oats waiting for me in the fridge.


Oats, frozen blueberries and strawberries, dried cherries, coconut peanut butter.


Maybe it’s the change in the weather, or maybe it’s just a random phase, but I’m really into chilled oats lately.  After I cook them, I put them in the freezer and then eat them so they are thick like cookie dough.  Thick thickity thick.


Night shift numero dos was less fruity, more hummus-y.  There was still a big bad salad (because me and fiber are more of a dynamic duo than Gary and Ace).


Seitan Spinach salad

  • spinach
  • clover sprouts
  • carrots
  • bell peppers
  • log seitan (this version with bell peppers)
  • Bragg’s liquid aminos

This salad was great, but the seitan was definitely the star of the show.


Lots of people have been making my log seitan – a true testament to how simple and delicious it really is.  I swear, you’ll be blown away by it, and then you’ll make it again and again and again (just like me!).  C’mon, what are you waiting for?  Give it a shot!


Pita pieces and Haig’s roasted red pepper hummus rounded out the meal, along with the (lone) apple and a lot lot lot of candied ginger.


Once again I had chilled oats waiting for me when I got home…with blueberries dried cherries and TJ’s peanut flour all mixed in.


Oh, did I forget to mention my latest stock pile?  Yeahhhhhh.  Once I found out peanut flour was getting the axe from Trader Joe’s I quickly jumped into action (aka called my mom and begged her to hit up the local TJ’s before we came upon hard times).  Hoarding mode much?  She did me proud.  🙂 I better make these last!

And as if things weren’t good enough already, I received another package in the mail.  My pantry is officially stocked!


Are you a packrat?  Hoarder?  Pantry supply collector? 


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To be honest, I have never liked potato salad.  It looks really gross.  That’s probably due to the mayo, which I also never liked.  White creamy condiments give me the heebie jeebies.  Potato salad is kinda the quintessential picnic food though, right?  I can recall many outdoor get-togethers and summer BBQs that had potato salad as a side dish (usually a fairly untouched dish).  It seems so un-American to dislike it.  But I guess I feel similarly about many other “classic American” foods, too…burgers and fries?  I’ll pass.  Why does the US have such crappy food to define our national eating habits?  I wish hummus was a classic American dish.  Maybe I’m meant to live in the Mediterranean?  Anyway, I’m getting off topic here, reign it in Elise!

Back to potato salad.


To cut to the chase, I don’t know what provoked my decision to replicate the OG dish with a vegan version since I don’t even like the real deal, but regardless, that’s where this post is headed.


I like things that are colorful, so the purple fingerlings (also known as Peruvian fingerlings) were a nice twist, offering pretty shades of color to make it a bit more pleasing to the eye.


This recipe is stupid simple (maybe that’s why potato salad is such a popular item?).


I chopped the taters (so pretty!) and put them in a glass bowl and microwaved them until they were cooked.  I added some almond milk for the last minute so they wouldn’t get overly dried out.  If you aren’t impatient or lazy (like I am) them you could easily steam them, thus preserving the moisture of them.


The ingredients to make vegan potato salad are below…


Purple potato salad (this recipe is for one because Kyle detests all things with dill)

  • 7-10 fingerling potatoes, cooked and chopped
  • 2 T almond milk (you could use any non-dairy milk, but I find almond milk has a nice salty aspect to it that works well in this recipe)
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar (this makes a kind-of vegan buttermilk when combined with the almond milk)
  • 1 T vegan mayo
  • 1 tsp dijon mayo (spiciness to taste)
  • 1 T honey mustard
  • nutritional yeast to taste (I used < 1 T)
  • garlic salt to taste
  • shake of dill (can easily be omitted if you don’t like dill – I hardly used any because I’m not a big fan)

Once everything is mixed together, Annie get your gun(s) because those biceps are gonna be getting a workout.  I mashed and mashed and mashed some more, until I had a nice semi-lumpy consistency.


Now this is a potato salad I can get on board with!

I had some for dinner and the rest got tupp-ed up so it was all ready for school lunches.


