A to Z Survey

I’m hopping on the survey train!

It was bound to happen, because who doesn’t love a good survey? I get to talk about me, myself, and I.

But first, fajitas. I made this recipe for chicken fajitas last night, and I’d say that it’s one of my favorite summer dinners so far!

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The cast iron skillet creates that sizzly crust on the chicken and that super heated char on the peppers and onions. Flavahhhhh.

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Served over greens with avocado. We didn’t have any tortillas, but the carbs were made up with copious amounts of Popcorners. #cantstopwontstop

Alrighty, let’s dive into this A to Z Survey that started at one of my favorite blogs ever— Peanut Butter Fingers!

A — Age: 19

B – Biggest Fear: Being too far out in the ocean + all bugs

C – Current Time: 9:58 PM

D – Drink You Had Last: Water

E – Easiest Person To Talk To: My dad

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F – Favorite Song: Tie between Oceans by Hillsong United and Dear No One by Tori Kelly

G – Grossest Memory: A stomach flu breakout at our house during Christmas/New Year of 2008. I was scarred for a very long time.

H – Hometown: Westchester, New York (following 5 years in Los Angeles, California and 3 years in Overland Park, Kansas)

I – In Love With: Jesus Christ ♥

J – Jealous Of: People who live in the beautiful mountains (*cough* Jo)

K – Kindest Person You Know: I have to choose three because there’s already an epic photo of them lying down in the middle of the street The Notebook style. My friends PJ, Emma, and Fiona— the sweetest souls.

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L – Longest Relationship: Been single all my life!

M – Middle Name: Mary

N – Number of Siblings: Uno— brother Ben!

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O – One Wish: To do God’s will, not my own.

P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last: The secretary at the doctor’s office.

Q – Question You’re Always Asked: “Did you have peanut butter this morning?” and “How’s college?”

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R – Reason To Smile: God gave me so many wonderful people who support and love me unconditionally.

S – Song You Last Sang: “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran

T – Time You Woke Up: 6 AM

U – Underwear Color: Super pale pink, on the brink of gray

V – Vacation Destination: Missing San Francisco. Want to visit Alberta. Going to Seattle next month!

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Golden Gate Bridge 2011. LOL.

W – Worst Habit: Leaving the house at the very last possible second.

X – X-Rays You’ve Had: Teeth at the dentist + ankle when I sprained it, like, eleven years ago.

Y – Your Favorite Food: Um.

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Z — Zodiac Sign: Gemini

That was fun! The underwear one stumped me the most.

Hope you all have a fierce and ferocious day!

So tell me: 

Biggest fear…

Jealous of…

Worst habit…

Any of them!

Overcoming My Fear of Being a Couch Potato

I just realized that the past three photos on my Instagram all include peanut butter, banana, and carbs.

Well, anyone who goes to my profile will immediately know the top three foods that sustain me. Truly, there is rarely a breakfast of mine that does not include all three of those things: peanut butter, banana, and carbs.

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Friday morning breakfast: Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, banana, berry banana muffin, and peanut butter

You know how carrots + onions + celery = mirepoix, and celery + onions + bell peppers = “The Holy Trinity” in Cajun cooking? Well I hereby proclaim that peanut butter + banana + carbs = The Breakfast Trifecta.

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Saturday morning breakfast: mango banana overnight oats

I’ve been watching the CrossFit Games this weekend, and I have nothing to say but “WOW”. I could actually say “ouch” because I’d probably be out of commission for a week (or dead) after just one of the thirteen grueling events those athletes completed.

While I was watching the fittest people on Earth doing their thing, I was eating dessert and being a couch potato.

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Friday night’s sweet treat was Cookie and Kate’s vegan banana nut scones that I un-veganized with 2% milk, butter and honey. I think I added too much milk, resulting in more of a cookie-cake texture, but they were still fantastic topped with peanut butter and almost-burnt pecans(<— SO TASTY.)

Back to this whole couch potato situation. Now, I still generally do not like sitting for long periods of time because my butt starts hurting or I get very antsy.

That being said, up until very recently, I would almost never let myself just veg out on the couch for a night, even if I really wanted to just kick my feet up and relax. I would try to get up and do some squats, push-ups, burpees— all to “stay active.” No matter how much activity and exercise I had done during the day, I just forced myself to keep moving. That’s what healthy people do, right?

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There was definitely an underlying, insanely irrational fear that being horizontal on the couch for a couple hours would somehow make all my food turn into fat or that I would get out of shape.

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Crazy stuff happens in my brain sometimes.

(All the time.)

Seriously though, literally giving my body REST— not just active rest— has done me more good than making sure I’m moving and grooving at all times. I have overcome my fear of being a couch potato.

Moving on to dessert numero dos. Saturday night’s CrossFit Games grub of choice was vanilla ice cream with mangoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted pecans.

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New favorite thing!!! This combination blew me away.

I also tried some of this Righteously Raw dark chocolate that I won from Jessie’s birthday giveaway.

