How do you react to things that are beautiful?

pray.

I’ve been listening to a couple podcasts recently that I LOVE. It’s nice to have people talking in the background while cooking and driving so I don’t feel as alone.

One of them is called the Poco a Poco Podcast (by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal) and the other is the What God is Not Podcast (by Fr. Michael O’Loughlin and Sr. Natalia — two Byzantine Catholics). Obviously they are both centered around Catholic things, but I genuinely think that they are relevant to anyone’s life and point towards universally good things like peace, joy, freedom, and beauty. Highly recommend!

In an episode of What God is Not, Fr. Michael talked about how one reacts to things that are awesome (in the truest sense of it evoking a deep sense of awe). He said that one time when he was overlooking a valley in Joshua Tree National Park, he realized that something so beautiful demands some sort of reaction. It seems impossible to just say, “Oh nice,” and then move on.

He goes on to talk about how his reaction, due to his faith and family upbringing, is to say, “Thank you,” because the awesomeness of nature’s beauty is a gift from God. This stood out to me because that is exactly how I react when I see a sunrise, sunset, stars, or any amazing view; I whisper, “thank You,” to God.

Florida 2017

His question and my question for all of you (whether you are religious or not) is: How do you react to things that are awesomely beautiful? Do you say something? Are you physically or emotionally moved in one way or another? Do you relish the moment in silence?

No one reaction is better than another; I would just love to hear what other people say!

eat.

I felt like a bottomless pit yesterday, so I ate many different snacks, including these Jif Power Ups (pb chocolate chip creamy clusters) that I found randomly in our pantry. And they were GOOD. I never know what to expect with odd snacks like those, but they were perfectly sweet and there was a niiiiice dollop of peanut butter in the middle of each granola cluster. Mmm mm mm.

move.

Rest day yesterday! I walked a bit and stretched at night. My appetite was like that of a growing boy though, so that’s how I ate.

groove.

I got tested for COVID antibodies because there were free tests nearby, so I thought it would be beneficial just to see if I’ve ever been exposed. The poor nurses had quite the trip trying to find my brachial artery, so they stuck me twice in my right arm and once in my left.

I was negative for the antibodies. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Results were supposed to come back within 7 days, but I was surprised to be texted about the results at 9pm!

Happy Friday!

So tell me:

How do you react to beautiful things?

What is your favorite processed snack as of late?

Have you ever gotten tested for COVID antibodies?

Simple Phrases That Make All the Difference

Greetings from New York!

I had to refrain from making that greeting ALL CAPS because I’m beyond excited right now! As soon as my eyes fluttered open this morning, I noticed that:

a) I wasn’t in my dorm and I felt a little discombobulated.

b) I smelled something delicious cooking (Madre at work ♥ )

c) It’s snowing!!!

I ran downstairs like an excited 5-year-old on Christmas to say good morning to my mom. I am now watching The Price is Right while eating overnight oats. The finer things in life.

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It looks like there is a blizzard outside, but that’s only because I had to lighten this picture, like, 10 times.

We arrived home from Boston via car at around 1:30 AM this morning (hence me sleeping in and this post going up super late). The Thanksgiving traffic coming out of Boston added a hefty two hours to our commute, so we were drained and ready for bed by the time we got home.

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But being me, I was hungry and I wanted a snack, so I reached for something I had missed dearly

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Almond butter!

And then I made sure to prepare the overnight oats that I am currently eating because it has been way too long since I had my fave. I was literally quasi-yelling, “Oh my gosh YAAAAASSS,” while  was making them. Thankful to be home indeed.

Simple Phrases That Make All the Difference

Speaking of being thankful, tomorrow is the day for such thankfulness for us Americans, huh? I was reflecting on how I wanted to bring together my thoughts of thanksgiving in a blog post, but I was stuck for a while because I didn’t really want to start the inexhaustible list of things for which I am grateful.

Instead, I noticed that one thing I’ve been hearing and saying more often than ever recently is, “You’re beautiful,” or, “You’re awesome,” or, “You’re wonderful.”

Many times I’ll be passing by a friend on the sidewalk and saying hello with a warm hug, and then we would exchange at least one of these simple phrases. They don’t deserve a prize for unique compliment of the year by any means, but when you think about what beautiful, awesome, and wonderful mean, you can’t help but smile.

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via my friend Rachel’s Instagram

If I want to be sappy and honest, hearing and saying these words so often has made me more thankful for the companionships in my life. I get that some people might say, “You’re awesome,” as a quick, colloquial compliment when you don’t know what else to say, and maybe that’s the case for other people and I’m just being a mushy blob of feels right now. But my friends at Boston University definitely give me a sense of genuineness every time they say one of those phrases. I certainly mean it if I say them to you!

