Two Museums, Two Desserts, Two Blistered Feet

I did something this weekend other than “oh ya know, just layin’ low…” !!!

Not that there’s anything wrong with laying low (after all, I love kicking up my feet after work these days). But it’s nice to exit the abode and live a little, especially when the weather is as gorgeous as it was this weekend!

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Friday

There’s nothing really to share about Friday except that I worked, ate my favorite dinner of the week, and went to bed at 9.

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brown rice with eel + avocado = all the good things in sushi, amplified in a bowl

Also, BEN CAME HOME FROM SPAIN! He completed El Camino de Santiago, which is historically a Christian walking pilgrimage. There are many routes, but Ben did a super long one that totaled 890 km (553 miles) within 32 days. Casual.

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Congrats, Ben! YOU ROCK.

He actually came home at 2 AM Saturday morning, but I snuck into his room later in the morning to say hi to him before I left for NYC.

Saturday

Since I went to bed so darn early, I woke up at around 6 AM for some sunrise moves and grooves!

100 burpee workout // 10 reps of each // Click here for demos!

  • 10 tuck jump burpees
  • 10 T pushup burpees
  • 10 candlestick to chair burpees
  • 10 alternating side burpees (this one actually hurt my shoulder a bit because the pushup becomes kinda awkward, so I would not recommend this variation)
  • 10 broad jump burpees
  • 10 spiderman pushup burpees
  • 10 handstand burpees
  • 10 superman burpees
  • 10 dive bomber burpees
  • 10 plank jack tuck jump burpees

I tried to do some new/weird variations to keep things interesting, so it was definitely a fun (and tiring) one!

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banana bread baked oatmeal with plain peanut butter + “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter from The Peanut Principle

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from the farmers’ market 😀

Plus a couple pieces of my mom’s egg white pork bake.

After washing up, Pop dropped me off at the train station to head down to the city! Cue this Tori Kelly song (because she is the soundtrack to my life).

First of all, I saw an extraordinary number of dads with their kids on the train/in the city that day, and it made my heart explode.

Secondly, Park Ave looks so clean and luxurious, but it honestly just smells like manure. #overrated

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First stop of the day was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Can you believe I’ve lived in NY for 11 years, and this was my first time going there?

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I guess if you don’t live in NY, you don’t really see the big deal. But this is one of those “must see” attractions in the city.

I did my tourist thing while waiting for my friend, Christine.

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Squealing greeting + photos in front of the MET, because we’re bananas (yellow on the outside, white on the inside, in case you haven’t seen me make that joke 100 times on the blog).

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apparently this is where Gossip Girl cast ate lunch in the show??

In we went!

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We interspersed our “ooo’s” and “aaah’s” with some serious girl talk and some attempts at reading our people’s language.

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My contribution every time: “I have no idea what it means, but it looks familiar.”

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At least we’re proficient in fit fam culture.

