I Have a Dream + Lately

I posted this yesterday morning, but for some reason, some readers only saw half the post while others saw the whole post. So I took it down and here I am re-posting it!


This post is not about Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Although he is obviously a character to be revered and happens to be a Boston University alumnus #holla. And may we also remember his courage especially during this time of the events in Charlottesville and Burkina Faso. Let us pray for the souls lost, those who are injured, all those affected and those who have hurt others.)

This post is about a dream that I have that was prompted by a bowl of ramen. Allow me to explain.

Last Saturday, I went to a quasi-famous little ramen place called Yume Wo Katare with my friend Justin, and the experience was fantastic, in the truest sense of the word. There was a line of people waiting outside before it opened for dinner, and we got to see the staff’s pre-opening ritual (perhaps?), which involved shouting things in a circle, jumping up and down and getting FIRED UP.

So they bring you into their little shack of a restaurant, which is made up of an open kitchen and three rows of 6 seats each, all facing the chefs. Our host gave us a rundown of what the restaurant is all about — good food (ramen) and good people who share their dreams and support others’ dreams.

The bowl of ramen is symbolic of your dream (could be a short term or long term dream). Eating the bowl of ramen is symbolic of you achieving your dream. Why? Because there will be people, doubts and circumstances that will try to get in the way of your dream, but you have to just push through the obstacles to achieve your dream.

peep the fatty broth, the fat rim on the pork, and the FAT SPRINKLE ON TOP WHAT THE FRICK

The bowl of ramen is similar in that the fattiness and saltiness of this epic bowl of ramen will try to slow you down and keep you from finishing it all, but you just have to persevere and try to get to the bottom of that bowl.

There are three sizes: regular (a lot of food), buta (translates to “pig”, means bigger sized bowl with more pork belly), and extra large (for the insane). I got a regular and Justin got a buta because he’s one of those metabolic machines (read: a young man).

So you wanna reach your dream by finishing the bowl of ramen, right? If you finish everything, including the broth, the staff shouts, “PERFECT!” If you finish everything but the broth, they shout, “GOOD JOB!” If you leave some solid food and broth, they say, “Almooooost.” If you leave a lot of food left, they say, “Next tiiiiime.”

I got a “GOOD JOB!” and got cramps afterwards, but it was a glorious bowl of ramen. The noodles were my favorite part.

But before they grade your ramen bowl, they give you the option of stating your dream to the other 17 customers + staff in the room. I didn’t know what I wanted to say as my dream, but I decided I would say something anyway.

I ended up saying:

My dream is to make everyone I meet in life know how much they are loved.

That is some of the mushiest cheese that I have ever spoken, but it’s true. As a nomad of life and an indecisive person, I have no specific professional or personal dreams, but making everyone feel genuinely loved is very important to me.

I can only say this because I have been genuinely loved by other souls throughout my life, even (and sometimes especially) when I don’t deserve the love. “To whom much is given, much will be expected.” – Someone Wise

And now for some updates on life! I’ve missed blogging so much. Finals were kicking my DERRIÈRE, but WE ARE DONE AS OF TODAY!! For two weeks at least.

Colby (← her new website is BOSS) finished her summer in Boston a couple weeks ago 😦 As a “see ya later” send-off, we went to a Power Stryde class at MyStryde in Boston’s North End, because moving and grooving together is what we do best. It was a fun class!

can’t wait to see your face again, Colby ♥︎

We followed that with a trip to Boston Public Market (my first time there after living here for three years?)!

I bought brown sugar blueberry bread from Jennifer Lee’s allergen-free bakery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this delicious bread for dessert/study reward the next three nights. Served a la mode with peanut butter, of course.

On one night a couple weeks ago, it was raining, I desperately needed to go grocery shopping, and Target decided it was a good time to switch over to paper bags. Ergo…

But now I don’t live so far away from campus, so this doesn’t have to happen anymore! I moved from Christie’s place to an apartment closer to campus with Rachel and our friend Lauren, which has been great. I’m tolerated a decent amount of disaster in my half-unpacked room as finals finished up, but now I can start fixing up this crib.

It’s an off-campus apartment, so I get to stay put for a WHOLE. YEAR. HALLELUJAH.

the lighting is nice in the living room too, just saying

Before I left Christie’s place, I had one last night with her dog, Koga, and boy did we have a memorable night together! Koga is a really good dog, but he apparently had way too much water to drink that day, so the poor thing peed inside while I was alone at home with him.

How could you be mad at this face though?