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I ate that little piece on the top right. I’m sure dark chocolate lovers would very much enjoy Righteously Raw chocolate, but speaking as someone who doesn’t like chocolate that much in the first place… EW.

How do people like dark chocolate??? It’s like chocolate that you would give to someone for April Fools’ Day. “Jokes on you! It’s dark chocolate, not tasty milk chocolate!”

I guess you could say it was not smart of me to enter a giveaway for dark chocolate, but I thought I’d give it a try. Ya never know if you might like something you thought you hated, but this time, I still hated it. Don’t worry though, I’ll be sharing these!

Okay, I’ll just finish up this long post with some other scenes from the weekend.

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grilled pesto chicken for Saturday night dinner

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Amanda’s chunky monkey Greek yogurt pancakes for Sunday morning//HOLY MOLY DELICIOUS

Dad and I went to (yet another) local Italian festival yesterday, but this one had even more food and fun!

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cups of mini meatballs // Dad’s cacciatore meatballs and my caprese meatballs

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sun gear: sunglasses + cowboy hat

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pistachio and hazelnut gelato

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the best batch of strawberries we’ve ever bought

Food photo dump complete.

Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend and you have a kick-butt week ahead! But don’t forget to kick your feet up every once in a while.

So tell me:

Are you okay with being a couch potato sometimes?

Which three foods do you always eat together? Bread, avocado, and eggs is the Lunch Trifecta.

What is the best thing you ate this weekend?

Fancy Food + Weekly Moves and Grooves

Thank you to everyone who recommended a bunch of podcasts on yesterday’s post! I’m looking forward to listening to all of them and perpetuating my dependence on technology to keep me from feeling lonely.

I love that podcasts can make me laugh out loud. I like laughing. :D

Since I started my internship at 3pm yesterday, I had a little bit of extra free time in the morning to make some more “fancy” food. Fancy = takes more time.

Breakfast was Frrrreeeench tooooast (said in my pitiful, wannabe-hardy French accent). I dipped Dave’s Killer Bread in a mixture of: 1 egg, a splash of 2% milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then I plopped the battered bread into a skillet sizzling with butter.

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Served with a pool of peanut butter and bananas sautéed in a little more butter. Plus the last of a plain yogurt container with more cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia (yeah, I used it) and the sweetest of mangoes.

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For lunch, I had another English muffin sandwich with an egg, avocado, and goat cheese + salad + an unknown number of white cheddar Popcorners + a plum!

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Around 11AM I whipped out the crockpot and almost 6 lbs of boneless pork ribs, compliments of Costco. After practically sawing off the excess fat (I left plenty on, but I took off the 2 inch strips and chunks o’ fat), I seasoned the ribs with Bobby’s rib rub and then threw them into the crockpot with some garlic and onion.

8 hours later…

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Glamour shots.

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You can see my first taste of the ribs on Snapchat.

For dinner I served the ribs on microwave-steamed sweet potatoes with kale sautéed in avocado oil, salt, pepper, a little maple syrup, and spicy brown mustard (<— do this!). Plus a dollop of Greek yogurt because the ribs were kinda spicyyy.

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What a blesséd meal.

Since I haven’t shared my weekly moves and grooves in a couple weeks, I thought it was a good time to share again! Still keeping things pretty low impact/intensity and feeling great about it.

I’ve been working on gaining some flexibility and mobility back in some (all) of my tight joints with yoga and stretching. Physical therapy interning has me inspired to stay as mobile in my joints as possible!

weekly moves and grooves

  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: lower body barre
  • Sunday: 8 min abs
  • Monday: 60 min yoga
  • Tuesday: gymnastics warmup + handstands + lower body exercises
  • Wednesday: 3 mile walk
  • Thursday: 8 min abs + 60 min yoga

Hip hip hooray for Friday!

So tell me:

What did you eat for dinner last night?

Do you consider yourself flexible?

Snapchat, Podcasts, and Current Snack Addiction

Thinking-Out-Loud

1) I used to think Snapchat was the worst social media platform ever. Sending anyone photos that will be forever deleted (or so they say) after a few seconds seemed funny, but also very….dangerous? My fear was opening a snap and being like:

AHH - Oh my

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2) But now Snapchat has this whole “My Story” phenomenon, and I don’t hate it. You don’t have to scroll through a feed to see what people are up to, and I find some people’s stories to be quite entertaining. Mine aren’t that cool, but if you want to follow me and see me livin’ life (in case you don’t see enough of that here), my username is alisonmty. Option two would be to scan this:

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3) Continuing on the theme of social media, what is the deal with accounts like this?

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Zero posts, not following anyone, over 19,000 followers. I don’t know, I just don’t.

4) Yes, I am continually doctoring my social media obsession. I did a pretty good job a few weeks ago by limiting my time on social media to about half an hour total every day. Then I fell off that bandwagon, but I should hop back on.