Art eventually drains ya girls, so we headed over to lunch at Bluestone Lane for some Australian fare at around 1 PM.
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the restaurant is an extension of an Episcopalian church!
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I spy vegemite toast and the word “brekkie”
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Christine got the egg and bacon roll + I got the Aussie meat pie with mint pea puree
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dynamite
Our waiter was Australian, which really added to the experience. Arman, I could not stop thinking about you.
We made it our mission to find both ice cream and Levain Bakery for dessert, so we took the scenic route and walked around the Central Park reservoir. It was the absolute perfect day to do it! Hot, but not unbearable, and bluuuuuue skies.
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We didn’t know where to get ice cream, but we happened upon Amorino Gelato, which is famous for making roses out of their gelato! That stuff is expensive, but it is undeniably pretty and delicious.
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Christine got fruity flavors + I got pistachio, black cherry, and a cookie butter flavor!
That cone was tiny and that gelato was melting wicked fast. You would think I was a magician, that’s how quickly I made it disappear.
We continued walking and found the legendary Levain Bakery. I had been hearing about their incredible chocolate chip cookies since I moved to New York, basically. This was THE DAY.
But first, a short wait on a line that spanned half the block. Expected.
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this is my “THIS IS BETTER THAN DISNEY WORLD BUT I’M TRYING TO BE CIVILIZED” pose
We descended into the little bakery…
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…I bought one chocolate chip cookie and one oatmeal raisin scone. We desperately needed to charge our phones, so we walked over to a Starbucks, where I finally unveiled the glory…
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 these are both HUGE
…wait for it!!!
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You have no idea how long I had been waiting to take that money shot. Ladies and gents, this was one of the best things that my taste buds have ever encountered. I’m not even a big fan of chocolate.
Warm.
Crispy on the outside.
Slightly under-baked and gooey on the inside.
Melted chocolate chips.
Rich walnut chunks.
Thick and decadent.
a poem about Levain’s chocolate chip cookie by Alison
Christine and I split the mega cookie, and we had a few bites of the scone, which was fantastic as well. Not too sweet at all, but BUTTERY. The bag smelled like buttered popcorn. Mmmmm.
Afterwards, we walked back around the reservoir to where we started, and continued with some more girl talk until Christine had to leave. Next museum of the day was Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design with one of my high school dance company mates, Susie!
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had to take a pic of this
This is probably my favorite museum of all time. It’s so interactive, and the vibe is an intersection between classical architecture and modern technology.
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They give you this high tech pen that acts as a memory stick. The pen has a “+” sign on the back that synchronizes to the “+” sign on each description panel on the exhibits. When you go home, you go onto their website and enter your unique code that they gave you, and you can see pictures of all the exhibits you saved via the pen. MAGICAL.
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This immersion room is your childhood dream. You basically design your own wallpaper with the pen, and watch it come to life in front of your eyes.
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Five stars for Cooper Hewitt! Thank you so much, Susie, for suggesting it!
We worked up a good appetite playing around in the museum. Susie chose an excellent Greek restaurant called Korali for dinner.
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a rare moment when no cars are about to run you over in the city
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beet salad with grapefruit, pine nuts, goat cheese, fennel, dill and scallions
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when the manager walks up to you offering a FREE platter of melted Greek cheese, you do not refuse (such a nice gesture of them!)
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soup of the day: lentil
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Susie gave me a bite of her lamb shank, which was heavenly
We also walked by this gem of a Citi bank sign (great eye, Susie).
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This is Gabby Douglas, US Olympic Gymnast. But peep the caption in the upper left hand corner…
THIS is Allyson Felix, US Olympic Track and Field Runner:
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Alright, Citi Bank.
And then I bid NYC a good night.
Ben picked me up at the train station, and I was all excited to tell him that I walked 11 miles that day (according to the Apple Health app), but then I remembered that he had been walking an average of 20 miles per day for the past month. Overachiever.
I still gave myself a foot massage before bed.
Sunday
I got up a little past 7 to get ready for Mass and say goodbye (already!) to Ben and Madre. Not for long though. Pop and I will meet them in Florida soon for our big family vacation next week!
Breakfast after Mass:
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I also had leftover roasted broccoli while cooking this. Cravings, man.
I watched some gymnastics, read some blogs, and napped before getting up and eating again. Sundays, man.
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smoked salmon avocado toast + unpictured carrots and hummus + half a frozen banana
Then I started this blog post and FaceTimed with my beautiful friend, Briana, from college. Followed by some killer moves and grooves in the basement (which I have deemed to be my “pain cave”).
60 seconds strength/45 seconds  cardio/20 seconds  plyometric/15 seconds rest
3 rounds of each block, 1 minute rest between blocks
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  • pistol squats (30 sec each leg)
  • jumping jacks
  • broad jumps over a step, lengthwise
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BLOCK #4

I hadn’t done a workout that made my quads cry in a while. I stretched out before Pop and I went to one of our favorites for dinner— Bareburger!

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I made my own burger: turkey burger, spinach, sprouts, tomato, pimento cheese on sprout bun + ketchup and mustard
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sweet potato fries with their curry ketchup + special sauce
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the inner beauty of my burger
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Pop’s “Hog Wild” burger: wild boar burger, pimento cheese, frizzled chickpea onions (!?), fried egg, and pickled green tomatoes on a brioche bun
Decadence once again.
We picked up some groceries afterwards, and now I’m finishing typing this while watching sports on TV (← yay for Olympic season coming up!). ‘Twas a fabulous weekend filled with good food, great conversation, and even better people.
Back to the grind today, but one more week until vacation! Hope you all have stellar Monday. Give yourself a foot massage. You deserve it.
So tell me:
Two things you did this weekend!
What is your favorite museum?
What is the best cookie you’ve ever eaten?
Are there any sports you are following currently?
 
