Firsts

I’ve been kickin’ and screamin’ on this planet for 21 years!

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real still frame from a home video circa May 1997

Today I’m celebrating 21 years of life, legal consumption of alcohol in the United States, aaaaand the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Besides my first legal drink in the US though, this weekend has been filled with many firsts.

First time…

…listening to Harry Styles’ new album. I love his song, “Sweet Creature”!

…being seriously concerned that I could need hip surgery. When I was walking in pain yesterday, I thought I could very well have a labral tear (which would be pretty bad), but the more I moved, the more I ruled that out. I’m going to guess that I just strained some inner thigh muscles, but I’ll report back after a few more days of rest.

…doing a workout in my summer apartment. I made it low impact for my legs + for the downstairs neighbors.

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3 rounds:

  • 20 alternating single leg slide out bridges
  • 20 split squats each leg
  • 20 decline plank kicks
  • 10 single leg bench sits to twist each leg
  • 10 elevated pike pushups

…eating at Pino’s Pizza and White Mountain Creamery! I had a lazy day with Ben and Casey all Memorial Day since it was pretty dreary outside. When we finally got hungry for real food, we took a walk for pizza and ice cream, because #America.

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split a Napoli pizza (grilled chicken, broccoli, garlic)

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apple pie + banana oreo (← sounded weird, but it was SO TASTY!)

I am a big fan of White Mountain Creamery now. Not a fan that it’s filled with Boston College pride (Boston University’s arch nemesis), but that can be overlooked when it comes to friggin’ good ice cream.

…watching John Mulaney standup comedy and Zootopia. I really liked both!

…showering in the gym. I’ve been going to the campus gym for three years now, and I’ve never showered in the locker rooms. Since I live kinda far from campus now, I can’t just go home and shower in a snap, so I packed a huge duffel bag to carry around all day and finally showered at the gym.

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this has nothing to do with my gym shower, but this is what I ate yesterday morning — Kylie’s banana pudding for breakfast

…handling cadavers. For our first gross anatomy teaching assistant meeting yesterday, we had to take care of the cadavers a little bit, and it was quite an adventure! Fluids. Fluids everywhere.

…eating tapas in Boston. For my birthday celebration, my friends joined me at Barcelona (the restaurant, not the Spanish city) for tapas and sangria. The tapas were ON POINT. Perfect for sharing with a big group!

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My favorites were the beef empanadas, croquetas (fried balls of ham and melty cheese WOW), and spiced spinach and chickpeas.

…drinking [almost] legally! Ben apparently told the waitress to bring me a celebratory drink at midnight, but she brought it at 11pm without carding me, soooo I just drank it before my official birthday. Thus, turning 21 at midnight was rather anticlimactic, but it was still fun!

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sparkling wine with a little candle at the bottom woohoo!

I drank ~1/3 of the sparkling wine. Me: “Alcohol makes me too full. I’d rather just have room for more tapas.”

…drinking white sangria. We ordered a pitcher for the table after we finished our tapas, and holy smokes this was the best alcoholic beverage I’ve ever consumed (I’ve drunk legally in Canada and Ireland before)! I don’t love alcohol in most forms, but this was delicious. The hint of pineapple perhaps?

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…taking a shot of brandy. Ben, Casey, Lauren and I had a short, low-key after party at Ben’s place, during which we grooved, ate cookie dough and each took one brandy shot before going home.

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Immediately after, I said, “HATE THAT.”

I’m happy to report that I remember absolutely everything that happened last night. Thank you so much to my friends who came out late on a Tuesday night to celebrate with me! ♥︎

…making a smoothie in a Ninja blender. This morning (read: a couple hours ago at 11 am), I blended an overnight oat smoothie in Christie’s huge Ninja blender. What a powerful machine!

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oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, pinch of salt, yogurt, almond milk, peanut butter, spinach + cereal and sunflower seeds


Thank you to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday and for all those who pray for me. Most of all, thank you to all those who have touched my life in some way during these past 21 years. God is good. ♥︎

How rare and beautiful it is to even exist. — Sleeping at Last, “Saturn”

So tell me:

What is the best thing you ate this weekend? (← did I already ask that on Monday?)

Any “firsts” this week?

