Accepting truth, no matter who says it or how you feel

Heyo! I hope you all had a wonderful and restful weekend. If you did not, I hope that you are still receiving many instances of joy and peace throughout.

pray.

Although God calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves and even to love our enemies, I’m sure we all know / know of people who we don’t really like (but who we ought to still love) OR people who we like but don’t trust fully because of certain things they regularly believe, say, or do (not that we can put full trust in any one person in the first place, but perhaps you get the gist).

Those people can be politicians, family members, friends, clergy members, bosses, colleagues, celebrities, anyone (i.e., human beings). I am talking about those people who, when they give some sort of advice or opinion, you instinctively react to defend yourself, oppose what they are saying, or criticize their argument in some way, because you know that they believe something differently from you or because they have said ludicrous things in the past. In a sense, you’re tempted to make an ad hominem argument, or attack the person’s argument based on your perception of his/her character.

I think most people know not to attack a person’s argument based on his/her character (although we see a lot of that these days anyway). But I can say for myself that I certainly do feel ~sOmE TyPe of wAy~ when someone with whom I don’t agree on certain things (not even hot topic issues, but just general approaches to daily life things) gives me their advice or thoughts. My immediate internal reaction is to push back somehow; there must be some disagreement here, because I subconsciously think (sometimes mistakenly) that we fundamentally don’t see eye-to-eye.

But that other person, whoever it is, can still say things that are good and true, even if not everything they say is good and true. They can still give me sound advice on specific things, even if they have given me unsound advice in the past.

That period of recognizing and acknowledging the truth in what that person is saying — and that period of taming my pride and replacing it with humility — is sometimes more painful than I’d like to admit.

So I have been praying for the grace of humility to accept and acknowledge truth when it is said and done, no matter who it comes from and no matter how I feel about it in the moment.

Oof that was a longer reflection than I thought it would be.

eat.

I bought avocados for the first time in a while, so I’ve been enjoying some classic avocado egg toast with sriracha the past couple days. Ooooo baby, this combo will never get old.

old pic but looks exactly the same – runny yolks FTW

I made Cookie & Kate’s whole wheat banana pancakes for a leisurely Sunday breakfast, and topped it with the usual plain Greek yogurt, pb, and maple syrup + a glass o’ milk on the side. I made the pancakes with “chia eggs” instead of real eggs, not because I’m actively trying to be vegan but because I needed to save eggs for ^^said avocado egg toast 🙂

also an old photo but looked the same (sorry, running out of media storage for new pics!)

Not gonna lie, I also baked Cookie & Kate’s banana muffins last night. I had many ripe bananas to be used, and I’m not mad in the slightest.

Lastly, I enjoyed a big ol’ ice cream cone while hanging out (socially distanced) with a high school friend last evening. I got blueberry cheesecake and “Captain Crunch Berry” flavors, and it was dreamy. Except that it was melting all over my hand at rapid speed, so I had to barbarically race to eat the whole thing.

move.

Friday’s workout was fun but hard. My quads were more sore the day after than they had been in a while!

5 rounds:

  • 200-300 meter run (I just ran down and back my cul-de-sac)
  • 10 asymmetric front rack KB squats (right side heavier)
  • 10 asymmetric reverse lunges R
  • 10 asymmetric front rack KB squats (left side heavier)
  • 10 asymmetric reverse lunges L
  • 10 double swings
  • 10 pushups

Be sure to check out my “moves part 3” highlights on Instagram if you want to see what these exercises are (it’ll be all the way at the end of the highlight)!

Yesterday I did Jen’s 1000 rep home workout, which is an old favorite of mine because it is composed of simple bodyweight exercises, yet it’s still challenging. I needed lots of breaks because it was so hot outside, and also I have not trained my stamina recently.

groove.

I went on a walk by the Hudson River on Saturday evening, and I can’t believe that after 15-ish years of living in NY, this was my first time walking this gorgeous boardwalk! It was a fun mini adventure.

lol @ the sunscreen-laden sweat dripping down my neck

My friends, Henok and Raymond, and I watched the movie Jojo Rabbit together (virtually) on Saturday night. I loved it. Both funny and heartbreaking, which is an interesting but good combo.

