I’m Okay With That {Take 2}

IT’S CRUNCH TIME.

Crunchy roasted corn kernels, that is.

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oh my goodness someone teach me how to roast giant corn kernels like this

No but seriously, it’s crunch time because there are only two more weeks of class left before finals. What what what. However, the rest of my Thanksgiving weekend went swimmingly— I procrastinated school work with family and friend time, and I’m okay with that.

There are many other things that happened over Thanksgiving break that could have frustrated me (and would have frustrated or upset me in the past), but I realized that I’m okay with some spontaneous, surprising, and sub-par moments in my life. So here is take two of “I’m okay with that.”

Ben and I were on a mission to find the best carrot cake in New York City, so we stopped by Lloyd’s Carrot Cake (self-proclaimed best carrot cake in NYC) for a couple slices.

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no cake in the case but look in the back— CAKE EVERYWHERE

We bought them on our way to our family dinner and ate a bite while the cake was still fresh and warm. We had dessert before dinner, and I’m okay with that. Especially since this carrot cake blew my socks off! Dense, just enough frosting, luscious, and not dry at all (I would say the “m” word, but so many people don’t like that word, so you’re welcome).

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with nuts and raisins is the only way to go

After accomplishing our carrot cake mission, we ate at a restaurant called Inti (thanks to Groupon, haha). Unfortunately, the ceviche was overly salty, and my shrimp entree was unexpectedly drenched in a heavy cream sauce, but I’m okay with that. The food was tasty and it was wonderful to be sharing a meal with my family. Salt and cream don’t need to ruin that. (Also, the roasted corn kernels above were an amazing amuse bouche.)

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We walked for a little bit to find a place called Bibble & Sip, which is a cute coffee shop that my mom suggested because she wanted green tea latte art. (They didn’t do a bear like she wanted, but whatcha gonna do?)

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I shared some with her and loved how frothy and creamy it was. I consumed more cream from this latte after my creamy dinner (and then more cake when we got back to the car), and I’m okay with that. I ate and drank what I wanted, and ended the night feeling very satisfied.

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I learned that I can no longer do a single pull-up, whereas in the summer, I could do up to three full pull-ups. It was humbling attempting to do them again, but I’m okay with that because I’ve been working on other skills like handstands and pushups in college, and I know I’ve gained weight for the better.

I also learned that I’m not that much lighter than my older brother (probably why I can’t do a pull-up anymore!). I’m okay with that, because weight is literally just a number. I feel energetic and strong, so as far as I’m concerned, this weight is working well for me.

I spent Saturday night watching Maze Runner and having deep chat with my friends when I could have been doing work or yoga or laundry. I’m okay with that because quality time with friends is not a waste in my eyes (and I had a good gauge of the work I still needed to do).

I RAN yesterday.

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I ran 5K at 9:44 pace, which is not fast at all, but I’m okay with that because I RAN and it was beautiful outside and I RAN. For the first time in, like, eight months!? I didn’t hate it.

I didn’t really catch up on sleep over Thanksgiving break, but I’m okay with that. I got enough, and I did not want to let my time with family and friends slip away!

I’ve eaten a lot of sugar in the past week, but I’m okay with that because apple pie a la mode, pomegranate seeds, bananas, Lloyd’s carrot cake, and Arman’s no bake balls are just too good.


It feels nice to be okay with things. A little less stress, ya know?

I’m not saying that these things don’t bother me at all (if they didn’t bother me even a minuscule amount, I probably would not write about them in the first place), but I am saying that these things do not need to affect me.

Alrighty. Happy Monday and Happy Advent, friends! Go listen to some beautiful music that makes you smile or happy cry.

So tell me:

What is your favorite kind of cake?

What is one thing you used to be able to do that you cannot do anymore?

What is one thing you can do now that you could not do before? 

Quiet and Cozy Thanksgiving

I’m such a procrastinator.

But that’s not news, right? I have yet to do any significant studying for my two exams or any additional preparation for my seven-page paper due next week. I’m telling myself that something WILL get done today.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. –Mark Twain

^^^It’s so harddddddd.