What is your favorite alcoholic beverage if you drink?

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Permission

On this Memorial Day, let us never forget those who served our nation for the sake of our freedom and safety.

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A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

– Joseph Campbell

How was the weekend!? Or how IS the weekend (for those who have today off!)?

This weekend (alright, this whole week), I’ve given myself permission to embrace this period of almost zero obligations. I had to get over the phase of discombobulation of having nothing to do, but it’s been a pleasant week of acclimating to living farther from campus and relaxing.

Friday

There have been some errands and work in there too (keeps me sane TBH), like on Friday. I gave a campus tour, since a lot of BU’s tour guides are out of town these next few weeks. In classic me fashion, I was running late and had to speed walk for 1 hour to make it right on time.

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Luckily it was a beautiful day for rush-walking + touring!

Afterwards, I gave myself permission to do a quick 16-minute workout, even though I had all the time in the world and all the gym space in the world (three cheers for the summer lull!).

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‘Twas a fun one! 4 rounds, 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest:

Then I nommed on the lunch I packed that morning (part of the reason I was running late). I gave myself permission to take my time to eat this. I’m sure some of you understand that weekday lunch is often more or less inhaled on many days.

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leftover peas and roasted broccoli + egg, avocado, pepper jack, sriracha sandwich + blackberries

I had big plans to get a lot Brideshead Revisited reading done for book club, but I got through thirteen pages before I gave myself permission to take a nap in the library’s armchair.

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never goes to the library during the school year // falls asleep in the library during the summer

Before going to the library, though, I tried being that person to read on the stationary bike at the gym, but doing that kinda nauseated me. That + gym music = entirely ineffective reading.

I was awoken by an announcement that the library was closing in an hour. Thankfully, my friend Ben welcomed me to hang out with him before dinner, because I was groggy and without anything to do (what a nice problem to have).

Lauren, Nico, Ben and I went to Shawarma King for dinner. I got the vegetarian combo plate, which had falafel, hummus, babaganoush (omg so good), stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh, cucumber tomato salad, rice, and pita. HOT DANG. I finished 85% of it.

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Then we went to Athan’s Bakery for dessert! I got their pistachio gelato, which was the most sub-par gelato I’ve ever had, but it was still a delicious frozen treat.

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We finished the night watching the original Grease movie. It’s the best bad movie of all time.

Saturday

Overnight oats to start the morning!

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strawberry banana overnight oats topped with the last of my KIND peanut butter granola

This fueled another nice long walk towards campus…

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please interpret this art

…for another Saturday Spartan workout with Ben!

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Ben planned out this fun workout for us:

4 rounds:

  • run around baseball field
  • 15 triangle pushups (slightly inclined)
  • 2 flexed arm hang holds, any grip (15 seconds each or until failure ← definitely only held it for 5 seconds at some points)
  • 25 Roman chair leg lifts
  • 15 inverted rows
  • 10 step up hops each leg

Topped it off with 10 minutes of core work.

I packed a snacky lunch to eat between the workout and a meeting with my spiritual director (basically someone who teaches me how to better give God permission to speak to me through prayer and to work in my life — the most important permission I could ever give).

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rosemary Triscuits with pepperjack cheese + carrots with hummus

I gave myself permission to actually think about the taste of this snack (I guess people call it “mindful eating”), and it was 10x more satisfying than any other time I’ve eaten carrots and hummus/crackers and cheese.

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loads o’ popcorn

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I rushed through the popcorn and KIND bar, but they were still tasty.

I also gave myself permission to buy water from Starbucks for $0.27 because all the places where I usually fill up my water bottle on campus were closed.

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This was less about permission and more about a fundamental need for water. I am endlessly grateful for constant, easy access to clean drinking water.

After spiritual direction, I video chatted with my uncle, aunt and cousins for two hours. We had a beautiful conversation. Ugh, I love them. I got to spend most of the two hours outdoors before I had to charge my phone.

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The only downside was standing up and realizing that the bench I was sitting on gave me splinters all over my backside.

I picked up some groceries afterwards and gave myself permission to take an Uber back home instead of walking or taking the bus (the fact that an Uber was only $2.20 at the time was also a big factor).