I also just realized that I can use “night shift” on my MacBook to make the screen easier on my eyes at night. I’m behind on the times.

Have a marvelous week, friends!

So tell me:

Do you have trouble accepting / acknowledging truth when it is coming from someone you normally disagree with?

What is the best thing you cooked / ate this weekend?

Have you watched any movies recently?

Do you use blue light glasses or night shift on your computer?

Weekend Confessions

weekend confessions

It’s been a while since I confessed to you all (because I don’t already bare my innermost thoughts to you on a weekly basis already).

So some confessions from the weekend:

Confession #1: I watched Me Before You with Daliza on Friday night, and I was crying my eyes out with all the other middle school girls in the theater. In my defense, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room except for Daliza’s. She was laughing at the rest of us.

tumblr_o3ktzaL2LU1ulesryo1_1280

[source]

Confession #2: I loved and hated the movie. Loved because it was a very sweet romance (I’m a sucker). Plus, British accents. Hated because I have some qualms about the ending.

Confession #3: After the movie, I went home for a really cute baking date at home with a British guy ❤

DSC_2387

Cookie & Kate’s banana bread in muffin form

That guy would be Jamie Oliver. On Youtube. It was like a Skype cooking date, except we were cooking different things and he has no idea I exist.

DSC_2388

fresh out of the oven with a big smear of cinnamon raisin peanut butter from Stowe + glass o’ milk!

Confession #4: Dad’s birthday was on Saturday, but he did more work and service than I (and many people) did that day. He’s a star.

DSC_2389

Saturday’s breakfast: full fat Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, banana, banana muffin, and almond butter

Confession #5: Mom and I bought so much {rather expensive} food at the farmers’ market on Saturday with the reasoning that “we are supporting the locals.”

IMG_1386 IMG_1393 IMG_1394

I’m sorry, how many dollars?

IMG_1399

foraging in my natural habitat

I love special nut butters, but there are very few times I am willing to drop $13 for a standard jar.

Confession #6: I totally snacked my way through lunch at the farmers’ market. I love how you never fail to get excessive amounts of carbs and cheese at farmers’ markets.

IMG_1388

side confession: this fresh apple waffle was probably the best waffle I’ve EVER eaten — so doughy!

IMG_1395

IMG_1396

this apple strudel is legit

IMG_1390 IMG_1397

side confession: this tasted no different from chocolate cow milk, but that’s not a bad thing

Confession #7: I may never get tired of tacos.

IMG_1411

one carne enchilada + one chicken taco

Pop chose a local Mexican restaurant for his birthday dinner, and Mom and I could not be more pleased with his decision 😉

IMG_1408

he got a huge frozen margarita for his special day — atta boy

IMG_1409

chicken and pork chilaquiles as an appetizer to share

Confession #8: I always forget how wonderful one-on-one walks are. Pop and I took a late night walk through our humid and dark neighborhood. Good convo with a great man.

Confession #9: I indulged in more sweets on Pop’s birthday than on my own birthday. The farmers’ market lured Madre and I into buying many baked goods, sooooo, like, you gotta eat some while they’re fresh, right?

DSC_2391

a slice of apple strudel a la mode + a piece of this gluten/dairy/grain/everything-free blueberry scone

Confession # 10: I play eenie-meenie-miney-mo (sp?) for a lot of my trivial life decisions. Example: yesterday’s breakfast was a toss-up between three of Amanda’s recipes: oatmeal cookie dough smoothie, banana oat french toast bake, and chunky monkey pancakes.

DSC_2394

banana oat french toast bake won – topped with cinnamon raisin pb + glass o’ milk

Confession #11: I put Greek yogurt on my beef yesterday.

DSC_2395

LISTEN. It’s like sour cream if it’s full fat Greek yogurt (I’m saying this mostly to defend myself from my non-blogger friends, who think that even peanut butter with yogurt is weird).

