Beautiful Weather, Beautiful People

Well HOWDY.

I’ve missed you all as much as I’ve missed overnight oats!! That’s a whole heck of a lot of missing, guys. You’re special.

I know I posted weekly workouts on Sunday, but I actually want to talk to you about life and what’s been happening these past five days! I mentioned last week that I would be going on a weekend retreat with the Catholic center, and retreat we did.

The site was a summer camp in New Hampshire, and I’ve never felt so rugged and one with nature in my life. Can you tell I’m a city girl? (<— never thought I’d say that, but it’s true I guess.) My Girl Scout roommate was laughing at me when I told her about my experiences. She said I missed out on childhood.

Daddy long legs everywhere, sleeping in the freezing cold cabins, only using hand sanitizer to wash our hands, and SPIDERS IN THE SHOWER.

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What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

On the positive side, the stars in the night sky made me giddy with joy because we don’t see those where I live in New York. I was seriously giggling like a child and I could have looked at the sky all night. This view wasn’t too shabby either.

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The weather was utterly perfect during the day throughout the weekend.

We were also fed mighty well thanks to Catholic center staff member, Fran, and her husband Doug! Can we take a moment to appreciate the provision of banana pancakes and peanut butter? Amen.

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Aside from living camp life and eating delicious food, the actual core of the retreat was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. We prayed by ourselves, with each other, for each other, and for our loved ones. We adored, praised, and worshipped Christ our Lord. We reflected in the beauty of nature, and we reconciled ourselves to God.

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Hi, PJ!

Seriously, I don’t think I’ve cried as much in one day as I did on Saturday. Listening to my friends speak about their journeys of faith and just being in the presence of amazing people who love God so passionately melted my heart and made me pour out waterfalls of tears.

I think I saved at least two bathroom trips thanks to all the tears that came out of me.

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As wonderful as it was to get away from “reality”, it was still a tiring experience. I was (literally) sick and exhausted coming back from the retreat. So worth it though.

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Creds to the cool kid, Liz

Thank you a million times over to all the people who worked behind the scenes to make the retreat such an incredible experience! I can’t wait for the spring retreat :)

Back on campus…

Monday night involved a swanky-ish Rose Banquet for all the freshmen in the College of Health and Rehab Sciences (Sargent College) of Boston University. The food was fantastic and the company was even better. <— I am grateful to say that that seems to be the theme lately!

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And yes, I did eat that whole chocolate cake, and it was pretty divine. I guess I can no longer say that I don’t like chocolate.

Lastly, some miscellaneous notes on life:

  • I wore rain boots for the first time in my life yesterday.
  • I like having dance parties with my roomie.
  • I really need to do my nails.
  • I am an apple and banana hoarder in my dorm. Welcome, fruit flies! Sorry, roomie.
  • I despise statistics.
  • Do any of you have questions to ask me about ANYTHING? College, food, fitness, faith, fashion, anything else that starts with and “f”?
    • I’m thinking about doing a Q&A if anyone is interested, so comment or shoot me an email if you have any inquiries!

I hope you are all having a great week so far. We’re halfway to the weekend, y’all!

So tell me:

Do you have any questions for me? 

Do you like camp life?

Three fun things you’ve done recently!

Weekly Moves and Grooves IV

Hello and happy Sunday!

I’m currently in New Hampshire on the last day of weekend retreat with the Catholic center, but I promised weekly workouts again, so here they are! I put Saturday as TBD because I typed this up before leaving for the retreat, so the moves and grooves for that day was a wild card at the time…at this time…at…whatever. Past, present and future tense get all jumbled up in my brain when pre-scheduling posts.

weekly moves and grooves

Sunday

5 min. stair master warm-up + leg workout

  • Superset: 10 pistol squats each leg + 30 side jump lunges
  • Superset: 20 curtsy lunges each leg (20# DBs) + 20 jump lunges
  • 8-8-8-8 squats (90#)
  • Superset: 10 deadlifts (90#) + 20 jump squats
  • Superset: 12 hamstring curls (70#) + 20 surfer jumps

My legs were literally twitching and shaking by the curtsy lunges, guys. My butt was sore on a whole new level the next day.

Monday

18 min. plank workout from Purely Twins

This never gets easier.

Tuesday

10 min. elliptical warmup + dumbbell circuit workout via Blonde Ponytail

jess

Click here for exercise tutorials!

I hadn’t done this workout in FOREVER, and doing it again reminded me how much I love it! Workouts that move quickly and involve both strength and cardio are my favorites.

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

5 min. row + upper body strength + yoga

I did this quick upper body strength workout before going to yoga:

  • Superset: 20 bicep curls (20# barbell) + 20 tricep dips
  • Superset: 10 vertical rows + 10 vertical rows with a pulse + 20 Mac raises (10# DBs) // Arnold presses on the last round
  • Some number of lat pull downs + wide stance pushups before I needed to go to yoga!

I focused on doing the bicep curls with full range of motion with a lighter weight, and my biceps definitely felt it the day after! I have to remember that form > weight always.