Look what I found at the store!

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Burpee plants!

Back at home, I showered, warmed up some leftovers for dinner, and spent time with Christie’s boyfriend’s dog, Koga. I got a taste of the neediness that most dog owners talk about. It’s annoying in the most adorable way.

Sunday

I gave myself permission to SLEEP. IN. I slept until 9:40! I promised I’d make French toast for all of us in the morning though, so I quickly got to work on that.

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one whole wheat + one brioche topped with butter sautéed bananas, peanut butter, maple syrup, and slivered almonds + strawberries + glass o’ almond milk

Definitely taking full advantage of Christie’s pretty dishes and silverware for my food photos 🙂

I planned on running to the park ~4 miles away to meet my friends for a picnic in the afternoon, but my hip/quads/knee (!?) have been hurting these past few days, and running was a solid no-go yesterday. So I gave myself permission to pass on the picnic, walk home and do yoga instead.

The pain? Google says it could be some muscle tightness. Could be a labral tear. Hopefully not the latter.

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I forget what I did for the rest of the day, but in the evening I walked to campus for Mass, and my friend Evan kindly drove me home afterwards (God bless gentlemanly friends).

Chopped salad for dinner! (Read: Salad cut up with a pair of kitchen scissors.)

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spinach, feta, strawberries, avocado, sunflower seeds, and homemade honey mustard vinaigrette

Followed by dried figs with peanut butter and Greek yogurt. A classic.

Now I’m going to give myself permission to continue lying in bed and read Brideshead Revisited for real this time.

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday/Memorial Day!

Give God permission. — St. Teresa of Calcutta

So tell me:

Do you find it hard to give yourself permission to relax?

What is one thing you gave yourself permission to do this weekend?

Any good books you’re reading? 

 

Hi, Summer!

What time is it!?

{Summer time! It’s our vacaaaation!}

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I told you I’ve been listening to High School Musical.

Technically, my summer vacation started two weeks ago, but I haven’t really talked about my summer plans yet.

These first few weeks have been the “vacation” portion of my summer, during which I’ve had minimal responsibilities and plenty of time to hang out with friends and family, soak up some sun, and watch people graduate.

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© Kelsey C. Photography

I’m currently living with my friend Christie for June and July before my apartment lease starts August 1. I’ve unpacked only as much as I need, and I’m trying not to invade her space too much. This means my food supply is doubling as a window display.

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My bed situation is also kinda eccentric.

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twin-sized mattress topper over a queen-sized bed

I’ll call it terraced bedding. It’ll be trendy in 15 years.

This week has been about errands, a little bit of work and adjusting to being farther from campus. I still hang out on campus during these days off, but now I’m about a one-hour walk or a 30 minute bus ride away. The walk isn’t too shabby in the mornings though!

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So far this week, I:

  • worked one day
  • went to Mass and adoration a few times

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  • moved and grooved

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I had a coupon for a free smoothie from the gym!

  • cooked

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leftover brown rice and peas + garlic roasted broccoli + chicken with salsa verde from Rachel (that I learned wasn’t actually for me to eat… we sorted it out)

  • cleaned
  • withdrew money and exchanged for quarters for laundry
  • did laundry
  • joined a book club! (It’s with some people from the Catholic Center who are staying here for the summer. We’re reading Brideshead Revisited. I’ve never been in a book club, but now I feel like a suburb soccer mom!)
  • finally got a Boston Public Library card + checked out Brideshead Revisited 

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  • blogged
  • read blogs
  • watched the Crossfit Regionals online
  • helped my friend Albert move out of his dorm
  • went pants shopping (two pairs of pants ripped in the same spot [the crotch area behind the seams!?] within a single week during finals)

Does anyone else take dressing room selfies and make specific facial expressions that your friends will be able to read, because you know you’re going to ask for their opinion on your wardrobe dilemmas?

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Face says: “I know I already have athletic pants this color, but I still want these.”

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Face says: “I’m about to branch out, so speak now or forever see me in these capris.”

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Face says: “Shift dresses are not pants but they make me feel free and beautiful.”

For the record, I bought all of the above. I also did plan on sending these photos to my friends but never did, so I don’t know if anyone else approves. But OH WELL, I like ’em.