DSC_2396

also had a hunk of a huge cheese biscuit…from the farmers’ market

Confession #12: The workout I did on Saturday left me quiiiiiite sore on Sunday. It was:

5 rounds of 10 Bulgarian split squats each leg + 3 wall walks. Then…

3 rounds (30 sec work, 10 sec rest):

  • burpees
  • alternating split lunges with 10# DB
  • toe touch + split sit-up
  • push-up with knee tap
  • high knees
  • heel tap burpees

I’m sorry. Half of those exercises probably mean NOTHING to you, because they are not conventional exercises that have real names.

Confession #13: When I did this 60 minute vinyasa yoga with Leigha Butler yesterday, I spent about 25% of the time staring at her doing poses beyond my anatomical capacity.

Confession #14: When I went on a walk with Madre yesterday, I was walking at maybe 2 mph because my butt was so sore.

IMG_1430

a slow incline that felt like a mountain – but look at how mystical this is!

IMG_1431

Confession #15: We secretly live near a rainforest.

IMG_1434

…that happens to have evergreens

Confession #16: I decided to watch home videos with mom last night because all I wanted were warm fuzzies.

Confession #17: Dinner last night was pita bread and veggies with hummus, these baked zucchini, and desserts…from the farmers’ market.

DSC_2398

DSC_2399

Hope you all have a fantastic week! Support local businesses 🙂

So tell me:

What is your experience with farmers’ markets? Do you get giddy like I do? Do you give in to buying more expensive things than you normally would to #SupportLocal?

Do you ever play eenie-meenie-miney-mo to make life decisions?

Two fun things you did this weekend!

What do you think of Me Before You if you read/saw it?

WIAW: Fine, I Love Almond Butter

Hi!

I’m typing this on Tuesday night as I often do, so I don’t know if I’m currently chipper as a spring bunny or if I’m a zombie right now. Probably the latter. My moves yesterday consisted of 3.5 hours of ballet since I decided to sleep through class last week. It hadn’t danced ballet for that long straight through since the Orlando Summer Ballet Intensive two years ago. It’s a good thing I love ballet!

For this week’s WIAW, I’m just going to focus on one food that I’ve been eating A LOT recently: almond butter. (I’m actually so excited. Any excuse to talk about nut butter is a good one to me!)

WIAWbutton

With the queen of food parties and adorable things, Jenn!

You see, when I first started becoming obsessed with nut butter (thanks to healthy living blogs— I’m such a conformist), I stuck to fan-girling over the classic peanut butter. I then ventured into the land of sunflower seed butter, which is now one of my favorite things ever. I even made my own cashew butter once, but that didn’t hold my fancy for long.

DSC_8106

Greek yogurt with banana slices, chia, hemp, cinnamon, nutmeg, a pumpkin muffin top/scone, and almond butter

I had eaten almond butter in the past, but that was when I was still eating spoonfuls of sugary Peter Pan peanut butter (which is still awesome), so plain, unsalted almond butter was kinda gross to my typical middle schooler palate. Plus, what the heck was that weird grainy texture from the almond skin?

DSC_8127

Cookie dough cereal with banana, chia, hemp, and pepita sunseeed butter

Thus, I stayed away from almond butter for a good while. I was perfectly content with my roasted peanut butter goodness (I made the switch from Peter Pan to the kind with just peanuts). Other than that, change was never my strong suit.

DSC_8130

Overnight oats in a coconut peanut butter jar

Then I started seeing bloggers such as Amanda eating almond butter on the daily, Julianna bringing spoonfuls of it from her dorm to the dining hall (GENIUS. I’m gonna be that person in college.), and just everyone gushing over this peanut butter imposter convenient and healthy food.

DSC_8135

Hot oatmeal with mangoes, banana, and sunflower seed butter

So I decided one day at Trader Joe’s: I’m gonna take the leap of faith and try almond butter again. I tried it. I liked it, but I didn’t love it, so I tried to “get rid of it” by using a big half cup of the stuff in these granola bars.