Instead of complaining any further though, I should embrace the attitude of gratitude. ‘Tis the season! It has been a relaxing and lovely two days spent with my family so far, but I started off my holiday break in Boston with a breakfast date!

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My dear friend Emma invited me to her apartment to make some FlapJacked pancakes (that I still had from BLEND!) and eggs. We finished all the pancakes and were pretty embarrassed when her apartment-mate asked if there were any left. #shame.

I arrived home with mom late Tuesday night, and since then I’ve been eating, hangin’ with my family, and procrastinating catching up on social media. Because I’m never on social media during school…

Wednesday involved eating, clothes shopping, grocery shopping, eating sushi, cooking, eating, gym, and eating.

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Kylie’s simple paleo pancake (SO FREAKING FLUFFY!) with copious amounts of peanut butter and pomegranate seeds + glass o’ milk

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late sushi lunch with mom mid-shopping

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gym with Pop

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homemade crab cakes! + plain Greek yogurt + sriracha

Ben came home late that night, so I stayed up late chatting with him. My eyes were nearly glued shut getting up for church the next morning, but it was worth the QT with the bro.

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starting Thanksgiving Day thanking God from whom all things flow

After Mass, we headed home to get cookin’! I fueled myself with overnight oats in a jar before transforming into a wannabe Barefoot Contessa. I was in charge of all the side dishes, and I asked mom to be in charge of the turkey so that I wouldn’t overcook it again.

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my love — stuffing 

In addition to bread, we used some leftover buttery croissants for the stuffing. Go big, friends.

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best roasted sweet potatoes

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rosemary thyme roasted baby potatoes

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honey balsamic roasted brussels sprouts and string beans

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cornbread muffins

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da bird

We actually ended up undercooking the turkey at first, so it was a fiasco trying to cook the parts that were still raw while keeping the perfectly-cooked parts separate. You’d think we would have this down after 15+ years, but…guess not. Nevertheless, the turkey turned out delicious and juicy!

I also went on a nice walk with Dad at the park after I finished cooking. It was the perfect, brisk weather for a Thanksgiving walk.

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Then we came home with a hefty appetite and dug in!

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The stuffing, rosemary potatoes, and cornbread muffins were my favorite. I know you know the carbs are the best part.

Speaking of carbs. Best for last!

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apple pie a la mode

We finished at around 6pm, so the rest of the night involved watching Chopped, writing this post, and just appreciating the presence of family. (Imaginary audience: “AWWWWWWW.”)

I feel fortunate that each year, Thanksgiving becomes a lot easier, mentally speaking. This year, I didn’t feel nervous about the amount or density of food that would be available to me, and I think that is because I allow myself to eat heavy foods outside of holiday occasions. I was definitely stuffed by the end of the night, but it just felt like a bigger meal, which is probably a monthly/biweekly occurrence.

As Julia so beautifully wrote, we just need to be kind to ourselves. I didn’t finish every bite on my plate, and I didn’t have pie immediately after dinner with the rest of my family because I wanted to digest for an hour or so. I still ate a lot of delicious food, including pie, but I didn’t feel (self-imposed) pressure to eat or not to eat.

As for working out, I joined my dad when he went to the gym the night before, but I just did a fun strength workout without focusing on calorie burn. On Thanksgiving day, we walked. We went with the flow.

I did not get to this point overnight, so I implore you to not be discouraged if you still struggle with restrictive temptations or anxious feelings during the holidays. In fact, there are many non-holiday instances during which I still feel anxious over food. Recovery is always a work in progress, but every effort to combat disordered habits and thought processes is valuable.

Tonight we’re going out to NYC to eat more. Not before I get some work done though!!!

So tell me:

How did you spend {American} Thanksgiving?

Favorite food from the feast?

Three non-obvious/random/quirky things you’re thankful for! yoga pants, clean public bathrooms, and towels that absorb really well

Incredible Things

There are some incredible things as of late that are noteworthy:

It’s incredible that Thanksgiving is this week. That means finals are coming, which means the semester is almost over, which means I’m almost halfway done with sophomore year of college, which means my senior friends are almost done with college, which means I need to shut the freak up before I go insane.