Madre kindly paid for my pants + dress as an early birthday gift. Thank you, Madre!!

You might have noticed that the dishes in my food photos look a lot nicer. That’s because Christie has exceptional taste in home/fashion/beauty, which makes my food photos look just a little bit more aesthetically pleasing.

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GOLD silverware (goldware?)

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the square bowls are my favorite – not the most practical, but as Beyonce says, pretty hurts

So I’m here in Boston doing my thang until June 1, which is when I go home to New York for a week for Pop’s 50th birthday celebration plus some bonafide family time.

Following that, I’ll be working back at BU as a gross anatomy teaching assistant for two weeks! I need to re-study.

After that, I start PT school! We start grad classes at the end of June through mid-August. This early start is what helps us get done in 6 years instead of 7 years (total). I’m excited to start the graduate studies and become closer with the other people in my program!

In other news, I had a leftover Reese’s bunny and took this photo of me getting ready for bed last night:

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I looked like a Christmas tree, but at least I was…

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I like to think I do important things with my time.

So tell me:

What are your summer plans?

What is something daring you’ve added to your wardrobe?

Have you ever been in a book club?

The Great and Small Things I Learned This Semester {Junior II}

I needed to use both handrails to get up the stairs yesterday.

That squat-burpee ladder workout (originally from Peanut Butter Runner by the way!) I did on Monday? Annihilated my legs. I have not been this sore for as long as I can remember, but it has taken me 2.5x longer to get anywhere these past few days. I used to take pride in feeling so sore that I couldn’t walk, but it’s honestly the worst. It’s fine every once in a while, but waddling at turtle pace all day is not functional.

Besides the woe of my quadriceps, today I am sharing the SIXTH edition of…

the great and small

…second semester junior year! Time really does move more quickly every year. Studying abroad in Ireland for the first semester made junior year disappear especially quickly, but second semester was also gone like *snap* ← that.

The culmination of lessons up until now: Freshman I // Freshman II // Sophomore I // Sophomore II // Study Abroad

1) I love being able to cook for myself in an apartment (it literally feeds my overnight oat obsession).

2) I still don’t really know how to deal with cockroaches, but I do know that I can survive after living amongst those six-legged demons.

3) The origins, insertions, actions, nerve supplies, and blood supplies of nearly every muscle in the human body.

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4) How to commit to things that I don’t feel 100% comfortable with (within reason). 

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5) I can meet more native Irish friends my age in Boston that in Ireland itself.

6) Megan has taught me so much about humility, simplicity, and embracing the little things. She has been a wonderful travel buddy and roommate this past year.

7) The dynamic of friendships may change, but that doesn’t mean the friendships have weakened.

8) I can survive 40+ days without peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter).

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9) I really like enchiladas.

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10) It’s still difficult for me to prioritize sleep, but when I do, life is so much better.

11) I do like running, and I need to get over saying, “ehhh I don’t LOVE running.” I love it when it’s with good friends.

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12) Buying regular carrots rather than baby carrots is not as convenient but it is a heck of a lot cheaper.

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13) How to better pray with Scripture. God’s Word becomes meaningful and relevant to you only if you give Him permission to speak through it.

14) Avoid melancholy like the plague. Like when I used to listen to sad songs because feeling sad was better than feeling nothing at all? None of that anymore.

15) I still struggle with perfectionism, but God has really brought me down to earth this semester and taught me that I don’t need to have it all together before going to Him or others.

16) According to my friends, I’m really good at taking selfies.

 I’ll put it on my resume. Is this a transferable skill?

17) How to direct skits.

18) “We are most authentically human when we give ourselves in love.” – Fr. Mark Murphy

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19) I’m happier without Instagram.

20) I should check cancellations online before walking (and royally wiping out) over treacherous ice to reach my destination.

21) Emotional persecution is real. I’m almost numb to it in some of my classes, but although it can be hurtful, it also forces me to become more understanding of why others are so ready to bash on certain beliefs rather than others.

22) Megan and I are solid bread chefs: scones, brown bread, focaccia, French toast. Let us know your carb needs; we’ve got the hookup.

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23) I cry at least once a week for a positive or negative reason (or both).