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Day in the Life {Work Day}

Time for my/our favorite type of post!!

Here is what my last 24+ hours looked like:

6:40 AM – Alarm goes off. Feelin’ pretty alright with waking up right away (praaaaaise), but I slowly roll out of bed.

6:45 AM – Bathroom, brush teeth, put in contacts.

6:50 AM – Say a quick prayer and change into workout clothes.

7:00 AM – Grab my breakfast and lunch from the fridge. Make sure I packed everything for work.

7:07 AM – Out the door.

7:15 AM – Mass.

7:45 AM – Go back to my car to eat breakfast in the church parking lot. I ate a big hunk of banana bread baked oatmeal (that I baked on the weekend) with classic peanut butter on top. Listen to music and read blogs on my phone with the windows rolled down to enjoy the crisp morning air.

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Plus a couple pieces of pork jerky since I was still hungry.

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I love jerky, but it’s SO SALTY.

8:10 AM – Drive over to work.

8:30 AM – Arrive at work. Sit in the parking lot for a little bit to answer blog comments, check emails, and figure out what I want to do at the gym.

9:00 AM – Get to the employee gym, put up my hair, and start warming up.

9:10 AM – Move and groove! (Take my time in between sets. I just have fun playing with all the equipment when I’m down in the dungeon gym by myself.)

3 sets of each:

  • 10 squat cleans (55#)
  • 5 burpee box jumps
  • 15 front rack step ups (45#)
  • 20 med ball jump lunge slams
  • 10 deadlifts (115#)
  • 20 squat jumps
  • 20 hanging leg ab raises
  • 15 overhead tricep extensions (25-30#)

10:05 AM – Sweaty and wiped. Streeeetch.

10:20 AM – Wipe off the sweat from the face (and pits), comb the hair, put on makeup, and change into work clothes. Eat an oat and honey KIND bar in the meantime.

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10:40 AM – Walk over to work.

10:48 AM – Clock in and get the day started.

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12:15 PM – Lunch break (I know, it’s like I just started working and now I’m off again)! Walk over to the cafeteria and eat outside.

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half sandwich with avocado, smoked salmon, greens, and cracked black pepper

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veggies with hummus

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apricot

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snap pea crisps

I was so hungry!

1:10 PM – Head over to work at pool therapy.

4:10 PM – Walk back over to the PT gym. Eat some mixed nuts.

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6:40 PM – Finish work. Got to leave a little bit early tonight! (Good thing— I was exhausted.)

7:00 PM – Arrive back home. Raid the fridge for food. Eat some cold roasted broccoli and zucchini as I warm up dinner.

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mom’s curry chicken (ugh, delicious) over greens

7:35 PM – Make some golden milk! I’ve been seeing this “fad” on the blog world recently, but I am so down for making this a “thing.”

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7:45 PM – Make my lunch for the next day while my golden milk is cooling.

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7:55 PM – Sip on my golden milk while checking Instagram.

8:05 PM – Warm up and eat a banana muffin + peanut butter.

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8:20 PM – Say hi to Pop who just came home and chat with my him and Madre for a few minutes. Also eat a dried fig.

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8:30 PM – FaceTime with my dear friend from college, Casey!

9:50 PM – Shower and get ready for bed (definitely get distracted in there somewhere).

11:00 PM – Remember that I have a hair cut today. Look up hair cuts on Pinterest.

11:30 PM – Pray.

11:40 PM – Hit the hay.

7:40 AM – Alarm goes off. Wake up, bathroom, all that.

7:55 AM – Head downstairs to make breakfast. Eat while reading my devotional.

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oatmeal cookie dough cereal 

8:25 AM – Start typing this blog post. Planned on going to Mass at 9, but…

9:00 AM – Finish typing this blog post.

