Feelin’ The Heat

🎶 I’m burnin’ up, burnin’ up for you babayyyyy.🎶

Does ANYONE remember that Jonas Brothers’ song!?

It’s finally getting steamy over here in Boston! I used to hate the heat, but I appreciate it now. Mostly at night when I can walk out of a restaurant and not have to brace myself in the chilly air (← problems that are not real problems).

I was definitely feelin’ the heat of the sun this weekend and also feelin’ the heat of work/school starting up again. I’m excited to have a routine again though. I can only go so long as a nomad of life. I’m actually currently typing this as I help proctor an exam (don’t worry, I’ve got my eyes on the students too 😉 ).


I worked all day at my usual side job as a house helper.


overnight oats in a pb jar(!) for the morn’

Living farther from work/campus in June and July means my sustenance depends on tupperwares.


“use all the leftovers” kind of lunch — two eggs, two egg whites, greens, pepper jack and feta


After work, I met up with an incoming BU freshman who I met on one of my campus tours. We had a lovely time chatting and getting to know each other for over two hours over berry hibiscus iced tea at Pavement.

I also went to the gym that night for the first time in a long time! I still can’t run, but rowing is fine. I missed cardio (never thought I’d say that) these past couple weeks after very little impact for my healing hips. It was also bumpin’ in the gym on a Friday night. People are so dedicated in the summer!

The moves and grooves:

Warmup (5 min rowing)

  • 3×10 scap flye pushups // 3×10 stability ball scorpions
  • 1×10 lat pulldown (70#), 3×6 assisted pull-up negatives (50# assist) // 3×10 decline pushups
  • 1×10 military press (20# DBs), 2×10 Arnold press (12# DBs) // 3×10 med ball squat cleans (20#)

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 cals rowing // 8 burpees between each set

Boston was looking SO FINE on my way home.


Bedtime snack:



I got up relatively early the next day to meet Ben for our usual Saturday Spartan workout. He let me lead so that the workout was sure to be friendly for my hip. He also asked me to “murder his arms,” so I immediately thought of Lori and Michelle’s 18 minute plank workout, aka the slow but sure killer. He kept calling the exercises “fake,” but that’s just because they were hard 🙂


We also did some reverse rows, tricep dips, and this same 10 minute ab workout from Pinterest that we did a few nights before.

With wiggly arms and warm cores, we parted ways. A tupperware breakfast to enjoy on a bench:


leftover green pancakes with almond butter and jam

Then I went to Mass downtown and walked home for lunch.


leftover Thai food

For the rest of the afternoon, I studied a little bit of gross anatomy for work, read some Brideshead Revisited, and took a delicious 20 minute nap (← My mom calls naps delicious and I don’t know I feel about it, but here I am.)

Saturday evening involved a super special belated birthday surprise from the bff, Rachel! She asked me to put on a cute dress, come over to her place for dinner, and let her take me out for the night. Already loved everything about it.

I arrived to a set table and the smell of pasta cooking on the stove, and we soon sat down for a lovely dinner of salads with arugula, feta, dried cranberries and homemade apple cider vinaigrette…


…and tortellini with marinara. So simple and satisfying.


Look at this chef!


After finishing, we cleaned up and headed out into town. Before dinner I didn’t know where she was taking me, but after a little thought and prodding, I figured out that she was taking me to the Omni Parker House for drinks and desserts! So fancy!! Also a food bucket list destination 🙂


We sat down at the bar (what a GROWN WOMAN thing to do, we’re GROWN WOMEN wow) and ordered a drink each, plus two cakes to share.


We had to get the original Boston Cream Pie, because a) it originated at the Parker House; b) it’s on our food bucket list. I also learned that Boston Cream PIE is actually cake.


The second cake was carrot cake, because Rachel knows it’s my all-time fave.


Neither cake blew me away, but they were both still cake, rich and delicious!

Our drinks thooooough. We took the waitress’ recommendations , so Rachel got an “Craft Manhattan” on the rocks. It was Woodford Reserve Bourbon (which the menu says has “a bouquet of banana bread, orange and vanilla” WHAT) paired with Doulin Rouge (“a lighter sweet vermouth”), stirred with orange bitters.


