Functional Families

(Although family is often dysfunctional, am I right?)

We are officially completely done with our first {summer} semester of PT school! I wish I could have taken a photo with all my friends who have truly been my functional {anatomy} family this summer as we’ve journeyed our way through the ups and downs of the summer semester and beyond. But for now I have this photo of Janice, Justin, Kevin and myself eating celebratory pizza at Blaze after our functional anatomy final on Tuesday!

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Darn good pizza, even better company.

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loaded mine with mozzarella, goat cheese, spinach, roasted broccoli, spinach, artichokes, sautéed onions, turkey meatball, and roasted red peppers – no limits on toppings when you build your own pizza!!

We celebrated that night with Game of Things and a Moana viewing party, which were both super fun (I had never seen Moana before then! Heihei the chicken is my spirit animal).

On Wednesday, my body decided it was a good idea to wake up at 6:30am after going to sleep at 2am (WHY), but my friends Elayne and Janice motivated me to go on a quick and easy run with them despite my sleepiness. I’m so glad I did; I love them (and I guess I like running again).

Afterwards, I had 45 minutes to shower, eat lunch, and pack for Toronto! My parents were already up here visiting relatives, so I flew up here to meet them. They met me at the airport with Extreme Pita takeout, because I told them I would be quite hungry when I got off the plane. Thanks, parents. ♥︎

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Madre also bought her favorite childhood candy to share with us.

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hadn’t eaten Cadbury chocolate since Ireland!

I got to see my grandparents and one set of cousins that night, which was such a treat. Most of my cousins are much younger than my brother and me, but it’s always so fun to interact with them and see how much they’ve grown since the last time I’ve seen them.

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I slept for NINE hours that night. *Crowds go wild*.

Yesterday morning, I met those same cousins at the park for some playtime and…

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tabata time!! Apparently, many of my uncles, aunts, and cousins are all super fit and active, which is extra fun. My uncle suggested we do a couple tabatas, which resulted in the most heart/body-warming time of my life.

I even went on Instagram for the first time in 8 months(!) to post the video, because it was THAT good of a moment.

What a functionally fit family. The girls (ages 7 and under) were SO into it, and it made me so utterly happy.

I was telling my uncle (triathlete, doctor and father of four, guatever) that this is what #fitmoms do and post on their Instagram accounts.

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You know, the swing suspension trainer thing. Don’t tell me you don’t know about it.

After a good bit of playing, lunch was brought to us by my parents…

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*angels singing*

…and my other cousin Amy with her new Vitamix!

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In the afternoon, Amy, my uncle George, and my dad headed over to The Hub for our annual bouldering trip!! More functional fit fam action! I talk about bouldering at this place all year round and always get stoked for it. This was my third time there with them.

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It was a very fun and challenging day! Amy, her friend and Uncle George were all killin’ it, so they were my inspirations. Pop was also killin’ it on auto-belay!

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I also appreciated these form signs in the gym. #functionalanatomy

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We were so ready for a snack afterwards, so to Chatime we went! Amy and I split a — get this — peanut. butter. croissant.

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I repeat.

Peanut. Butter. Croissant.

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There was peanut butter leaking outta that yummy, buttery, flaky pastry. UGH.

Not too long after, my great aunt had a home-cooked dinner waiting for us.

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Followed by a couple slices of taro loaf from Chatime.

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I proceeded to veg out on my phone for about an hour before praying for a couple hours and then getting hungry again. My aunt served us some frozen yogurt with berries and a waffle cookie to end the night on (my third) sweet note.

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God bless good family time — blood-related and otherwise.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. Hug your loved ones tightly.

So tell me:

Have you ever done a family workout?

What is your favorite childhood candy?

Have you ever gone bouldering?

 

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I Ate a Whole Humble Pie This Week!

Not just a slice. Like, God pie’d me in the face with the whole humble pie.

I’ve been home for only five days, and I feel like I have learned many humbling lessons. Let’s just say: If you ask God to humble you and teach you how to love others more deeply, He WILL. Not always in the way you expect/prefer, but He will.

Without boring you too much with all lessons I learned, I will share just one slice of this humble pie, which is my hip pain that I’ve been complaining about this past week. After consulting two physical therapists, we have concluded that it is very likely that I have a labral tear, which means I will not be able to run the Spartan Race in two weeks. I’m kinda crushed, but I am thankful for loving friends and family and the ability to still walk and move.

Time to get reacquainted with lots of yoga and Pilates!

Humble pie isn’t the only thing I ate at home (thankfully). There have been two birthday celebrations and much-needed family/friend time!

Thursday

Back in Boston, my day started with green banana silver dollar pancakes. Because I had time…

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…or so I thought. Until I left way too late for the bus station FOR NO GOOD REASON AT ALL and ended up having to run for the bus. I felt like such a dummy for leaving so late and almost missing my bus. I am often late to things, but this really woke me up. #humbled.

Thanks be to God, I juuuuuuuust made the bus and arrived to New York that night. My family welcomed me back with a belated birthday dinner at my favorite Japanese restaurant!