And then the story continues…

So tell me:

What did you eat for lunch yesterday?

Three things you did yesterday!

Have you ever tried golden milk? 

Simplifying Life

This week has been…exciting!

Firstly, thank you all so much for your kind and loving birthday wishes. You truly know how to make a girl feel special ❤

Since I just started working last week, no one at the office knew it was my birthday on Tuesday, but one of the therapists happened to bring in homemade cake pops, so I pretended that they knew.

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My parents and I celebrated that night with dinner at Niko’s Taverna. One of my favorite foods ever is a good gyro (year-oh), and I knew that Niko’s makes a mean one.

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Madre: Alison and I should have shared one!

Me:….I think I’m gonna finish mine.

And I proved triumphant.

For dessert, we shared (I mostly devoured it with Madre’s help) a karidopita, or syrup-soaked walnut cake. Madre insisted on saying ~8 times to the waiter that it was my birthday, so the cake came out with a candle as they blasted an eerie version of “Happy Birthday” over the speakers.

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THIS CAKE. One of the moistest, most delicious cakes I’ve ever eaten. It was like banana bread meets carrot cake meets tres leches cake. I miss it.

Thank you, Mom and Pop, for a lovely dinner!

On Monday and Tuesday night, I messed up my sleep schedule by going to bed at 1 AM (even though I work an 11-7 shift, that’s still a lot later than necessary). I probably wasn’t even doing anything that important that late at night— maybe some blog reading, Instagram scrolling, preparing my work things for the next day, replying to emails, texting friends to catch up…

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ICYMI on Instagram: I helped out with POOL therapy for the first time yesterday, and I wanted to quickly let my family know in our group chat. I didn’t realize what I actually typed until I finished work 5 hours later. I could not. stop. laughing. 

Since I screwed up my sleep schedule, I’ve been pretty exhausted these past few days. Last night, I tried going to bed at 9:30, but Lord knows how stressed I get when I “try” to go to sleep at a certain time. After some tossing and turning and venting to my parents though, I was blessed with a good night’s rest.

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scarfed these overnight oats in a jar post-workout, while packing lunch, putting on work clothes, and pre-talking with a friend on the phone while heading to work *two imaginary thumbs up because both thumbs were occupied*

MORAL OF THE STORY: I have been craving more simplicity in my life. Basically, I want to tune into those 48 hours unplugged at Fiona’s summer house (I might cite that trip for the rest of my life; it was amazing).

I need to declutter my life. Simplify. So a few days ago, I reflected on five— and only five— priorities in my life right now. Check it:

1) Faith // This means making time for daily prayer, meditation, and daily Mass when possible

2) Family and Friends // Sitting down at dinner with my parents and checking in on my close friends.

3) Health // Moving and grooving daily, in one form or another. Sleeping enough (but not forcing it) and eating enough good-for-me and good-to-me foods.

4) Work // Doing what I need to do and putting my best foot forward.

5) Blog // Catching up on blogs and posting on my own blog (because I love it!).

What’s not on here? Social media. UGH. I hate to love it and love to hate it.

Also of note: The first three— faith, family/friends, and health. I think these are the golden three. These are the things that keep me grounded and sane, and none of them require social media (maybe just a phone for calling/texting).

I feel so much more at peace when I focus on one task at a time or one person at a time in this present moment. I am going to keep this list somewhere in sight, so that I can be gently reminded that I can be doing something refreshing and rejuvenating besides scrolling through Instagram, BuzzFeed, Facebook, etc. Even the blog needs to take a back seat sometimes!

With that, I’m off to go to Mass and then to the gym before work. Hope you all have a good day filled with good busyness AND rejuvenation!

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p.s. this was my lunch yesterday and today, and it’s fantastic — smoked salmon, avocado, and cracked black pepper on 16 grain/seed bread (added spinach in there today too!)

So tell me:

What are your top five priorities?

Any tips for simplifying life?

What is the funniest that happened to you this week?

What are you having for lunch today?

Currently…

I just walked outside to check the mail in shorts and a t-shirt.