Friday

Super quick leg tabata inspired by Lindsay’s workout

 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off 4x each:

  • squats + lunges
  • split jack lunges + bridges
  • Bulgarian split squats right + left

I’m such a freak/nerd/loser that I used my stat and chem textbooks for prisoner squats and lunges.

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Guatever works, ok? Multi-purposing.

Saturday

TBD!

Well I gotta bolt! Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

So tell me:

What’s the strangest thing you’ve used as weight?

What was your favorite workout this week?

 

 

 

Keeping Sane in College

I know, I know. I’m just a college freshman who is three-and-a-half weeks into school and doesn’t know the real meaning of insanity of college. I get it, I’m still a fetus in this place we call the world. But I think I’m speaking on behalf of a lot of my peers when I say that things are finally starting to settle into a routine— we’re getting into a groove, you could say. :)

Needless to say, going off to college for the first time ever is a nerve-wracking experience, and anything that entails big changes can make me anxious pretty easily. However, I am grateful to God for providing such a welcoming, supportive environment for me here at Boston University that has allowed me to immerse myself into this whole university deal without major troubleshooting. Knock on wood.

I’ve noticed some routines and patterns in these past 3.5 weeks that have helped me stay sane during school, and I’m here to share them with you all! Many of you are not in school anymore, but the “real world” and the college world both involve work and balance, so these little tips could apply to anyone!

keeping sane in college

1) Chip away at work

This one is HUGE. No one enjoys the panic of doing an assignment at the last minute before it’s due. For me, the best thing to combat this is to steadily chip away at every bit of studying and homework that I need to do throughout the week.

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I like to make a list of the work I need to accomplish, and then prioritize by numbering the tasks in the order I want to do them. Lastly, a check box is necessary so that you can have that oh-so-wonderful feeling of checking off the task.

It also doesn’t hurt to do an extra task that wasn’t initially on your list, then write it in your planner, and then check it off. ;)

2) Eat a good breakfast

{That involves peanut butter.} I don’t care what new scientific research says about breakfast not really being the most important meal of the day. In my mind (and heart), breakfast is the most essential meal in getting my day cranking properly. I have a huge 3-4 hour block of early classes on many days, so I need a substantial breakfast to help me focus and stay friendly.

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America runs on Dunkin. Alison runs on peanut butter.

3) Sleep

It’s not always easy, but it’s absolutely necessary.

That being said, I try not to freak out if I didn’t get X hours of sleep, because that just makes me more anxious and prone to sleeplessness. Fatigue is not the end of the world and power naps make the world go ’round.

4) Exercise

Now I’m starting to sound so cliche-healthy-living-blogger. But seriously, making time to move and groove several times a week helps to clear my mind, keep my confidence lifted, and feel more focused on my work, even if that means doing burpees in the dorm room. Y’all know how much I love that anyway.

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Sorta miss these stairs. Or do I?

5) Make time for social events

I do my best to make studying my priority, but attending extracurricular activities or just having lunch with friends keeps me laughing and motivated (I work more efficiently when I know I have an event to attend later in the evening). I still don’t go to every single activity or meeting, but talking to people is some of the best stress relief out there.

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I can’t keep my mouth closed evidently.

6) Listen to music

There’s a lot of walking required to get around campus, so listening to music has been an awesome way to put some pep into my step, make me want to dance…and make me almost trip over train tracks. Worth it. Listening to a song with a solid beat while walking down the streets of Boston makes me feel like a BOSS.

{iTunes radio and Pandora have been my favorite things recently!}

7) Pray

Talking to our Creator is the bestest.

8) Read blogs/Blog

Both blog-reading and blogging have been on the back burner recently, as you might have been able to tell. But those two things constitute some of my quality “me time,” so I try to read a few blogs while eating meals and write a post or two after I finish my homework (like right now!). It makes me happy staying in touch with my readers and fellow bloggers!

I also like to fantasize about all the new fall recipes that are abounding on the blog world since I’m bitter that I don’t have a kitchen right now it will be soon that I can make ALL THE PUMPKIN THINGS!

9) Keep the dorm room clean

Laundry, cleaning up after my peanut butter/banana messes, vacuuming (YUP, vacuuming!), and washing dishes— keeping on top of all of that makes for less clutter in the room and less clutter in my mind. (<— wow, so zen.)

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Not nearly as clean as this (when I first moved in), but it’s not too shabby.

10) Keep in touch with my family

My face lights up whenever I get a text from my mom or I FaceTime with my parents. Keeping them in the loop on a regular basis also helps to motivate me (they’re the reason I’m here!), and it helps me remember that I always have a shoulder to lean on. I also just love them to pieces, so I like talking to them :)

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No, we’re not twins.

So there are my nuggets of freshman wisdom for you! I should go to bed because I’m sure my typing might be annoying my sleeping roomie. Catcha ya later!

Oh, and you best be sure I’m thinking out loud with Amanda today!

Thinking-Out-Loud

So tell me:

How do you keep sane?

Most important meal in your opinion?