24) I very much enjoy classic Disney movie soundtracks, Hannah Montana and High School Musical songs (listening to that right now, TBH).

25) It’s SO FUN when blogger friends visit you in college (@Colby)! 🙂

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26) Apparently I look quite different now from when I was a wee little freshman lass.

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my first photo with Lauren ever, I think

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I mean, we ARE two years older. My hips don’t fit into those red jeans anymore, nayyyyy.

27) The sushi and bagels in Boston do not compare to those of New York.

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28) I’m really bad at consistently stretching.

29) The best part of a Red Sox game is the singing and dancing. Sweeeeeeet Caroline {bop ba baaaa!}

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30) The people are what make BU a great school. Walking around campus after most people have left feels sad and empty.

31) Writing when praying is incredibly helpful in regards to staying focused and remembering what happened during my conversation with God.

32) My blog still encompasses food and fitness, but it has naturally incorporated more faith and life subjects recently, and I’m okay with that.

33) God truly is present at all times in infinite ways.

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Thank you to my parents, brother, family, professors, the Catholic Center, friends (including all of YOU reading this), and strangers who have somehow influenced my life for yet another wonderful and fruitful semester of college. ❤

So tell me: 

Three things you learned this semester/since the beginning of 2017! 

Bittersweet

What is your record number of times you’ve moved within one year?

By the end of the summer I think I’ll be at 7. College student, ya know…c’est la vie.

This past week has been a bittersweet whirlwind as I’ve gotten to spend quality time with many of my best friends yet watch many of them graduate and move on to the next chapter of their lives. It happens every year, but it never gets easier.

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some of the beautiful grads straight outta Compton commencement

I also feel like I’ve kind of graduated, since I’m done with undergraduate studies and am now a graduate PT student, even though I don’t officially graduate until next year. So I tell my friends that I feel like an insignificant blob: “Am I an undergraduate? A senior? A grad student? I’m moving on, but not really. Most of my closest friends have graduated. I have to do adults things, but I’m still dependent on my parents.”

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Anyway, this past week was such a blessing. Buckle up, there’s a lot to catch up on!

Monday 

I went to coffee at Trident Cafe (one of those trendy bookstores/cafes) with my friend Connor, but we neither ordered coffee nor read books. We just sat there and had great convo for a while.

Later that night, I invited some non-senior friends who still hadn’t moved out yet to my apartment for dinner, ice cream, and High School Musical 3. It was the BEST.

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Tuesday

I worked from morning until afternoon on Tuesday, did 100 burpees for time at home (the fastest workout in all the land), then went to the Catholic Center to help our superwoman of an office director, Fran, set up and cook the annual dinner for our graduating seniors.

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we (“the help”) got our fair share of the delicious food as well!

Fran works exceptionally hard for our community, and even for this one event, she was up literally before dawn to make sure everything was perfect for the seniors. What a woman.

After dinner, some of the senior guys invited everyone over to their apartment for game night. We decided to play “Salad Bowl” (aka “fish bowl” to some), which is a cross between Catch Phrase, Taboo, and charades. Highly recommend this game for a crowd — ’twas a hilariously good time.

Wednesday

By the middle of the week, the temperatures were [finally] getting steamy and summery!

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I did one of my favorite workouts sometime in the morning before cooking a picnic lunch for my friend Casey and me. Casey has been a mentor and one of my best friends here at BU, and this was one of our last formal mentorship meetings since she was graduating.

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I made us some Korean BBQ salmon, sautéed frozen veggies and brown rice to eat by the Charles River on the gloriously warm and sunny day.

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My friend Briana left me with a bunch of frozen salmon and frozen veggies that sustained me during my last days on campus. Thanks, girl!

Casey and I ate and chatted for hours, so you know it was quality time.

That night, my friend Lauren invited people to go swing dancing at MIT, and you bet I came along to move and groove!

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Thursday

Domenica, Sarah and I (as non-seniors) helped out our dear senior friends with their photoshoot in the morning. Their photographer, Kelsey, was also among the graduating seniors, so she needed to be photographed too!

The following ten photos are property of my talented friend Kelsey!

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UGH I’M GOING TO CRY. I love them all so much.