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I mean, I was chilly, but I was okay. Don’t get me wrong— I very much appreciate this warmer weather, because only God knows what the rest of winter has in store for Boston…

Speaking of Boston, I’ll be back there in less than a week! I was complaining to everyone that winter break is too long (I’ll miss my friends, wahh wahh, #firstworldproblems), but this one has gone by in a flash. I’m not even sick of my family yet! 😉

I feel like I have a lot to tell you, but I am completely stumped on how to make it all cohesive, so I think this is a great time to do a “Currently” post! Julia and Hayley recently shared theirs for this month, and Amanda always does them. I like this bandwagon, so I’m hoppin’ on it!

Current book: Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux. Rachel and I are reading it together over winter break, but I feel like we’re not going to finish it by the time we get back to school. Or maybe that’s just me.

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It’s St. Therese’s autobiography, and it is one of the sweetest, most inspiring stories ever. My opinion may or may not be influenced by the fact that she’s my patron saint. But still! It’s beautiful.

Current music: I’m loving a lot of songs right now, but I just listened to this one. So sick.

Love the song. Do not condone smoking.

Current guilty pleasure: Froyo and pizza. Except that I am not guilty whatsoever. I ate froyo with Daliza and Michael on Friday night, and I ate pizza with some more high school friends when I hosted them on Saturday night.

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Um, I really like pizza. It had been tooooooo long.

Current nail color: Some metallic rose color that is chipped and fab. You don’t want to see it.

Current drink: Honestly, this will probably always be water or milk, unless we decide that melted peanut butter counts.

Current food: Opened-face egg sandwiches— one with melted cheese, one with avocado and sriracha, and then let it rain cracked black pepper. Angels sing whenever I pierce open that runny yolk (← that sounds really freaking weird, but I’m keeping it).

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Current obsession: Stretching my calves. I have very tight calves, and I blame that on my childhood habit of walking on my toes around the house and possibly figure skating. As a future physical therapist, I figured it would be a good idea to make sure I have that range of motion in my calves for movements like squats. I’ve been doing this stretch:

Also, I’m not super keen on the fact that my heels naturally pop up when I walk. I feel like an eager five-year-old going off to kindergarten.

Current craving: Probably sleep. Me:

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Current need: To do my nails (see “current nail color”).

Current bane of my existence: Nothing major, thankfully. The cost of textbooks?… I really need to work once I get back to Boston.

Current indulgence: I am currently sitting in our cushy recliner chair with a fluffy blanket and pillow on my lap. I would get up to get my phone that’s ten feet away to take a photo of the scene, but I’m being indulgent and not moving (see gif under “current craving”).

Current procrastination: Unpacking from college. Oh wait, but I’m going to have to pack for college again on Friday… DARN. (Fellow college students, am I the only one who doesn’t really unpack over breaks?)

Current confession: I’m stuffing all my friend catch-up in these last 1.5 weeks that I’m home. But that’s just concentrated smile-time right?

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she has such pearly white teeth

On Friday, Daliza and I went to an old garden that was owned by a wealthy lawyer named Samuel Untermeyer during the 1800s. The garden is obviously not that lush right now in the middle of winter, but it still has a cool, eerie vibe. Totally up Daliza’s alley. Totally some place I would only visit with Daliza.

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Later that night, Daliza and I met up with our pal Michael for crepes… until we found froyo at the crepe place. The next night, I hosted a few of my other high school friends for pizza and a huge catch-up session. We talked for a solid 5 hours! Lettin’ those good times roll.

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I kept bringing down snacks throughout the night, just like mama taught me. You will never go hungry in the moves and grooves household.

Current quote: I’m really feelin’ this.

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Current excitement: I am meeting up with two friends today! First is Colby, who was one of my cabin-mates at Blend last year (her Instagram is filled with pancakes and motivation). Second is Christine, who graduated from BU last year (she also has a blog!).

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Colby is right next to me!

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Christine, my fellow banana (yellow on the outside, white on the inside)

Current mood: Blessed/content/humbled. I am incredibly grateful for the good people in my life and for all God’s blessings.

Have a fantastic week, everyone! Eat a couple slices of pizza at some point.

So tell me your current…

…indulgence

…food

…excitement

…favorite pizza!