I don’t know what half of those things are, but it was super strong and good.

And I got the Blackberry Whiskey Sour, which was Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and blackberry puree. So like juice, just how I prefer it. Rachel said it was one of the best drinks she’s ever tasted.


It was so wonderful getting to chat with my best friend all night and do fancy grownup things with her. Thank you so much again, Rachel. Love you forever.


I slept in on Sunday and started the day with some yoga in my room. Other happenings included a sweaty walk to a work meeting, sitting by the river, and Mass. I won’t get into too much detail about my day on Sunday because I have a “week in the life” vlog coming for ya later this week! I might do the full week, I might just do half a week because my life isn’t that interesting. We’ll see.

Have a fantastic week ahead, friends! Eat cake and do something fancy.

So tell me: 

Have you ever eaten Boston Cream Pie? 

Two things you did this weekend! 

Do you ever have to pack a whole day’s worth of food with you?


The Most Ice Cream I’ve Ever Consumed

This post is not about “health.”

It is about L I V I N G though.

More on that in a bit. I’m back in Boston! I packed up my bags and took a train from New York to Boston on Wednesday afternoon. First, I had a dentist appointment (no cavities, but I have a chip in my front tooth and my wisdom are just starting to come in apparently?). Then Madre kindly took me out to lunch at Thai Basil before sending me off.


“Bangkok Box” lunch special: salad, dumplings, chicken and veggies with peanut sauce, brown rice, and tapioca corn pudding — all for $10!!


Madre’s “rad na” (flat rice noodles, chicken, and Chinese broccoli in Asian-style gravy)

We shared a lot of my box, and she gave me most of her rad na to take on my train ride 🙂


The train ride went pretty quickly with some music, reading, blueberry-eating, and napping.


I arrived in Boston a little past 7pm and decided to eat some of the leftover rad na for dinner outside the train station before calling an Uber to 1) let time pass for the Uber to be a little less expensive; 2) enjoy the perfect weather.


So much for trying to save money on Uber though… There was a lot of confusion with pickups/cancellations, and I ended up wasting quite a bit of money in the debacle *facepalm*. But Uber kindly refunded a lot of it once I messaged them about the situations.

It was frustrating, but I made it home safe and sound. God is good.

When I got back, my Spartan friend, Ben, texted me: “Give me 10 minutes of abs to do!” So I looked on Pinterest and sent him this:



I did the workout as well, in solidarity. It looks simple, but the lack of breaks until the end of the round is a GAME CHANGER. What a burner. I also did this 9 minute yoga because I just needed a good stretch after sitting on the train for hours.

Yesterday morning started with some leftover green pancakes that I froze before I left Boston. I’m glad I had them because I hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet.


two with almond butter + two with peanut butter

Plus frozen grapes! Nature’s popsicle.


I walked(!) to Trader Joe’s to grocery shop and meet up with Rachel just to catch up. We hadn’t seen each other in half a month! The plight of best friends.

When we got back to my apartment, I unloaded the groceries and arranged lunch shortly after.


“snack plate” lunch: crackers, carrots with Sriracha hummus (so good!), lettuce rollups with ham + pepper jack + mustard

Rachel and I had some much needed chat time before she left at around 1pm. After she left, I ate a leftover piece of French toast from forever ago for lunch dessert (had to cut off some moldy parts of it, but I promise the rest was still okay).

Then it was time to cook! I made whole wheat spaghetti with sun-dried tomato pesto and fresh basil + grilled chicken breasts with dried thyme, basil, and oregano.


I’m looking forward to having it these next few days! Sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil are two of my favorite things.

I moved and grooved with this low impact workout from Millionaire Hoy on YouTube. Have you ever seen his videos? He’s so funny and energetic! And his moves are really unique.

After a shower, I walked to the Catholic Center for Mass (and sweated again), but upon arrival, I promptly learned that the Catholic Center was actually closed. Womp womp.


My friend Christina also showed up for the Mass that wasn’t actually happening, so we got to chat for a bit, which was nice!

I ate the spaghetti and chicken I had packed for dinner while heading to the T station to meet Ben for THE SCOOPER BOWL.