Moving was a (relative) breeze thanks to Christie and Andrew, who helped me move and drive all my stuff to the new place, and my parents, who came up to deliver my bed frame and mattress last weekend. Blessed.

Another #blessed moment was when Rachel spotted a curbed dresser a block away from our apartment and convinced me to take it for my room, since I have practically zero furniture. But when we quickly discovered that the dresser was absurdly heavy, a knight in shining armor kind and burly man sitting on his deck offered to help us move it into my room. It was still a ridiculously sweaty and difficult task with the three of us, but the man’s strength and chivalry was SO appreciated.

I’m baking him cookies sometime this week.

My legs get more attractive by the day, lemme tell you.

(bruises from moving the dresser)

Studying for four exams within 7 days has been…a lot. But some bonafide pray, eat, move and groove action has made it all beautiful.

still doing workouts with Spartan buddy (feat. “the best chocolate milk in the world” – Ben)

getting peer pressured into going to Tasty Burger with friends on Sunday night instead of going straight to studying *shrugs* – worth it

banana pancakes!

chicken enchiladas with homemade sauce (← so much easier than I imagined)

5.3(!!) mile run with Janice and Justin (they definitely slowed down for me, but I think we all enjoyed it!)

Elayne made us a healthy skillet cookie one night before an exam ♥︎ 

study snackage

our friend Joy made blueberry cheesecake that night too, and it was phenomenal (we had some for breakfast the next day too heh)

chatting, studying and sharing a giant blueberry muffin with my girl Janice = happiness

Lastly, this happened before 10 am Sunday:

Rachel and I went to MET Back Bay for brunch, since their Croque Madame was on our food bucket list. LOOK AT IT. The photo does not do the cheese weight and deliciousness justice. The fries with crispy sage and garlic dipping sauce were also ridiculous. We split that and the California Hen House Hash…

…which was a deep skillet of potatoes, chicken, onions, peppers, 10 more pounds of cheese, avocado and two eggs.

Just as we needed to put our forks down before finishing that monstrously epic meal, I need to put my fingers to rest with this freaking long post.

Hope you all have a blessed week! You are so loved. Promise.

So tell me:

What is your dream (short term or long term)?

Three things that have made you smile this past week!

Best thing you’ve eaten recently. I am so spoiled and can’t even choose. Probably the croque madame though.

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Last Week Was Crazy

Meep.

I did not get to put up another post last week, but that’s the outcome I was sensing since I had a big psych test on Friday AND there were so many other fun things happening when I wasn’t studying. I’ll just get right into it, because the meat of this post just speaks for itself.

Best Friend Surprise

Someone very special decided to be awesome and sneaky on Tuesday…

I’m the most clueless doofus out there, but…Daliza was in Boston.

Shoutout to my roommate Jordan for helping Daliza make this crazy surprise happen! They went through this whole complicated process to get me to come out at the right time and place so that Daliza could surprise me. You don’t get to see it in this video, but I started crying. As I do. I was utterly shocked and ecstatic that Daliza was here at Boston University to visit me!

She’s the bomb. Jordan’s the bomb. God blessed me with some rockstar friends, eh?

Ben Turns 21

After chillin’ with my Mexican sister from another mister for a few precious hours before she headed back to NY (yes, she came all the way up to Boston just for a day— dedication ♥), I joined my family in the evening for dinner to celebrate bro-Ben’s 21st! #boozeTues

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We went to an upscale Southern restaurant called Hungry Mother, and it was wonderfully rich and comforting. It’s awesome that they use local ingredients and change up their menu every day too! They have a prix fixe menu option, so we all chose that (mom and I shared) and essentially ordered everything on the petite menu to share.

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Course 1: chicken-fried veal sweetbreads // escargot with biscuit topping // sunchoke parsnip soup

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Course 2: charcuterie board // oysters rockefeller // beet and baby scallop salad

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Course 3: wild catfish with cornbread puree and brussels sprouts // squab with farroto // rabbit with rabbit andouille sausage and gold rice grits

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Course 3: cheese plate // yogurt cheesecake with cranberry caramel and poached apple // chocolate truffle tart with buttermilk ice cream // complimentary cookies of some sort

All the plates were on the small side, so it was a perfect tasting evening. If the plates were any bigger, I might have ended up blowing up from water retention. That food was pretty heavy on the salt and fat (as expected from a Southern-inspired restaurant), but it was delicious for sure! My favorites were the beet and scallop salad and the yogurt cheesecake.

Hope you had a marvelous birthday, bro! I can’t believe you can consume alcohol legally now. We were drinking milk from sippy cups, like, yesterday?

School.

