There’s Something About…

There’s something about carrying three backpacks to campus that reminds me of front-packing in Italy.

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There’s something about carrying a large box of vegetables around all day that makes others stare a bit.

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My friend Lauren orders a box of produce from Ward’s Berry Farms every week, but she very generously gave me hers last week since she was out of town! This thing had SO MUCH PRODUCE. The only thing was that I had to pick it up in the afternoon, carry it to class, to a fitness class, to Trader Joe’s, and on the bus. Talk about functional fitness.

There’s something about taking a fitness class with fellow healthy living/fitness social media influencers that makes me feel empowered and humbled at the same time.

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Last Thursday, Colby invited me to take a “Firestarter” HIIT class taught by her friend, Sam (@wellbysamantha), at Equinox (holy LUXURY gym!) in the financial district. It was a quick, sweaty and super fun class!

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My dear friend Christina (@foodietunes) was also present and kicking butt!

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There’s something about pizza (even if it’s just a frozen one from Trader Joe’s) on a Friday night.

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There’s something about finding a beer you enjoy.

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There’s something about said beer that makes me slightly loopy (not the primary reason I enjoyed it, just a side effect).

There’s something about caring friends who give me bread rolls to eat when seeing me loopy.

There’s something about the Game of Things that makes my friends and me cry of laughter every time.

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There’s something about people who say thank you when you hold the door open for them that makes your day just *that* much better.

There’s something about eating a smoothie out of a bowl that makes it 10x more satisfying than drinking it from a glass through a straw.

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There’s something about getting random texts from your friends about little things like tacos (@Sarah) that makes me so grateful for friendship (and technology).

There’s something about boxing that is addicting. I don’t think I’ve loved a form of training so much so quickly!!

There’s something about vegan ice cream that seems wrong to me, but it is still very so delicious.

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Confession: I bought this for Colby on the fourth of July since she eats dairy-free, but she left before dessert, so I took it for myself.

There’s something about the Vermonster from Ben & Jerry’s on National Ice Cream Day that feels so right (slightly gross, but overall so right).

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Alright, so the Vermonster. Twenty (yep) scoops of ice cream, four toppings, four whole bananas, caramel, fudge, four cookies, a brownie, and a mountain of whipped cream. In a bucket.

It took six of us (although we definitely could have used 8-10 people) plus a lot of rallying from Ben to finish it.

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We got five flavors (four scoops of each), but they all muddled together anyway. It was a delicious mess.

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Gluttony? Yep. Good for your health? Depends on how you look at it. Happiness? Yep. Doing it again? Probably never.

This summer is bringing a lot of ice cream into my body.

There’s something about great friends who are great study buddies that makes school fun.

There’s something about listening to old songs I forgot I loved (Natasha Bedingfield’s “These Words” and “Love Like This“) that makes me smile.

There’s something (infinite things) about how God works that is mysterious, not always what I want at the moment, yet always more beautiful than I could imagine.

So tell me:

“There’s something about…”

Have you recently rediscovered any old songs you loved?

Did you celebrate National Ice Cream Day?

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Friday Fun(ny) Facts

And then there were three…

We helped move Ben back into his apartment in Boston yesterday since he starts classes on Monday, leaving Pop, Madre and me at home. It’ll be my turn to go back to Boston in 8 days!

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not in this weather though…

For this Friday’s post, I’m sharing some random fun/funny facts about this week!

1) I accidentally discovered a way to make my eyelashes look fabulous. First of all, I have super short, straight eyelashes that point forwards and sometimes downwards (#AsianProblems). Mascara helps, but it’s still usually hard to see those little stinkers.

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Example.

Last week, when I was roasting baby potatoes for our New Year’s Eve dinner, I opened the oven to check on them and hot air/steam blasted my face. It kinda hurt and I felt something weird happen to my eyelashes. I feared they might have burned off or something, but when I checked in the mirror, it looked as if I just used the best eyelash curler in the world. The hot air seemed to have “ironed” my lashes upward (I was also wearing mascara).