This was my first time going to Scooper Bowl, but it’s an annual, three-day fundraiser in Boston for The Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Insitute. Adults pay $15 (88 cents of every dollar goes to the DFCI) for all-you-can-eat ice cream. Isn’t that MADNESS!?

Indeed. Madness of the best sort. Masses of people came to City Hall Plaza to line up for a scoop of various ice cream flavors from several vendors including Baskin Robbins, Hood, Arctic Zero, Yasso, Friendly’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Vice Cream, Yuengling’s, Breyer’s, Edy’s, and Minus the Moo.

And these tastings are legit scoops. Not little baby spoon samples. This is SCOOPer bowl, kids. I consumed approximately 7 scoops of ice cream.



We tried to find a shorter line to start, so Arctic Zero was first (ha). The reactions on people’s faces after they tried Arctic Zero were hilarious. I don’t mind Arctic Zero, but most people were not fans.


Arctic Zero – cake batter


Friendly’s – peanut butter fudge (so good)


Ben & Jerry’s – Bob Marley’s One Love (banana ice cream & caramel and graham cracker swirls & fudge peace signs – probably my favorite flavor of the evening!) andddddd Frozen Flakes (cereal milk ice cream with cereal milk swirls – also very tasty)


Vice Cream – mint chocolate chip (different but good texture)

The founder of Vice Cream is a cancer survivor himself, and his motto was, life is too short, so #EFIC (eat f***in’ ice cream). Well, I’m obviously on board with that.

At this point, I told Ben, “I’m coming to my end…” But we persevered.



Breyer’s – Oreo (classic, always a good choice)

I didn’t finish this one nor any of the following ones, but it was still fun to taste them.


Baskin Robbins – raspberry cheesecake 


Yasso – chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream bar (honestly the worst thing of the night…Ben put it well: “It tastes like biting on the popsicle stick itself.”)


Yuengling’s (not the beer!) – Butterbeer (ironically…but they made a disclaimer that it had nothing to do with Harry Potter)

My stomach/palate/heart/wellbeing could only muster a couple bites of these last flavors, but man, oh, man was Scooper Bowl an adventure. I loved it.



I do not condone excessive amounts of ice cream frequently, but I do condone livin’ a little every once in a while 🙂 And honestly, I felt a little crappy (physically) afterwards, but not terribly so.

Ben told me he’s going to work out a lot tomorrow, and I told him I’m going to eat so much soluble fiber.

Happy Friday, friends! Eat some ice cream this weekend.

So tell me:

Which ice cream flavor above sounds the best to you?

What is one way you “lived a little” recently?

Something you did yesterday!




Gentler Moves and Grooves

Yesterday was a very blue Tuesday!

Not because it was a sad day, but because the color blue popped up a lot.


Breakfast was the last of my Fage Greek yogurt (the BEST – thanks, Madre!) with blueberries, purple corn flakes (blue enough), cinnamon, and almond butter.

On the other end of the day, I met up with my friend from study abroad, Cristen! She and I (along with Megan) experienced so much of the great green Ireland and Edinburgh, Scotland together. And she loves peanut butter + banana as much as I do!

We discovered on our abroad adventures that we live pretty close to each other, so we finally met up for some ice cream at The Blue Pig.


Isn’t it adorable!? I got the roasted banana with salted caramel + fluffernutter (basically vanilla with large chunks of peanut butter), and both were very tasty. It wasn’t the creamiest ice cream, but the flavor was on point.


Cristen was the best part of the night! I love catching up with this one.


I actually had second dessert when I got home because I still needed something to fill the tank. Mini muffins with a glass o’ milk to the rescue!


My aunt made these, and they are BOMB. Perfect amount of sweetness and great texture.

I ate these while geeking out with Ben over the solar eclipse that’s coming across the United States this August 21st. We found this video in our research, which is equal parts hilarious and incredible.

Other foods of the day included salads and half a bagel with Kerrygold butter. Memories of Ireland…


nothing like toast with quality buttah

Madre even had the idea to make egg-in-a-hole with a bagel, so I made it for her as a midnight snack. It looked scrumptious!


Her dreams came true and she loved it.