Tests, labs, essays, tour guide training, REGISTRATION FOR CLASSES.

It’s like the Hunger Games trying to register for classes. You have to strategize, have a backup plan, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Everyone wants the same classes as you, so you have to pounce on that ish.

Anyway, it wasn’t too bad (except for 6-8 pm bio lab, ew). Hopefully everything works out next semester!

My friends and I also had tour guide training all day on Saturday, which was kind of draining (especially since we had to walk outside for two hours in the frigid air that cut through my soul), but I’m totally looking forward to giving tours next semester! If any of you high schoolers are thinking about Boston University….!!!

More Birthdays (and sweets)

Besides celebrating bro-Ben’s birthday, I also joined in the celebration of my friend Christina’s birthday on Thursday!

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She’s 19 and fabulous (and she has a killer opera voice). Our friend Cori made a huge batch of eggless cookie dough, which we all very much appreciated. Then I went to a Students for Life club meeting, where there was pumpkin and NY cheesecake made by the wonderful Cecilia.

My friends are going to give me diabetes.

We also celebrated friend-Ben’s birthday on Saturday! A bunch of us watched him and two other friends do the legendary Rhett’s challenge, which is trying to eat 8 GIANT scoops of ice cream, a triple bacon cheeseburger, a large side of fries, and a large root beer within 30 minutes.

My friends are going to vicariously give me diabetes.

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They did not complete the challenge, but that’s really okay. It was actually difficult to watch them try to down that food. Daily Moves and Grooves does not condone these kinds of challenges.

Cold Weather

It’s finally upon us, which means it’s time to break out the mom jacket.

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Would you believe me if I said I’ve had this jacket since 6th grade? It fits a lot better now.

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Hi, Connor and Louis!

It’s not even that cold yet for Boston standards. When we’re back here in February, I might have to risk looking like a robber by walking around in a ski mask so my face doesn’t fall off.

And that’s IT, friends! 8 more days until Thanksgiving break. I can almost taste it.

I hope you all have a marvelous Monday!

MiMM

Linking up with Katie!

So tell me:

Two exciting things that happened to you last week!

Do you like Southern cuisine?

Is it freezing where you live? 

18 Things

Hi there!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was both exhausting and fun— there was a sleepover, waffles, delicious dinner, a dance show (last one EVER), and I turned 18 somewhere in there.

MiMM

Linking up with Katie!

So here are 18 things about my weekend during which I became a legal adult:

1. Moves

After school on Friday, I headed to the gym (there are 3 days left in my membership!) for a workout.

5 min. arc trainer + supersets:

  • 10-12 pistols each leg + 15-20 Bulgarian split squats each leg
  • 20 hamstring ball roll-ins + 30 Bosu lunge hops
  • 20 lunge pulses + 20 single leg bridge pulses each leg

Plus core work!

2. Dance company dinner

At my favorite Japanese restaurant! I got the roll combo with eel avocado, yellowtail, and tuna rolls. They’re all my absolute favorites, so you better believe I finished that whole plate. No sushi left behind.

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3. Dance company sleepover

‘Twas a crazy night with 14 girls sleeping over, but it was a blast. We signed T-shirts, screamed Frozen songs at the top of our lungs, and played Cards Against Humanity. Successful sleepover indeed!

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4. Epic breakfast

Waking up at 9 AM after going to bed at 3 AM was not ideal on my birthday, but making breakfast (best meal of the DAY) for my best gals was worth it. My super-mom did most of the work though. We have enough waffles and cereal for the rest of the year I think.

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The only thing I really did— gluten free banana pancakes.

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Approximately 1/5 of all the waffles we made. {We froze all the leftovers.}

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Part of my breakfast: pancakes with Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and maple syrup added later. Heavennnnn.

Thanks so much, mom and pop, for being such generous hosts to all my dance friends!!! It has been requested that you start a hotel service…but I think you’re already there.

5. A nice nap

‘Nough said.

6. Beautiful weather all weekend

Like, perfect.

7. Wonderful Mass with my family

It’s the last week of the Easter season!

8. Awesome birthday texts from my friends

9. Phone call with the brother

So happy that I got to talk with Mr. Penguino.

10. Eighteen burpees

…ya know. I ♥ burpees, so it just seemed appropriate.

11. Amazing birthday dinner

I chose to go to a Latin restaurant called Sonora that my parents had raved about in the past, and it was the BOMB. We all shared a few tapas, a couple entrees, and of course a couple desserts.

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Salmon ceviche

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Quinoa, goat cheese, roasted eggplant empanadas with a chocolate molé sauce. WHOA.