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dining hall thanksgiving dinner {that cornbread stuffing}

It’s incredible how kind people can be, despite the fact that you’ve only met in person once (or not at all). My blogger friends near and far have been nothing but kind and loving to me and to other fellow bloggers, often for no particular reason. Sweet prayers and messages from Julia and Hayley. Kind words by Emily. Heavy care packages from a certain no-bake king. All of YOU who choose to read about what goes on in my brain. God bless you.

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spoiled

The power of a 10 minute nap is incredible. I was in desperate need of a nap the morning/afternoon before my exam on Thursday. I could have studied straight through until 3:30 pm, but my friends forced me to take a nap. SO BENEFICIAL. My brain could actually function. Who ‘da thunk?

It’s incredible how talented humans are. Besides people like Michael Phelps, Mother Theresa, and Beyonce, there are some darn talented people around you! Including you. I was reminded of that at my friends’ a cappella concert on Friday night.

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It’s incredible how God shows so much love through people. It’s truly life-changing to have friends and family who seek to love as Christ loves.

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It’s incredible how much work I have to do over Thanksgiving. I’m just complaining for the sake of it, which is not model behavior, but… I have two exams and two essays due next week. It’s always a good time to be thankful for a great education, but this is REALLY a good time for that, eh?

It’s incredible that it’s still pretty warm outside in late November. Not that I’m complaining!

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It’s incredible that Justin Bieber made it onto my Spotify playlist. It’s his song “Sorry“. I’m sorry I like it. UGH.

The power of patience and prayer is incredible. Because guess what this girl got this weekend!!! Let’s just say I might not need another gynecology appointment. More on this later.

Find something to smile about at every hour of the day. When in doubt, nap it out.

So tell me:

Something incredible in your life right now.

Thanksgiving plans for my fellow Americans? I’m going back to New York to see the much-missed fam and COOK!

Feeling, Thinking, Knowing

There’s either cheese or yogurt on my backpack right now. Whichever one it is, I’m not surprised.

Last week, y’all.

First and foremost: The brokenness of our world resurfaced last week, most significantly with the Paris terrorist attacks. I’m sure many of you have also heard voices speaking up about other tragic world events that were just as horrific as the Paris attacks, such as the the bombings in Beirut. The bottom line is that there are a lot of injustices in the world—halfway across the world and in our own communities. We must show love. We must show compassion. We must pray for all.

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[source]

Personally, last week was hectic and…weird. In addition to the all the tragedies we learned about, there were a ton of yo-yo-ing emotions going on inside of me as a result of daily happenings.

Nothing seemed constant. Feeling on top of the world at one hour, feeling like a failure the next. Feeling independent one day, feeling dependent the next. The only thing that was constant was this cycle of feeling, thinking, and knowing.

I would feel a certain way.

I would think about what I should make of my feelings.

I would force myself to move on based on what I know.

Let’s look at some examples:

Feeling discouraged by my so-so grade in one of my classes. Thinking about how I might not get the GPA I want at the end of the semester. Knowing that the only thing I can do is work my butt off and study hard for my upcoming exams. There’s no point in sulking.

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haha, stress.

Feeling annoyed at a friend. Thinking about how I could have avoided this annoying situation. Knowing that I am incredibly blessed to have such loving friends who truly want me to be happy, even if it can come across as terribly irksome.

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Feeling mildly sad about boy life. Thinking about all the {insanely adorable} relationships emerging among my friends. Knowing that I only need to worry about being the right person and letting God do his thang. Also, I am forever thankful for my guy friends who make their gal friends feel valuable and loved.

Feeling “soft” and “pudgy”. Thinking about what it would require to shed some body fat — eating fewer calories, doing high intensity workouts more often, and possibly sabotaging my progress regarding my relationship with exercise. Knowing that it’s not. freaking. worth it. I feel stronger and more energetic in my body than ever, so #guatever.