Besides eating, I moved and grooved a bit yesterday. I mentioned in my last post that I likely have a minor labral tear, but there are still many movements that feel good/are not painful. I definitely want to keep some good range of motion in that hip joint, so I’m exercising but being verrrrry conservative and immediately stopping anything that doesn’t feel nice. Like walking. Walking doesn’t feel nice, so I’m not doing that as much (Boston will be hard when I get back there!).

The goal is to not need surgery 😀

Here’s what I did:

(Superset = three sets back to back. Also, my hair has a mind of its own.)

This workout was all about pain-free movement, not about speed or reps. It was still fun though!

Back to Boston today!

So tell me:

Did you eat anything/go anywhere blue yesterday?

Will you be in the path of the total solar eclipse on August 21st!? We will not be, unfortunately, but if you will be, PLEASE FILM IT. The chance of a lifetime. I love space things (← obviously not an expert though).

Your opinions on buttered toast.

Have you ever needed to modify workouts due to injuries?



I Ate a Whole Humble Pie This Week!

Not just a slice. Like, God pie’d me in the face with the whole humble pie.

I’ve been home for only five days, and I feel like I have learned many humbling lessons. Let’s just say: If you ask God to humble you and teach you how to love others more deeply, He WILL. Not always in the way you expect/prefer, but He will.

Without boring you too much with all lessons I learned, I will share just one slice of this humble pie, which is my hip pain that I’ve been complaining about this past week. After consulting two physical therapists, we have concluded that it is very likely that I have a labral tear, which means I will not be able to run the Spartan Race in two weeks. I’m kinda crushed, but I am thankful for loving friends and family and the ability to still walk and move.

Time to get reacquainted with lots of yoga and Pilates!

Humble pie isn’t the only thing I ate at home (thankfully). There have been two birthday celebrations and much-needed family/friend time!


Back in Boston, my day started with green banana silver dollar pancakes. Because I had time…


…or so I thought. Until I left way too late for the bus station FOR NO GOOD REASON AT ALL and ended up having to run for the bus. I felt like such a dummy for leaving so late and almost missing my bus. I am often late to things, but this really woke me up. #humbled.

Thanks be to God, I juuuuuuuust made the bus and arrived to New York that night. My family welcomed me back with a belated birthday dinner at my favorite Japanese restaurant!


fantastic fried calamari to start


salad that came with my sushi dinner


eel avocado, yellowtail, and tuna — all my favorites!


“Ichiro Sushi Sandwich” — spicy tuna, lobster salad, crab, egg, avocado wrapped in soy paper


Ben and Pop’s sushi and sashimi for two!


celebrating 21 with a shiso leaf mojito — very tasty!


We left full to the brim with sushi, so my dessert was a scrumptious mini pistachio muffin (made by my aunt) from our fridge.



I started the day with Lori and Michelle’s great 18 minute plank workout, followed by a hearty breakfast.


steel cut banana oats with cinnamon raisin pb + two eggs with veggies and sriracha

Madre and I went to get our nails done and then to shop at Trader Joe’s. It was a lovely mother-daughter date 🙂


afternoon snack plate

We tag-teamed dinner — I made the brussels sprouts and she made the salmon (plus the leftover rice).


Classic and so satisfying!


Breakfast was small because there was a giant feast ahead!


greek yogurt with bananas, cinnamon, and almond butter

Moves and grooves of the day included 45 minutes of YouTube yoga before we all got dressed up and headed to the Big Apple for Pop’s grand 50th birthday celebration! He wanted to go all out for his half-century on this planet, so we started with an uber fancy late lunch at Jean-Georges, a Michelin Star restaurant located in Columbus Circle. Ooooooooo la laaaaa.


’twas such a gorgeous day!

After we took some photos outside, we stepped into the restaurant for our 2:15pm reservation.


Pop wanted to do the spring tasting menu, which the waiter requested the whole table do. The birthday boy had spoken, so we went with the fixed spring tasting menu. It did not disappoint!

Bread basket: I went with a slice of the Swedish rye (smeared with butter), which was very textured and flavorful!


Amuse bouche: sesame-crusted asparagus with yuzu sabayon + beet-cured salmon sashimi with chili pepper over sunflower seeds and yogurt + warm herbal tea. Everything on the plate was delicious on its own, and the herbal tea was more like broth, but very good!