Lesson: I need to put on mascara and then nearly burn my face to get nice-looking eyelashes. (Nah.)

2) I attempted to make lava cake for Madre, but it ended up being…cake. With a weird texture.

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I think I scrambled the egg in the stovetop portion of the recipe. At least it tastes good (to a chocolate-lover)!

3) I decided to run on Wednesday night, and I kept passing a couple ladies walking their dogs whenever I looped around. One of the ladies said, “You’re fast!” Hahaha that’s new. She was being quite generous because I was going at, like, 10:00 pace. But I still appreciated the encouragement!

4) I ate peanut butter with chopsticks.

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Long story short: I needed something to eat, there was nothing else to eat in the car, and there were no spoons around. Thankfully, Madre carries chopsticks in her purse.

5) Ben’s apartment is on the fourth floor of his building. There are no elevators in his building. I’ll leave it at that.

We did fuel very well the night before with a lovely family dinner at a place called Bistro 12IMG_9750

delicious, light, and crispy calamari to start

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(HUGE) tasty salmon

Madre, Ben and I fueled very well after the move-in too. Large platters of meat, rice, and veg at our favorite Vietnamese market.

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7) I am constantly in awe of the supportive blog community. Seriously, thank you all for being such great people who truly care about the person behind the blog post. ♥︎

Speaking of the blog community, here are a few of my favorite links from this week (and last week)!

A Letter to All Girls: You Are Magnificent, So Don’t Settle via The Peanut Butter Lover

The Smartest Thing You Can Do For Yourself Today via Marc and Angel

Sit Back and RELAX via Emmy’s Yummys

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bake via Fit Foodie Finds


Happy Friday, friends. I’m seeing Daliza today!!!

So tell me:

A fun/funny fact from this week.

Do you have a secret to luscious lashes?

What are you doing today?

New Hair, New Finds, New Best Friend

Thinking-Out-Loud

click on the button to learn more!

1) Remember when my brother and I plunged a few hundred feet head first into a canyon in Colorado? And I promised a Go-Pro video of our faces? Well, I posted said video on Youtube but have since forgotten to share it with you!

You can see me praying and making the sign of the cross before the ride starts at 1:16. (P.S. brace yourself for the scream.)

2) When I was at my PT internship the other day, one of physical therapists said, “Wow, you really cut your hair off.” Then the patient said, “Boys like long hair.” She then confirmed this with the physical therapist, a man.

…Oh.

Well I like my new short hair, dangit!

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3) I still love my PT internship though. In fact, one of the PTs gave me all the digital versions of his textbooks, and one of them is about exercise form called Becoming a Supple Leopard. If becoming a supple leopard is not a fitness goal, I don’t know what is.

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4) I came across this travel blog the other day called The Everywhereist. Have you heard of it? If you’ve read this article on PopSugar called “I Went Paleo and Now I Hate Everything,” that’s the blogger, Geraldine. She is absolutely hilariousThere is no blogger that makes me laugh out loud as much as she does.

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Like I said, Geraldine runs a travel blog, but in the interest of us healthy living peeps, here’s her latest post called, “If the Exercise Class Descriptions From My Gym Were Honest.” Grab some tissues, you’ll probably cry of laughter.

5) Last week I told you guys that I wanted to cut down on social media when I came home from work. In all honesty, that has not happened. I realized that I can’t just say I’ll do something; I have to actually cut something out (taking Hayley’s advice!). Thus, I’m going to try logging out of my blog reader. I’m not as hardcore as Hayley, since I’m not deleting it, but I just need to spend less time reading the 100+ blogs that I follow. Hopefully this helps and gives me more time to read books! And sleep.

6) I saw more high school friends last night!

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The “Core Four” getting ice cream, just like old times. You know you’re great friends when you can still laugh until you almost pee after a year apart from each other. Also, that’s blueberry cheesecake ice cream I ate. YEAH.