Now that I shared the recipe I promised a while ago, I’ll carry on with this post.

Last I left off, I shared my not so pleasant night shift…after which I came home, showered, and immediately fell asleep.  I woke up around noon and walked out to the living room right as Kyle was walking in the door!


Little Miss Hawaiian Tropic was just returning from la playa, and decided to bring me some farmer’s market goodies.



Isn’t my husband a peach?  [And how sweet am I to pay him back by calling him names and making dishes I know he hates? – I believe that’s what they call #wifefail]

So yeah.  I knew whatever was on the menu for breakfast lunch was going to involve strawberries for sure.


Enter Love Grown Foods.



The Cocoa Goodness Oat Clusters & Love were so fantastic, this time I decided to try the Simply Oats flavor.


Same pure, clean, whole food ingredients.




I’ll take a bowl of yummy please and hold the processed crap.


That’s what I’m talking about.

The Simply Oats flavor reminds me of my quinoa granola recipe a bit because of the sunflower seeds.  They have a pretty prominent role in the otherwise simple ingredient list, which means they stand out to my taste buds.  Maybe too much?  I like sunflower seeds, but I prefer them in a more subtle role.  This flavor was ok at first bite, but then grew on me a bit…as opposed to the Cocoa Goodness flavor which I loved from the second it touched my lips.


I still had 3 bowls, though, so interpret that how you will…


I will now completely contradict what I just said, and show you my next meal, in which sunflower seeds were essentially the star of the show.  I’m literally laughing at myself right now because of how ridiculous my likes and dislikes seem to align in this post.


Toasted Udi’s bagel with Sunbutter Natural sunflower seed spread and raspberry fruit spread.


Delish!  Sunflower seeds may not be my favorite in seed form, but in butter form are outstanding.  I actually think it trumps almond and peanut butters. Now that’s a bold statement!  [I’ll probably be singing a different tune tomorrow given my recent pattern of contradictory statements]

So what can we conclude from this?  Making food generalizations seems to be pointless in my case.  Hopefully I’m not quite as bad as Kelly Bensimon (who swears she doesn’t eat any processed food…as she is shoveling gummy bears into her mouth), but I think it’s safe to say, my food preferences are as unpredictable as her sanity.  For the people who don’t watch The Real Housewives of NY, this reference may not make sense to you, but trust me, you aren’t really missing anything.  After all, this is the woman who declared her support for PETA while wearing a fur coat.

Do you ever get surprised by foods you thought you disliked?  Is there anything you hated growing up, that you now enjoy eating?

I hated nuts growing up, but nowadays I’m more of a fan.  I still have a few issues (I rarely touch walnuts, pecans, macadamias, and some others), but cashews and almonds are practically their own food group in my current diet.

Stay tuned for the Larabar winner announcement on Tuesday!! [And in the meantime, make sure to enter]

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The other day I had a unique take on oatmeal for breakfast.


It wasn’t really oatmeal.  Nor was it breakfast.  Nor was it intentional.

After night shift, I slept in ‘til noon and then woke up to spend my Friday with Kyle.  After lounging the morning away, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go for a run or eat something.  I decided to put a pot of oats on the stove, but by the time they were done, I had changed my mind.  So I turned the stove off and left the oats while I jogged around the neighborhood.  As you’d imagine, by the time I had showered and returned to the kitchen, the oats were cold.


Turns out?  Cold oats are basically overnight oats without the overnight factor.


It popped right out of the pan and onto the plate, so I treated it like an oat pancake and set to work adding on the toppings.


Now you see it, now you don’t.


I played with the toppings a bit at first, making a smiley face with banana slices.  But really, I knew I wanted more than just nanners.


Banana + Cinnamon + Peanut Butter


Yum.  Note to self: neglected oats can lead to a happy ending.


Of course peanut butter doesn’t exactly hurt in the equation either.