 

Notes on College {Chapter 2}

Good morning, folks!

Sooo I didn’t actually get to pre-schedule any posts this weekend and I greatly apologize. Life happened, and life is still happening, but I’m squeezing in this post because I love blogging and all of you and…yay!

I’m excited for the events that are happening this week, especially because there’s a weekend retreat to New Hampshire with the Catholic center coming up! Only an essay, lab, a few assignments, and a psych test to power through until then. Meep.

I haven’t really updated you all on what went on last week, so I’m going to recap some highlights in the style of notes again! Second edition = “Chapter 2.” #nerd

Academics

  • Flash cards— easy and efficient for studying; pain in the butt to make. If this is the stack I have for only two chapters, I’m going to need a whole forest to sustain my studying needs for the rest of the year.

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Social Life

  • I attended the first Catholic women’s group meeting of the year last Wednesday and the two hostesses provided an epic taco night. Good food, great company, and joyful conversation made for the perfect evening!
    • (I missed lobster night in the dining halls for it, and I do not regret it.)

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  • Embarrassing moment of the month: My stomach made the weirdest, LOUDEST sound during a silent prayer time in the tiny chapel, so everyone definitely knew it was me.
    • I actually prayed to God: “I deserved that humbling mortification.” 
  • Hooray for Bible study!
    • (I’m obsessed with the Catholic center activities, but you probably figured that out.)

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Didn’t quite get everyone in the picture (sorry, Christina!), but these ladies are incredible.

  • These are my friends PJ and Ben. They took selfies on my phone when I wasn’t around, and now I’d like to show the world how creepy cool they are.

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You’re on the blog now, PJ.

Fitness/Food

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  • Soon I’ll tell you guys how I liked the Arctic Zero that I received last week! I, uh, finished three of the pints by myself already if that says anything.

Hope you all have a rockin’ Tuesday! Happy fall, by the way :)

So tell me:

Did/Do you use flash cards to study?

Is there a place at which you’ve been spending a great deal of time?

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten in the past week?

That egg + cheese sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin at the top left of the food collage hit the spot, I must say.

Weekly Moves and Grooves III

Hey!

How has your weekend been going? Boston is soaking up some extra sunshine with the temperature in the high 70s today, despite the jacket weather on Friday. We’ll take what we can get before the winter comes to swallow us.

weekly moves and grooves

Anyway, here’s how the moves have been lookin’ this week!

Sunday

5 min. row warmup + leg workout

3 sets of each:

For the step ups, I used a barbell at first, but then I switched to two 20# dumbbells, and uh…my forearms were burning more than my legs. If you know me in person, you know that my wrists are tiny (runs in the family), and my forearm strength is slim to none. I read up on this article about grip strength, and I am determined to build up my flimsy grip!

I also had to break up my last set of pistol squats into 6 on the right leg (weaker leg), 10 on the left, and then the last 4 on the right. Ooooof.

Monday

Rest

Besides sprinting to catch a bus. ;)

Tuesday

Stadium-burpee workout (inspired by Hilary’s Dirty Burpee Workout)

  • 3 sets of stairs (1 set=all the way from the bottom to the top and back down)
  • 16 burpees
  • 2 ½  sets of stairs
  • 12 burpees
  • 2 ½ sets of stairs
  • 8 burpees
  • 2 ½ sets of stairs
  • 4 burpees
  • 2 ½ sets of stairs
  • 16 burpees
  • 2 ½ sets of stairs
  • 12 burpees
  • 2 ½ sets of stairs
  • 8 burpees
  • 2 ½ sets of stairs
  • 4 burpees

Ho.ly. LUNGS. And legs. I swear, the height of the steps increases as you go up on that second half stairs.

 

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I was going to do the original dirty burpee workout that involves running 400m between burpees, but the men’s lacrosse team was practicing on the field. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be on the track (…and I also didn’t want to be doing burpees RIGHT THERE in front of them), so I opted for the stairs.

Good and bad idea.

 Wednesday

Quick circuit workout in the dorm

I did this one from Zuzka that was 4 rounds for time of:

  • 10 burpees
  • 15 jump lunges
  • 20 push ups
  • 30 mountain climbers
  • 40 air squats

I finished in a little under 17 minutes, and wow, this is a lot harder than it looks! I was kinda sorta dripping sweat afterwards.

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Thursday

Rest/Yoga

We did crow pose in yoga!

Friday

10 min. adaptive motion trainer + 8 min. ab tabata + upper body weights + lots o’ walking

For the upper body weights, I don’t remember exactly what I did, but I know it included:

Saturday

Jump rope circuit workout from Peanut Butter Fingers 

With 15 seconds of rest in between exercises instead of 30. I did it out by the Charles River again because the weather was absolutely perfect yesterday! I’m definitely trying to take advantage of the fresh air before it starts to freeze my nose hairs.

I’m hoping to have a few more posts for you guys this week thanks to some pre-scheduling done this weekend. But for now, have a lovely Sunday!

So tell me:

What was your favorite workout this week?

Do you like to work out outside?