7) Guess who I’m seeing tomorrow!? His name rhymes with Garmin and his blog is the opposite of The Little Woman’s World. (Spoiler: this guy!)

Who knows what kind of trouble we’ll get into. It’s been so fun getting to know bloggers more in person, outside of blog/social media comments. I was serious when I said I want to FaceTime with you guys!

8) I have a new best friend. He’s loyal, quiet yet unassuming, he makes my house smell really good, and he cooks me dinner while I’m at work.

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His name is CrockPot. Not a sexy name, but names don’t matter.

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Before work, I threw in some chicken breasts, spicy Italian sausage, a large visalia onion, marinara sauce, and some water. Then Mr. CrockPot worked his magic low and slow for about 6 hours. After work, my house smelled like an Italian restaurant and the chicken shredded with ease.

If no boy will take me out to dinner because of my short hair, at least I have the CrockPot to make me dinner.

10) I might have to take a flight to LA just to go to this place: Spread PB, A Peanut Butter Bar. It’s a peanut butter BAR. Go drool over their menu (and if you’re allergic to pb, pretend it’s almond butter).

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Hope you all have a fantastic day! Rock your hair, no matter what anyone says.

So tell me:

Do the guys in your life prefer long hair?

Have you come across any new blogs that you love?

What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

One thing you’re excited for!

Last Colorado Things

We are back to the mother ship!

But first, one more picture from Blend thanks to mom, who showed up as the guest photographer.

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After traveling from Boston to New York, New York to Colorado, Colorado to New York, I am done wandering for a while. (My mom and bro are still trekking along to Florida for my brother’s internship!)

Blend swag made travel snacking so easy.

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Madre loves these Quest protein chips. Look at that protein!

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Colorado was an epic vacation with my mom and brother, but I’m also happy to be home with my dad. Poor guy was eating leftovers from the fridge all week while we were eating fresh new foods in Colorado (and then posting them on social media where he could see). I’m also excited to be all domestic again this summer— mostly for the cooking, not as much for the cleaning and errands… Such is life.

Domesticity started early this morning with dropping off Pop at the train station, going grocery shopping (at 6AM when I can pace the aisles freely without judgement), and breakfast.

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Arman’s cake batter oatmeal is life-changing // sprinkles just because it’s “cake batter”

We left Colorado with a bang by going to Flagstaff House for a super splurge dinner on Sunday night. My mom insisted on taking me out to an early birthday dinner, since she and Ben would be away for my real birthday. I definitely didn’t need a fancy dinner, but I think my mom really wanted dinner with a view to treat me to something special. It’s not like it was difficult to accept either. 😉

The meal was rich (food-wise and moolah-wise), but we savored every bite, as well as the unbeatable mountain view.

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The service was excellent, and the food was outstanding. They even served complimentary amuse bouche  and palate cleansers throughout the meal.

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bottom left is our appetizer order: yellowfin tuna tartare and steak tartare with brioche toasts

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my entree: New Zealand salmon (cooked medium rare, OMG) with lump crab meat // Ben’s: pork tenderloin // Mom’s: natural Colorado chicken breast

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desserts: chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream // trio of vanilla bean, vegan vanilla bean, and salted caramel house-spun ice cream // tiny complimentary French toast with vanilla creme anglaise and candied pecans

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early birthday complimentary dessert platter

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complimentary mini blueberry poppyseed loaves to take home!

Incredible all around. The value is awesome when you account for the view, service, quality and taste of food, and amount of complimentary food!

I got some moves in at the hotel before we headed to the airport yesterday, and it was probably the last intense workout I’ll be doing in a while. (I’ll talk more about all that another day.) It was a good one though!

  • dynamic warmup
  • circuit workout // 3 rounds of each
    • 15 weighted step-ups each leg // 20 squat jumps
    • 5 reps of 5 bent over row+ 5 frog plank jumps // 15 leg lift crunches
    • 20 hamstring ball curls // 10 burpee tuck jumps
    • 12 sit-ups to shoulder press // 20 spiderman planks
  • tabata // 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest x8
    • burpees
    • high knees

I’m not a workout selfie person, but I thought my last gym workout for a while warranted one.