In case anyone is keeping tabs on the matter, this held me over for a long time.  Me love you long time.  It’s a nice (yet rare) occurrence when this perfect storm happens and I manage to master the macronutrient ratio of a meal just right.  But my appetite is so inconsistent, it’s like a guessing game every time.  Sometimes the same meal that holds me over once will leave me wanting the next time I have it.

Between the above oat thang and heading to the hospital, I noshed on a pair of whole wheat pitas and a lot lot lot of Sabra hummus.


For night shift, I threw together a bunch of the fridge’s contents.  Not amazingly inspired, but it did the trick.


On the left, salad with spinach, sprouts, bell peppers, carrots, edamame, and Bragg’s liquid aminos.  On the right, vegan purple potato salad.  I will post the recipe soon because it is gooood.


Snacks. 🙂  Is it weird that I like Lara minis more than the regular sized ones?  They are just so dang cute!  They could fit in the tiniest pocket.  Who still has to enter my Larabar giveaway?  Get on it already!

My second night shift was pretty rough.  I admitted a patient around 1 am and there’s no two ways about it – the phrase “pleasantly confused” is BS.  I’m sure fellow healthcare providers can relate to hearing this mentioned in report.  It was my kiss of death last night.  There is nothing pleasant about pulling NG tubes out.  There is nothing pleasant about restraints.  There is nothing pleasant about spending a shift in the room simply to watch your patient repeatedly swing his legs over the side rails to flee the hospital.  And there is definitely nothing pleasant about trying to give a bed bath to a patient who thinks you are trying to steal his sheets.  Really?  I mean, really?

Anyway.  I survived.  And I even managed to smile throughout the whole thing.

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Oh my gosh April has been non-stop and it’s hardly even started!  This past weekend alone was ridic…Finn turned two, my parents came into town, and a bunch of friends got together for the MS walk…oh and then there was my sister-in-law’s wedding shower. 


Yeah.  That’s normal. 

I truly love being with family and friends, so this weekend was all about them and not so much about nursing or blogging. 

In the words of Jackie O, “I want to live my life, not record it.”

And yet, I did record some of it…just not very much…

Sunday came and I did my usual thang – coffee, cardio, more coffee. 

Then we were off to San Clemente.  As we pulled up to the shower, Kyle’s sister (the bride-to-be) pulled up alongside us.


On her bike. 


Who rides a motorcycle to her own wedding shower?  This girl.  I love it. 

I also love love love love my nieces. 


How big has B gotten since this summer!?!

Ferrah was being a camera shy stinker.


The shower was really fun, and as always, it was so great to spend time with Kyle’s family. 


Love. Love. Love.

After the presents were unwrapped and the kids were done playing with the guinea pigs (yes, really), it was time to meet back up with the boys. 


Kyle’s parents recently moved from Washington to So Cal, so we got to see the new house. 



It’s hard to look cute and still maintain good form, but this is how you do it.



While Kyle played catch, I sucked down a little vino.


Then it was din din time. 


Not my plate.

There was BBQ for the meat eaters, but the rest of the food included: salad, baked potatoes, quinoa, fresh pineapple, and roasted veggies.



I couldn’t even fit it all on one plate!


I haven’t roasted veggies in quite a while, so this dish was a nice reminder (to get my oven going again soon).  After clearing my first plate, I had many many spears of juicy pineapple.


And then it was time to hit the road…back to Santa Monica and the real (working) world.  Sad.

As for the winner of the Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter giveaway…congrats to Matt from The Athletes Plate.  I’m so excited for you!  Send me your address so I can get your yummy nutbutter in the mail.  🙂

For the other bloggers out there, do you ever feel like some days are just not worth documenting?  Blogging takes a lot of time, and although I rarely feel “over it,” it can be exhausting at times.  Luckily, I can usually sense when I’m getting worn out before I get to the breaking point, and I simply step away from the computer.  In the end though, family trumps all.

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I haven’t had very many interesting things to share.  The weather went from shorts and tank-top temperatures to bundle in layers degrees.  Don’t you gauge the season by outfits, too?

I still fit a 4 mile run in yesterday between stuffing my face with brownies.