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Dad’s halibut with quinoa gnocchi (!!!)

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Mom’s stuffed chicken with some sort of green potato mash

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Pork tacos

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Cheesecake with dulce de leche ice cream and guava sauce

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Chocolate jalapeño bread pudding with dulce de leche ice cream. This was awesome.

12. The waiters sang happy birthday to me really quietly

I was kinda hoping they would have fireworks and a mariachi band though.

13. Best birthday presents ever from Daliza

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Cutest collage ever.

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Uhhh how cool is this?! She drew the little mascot on there and everything!

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The goodies in the box.

Daliza is one of my best friends ever, and this gift meant the absolute world to me. I swear it’s not just because she gave me sunflower seed butter. 😉 I can tell that she put so much effort and thought into it and I appreciate it from the depths of my nut-butter-loving heart. Thank you so much, Daliza!

14. Woke up automatically at 7 AM yesterday morning

My internal clock hates me -_-

15. Watched CrossFit Games while eating breakfast instead of trying to go back to sleep

Bad idea. I was so tired for the rest of the day.

16. Last dance show with my dance school EVER

That sounds more emotional than it was. Yesterday was the show for the younger dance classes in our dance school, so we did perform shortly, but we mostly just helped out backstage. It was a long day.

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Alison + Allison. Sons.

17. Ate a snickerdoodle 

Thanks to my friend Rachel who brought a bunch for us to eat yesterday! Snickerdoodles are my fave.

18. Thanked God

For this weekend and every single person that made it so dang special.

Hello, adulthood! I’m {sorta} ready for you!

So tell me:

What is the best birthday gift you ever received?

Three things you did this weekend!

WIAW: Melt in Your Mouth

Happy 2014!

That looks like something from a chain email.

But I hope your New Year was filled with color, bubbly drinks, and lots of smiles! My family and I kept our celebrations pretty low key, but I loved it. After going to Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, we decided on a whim to go to our favorite Japanese restaurant for dinner. I thought it would be a good meal to take you through for this first WIAW of 2014!

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Mosey on over to Jenn’s blog to see more drool-worthy eats!

It’s all iPhone pictures this week since I didn’t want to lug the big camera along to a dark restaurant anyway!

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Bro-derrrr

Lemme tell ya— spontaneity is a beautiful thing because this dinner was THE BOMB. Everything we put in our mouths just melted in the best way possible. Ichiro uses the freshest fish and meat, and the best flavors to compliment them. They also had a $65 prix fixe menu with some awesome selections. The prix fixe came with four small starters, an entree, and a dessert. My parents decided to go with it since it was a New Year’s special and they figured the food would be extra special.

And boy, was it extra special.

I’ll just show you some of their dishes that I tasted:

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Angel shrimp. I thought the crust tasted cheesy, but everyone else said it was just buttery. I still think it was cheese.

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A bite of my dad’s lobster bisque. It was like Sea World in there— they don’t scrimp on the lobster meat!

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Four Seasons Salad. The combo of mango, crabmeat, and greens was refreshing!

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One of my favorites of the night: Miso Black Cod. This REALLY melted in your mouth. And the filet was hefty for an appetizer!

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Everyone else’s favorite: Wagyu beef. My mom went to heaven and back when she took a bite.

And after sampling ALL that, my real entree came!

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Eel cucumber roll and “Mango Hawaii Roll” (salmon, avocado, mango, and wasabi caviar). Also incredibly melt-a-licious. 

There were only two dessert choices for the prix fixe, so my parents got one of each. Cheesecake and tiramisu!

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My mom is an official food Instagrammer. Check out that angle and depth of field! (And she literally just told me, “I think I’m becoming more professional now.”) 😉

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Ben and I had no problem cleaning off this plate.

Whenever I eat a really great meal, especially with my family, I can’t stop smiling afterwards. This was one of those meals. It’s kinda weird, and I fear that people may think I snuck something into my beverage, but it just goes to show how much I appreciate eating delicious food with people I love!

I was so full that I didn’t even have room for Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider once the clock struck 12, but maybe I’ll have some for a late celebration (of a possible snow day tomorrow?!). Wishful thinking.

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My family and I are in agreement that we’re excited to get back into a routine though. It has been quite the indulgent break, but we do not regret a single second of it! It will just be nice to return to “cleaner” foods.

In case you want to catch up on some posts from the past couple weeks, here’s what’s been happening:

Holy moly I’ve done a lot of blogging. I love free time.

So tell me:

How did you celebrate the New Year?

What is the best thing you’ve eaten for dinner lately?