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don’t hold back that peanut butter

Feeling lost, down, and empty. Thinking about what I need to do to be better, look better, feel better. Knowing that the only One who can make me whole is God. As our priest, Fr. Barnes (he has a blog!), said in his sermon yesterday [paraphrasing]: The only thing that is constant is God. He keeps His promises and His love never wavers.

I like that a lot.

Wishing you all a fantastic week ahead. American Thanksgiving is coming. AGHHHHHH. In the meantime, go have some buttered toast, because it a neglected delicacy.

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So tell me:

One thing you felt, thought, and knew last week.

Three things on schedule this week! Two tests, work, and an a cappella concert on Friday!

Do you like buttered toast?

Weekend Confessions + Vlog with Rachel

weekend confessions

Confession #1: I miss blogging more often, and I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting very much lately!

Confession #2: I also don’t feel that guilty for not posting, because school is happenin’ and so is friend time. I love blogging, but it can be hard to choose screen time over a night out with friends, ya know?

Confession #3: I wore shorts and a tank top on November 5th in Boston, Massachusetts. HAHA. I was wearing my marshmallow coat three weeks ago. What are seasons?

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like, MAYBE, who knows now?

Confession #4: Rachel and I decided to have best friend day on Saturday and made sure the whole world knew about it on Snapchat.

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Confession #5: We could not stop saying “mmm” and “WOW” and “I can’t even” while eating this sandwich from Cutty’s (on our food bucket list!).

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It’s called the “Roast Beef 1000” (slow-roasted beef, thousand island sauce, frizzled onions, and sharp cheddar on a brioche bun). Yeah.

We also both ordered the vegetable of the day, which was hot ‘n’ sour brussels sprouts. Also “mmmmm”-worthy.

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Guy Fieri was there!

Confession #6: We were so inspired by the brussels sprouts from lunch that we bought two bags of brussels sprouts from the grocery store, roasted them in the communal kitchen after dinner, and ate a whole tray of them within 15 minutes of them coming out of the oven.

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sort of based on Arman’s balsamic brussels

Confession #7: Before our brussels extravaganza, Rachel and I were workout buddies. Except that we didn’t work out together.

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We ran to the workout pad that I always go to, and while she continued running, I stopped and did six rounds of this workout until she ran back.

Confession #8: I’ve finished 5 large (32+ ounce) jars of peanut butter this semester. It’s fine.

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My sixth jar may or may not last until Thanksgiving. I’m erring on the side of not.

Confession #9: I put Sriracha on everything.

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eggs

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salad

Soon I’ll be mixing it with peanut butter.

Confession #10: Rachel and I filmed a VLOG! You’ve seen a couple vlogs with Daliza, my best friend from home, so I thought it would be fun to film one with best friend who I met at college 🙂

This is a “best friend tag” vlog. Basically, how well do we know each other? Quirks? What’s annoying about the other? Who do we have a CRUSH ON!?

Here’s the link in case the embedded video isn’t working (and if you still want to watch it). In case my fellow bloggers want to play along with their BFF or significant other, here are the questions!

How and when did you two meet?

Who is your best friend’s hero?

If your best friend could go any place on earth, where would it be and why?

What is the name of your crush?

What is your best friend’s biggest fear?

If your best friend was deserted on an island, what three items would he/she want to have?

What part of your best friend’s body is his/her favorite?

What are two things about you that your best friend doesn’t know?

How would you describe your best friend’s ideal spouse?

What is a weird quirk about your best friend?

What are three things you would never fail to find in your best friend’s refrigerator?

What is your favorite memory together?

What is one thing about your best friend that annoys you?

Does your best friend have any nicknames?

What would your best friend do if he/she won the lottery?

Can you describe your best friend in one word?

What would your best friend say he/she admires most in you?

Sorry it’s kinda long. Just promise me you’ll watch Rachel’s face at 4:09.

She’s gonna kill me.

Hope you all have a fabulous week! Tell your good friends/family members that you love them.

So tell me:

What is one “confession” you have from the weekend?

Have you ever eaten a whole pan/pot of something in one sitting?

What is the best thing you’ve eaten recently?

If you were deserted on an island, which three items would you want to have?