One, two, buckle my shoe unbuckle my belt…


Okay, okay, I didn’t JUST have brownies (as if you’d judge me either way).

I had a huge bowl of nearly-spilling-over-the-edge oatmeal.


  • 1 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • dash of cinnamon
  • drip of NuNaturals’ vanilla stevia



My evening was uneventful.  Kyle and his waffle team are working furiously on their big presentation this week, so I was left to my own devices for the entire day.  Amazingly, I got very little accomplished, unless you count clearing out the DVR.

Dinner was simple.


Sweet potato stuffed with hummus (a new flavor!) with a steamed kale and carrot salad and falafel crumbled on top.


One half of the sweet tater had the last bit of the old Sabra flavor (roasted pinenut), while the other side had the new kind (spinach and artichoke).


This was confusing for my taste buds.  It really didn’t have enough chickpea or tahini flavor going on and for me, it was mostly like a spinach artichoke dip.  It was good, but shouldn’t be categorized as a hummus.  Make no mistake, I enjoyed it thoroughly (and definitely added heaps more after taking the photo).


For dessert, I opted to nix the brownies (lest I OD in under 24 hours), and chose a new-to-me Clif MOJO.


Sweet & Salty Trail Mix Bar…mmmm…


These bars are perfect in satisfying either kind of craving – salty AND sweet.  The crushed pieces of pretzels and mini butterscotch chips are drool inducing.  Try as I might to slowly savor the bar, I still scarfed it in under a minute.


I may have to attempt a home-made replication of this soon.  It was friggin’ awesome.


After dessert, I packed up my work food for the day and started settling into my PM routine.

Work was work.

Jillian-ed it up with The Shred at 4:30 am then broke the fast with coffee and an apple.


Work breakfast was oats.  Nothing too fancy, just strawberries & cinnamon.


My main course for lunch was steamed kale topped with spaghetti squash and vegan Field Roast (and subsequently doused in Bragg’s liquid aminos).

Oops, I still owe you all that Field Roast review, huh?  Ok, I’ll get on that 🙂


Don’t tell Kyle, but me and Nana are starting to have an affair.  This is my 3rd in a week.  😉  Ginger is one of the best flavors.


Whoever is the grandchild of “Nana” is SO effing lucky.  These cookies are out of control.  I’ve tried every flavor and they are all perfect.  Chewy, gooey, and melt in your mouth sweet.


Best of all they don’t shoot your blood glucose through the roof.  Always a plus.  My only complaint is that the serving size is 1/2 a cookie.  Because it’s BS to think that anyone could eat half of one of these babies and call it a day.  I dare you.


The rest of the snack pack included raw cauliflower and carrots with Sabra hummus, two apples, and mucho candied ginger.

I have to share a photo that I took on my lunch break (with my phone’s camera) because, well, you’ll see…

I’m sorry about the quality (my blackberry is certainly no iPhone) and the odd angle (I was trying to be semi-incognito), but as you can see here, some mighty fine characters hang around the hospital.  Allow me to draw attention to his plastic gold stunna shades, his ghetto phabulous chain necklace, and his beach blanket (a pile of stripped clothes).  The best part of all, however, which is sadly not caught on film, is that this was mid-exercise.  Mid-crunches, to be specific.  Let me tell you, the guy had spectators.  It was a scene.  Anyway.  I thought you may enjoy it.  It definitely made my lunch break that much more entertaining.

When I got home I did some damage to the brownies and eventually contemplated dinner.  More on that later…

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Sadly, no, it’s not summer quite yet.  The dog days I’m referring to aren’t the ones of sweltering heat.  I’m talking about working like a dog.  The past few days have been busy busy busy, filled with A fib, altered mental status, and other nursing fun.  Night shifts are not my friend.  But next week I’m back to days so three cheers for that! 

How about some food!


Apple, pear, leftovers.


Quinoa, roasted butternut squash, and lentil loaf.