After Mass that night, a bunch of us went out for $0.25 wings at Thornton’s! Wings aren’t my favorite things in the world, but I definitely couldn’t pass ’em up when they were so cheap. Plus, they had sauces other than buffalo (← yuck).

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4 BBQ, 4 teriyaki, 4 honey mustard = $3

Finger-lickin’ goodness.

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As the sun set, we headed over to Cafe 472 for some froyo. Domenica and I split a cup of vanilla peppermint that was super refreshing.

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I ended my night with some packing and more frozen veggie cooking, haha.

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sautéing them with fresh onions, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano makes them pretty gourmet, if I do say so myself

Friday

Graduations begin! First we attended the College of Communications graduation for Kelsey. Then we had a couple hours before the next graduation, during which I did a 20 minute workout in my apartment and inhaled lunch. We have a couple friends in the Business School, so we attended that one as well, but it was LONG.

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There were approximately 900 students in the school of business, so some of us had to leave for potty and snack breaks during the diploma presentations.

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I went home to pack some more afterwards, and Rachel kept me company and joined me for dinner!

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more of the same — this time, pesto salmon for me and sriracha salmon for her

Connor and Louis invited some friends over to their place to watch Shawshank Redemption, which neither Rachel nor I had ever seen. I could only stay for half since I needed to go to sleep early-ish, but I want to finish it soon!

Saturday

I needed to sleep early the night before so that I could work out with my fellow Spartan, Ben at 7am Saturday morning. We did a hodgepodge of things at the park, including suicide sprints, burpee pull-ups, planks, sit-ups, push-ups, and squats.

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I showered at home and took a nap before my parents arrived to help me move out of my BU apartment and into a friend’s apartment just for June and July. I so appreciated their help in making move-out/move-in so smooth! It was also just lovely to see Madre and Pop ♥︎

They took me and my friends out to lunch at a ramen place called Pikaichi, which was fantastic.

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fried shrimp shumai and fried chicken to start

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spicy miso ramen for me (finished it ALL)

Next I went to Mass and then rushed to work for a wedding in Cambridge all night. It was a Catholic couple who was looking for young and competent people to help out for the night, so a few friends and I hopped on the opportunity. It was a busy and tiring 7 hours, but also very fun to help make the couple’s night smooth and special.

We also got to eat some of their food, which included BBQ and Colombian food(!!!).

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Sunday

Another busy but wonderful day! It started off with the Neuroscience graduation for Rachel.

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She graduated summa cum laude and got invited into a prestigious honor society! What a babe!

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Rachel’s mom kindly took us out for brunch at Panera afterwards. I got something substantial to hold me through the long, school-wide commencement to follow.

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The weather was perfect for the big outdoor commencement — sunny, not too hot, not too cold. Sitting in the sun for 2+ hours gets intense no matter what, though, but check out these fun hats they provided!

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lol

Rachel’s mom, Dom and I were betting on how long it would take for the 6,300+ graduates just to process in and take their seats. We were thinking 15 minutes or less…It took 26.5 minutes.

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Yeesh. But the ceremony and the speakers were great. I’m so proud of these people!!!

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I spent the rest of the day and night with Rachel and her mom, who took care of me so well. Her mom took us out to all you can eat sushi and let me stay at her hotel for the night. What generosity! It was so fun spending time with both of them.

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Monday

Yesterday, I said goodbye to more friends who were either going back home, moving on to work elsewhere, or going on vacation. It was a gloomy day, which definitely reflected my emotions.

Some other happenings of the day included a killer workout…

…getting some work business done, unpacking, getting interviewed randomly by two women on the sidewalk, getting asked out to coffee but a completely random stranger on the sidewalk (I know, it was a weird day to be on the sidewalk), Mass, and hanging out with PJ and friends at since PJ is leaving for a long time 😦

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we shared nachos + I got chicken fajitas

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We will miss you, PJ!

And now here I am catching you up on these million and one things that have happened this past week from my mess of a bedroom.

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But while everything changes constantly, two things always remain the same: God and peanut butter in my breakfast.

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Hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday!

So tell me:

What have you been up to recently!?

Did you watch anyone graduate this month/did YOU graduate?

What’s your favorite party game?

What’s for breakfast?