Course one: softly poached organic egg, caviar, whipped yogurt, herbs + buttered brioche stick for stirring and dipping. This was my favorite dish of the whole meal! That buttered bread stick with the soft egg and perfectly salty caviar — so unique and incredible.


Course two: Madai sashimi, pastel radishes, nasturtium vinaigrette. This was very zesty and similar to ceviche. Refreshing and pretty to look at!


Course three: warm green asparagus, sautéed sorel mushrooms, sherry vinaigrette. These were some of the best vegetables ever. Those mushrooms were so flavorful and meaty!


Course four: slowly cooked bass, crunchy oat tuile, herbal lime dressing. Melt-in-your-mouth fish with great tangy dressing and some sort of pea puree. The crunchy oat tuile was so fun too!


Course five: rack of lamb crusted with herbs, fresh chickpea puree, carrots, and aleppo pepper sauce. The best lamb I’ve ever eaten. The aleppo pepper sauce went so well with the meat, and everything on the plate just WORKED.


Course six: strawberry gelée, frozen basil and vanilla morsels, crunchy tapioca pearls, strawberries. Insanely interesting. It was like the most sophisticated version of strawberry jello with dip ‘n’ dots you could ever imagine. I wouldn’t choose this dessert myself, but it was fun to eat and pretty tasty!


Bonus dessert: Pop’s surprise chocolate birthday cake with raspberry filling


Bonus dessert part two: homemade vanilla bean marshmallows, orange liqueur jelly, lemon curd-filled chocolates, basil chocolates, sesame caramels, chocolate liqueur-filled chocolate balls. They cut the marshmallows table side, which was the coolest. And all the chocolates minus the orange jellies were so interesting in a good way!


he totally made his arm/hand positions perfect for my photo


Utterly STUFFED. The food at Jean-Georges was ridiculously creative and well done, and the service was top-notch. Thank you, Madre and Pop, for letting us join in on this spectacular food experience!

After our long lunch, we gave Pop his cards…


love how my aunt gave him a KIND bar in his card haha

 …and then walked over to Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church, which is beautiful.


Following Mass, we had another appointment at Minskoff Theater for the Broadway musical, The Lion King! We had heard rave reviews about it basically since we moved to New York, and this weekend was finally our time to see it.


The show is really unlike any other Broadway musical I’ve ever watched. The characters are pulled off with ingenious costumes, humor and fantastic visual effects. And the singing and dancing is marvelous!


Highly recommend 🙂 Such a heartwarming classic brought to life in an imaginative way.

Ben and I had a (literal) midnight snack at home and then we all hit the hay. What a wonderful day.


Pop’s official 50th birthday! I slept in and then started on lunch for the fam. I needed a little snack though, so I ate some leftover salmon on a bed of spinach to hold me over.


I grilled up some pancakes, roasted chicken drumsticks, and made Pop a chopped salad. Madre fried some plantains and helped me clean up a lot. What a team.


After digesting, I laid low before doing a strength workout in the basement:

4 rounds:

  • 20 bentover rows (15# KBs)
  • 20 thrusters (36#)
  • 20 weighted setups (15#)
  • 20 donkey kicks each leg

(Walking and running hurt, but squats don’t hurt at all.)

Later that night, I met my high school dance friend, Susie, in the city for dinner! We met up at Cava, which is basically a Mediterranean version of Chipotle, except much better IMO. They give you so many toppings!!


Susie recommended their juices, so we both got the strawberry mint lime. We tasted a bunch of them before deciding, and they were all so good!


In my bowl: superfood greens, brown rice, harissa, eggplant feta dip, tzatziki, grilled beef meatballs, radishes, cucumber tomato salad, cauliflower quinoa tabouli, pita chips, and lemon herb tahini.


RIGHT!? So much goodness! The company was the best part of the night though. It was so great catching up with Susie!


First thing in the morning, I dropped off Ben at the train station and then headed to the hospital I worked at last summer for one of my physical therapist friends to do a quick evaluation of my hip. She (along with my PT aunt) said that I probably have a labral tear. *sigh*

Head up, Alison!