DSC_8137

Greek yogurt with banana slices, banana muffin, chia, hemp, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepita sunseed butter

But my dad loves almond butter, so he would eat a lot of it with muffins and toast, which prompted me to keep buying more for him.

DSC_8077

Oatmeal cookie dough smoothie (which has a big spoonful of almond butter in it!) blended with spinach + Greek yogurt for dipping

The more I bought it for him, the more I started to add it to my toast and bananas…But it was still the “inferior” nut butter. I always secretly wished I was having another nut butter instead of that one.

DSC_8105

Self-explanatory

Then one night, I needed a quick, satisfying snack before bed, so I grabbed a spoonful of almond butter. “Hm, this is really good.”

DSC_8131

Greek yogurt with the works + almond butter

That spoonful of almond butter has become a very regular snack for me lately, and now I can’t seem to keep my spoon out of the jar.  Almond butter has also found its way onto many a muffin…

DSC_8136

Banana muffin with almond butter

Now, I’m hooked. I ♥ almond butter.

Not as much as peanut butter, but it’s up there now. I’ve talked about it before, but I think it’s amazing how much my taste buds have changed in the past two years. Could be growing up, could be food blogs, probably both.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

So tell me:

Do you like almond butter? What is your favorite way to eat it?

What is your all-time favorite nut butter?

How have your taste buds changed in the past few years?

Brother-Sister Rivalry

Hello and Happy Memorial Day!

This weekend has been the closest taste of summer yet, which I guess is often true once Memorial Day swings around. The community pools open, the air fills with BBQ smoke, and the Hugh Jass (stole that from Kath) bumble bees start harassing me. A lot of marvelous things have been happening in the past few days including some moves, a Frozen movie date, treats, and a trip to Boston!

MiMM

All marvelous things, yes? Thanks for hosting as always, Katie!

 

Here are the highlights:

Friday

1) Finished the AP Bio exam and keep myself from jumping up and down like a maniac.

2) Went to the gym for some moves:

5 min. arc trainer, then 3 sets of each:

  • 10 pistols each leg + 20 Bulgarian split squats each leg
  • 1 min. wall sit + 30 side jump lunges (my glutes were sore for two days AGAIN)
  • 20 hamstring ball roll-ins + 20 single leg bridge pulses

I was gonna do abs, so I started to do some exercises, but then I stopped because I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

3) Ate my new favorite dessert:

DSC_8133

Vanilla bean ice cream with fresh mangoes

You’re welcome.

Saturday

1) Baked the best banana muffins (from Two Peas and Their Pod) I’ve ever had:

DSC_8136

Fresh out of the oven with almond butter— this is what dreams are made of.

2) Went grocery shopping for two bunches of bananas, two tubs of 2% Greek yogurt, and two containers of hummus. It was like Noah’s Ark on that checkout conveyor belt.

3) Attended a super late lunch/early dinner with the other religious education teachers and volunteers, courtesy of our pastor who is retiring this year!

4) Worked on handstands. I’m starting to hover more with that freestanding handstand! I’ve caught the Crossfit Games bug. (You can yell at me for the fact that I’ve never done Crossfit in my life.)

5) Watched Frozen with one of my best friends, Daliza! Now I understand the hype for that movie— Anna is my hero and if Olaf were real, he’d be my best friend. Daliza and I are also working on our duets for some of the songs, so you better watch out for our voices in Frozen 2.

photo 2

Sunday

1) Drove up to Boston to visit Ben!

2) Disowned him for wearing this shirt:

10417538_10152325508176749_8858318672143017251_n

No.

Northeastern and Boston University sibling rivalry has commenced.

3) Ate a delicious sushi lunch at Avana Sushi:

DSC_8142 DSC_8144

4) Bought some BU gear and put on my (mouse-like) game face:

DSC_8149

5) Walked to J.P. Licks for some awesome ice cream. Ben and I shared a scoop of mint cookies and cream (uh, two favorite flavors in one) and a pistachio scoop. Perfection:

DSC_8152 photo 4

Wait, why did I share my ice cream with this kid again?