The thing about night shift, is my body still thinks it’s night time.  So I don’t have much of an appetite, even though I’m still working the same 12 hours as a day shift.  As you’ve seen from my day shift pre-packed eats (and prepping tutorials), I would typically require wayyyyy more food.  That’s the weird thing about night shift.  My body doesn’t really know how to adapt.  It doesn’t help that I go back and forth between AM and PM schedules (I was hired for half and half), but then, I’d rather have 50% day shifts over none.  After all, I do like seeing my husband and friends every once in a while…

Back to work.


Apple, apple, leftovers.


Spinach, steamed sweet potato, squash quinoa patty-cake.

And finally, my last shift to freedom.


Shredded collards, carrots, falafel, quinoa.


Look how I made the collard greens into ribbons!  So silly right?  It was an accident.  I “lightly cooked” the leaf by putting it in a glass bowl and running boiling water over it in the sink (one of the classier methods you’ve read about no doubt).  It just softened the texture up a bit since the raw form is a bit tough if not being used as a wrap (like here).


Once the collards were warmed they loosened up slightly, while still maintaining enough shape to easily de-stem and thinly slice.

Then I just added in carrots, falafel, and quinoa.  Done and done.


Voila!  Along with Sabra hummus and a double side of apples.


Of course working nights isn’t ALL bad…


I get to spend way more time on breakfast.  As a result, my morning meals have become my faves.  Oats are fine and all, but pancakes, waffles, french toast, and home-made granola are definitely treats for my taste buds.  Step aside dinner, there’s a new course in town!

Speaking of decadent breakfasts…hurry up, it’s the last day to enter to win waffles!! 

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That would be the night shift.

Oy.  Why do they all go crazy when the sun sets?  Why?!? 


That’s my attempt at taking a picture of the full moon.  Mighty fine camera skills right thurr.

As ridiculous as last night was (and trust me, it was plenty ridiculous), I made it home in one piece to curl up on the couch with a new Gossip Girl episode (finally!). 

And whatdoyouknow, this post seems to be making semi-sense, too (thus far…).  Compared to Amy Winehouse, I have my sh!t together. 

Yesterday started the same as any other day.  I tried to sleep in and failed.


So I had a big bowl of oatmeal with apples and peanut butter.  In actuality, peanut butter was the dominant ingredient.  Oats were the afterthought. 


All I wanted was peanut butter.  Upon finishing this bowl, I went straight to the jar.  Spoon to jar is never a good decision.  But, alas, we all know how that story ended. 

Half a jar later…


I didn’t really snooze, even though that’s what I wanted to do.  I suck at daytime sleeping.  This is why I’m awake right now instead of getting some very necessary shut eye.  I can’t nap.  I can’t fall asleep when it’s light outside.  Whatever.  Back to yesterday’s food.


I didn’t eat until pretty late in the afternoon since breakfast was so large and in charge.


Toast + hummus + vegan cheeze = gooooooey


For the first time in a long time I didn’t buy Daiya.  This is Galaxy Nutritional Foods’ vegan cheese.  It doesn’t melt nearly as well, but I liked the flavor, so no complaints on my end.  It’s cheaper than Daiya, so there’s the motivation for buying it.  Ya know?


This was my snackage on the way to the hospital.  Trail mixity mix of Three Sisters’ Honey Puffs cereal, salty cashews, raisins, granola, yadda yadda.

Here are the goodies I brought for dinner on the late night.


I killed the apples by 8 pm. 


Spinach, steamed sweet potato, roasted butternut squash, and leftover spicy sautéed carrots.


Carrots and celery with roasted red pepper hummus and a homemade chewy granola bar.

And two hundred pounds of tea. 

Work flew by given the busy nature of the evening.  Here are two things you don’t want to see in a patient’s chart: altered mental status, keep IV atropine at the bedside.  Oh brother. 

We had to call the cops hospital police on a patient.  It took 10 of them and Michael Jackson’s medical regimen to get the patient settled down. 

You just can’t make this stuff up.  It’s actually pretty amusing (when it’s not your patient). 

So now I’m going to try and bury myself in covers.  Any tips for daytime napping?

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