I went back home for breakfast and a nap. I have been SO tired this week at home.


greek yogurt, cinnamon, berries, chia seeds, purple corn flakes (!!), leftover pancake quarter, almond butter

The rest of my day involved Mass, some computer work and organization for school, and this Blogilates workout. I still want to move my joints and keep my muscles strong, but workouts are definitely very low impact and careful now.

At night, my high school friends Sam and Michael came over to hang out, which was so fun! We ordered pizza, and Madre (being the hospitable gem she is) fried up some egg rolls and TWO different kinds of pork.






fried noms

And now it’s 1am and I should sleep, because next week I will be an 8-5 working human.

I hope you all have a lovely week! Prayers especially for all those in England and Europe in general ♥︎

So tell me: 

Which food in this post would you want to try!?

Two fun things you did this weekend.

What is your favorite musical?

Have you been humbled recently?

In and Out of Canada {Take 2}

Another year, another jaunt to Canada for the weekend.

Toronto, Canada. The land in which I undoubtedly consume an inordinate amount of carbohydrates and sodium. But goodness gracious, how can you say no to the fried rice and crispy noodles?

The food wasn’t nearly as important as the occasion and the company of course. My family took a little trek to Toronto this weekend to celebrate my grandparents’ 50th anniversary! How beautiful, eh? (← had to)


Early wakeup to leave the house at 6AM! I definitely should not have stayed up until midnight to watch gymnastics/procrastinated laundry the night before. But Simone and Aly were worth it.

Nectarine banana overnight oats as per travel tradition.


I was also nearly half deaf on Friday because my right ear has issues (I was born with two ear holes instead of one in that ear), so I’m prone to infection and having too much stuff in my ear. One of the more gross facts that you didn’t need to know about me. But not being able to hear that well out of even one ear really made me appreciate the gift of hearing!


some morning double rainbow action

Madre had been up in Toronto since Tuesday, since she was the executive party planner. Pop, Ben and I took Friday off of work to drive up, and it took wayyyy too long. A road trip that usually takes 9 hours took almost 12 hours. But we made it safe and sound, which matters most.


Salad dipped in guac. All I can hear is Rachel saying to me, “Be better. Or at least be less weird.”


so much of this

We rolled into our cousins’ place at around 6pm. We were staying with the fit family again 🙂 Obviously that meant doing handstands and cartwheels in the basement with my cousin Amy upon arrival.

My family took off again soon after for dinner with other relatives at Congee Queen.


congee = rice porridge with lots of good stuff inside

Pro: it’s cheap, delicious food. Con: it’s cheap, delicious food.

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best fried rice ever with [fake] crab, roe, and eel!

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I am positive that I ate more at this dinner than I do at Thanksgiving.

Back at home, I showered, and my cousin and I stretched while watching the Olympics with our parents. Only at their house can I enjoy a big stretching mat and foam rollers in front of the television!


I slept in until 8ish and headed to the basement to warmup and do Jen’s 1000 Rep Workout.

My legs were insanely tight from sitting all day Friday, so this workout was great for loosening them up, but I could feel that there was lots of lactic acid in my body (not soreness but all around fatigue/tightness/heaviness). All I wanted was to foam roll and drink water until the cows came home.

After showering (and getting my right ear to hear again!), I helped Amy make avocado egg toast for her and her dad. She saw on my blog that I ate it once 25793 times before and bought the ingredients to make it while I was visiting.


I’m always a proponent of spreading the avo-egg toast love, and I’m happy that they love it!


For myself, I ate some quick banana oatmeal with protein powder and almond butter.


While Madre, Pop and Ben were setting up the hall for the anniversary party the next day, I got to hang out with Amy. We played “Just Dance” and a Mario Party “board game” on the Wii after breakfast.

Working out + Just Dance made me pretty hungry again in no time. I ate leftovers for lunch with my cousin’s family before they left for Kung Fu practice (NBD). As for me, I laid horizontally on their couch (I had a stomachache for a bit), foam rolled, and caught up on blogs and reading.


I did some handstands too. Amy believed that I could do a one-armed handstand facing the wall (after seeing my failure last week), and I could! The power of encouragement, man.