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fantastic fried calamari to start

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salad that came with my sushi dinner

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eel avocado, yellowtail, and tuna — all my favorites!

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“Ichiro Sushi Sandwich” — spicy tuna, lobster salad, crab, egg, avocado wrapped in soy paper

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Ben and Pop’s sushi and sashimi for two!

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celebrating 21 with a shiso leaf mojito — very tasty!

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We left full to the brim with sushi, so my dessert was a scrumptious mini pistachio muffin (made by my aunt) from our fridge.

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Friday

I started the day with Lori and Michelle’s great 18 minute plank workout, followed by a hearty breakfast.

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steel cut banana oats with cinnamon raisin pb + two eggs with veggies and sriracha

Madre and I went to get our nails done and then to shop at Trader Joe’s. It was a lovely mother-daughter date 🙂

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afternoon snack plate

We tag-teamed dinner — I made the brussels sprouts and she made the salmon (plus the leftover rice).

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Classic and so satisfying!

Saturday

Breakfast was small because there was a giant feast ahead!

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greek yogurt with bananas, cinnamon, and almond butter

Moves and grooves of the day included 45 minutes of YouTube yoga before we all got dressed up and headed to the Big Apple for Pop’s grand 50th birthday celebration! He wanted to go all out for his half-century on this planet, so we started with an uber fancy late lunch at Jean-Georges, a Michelin Star restaurant located in Columbus Circle. Ooooooooo la laaaaa.

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’twas such a gorgeous day!

After we took some photos outside, we stepped into the restaurant for our 2:15pm reservation.

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Pop wanted to do the spring tasting menu, which the waiter requested the whole table do. The birthday boy had spoken, so we went with the fixed spring tasting menu. It did not disappoint!

Bread basket: I went with a slice of the Swedish rye (smeared with butter), which was very textured and flavorful!

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Amuse bouche: sesame-crusted asparagus with yuzu sabayon + beet-cured salmon sashimi with chili pepper over sunflower seeds and yogurt + warm herbal tea. Everything on the plate was delicious on its own, and the herbal tea was more like broth, but very good!

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Course one: softly poached organic egg, caviar, whipped yogurt, herbs + buttered brioche stick for stirring and dipping. This was my favorite dish of the whole meal! That buttered bread stick with the soft egg and perfectly salty caviar — so unique and incredible.

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Course two: Madai sashimi, pastel radishes, nasturtium vinaigrette. This was very zesty and similar to ceviche. Refreshing and pretty to look at!

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Course three: warm green asparagus, sautéed sorel mushrooms, sherry vinaigrette. These were some of the best vegetables ever. Those mushrooms were so flavorful and meaty!

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Course four: slowly cooked bass, crunchy oat tuile, herbal lime dressing. Melt-in-your-mouth fish with great tangy dressing and some sort of pea puree. The crunchy oat tuile was so fun too!

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Course five: rack of lamb crusted with herbs, fresh chickpea puree, carrots, and aleppo pepper sauce. The best lamb I’ve ever eaten. The aleppo pepper sauce went so well with the meat, and everything on the plate just WORKED.

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Course six: strawberry gelée, frozen basil and vanilla morsels, crunchy tapioca pearls, strawberries. Insanely interesting. It was like the most sophisticated version of strawberry jello with dip ‘n’ dots you could ever imagine. I wouldn’t choose this dessert myself, but it was fun to eat and pretty tasty!

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Bonus dessert: Pop’s surprise chocolate birthday cake with raspberry filling

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Bonus dessert part two: homemade vanilla bean marshmallows, orange liqueur jelly, lemon curd-filled chocolates, basil chocolates, sesame caramels, chocolate liqueur-filled chocolate balls. They cut the marshmallows table side, which was the coolest. And all the chocolates minus the orange jellies were so interesting in a good way!

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he totally made his arm/hand positions perfect for my photo

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Utterly STUFFED. The food at Jean-Georges was ridiculously creative and well done, and the service was top-notch. Thank you, Madre and Pop, for letting us join in on this spectacular food experience!

After our long lunch, we gave Pop his cards…

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love how my aunt gave him a KIND bar in his card haha

 …and then walked over to Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church, which is beautiful.

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Following Mass, we had another appointment at Minskoff Theater for the Broadway musical, The Lion King! We had heard rave reviews about it basically since we moved to New York, and this weekend was finally our time to see it.

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The show is really unlike any other Broadway musical I’ve ever watched. The characters are pulled off with ingenious costumes, humor and fantastic visual effects. And the singing and dancing is marvelous!

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Highly recommend 🙂 Such a heartwarming classic brought to life in an imaginative way.

Ben and I had a (literal) midnight snack at home and then we all hit the hay. What a wonderful day.

Sunday

Pop’s official 50th birthday! I slept in and then started on lunch for the fam. I needed a little snack though, so I ate some leftover salmon on a bed of spinach to hold me over.

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I grilled up some pancakes, roasted chicken drumsticks, and made Pop a chopped salad. Madre fried some plantains and helped me clean up a lot. What a team.