Being Careful With So Much Free Time + Recent Eats

Remember Facebook/AIM/Twitter statuses like this?

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Translation: “Someone hit me up, I’m bored as !@#$.”

For the record, I never posted statuses like this, mostly because “af” was a little too rebellious for me. I did post photos like this though…

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ONLY five years ago!?

…which are 100x worse in my opinion. This is NETC, the Italian class “pet”. I’m in physical pain looking at this/thinking about the fact that I posted this on Facebook.

Anyway, I’ve been trying not to fall into that “bored af” mode. I’m keeping busy by meeting up with friends, catching up on blog stuff, chores, errands, exercise, and reading. My planner is really helping me stay accountable for daily tasks.

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That being said, I’d be lying if I said I’m not looking for things to do sometimes. Living in this age, when I’m looking for things to do, I almost robotically turn to social media. It pains me to say that I don’t turn to a good book or calling a friend or doing something else productive, but it’s true. I open up Facebook or Instagram.

Katherine from The Peanut Butter Lover just posted an incredible reflection on how subconscious scrolling is the norm these days. I am most definitely in that camp, and as hard as I strive to be more present (said everyone, always), I can’t help but fall into the trap of the hypnotic newsfeed, especially when I’m not as busy like I am during school.

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Besides the problem of not being present, I have to be careful with how much time I spend looking at fitness accounts on Instagram. I’ve recently found myself watching minutes, half-hours, whole hours browsing various fitness accounts.

Please let me be clear. I only enjoy following fitness accounts that are uplifting, genuinely inspiring, and balanced (for example, @kaisafit, @shaunaharrison, and @fitphotographermom). When I’m spending time on such accounts, I’m not comparing my body to theirs or thinking about how I can burn more calories. If I was, I would certainly express that (honesty is the best policy on Moves and Grooves after all). I’m more so thinking things like, “How can I get to where they are? What exercises do I have to do to achieve that? Should I do that today even though I’m sore? I want to be that strong too.”

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Even though my mind is in a much healthier place when I’m looking at social media these days, I still need to be wary of the comparison trap. I have come a long way throughout recovery, and the major lesson I’ve learned is that I don’t need to be her. I know this, but I need to remind myself of it often.

I do believe that I can find fitness inspiration without disordered thinking, but I just have to be careful not to become so immersed in it. I have an obsessive personality, so I need to use my extra free time prudently while I’m on break.


Now that we’ve had a nice heart to heart (or, my heart to yours…), let’s look at some of the good eats from this week!

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A classic: toast, pb, banana, cinnamon + glass o’ milk

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spaghetti squash, tomato basil sauce, and grilled Italian chicken (carbs were had before and after :))

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new favorite: Kylie’s simple paleo pancake with peanut butter, Greek yogurt, cinnamon + glass o’ milk

I met up with my dear friend Fiona (from college) on Monday. We went to the outlet mall, ate some Shake Shack, and had our own heart to heart conversations. She’s studying abroad this coming semester, so I’m gonna miss her like crazy!

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“Concrete” at Shake Shack. I got vanilla frozen custard with strawberry puree and “crispy crunchies”.

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chicken, avocado, mixed greens, colby jack cheese, and sriracha sandwich to go

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good ol’ overnight oats topped with granola

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avocado, egg, cheese, sriracha sandwich + salad with homemade honey mustard dressing

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clementines are off the CHAIN right now

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strawberries ‘n’ cream protein smoothie

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this was so good: quinoa, honey balsamic chicken, and roasted broccoli

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dried figs with Greek yogurt!!! bringing back the good stuff

Additionally, I’ve been eating leftover cookies that overfloweth in our refrigerator and caramel popcorn that my aunt gave us. It’s a hard life, eh?

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my aunt’s delicious oatmeal fruit cookie mini muffins

Hope you all have a great day! I mean it.

So tell me: 

What do you find yourself doing if you have too much free time?

Did you post embarrassing things on social media in your younger days?

Are you still eating leftover holiday treats? “New Year, new you” is not a thing here.

Have you tried any delicious recipes recently? I’m thinking that honey balsamic chicken and roasted broccoli will be regular recipes for us!