What is one food that you love that melts in your mouth?

Behind the Scenes #4: Christmas in NYC, Food Tour, and Game Night

Hi guys!

I hope you all had a joyful and blessed Christmas (or a lovely day off if you don’t celebrate)! My family and I certainly lived it up. Our celebrations have included a lot of these three things: laughter, prayer, and FOOD.

I know that a lot of people, including me, have post-Christmas blues, but the 12 days of Christmas have just started! Go buy your loved ones two turtle doves and partridge in a pear tree today. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding them, right? 😉 Plus, there’s still New Year’s to look forward to!

Well the last few days have been packed with fun, so I’m going to take you behind the scenes to check out the shenanigans (and my random thoughts about them)…

Thinking-Out-Loud

Hooray for Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud link-up!

1. This year was our first Christmas in New York in about four or five years. We’ve been in either Canada or Florida for the past few years, so it is wonderful to be staying home with just the four of us this Christmas! I actually told my dad before we left for Canada, “I miss having Christmas at home in New York.” Well, I guess my wish came true! Just not quite in the way I would have expected…

2. Christmas at home meant an obligatory trip to NYC to take in the Christmas experience! We decided to go down on Christmas Eve to see the tree and do a little “food tour.” What is a food tour you may ask? You see, we went on this crazy food adventure with our family friends a few Thanksgivings ago, in which we just stopped by a bunch of restaurants (mostly dessert places) to try different things. I remember we ate at a Mongolian restaurant for dinner and then went to several places for dessert: a famous cheesecake place, Pinkberry, a chocolate cake place, and Rice to Riches (rice pudding). It’s excessive, spontaneous, and oh so fun to do once in a blue moon. We also just have a little bit at each place too, or else we would probably explode.

This year’s experience: (I’ll show you just what I ate. I’ll spare the extra pics of what everyone else ate!)

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Shared yen-ta-four soup with mom at Wondee Siam for lunch

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Rockefeller Tree!

[Insert down time at Barnes and Noble]

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Cereal milk soft serve at Momofuku Milk Bar— I had always wanted to try this place! The cereal milk tastes like what it’s called. It might be meh to some, but it was totally up my alley.

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Okay this is not mine. It’s Ben’s dessert at Ben Ash, which was a completely spontaneous drop-in. The biggest ($10!!!) piece of red velvet cheesecake EVER. I kept telling him not to finish it because I worried about his health. He didn’t 😉

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Visit to Times Square, since we’re too wimpy to go for New Year’s. In our defense, we like to be able to move around and go to the bathroom freely, thank you very much.

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Last stop of the night: the best Halal food in the city. We always go to the most popular location, which is at 53rd and 6th. There is always a super long line! I shared a chicken and rice plate with mom. Hit the spot like no other.

At least we were walking all day, right? 😉

3. My family didn’t really do formal gifts this year, but each one of us treated the family at one of the above restaurants. We also just counted any gift given in the month of December as a Christmas gift. Some may say that’s no fun, but it worked for us this year! I also made a card with coupons for my family:

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I do most of these things already, but the coupons will allow my family members to ask for the favors on demand. Uh oh.

And Ben made me this cute card:

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Lots of jokes in this card. Thanks, Penguino!

4. You’d think we would be tired of food by Christmas day…Nahhh. The second part of my gift was making lunch for the family after Mass:

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Baked French toast and a set up of all our leftovers to make brunch tacos

5. Catch Phrase is the best game ever. All four of us played it last night, and we totally got an ab workout from laughing so hard. Even though we only have the junior version, it’s still fun!

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An example of what was said:

Ben: “What is this? (does robot) Domo arigato.”

Dad: “Mozart!”

……No.

But he got it right after that. 😉

6. I’m currently playing Connect Four with Ben and I could not be worse at it. I just lost the first game in about 2 minutes.

Just kidding, I just won with FIVE in a row. BOOM.

…And I just won again! I don’t think I’ve ever won this many times in my life! Seriously.

7. I made granola bars randomly yesterday, following this recipe loosely. To be honest, I really just wanted to use up a some of my salted almond butter. It’s not that I don’t like it, but I just don’t enjoy it nearly as much as my other nut/seed butters. However, they certainly made these granola bars mighty tasty.

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8. I should really start my homework today. *dramatic sigh*

9. I think that’s enough from me. May your days be merry and bright, folks. You rock. ❤

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“And the Word was made flesh…”  —John 1:14

So tell me: What did you do for Christmas? What is one of your favorite things you gifted to someone else? Have you ever played Catch Phrase before?