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Hashtag grind, hashtag muscles, hashtag gym. Did I nail it?

I followed it up with more Blend swag food: half a Quest bar + a sweet potato with a chocolate Nuttzo sample packet and a power fuel Nuttzo sample packet.

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And then an Asian chicken salad later in the afternoon.

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I went to bed late and woke up early this morning, so I’m about to take a nap before my eye doc appointment and then my first day at physical therapy internship!

Hope you all have a wonderful day! Take weird selfies today.

So tell me:

Have you gone to a splurge restaurant that was totally worth it?

What do you like to eat on airplanes?

Do you like gym selfies (seeing them or taking them)? I don’t mind seeing others’ gym selfies every once in a while, but I don’t really like taking them myself.

What are you doing today?

Meeting Bloggers In Person

Today is the day!

The day I get to meet so many amazing bloggers in the flesh at Blend. That sounds so creepy, but seriously, I’m stoked! But the blogger meetups actually started yesterday when I had lunch with Emily from Beauty in Christ. It was so wonderful!

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We had a great time talking about our life stories, spilling our joy in Christ, and eating delicious food (of course 😉 ). Emily chose Vert Kitchen for lunch, and it was fan.tas.tic. It was one of those cute, organic, green restaurants with plenty of healthy options, but still plenty of flavor.

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I ordered the turkey sandwich (which included goat cheese, balsamic figs, tomato, and mixed greens) with a side of quinoa salad. Polished that baby OFF.

Somewhere in our conversation, Emily and I talked about how weird we feel before meeting a blogger. We all “know” each other through the internet (I mean, y’all probably know more about me than some of my “real life” friends), but how can you know what a blogger will be like in person?

To be honest, I feel nervous and slightly anxious meeting or talking to bloggers on a more personal level for the first time. Whether it’s texting, FaceTiming, or meeting in person, I always wonder:

a) What will he/she think of me as a person off the blog? In action– in real life.

b) Will he/she be outgoing like he/she is on the blog? 

c) Should I act extra healthy-living-blogger-esque around them?

Answers:

a) What goes on my blog is 100% reflective of my brain, my words, and my daily activities. The only thing I can do is act like myself when I meet a blogger. The worst that could happen is that he or she doesn’t like me in real life and we don’t become real life friends. Not meant to be. Life will float on.

b) Maybe people blog because they don’t like to be outgoing in real life, so they may very well be more contained or shy in person. I completely get that and appreciate that. Some of my shyest friends have the funniest things to say when they write or do decide to speak out in big groups. Blogging is an outlet for thoughts that do not have to be said audibly. That’s the beauty of blogging!

c) As a “healthy living blogger”, I also have a minor (and irrational) anxiety that other bloggers will be extra observant of my fitness, what I eat, or how much I eat. But then I remind myself that the healthy living blogging community is a supportive and nonjudgmental one. You guys see that I don’t always eat healthily or “get after it” in my workouts, so why should I try to tune those things up when meeting bloggers in person? I certainly don’t do that around my real life friends. WE’RE ALL HUMANS.

I had to rant about that, thanks. I’ll finish my rant by saying that meeting with Emily (and Kath + Clare last year) totally canceled out my anxieties. It’s so much fun meeting new friends!

In other news, we went to an all you can eat Italian buffet called Cinzetti’s last night.

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Such a thing does exist in Kansas (where we first discovered this phenomenon) and Colorado, evidently. It’s immense and not healthy at all. But it’s yummy comfort food to the max.

I’ll be back sometime soon to tell you all about Blend! I’m sure social media will be stormed by our photos and cute hashtags. If you’re going, I CANNOT WAIT TO MEET YOU!

So tell me:

How do you feel when meeting bloggers in person? Or how would you feel? Do you share similar anxieties at first?

Would you eat at an all you can eat Italian buffet?