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Breakfast date with my freshmen friends. That would be a wheat waffle with pb, banana, and honey. Mhmm.

Words are powerful. I guess that’s why I like to blog (even though my words are a bunch of crazy foodie talk half the time). We can throw words out there without thinking about what we are actually saying, or we can use our gift of language and communication to tell others how much we love them. We do both of these things at the appropriate times (hopefully), but when it comes to the latter, there is something so special about a simple, friendly phrase.

When I hear or say, “You’re beautiful,” I don’t think about aesthetic beauty (although, I have some good-lookin’ friends, don’t get me wrong). I think of how beautiful their spirits are— how they are humble, faithful, and charitable.

When I hear or say, “You’re awesome,” I think about how strong and resilient people are. Everyone has their trials that we may or may not be able to see, but people still have the ability to smile, do well, and help others.

When I hear or say, “You’re wonderful,” I think about how we are all children of God. That’s wonderful enough in and of itself.

So I tell you now in this season of Thanksgiving: You’re beautiful. You’re awesome. You’re wonderful.

And lastly, thank you.

I hope you all have a joyous, safe, and blessed Thanksgiving!

So tell me:

What is one simple phrase that resonates with you?

What are you doing today?

Half of my day is gone thanks to sleeping in, but I’m planning on going to the nail salon, doing some homework (ew, I know), and maybe seeing friends!

 

I Have Awesome Friends

It’s official.

I, Alison, can live off of Greek yogurt. I had it in every meal and snack (except lunch) yesterday, and I wasn’t even trying.

Breakfast:

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Finishing off one container with bananas, chia, hemp, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple banana muffin, and pb

Snack:

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With bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, and almond butter

Dinner was another one of these awesome tacos, which I topped with Greek yogurt again. Dessert was dried figs and Greek yogurt (duh).

If I am what I eat, I should be turning into a bowl of white, tangy, high-protein yogurt any day now. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wearing bananas and nut butter too.

Moves

Yesterday’s moves consisted of a ten minute incline walk (hello, burning shins and calves) followed by some lower body exercises. The usual:

  • 12-10-10 pistol squats each leg (those 12….oof) + 20 Bulgarian split squats each leg
  • 20 hamstring ball roll ins + 20 light and slow KB swings
  • wall sit
  • 20 lunge pulses each leg

Then Julie’s 8-minute ab workout— that thing never fails to make my core burn.

Moving on to the reason for the title of this post…

My friend, Veronica, said yesterday, “I have awesome friends.” Of course, I’ve always felt the same way about all my friends from school, dance, blogging, and family connections. But her simple statement, and the sincerity with which she said it, was enough to make me think about how grateful I am for such awesome friends all day yesterday.

True story: When I was in kindergarten, my family moved from California to Kansas in the middle of the school year, and I had to make new friends in this place that people back in LA thought was in the middle of nowhere (let’s face it— everyone thinks Kansas is in the middle of nowhere). 5-year-old me wanted to do what every other girl did, so I would follow this “popular” group of girls and copy what they did. But then they told me to stop following and copying them, so I went to the swings by myself. Womp womp.

Then came elementary school, where life was full of drama over boys, note-passing, and who’s-friends-with-who. I would still try to please different groups of friends and act a certain way. The same sorta happened in middle school, except in 8th grade, I thought I was hot stuff because we got to go on a field trip to Washington DC for three days. Ooooooo. (It was actually so fun though.)

High school is when I started to shift friend groups and really learn to embrace originality. This year especially, I have learned to not care about what others think of me, whether I go to a party or not, whether I talk about food on a daily basis on the internet (hi!), or whether I’m considered a nerd/goody-goody/try-hard.

Part of the reason I think I feel so comfortable in my skin is because I have such loving, considerate, and understanding friends.

They don’t judge me. (eh, sometimes they do, but only jokingly…I think) 😉

They make me laugh until I cry, which I had never experienced until this year.

We can all have civilized conversations about our very different opinions on social issues and religion.

They are always waiting for me at the end of class, since I’m a snail when it comes to packing up my stuff.

They are polite, but not too polite, because that would be boring.

They brighten my mornings.

My friends are the peanut butter to my jelly. <— That’s saying A LOT.

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It is such a blessing to have a family outside of my blood-relatives, because I know how hard it can be to find the “right” people.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

So tell me:

Which food could you probably live off of?

Finish the sentence: My friends are the _______ to my ________.