5) Okay one more thing regarding technology, but this seems more productive than social media. I’ve started listening to podcasts! What I mean by that is I’ve started listening to two podcasts— Girls Gone WOD (found out about them through Tina’s blog) and The Catholic Guy’s Show. They’re both funny, informative, and thought-provoking. Listening to podcasts is like being a passive listener to a really good conversation that fascinates you.

I would appreciate any podcast recommendations! (I do know about Serial.)

6) Popcorners are the most addicting snack in all the land. It’s like opening the door to Narnia when you open the bag.

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times 5000

*Dad opens bag*

Me: Be careful, those are addicting.

*Dad chuckles*

*I go over to eat one…then two*

Me: They’re just so good!

*I go for another one*

Me: See, as soon as you open the bag…!

Dad: Yeah. Close it. Close it.

7) Sandwiches on English muffins have been rockin’ my world. Not because sandwiches between two pieces of regular bread aren’t fantastic, but when English muffins are BOGO, you hop on it and put yummy things inside.

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goat cheese and turkey meatloaf

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avocado, goat cheese, two eggs

8) After a hot and humid weekend, the weather eased up beautifully yesterday! My morning walk was crisp and pleasant.

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9) “25 Things Girls Put On Instagram That Annoy All Women”. Okay, going back to Instagram for a quick sec because I just found this. Although I definitely don’t agree with some of the things on this list, I do find the post hilarious. “Bathroom selfies: Oh well your house is just lovely, laundry on the floor and all.”

10) I promise there’s more in my brain than social media and petty first world problems. Those things just keep it lighthearted around here. :) Hope you all have a splendid day!

So tell me:

Do you use Snapchat?

Your current snack addiction?

Do you listen to podcasts? Have any favorites?

What annoys you on Instagram? Chances are, if someone’s posts are annoying me, I’m not following the person. That being said, I’m not a fan of random selfies with an emoji as a caption. I’m fine with selfies in general (meaningful caption, with friends, at a cool place, etc.), but the emoji caption is just…alrighty then. There you are.

Being Extraordinarily Ordinary

Do you ever have those days where you feel a little too proud that you were able to accomplish the most basic tasks?

For instance, sometimes I feel overly accomplished when I can do things such as…

  • get out of the house on time instead of three minutes late
  • remember to put the trash on the curb
  • park between the lines on the first try
  • make a doctor’s appointment
  • answer an email right away (I’m skeptical/in awe of anyone who answers all emails right away all the time)
  • manage to ease the brakes and come to a beautifully smooth stop in the car (even though no one is in the car with me, so it’s not like I care)

Yes, it is something to be grateful for that I can do these things in the first place (car, home, opportunities, hooray). But I’m talking about the fact that on some days, I feel like giving myself a pat on the back for doing these absolutely ordinary things.

Like, why?

Let me backtrack a little bit.

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had dreams of being a superstar of sorts. When I figure skated, I wanted to be the next Michelle Kwan. When my brother won the school geography bee, so did I. When I was in middle school, I wanted to write songs and be like Miley Cyrus (LOL). When I danced, I wanted to be like Alvin Ailey dancers. When I read some of my favorite blogs that have become so successful, I want to improve my blog to maybe become like theirs. When I see people doing handstands on Instagram, I want to be able to do a press handstand, like, yesterday.

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The point of me sharing my deepest darkest secrets (not really) is to exemplify our desire to be extraordinary. According to dictionary.com, the definition of extraordinary is:

exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable

And who doesn’t want to be any or all of those things?

I’m generalizing here, but I think when most people consider an extraordinary person, they think of someone who can do what the majority cannot do, or someone who possesses what the majority does not. Therefore, by nature of the word, not all of us can be extraordinary on a large scale.

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excuse the language, but this made me laugh

However, as I have matured (slightly), discovered more about myself, and learned to love who I am, I have accepted that maybe I can just be extraordinarily ordinary.

That sounds like it’s coming straight out of a sob story, but I mean this in the best possible way.

How would I define “being extraordinarily ordinary”? I would define it as going about my daily activities and endeavors with my best effort, a willingness to improve, and a greater purpose.

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Of course, hard work, dedication, and sacrifice are involved in becoming extraordinary. The saying goes something like: If you set your mind to it, you can do it. But I kinda need to tell myself that every day for the littlest things.

I don’t have to be “extraordinary” at anything in particular. I don’t even have to be good at ordinary tasks all the time (um, someone help me learn how to pay taxes…and stuff). I just have to do little things with a purpose in mind, no matter how insignificant the purpose may seem in the grand scheme of things. In God’s time, being extraordinarily ordinary can turn into being extraordinary.

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A lot of the improvement, discovery of self, and truly joyful moments happen when no one is paying attention— when you’re just being an ordinary human (cue this song). That’s where being extraordinary starts anyway.

So tell me:

Do you relate!? Am I the only one who sometimes feels accomplished for doing the most minuscule things right?

How can you be extraordinarily ordinary? I try to pick a personal development goal to work on each day (ex: holding my tongue when I want to be snappy, meditating, smiling more, conversing with more people, etc.).