6) Took a lovely, long stroll along the Charles River. The weather was absolutely PERFECT on Sunday, even though it was supposed to rain according the forecast. The sun was out, there were almost no clouds in the sky, and the temperature was just right (even though I think I did overdress with my jeans and long sleeve shirt). Can we please just pause the weather so that it can be like this forever?

DSC_8153

Aww cute bro + sis picture…

DSC_8156

k bye.

DSC_8161

DSC_8174 DSC_8170

It really hasn’t sunk in that this will be my home for the next four years. I’m excited though!!

Now I’m off to go exercise outside on this warm, sunny Memorial Day, and then we’re gonna dig into my mom’s grilled feast! Hope you all have a wonderful day!

So tell me:

Three fun things you did this weekend!

What are you Americans doing for Memorial Day?

Have you ever watched Frozen?

10-15-20 Workout {MIMM #4}

Well hello there, Monday! I see you have brought me school today…

Yep, today is my last first day of high school. Wahoo! I’m kind of excited. I mean, I could complain about the whole shebang, but let’s find some marvelous in our Monday, eh? Head on over to Katie’s blog to stuff your hearts with more marvelousness!

MiMM

Marvelous is…

The first day of teaching Sunday school this year! I’ve been a third grade teacher of religious education at my church for the past two years, and it has been a learning experience for all. I honestly learn as much from my students as they do from me. The first day wen quite smoothly! This year I have TWENTY-TWO students! Gahhh. It’s gonna be interesting. Thankfully, I have a wonderful assistant, and together we’re gonna make the class super duper fantabulous. With God’s help of course. 🙂

Marvelous is…

Not having rabid Chobani. Sorry to those who were less fortunate, like Katie. Foaming yogurt–yummay.

I bought five new-to-me flavors of Chobani not too soon before some of their products were recalled, but I’ve finished all five (delicious) cups, and I am alive.

IMG_2304

Marvelous is…

The #slowdownchallenge. It is really awesome. Recap to come!

And to be quite honest, I have sorta fallen off the #100challenge wagon…I do different exercises at different times of the day, and I’m just really inefficient at counting the reps. I still do about 50-100 of the squats and pushups, but for some reason the situps (butterfly-style) just take more time for me so I don’t end up doing as many. Ahh well… Maybe I should just take one challenge at a time.

Marvelous is…

Chatting Obsessing about pumpkin recipes with my girl Lilly.

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 8.33.59 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 8.34.23 PM

Marvelous is…

Sunday Food Prep inspired by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean and all the bloggers that share their preparations! I will definitely need to be doing this every weekend from here on out so that I don’t go crazy during the week trying to make lunch and snacks in a pinch.

 DSC_6016

Turkey, cheese, herb, spinach sandwiches and caprese salad.

IMG_2307

Banana muffins adapted from 100 Days of Real Food’s recipe!

Marvelous is…

Sweating it out!

On Saturday I did Lori and Michelle’s quick 16 minute workout at home, and on Sunday I went to the gym for 20 minutes on the elliptical and Julie’s 30 minute circuit workout. They were both great workouts, despite their difference in length and type!

On Friday, I made up my own circuit workout that incorporates strength and cardio exercises back to back. This is by far my favorite way to workout! It was challenging and I was dripping in sweat by the end.

10-15-20

A lot of these exercises may not sound so familiar, so here are the demos:

Burpee with tuck jump

Triple pulse squats (pulse three times and then come up for 1 rep)

Med ball pulls 

Lunge hops (try not to lean forward quite as much as the demonstrator)

Skaters

T Squat Thrusts

Spiderman planks

Split jack lunges

Plank jack pushups

Strict mountain climbers (right+left= 1 rep)

180 squat jumps

This took me about 35 minutes to complete. I had to take some breaks with those T squat thrusts. Burnin’ quads and lungs. Have fun (hardy har har), and let me know if you try it out!

Happy Monday, and have a fantastic school year everyone!

So tell me: What did you do this weekend? Is your Chobani foaming? Are you excited for pumpkin?! (<–I didn’t even need to ask that.)