When my family got back home, we headed to 5pm Mass. This parish we visited had the most beautiful-sounding music ministry. I cried.

Then for my favorite meal of the trip at my favorite restaurant in Toronto— Ten Ren’s Tea House! Everything here is cooked with tea, and they obviously sell a million kinds of tea beverages.

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p.s. More often than not in Toronto, we share everything family style. #justAsianthings

I actually skipped a tea beverage this time because I wanted a tea dessert, and I’m not really a dessert-sharer, so…. I ordered a green tea soft serve in a waffle cone for myself, which was fantastic.


I also had a couple bites of “brick toast” for the first time ever. It’s what it sounds like— toast the size of a brick that’s caramelized and topped with something yummy. Our table shared a sweet milk custard one and a peanut butter (!) one.


We’re pretty sure it was natural peanut butter because LOOK AT THE WAY IT MELTS. It also wasn’t too sweet. The sweet milk custard one was even better though, honestly. Imagine creme brûlée on top of toast….Yeah.

I also had a few bites of this snow ice dessert.


It’s shaved ice topped with coconut milk and four toppings. We got tapioca, taro, lychee jelly, and red beans. Tasty and refreshing!

I think the rest of the night involved more stretching and Just Dance. We didn’t throw knives this time around, darn it.


The big day! My family headed to the hall to prep for the anniversary party all morning.


Sidenote: I was tweezing my brows in the car (I was NOT driving) on the way to the hall, which I do not recommend for effectiveness, accuracy, or safety.

We did some rehearsing, some decorating, and LOTS of food scooping into trays. As we were transferring all the food (that Congee Queen catered) into smaller trays, all I could think was, “these noodles are perpetual…this fried rice could feed an army and a half…this is all the General Tso’s chicken in Canada.”

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Needless to say, many people had many meals to take home at the end of the party.

There were several heartfelt speeches, many songs, lots of laughs, a couple baby screams, and almost three hundred people celebrating my grandparents’ inspiring 50 years of marriage. I sang “La Vie en Rose” for them with my brother accompanying on the piano!

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DSC_2657Pop and his bros singing + Ben on the keys + pad thai 


I wore spiky, pointy-toed heels for 3 minutes before calling it quits and switching to sandals.


So many people worked very hard to plan, set up, and attend this celebration. Special shoutout to my mom and her family and friends, who were indispensable contributors to the setup and cleanup of the party. They’re amazing! Everyone on both sides of the family who helped and came out to the celebration are just remarkable.

Cheers to everyone and to my Mah Mah and Yeh Yeh!


We were utterly exhausted after running around all day. To think that Pop, Ben and I had originally planned on driving home to New York overnight immediately after the party makes me want to die inside. Thank God we were all able to get Monday off work.

I did go on a walk with my cousin, aunt and uncle after dinner because the weather outside was perfect and the sky looked like cotton candy!


homemade jello made by Amy, naturally sweetened with honey and lemon — so refreshing!

But after watching the 100m men’s track final at night, I went to bed at 10 and passed. out.


Pop took one of our cars to go back home early with his aunt, and the rest of us slept in a little bit before we hit the road with our other car. I ate some breakfast cookie dough cereal before saying goodbyes, and then we were off!

First though, some road trip snacks from the Asian supermarket.


cart-basket contraption


“meat floss” seems neither appealing nor helpful in any way

Lunch on the road:


pork bun


cold Taiwanese noodles

Also, we bought ketchup chips in unhealthy and healthier form.


A Canada classic that makes ketchup lovers rejoice and ketchup haters question humanity.

The trip home was a lot better than the trip to Toronto, thankfully. We even got some good views of Niagara Falls at the border!


Our last hurrah was dinner at a Japanese restaurant with my dad’s aunt. I shared an eel avocado roll with my mom and ordered steamed chicken and vegetables with brown rice for myself. I was honestly craving as little salt and oil as possible. I love those two things, but Toronto serves it on a whole ‘nother level.

IMG_2488 IMG_2489

It was a fun mini vacation with my beloved family, but I’m excited to go back to work and not have as much acne on my face 😀

So tell me:

What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever tried brick toast or Taiwanese snow ice?

How has someone encouraged you recently?