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After digesting, I laid low before doing a strength workout in the basement:

4 rounds:

  • 20 bentover rows (15# KBs)
  • 20 thrusters (36#)
  • 20 weighted setups (15#)
  • 20 donkey kicks each leg

(Walking and running hurt, but squats don’t hurt at all.)

Later that night, I met my high school dance friend, Susie, in the city for dinner! We met up at Cava, which is basically a Mediterranean version of Chipotle, except much better IMO. They give you so many toppings!!

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Susie recommended their juices, so we both got the strawberry mint lime. We tasted a bunch of them before deciding, and they were all so good!

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In my bowl: superfood greens, brown rice, harissa, eggplant feta dip, tzatziki, grilled beef meatballs, radishes, cucumber tomato salad, cauliflower quinoa tabouli, pita chips, and lemon herb tahini.

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RIGHT!? So much goodness! The company was the best part of the night though. It was so great catching up with Susie!

Monday

First thing in the morning, I dropped off Ben at the train station and then headed to the hospital I worked at last summer for one of my physical therapist friends to do a quick evaluation of my hip. She (along with my PT aunt) said that I probably have a labral tear. *sigh*

Head up, Alison!

I went back home for breakfast and a nap. I have been SO tired this week at home.

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greek yogurt, cinnamon, berries, chia seeds, purple corn flakes (!!), leftover pancake quarter, almond butter

The rest of my day involved Mass, some computer work and organization for school, and this Blogilates workout. I still want to move my joints and keep my muscles strong, but workouts are definitely very low impact and careful now.

At night, my high school friends Sam and Michael came over to hang out, which was so fun! We ordered pizza, and Madre (being the hospitable gem she is) fried up some egg rolls and TWO different kinds of pork.

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margherita

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veggie

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fried noms

And now it’s 1am and I should sleep, because next week I will be an 8-5 working human.

I hope you all have a lovely week! Prayers especially for all those in England and Europe in general ♥︎

So tell me: 

Which food in this post would you want to try!?

Two fun things you did this weekend.

What is your favorite musical?

Have you been humbled recently?

Weekend Confessions

I feel like the primary purpose of this post is to let my parents know that I am alive and well. Hi, Madre and Pop!!

weekend confessions

Confession #1: I’m going to brag about the salmon and meatloaf I made at work on Friday. Even though I could only have small bites of each for quality control, I have decided that this was possibly the best salmon I’ve ever made and the best (also, the first and only) meatloaf I’ve ever made. Both of them had Trader Joe’s whole grain dijon mustard in it, FYI.

For the salmon: Season with salt and pepper. Rub a crap ton of the mustard + a good drizzle of honey all over. Top with a few dill sprigs. Bake at 425F for 12 minutes.

And I used this meatloaf recipe!

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the salmon looks burnt and the meatloaf looks average, but I promise they were so good! the mustard was all sweet and crispy on the salmon 😀

Confession #2: I almost lost my voice screaming at my first BU hockey game of the season. I hadn’t been to a game in almost a year, so it was great to be back in the “dog pound” cheering on our Terriers!

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we won against University of Maine 4-1 *high fives*

Confession #3: I’ve made more Irish friends during one week in Boston than I did in 3.5 months in Ireland. There’s an exchange student from Ireland who frequents the Catholic Center, so now I have a total of ONE [native] Irish friend who is my age.

Confession #4: I wanted to go to the gym at least once this weekend, but I never did. I’m pretty okay with it though.

Confession #5: I did do some interesting non-gym things like grooving to throwback songs with friends, running (!?), working out by the river at my favorite place, doing Blogilates that made our crooked floor boards creak, stretching while studying gross anatomy, and trying slider exercises with a paper plate!

Confession #6: Also instead of the gym, I did fun things like make/eat pancakes and watch The Office with my pals Ben and Rachel 🙂

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humungous banana and oreo pancakes

Confession #7: I ate at P.F. Changs (aka fake Asian food) and loved it.

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also we were starving, so anything tasted good // too hungry to eat it with chopsticks because that takes too much time #dontdowhatido

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‘Twas for my girl Domenica’s birthday (21!!!! check that sake in a wine glass). It was mighty fun hanging out with all these beautiful women!

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Confession #8: I ate chocolate cake and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can no longer say that I don’t like chocolate, I’ve just accepted it. It’s still not my favorite, and I wouldn’t order chocolate things, but I don’t dislike it.

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we got two “Great Wall of Chocolate” cakes to celebrate, and I was all about it

Confession #9: I ate carrot cake before lunch to celebrate my friend Louis’ birthday the next day. So many birthdays this weekend!

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“Like the liturgically significant candles?” – our friend, Pat, who made the cake

Confession #10: I don’t like to spend more than 10 minutes on dinner.

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Confession #11: Megan shared one of her chocolate pudding cups with me last night for dessert, and it was blissful. You bet I added peanut butter to that thing.

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Confession #12: I’m procrastinating getting my laundry out of the dryer, but I’ll go do that now.

Confession #13: I actually did go to confession this weekend.

Also, here’s a random picture of a breakfast that I ate, because I took the photo and the lighting was decent, and yogurt bowls tend to look aesthetically pleasing.

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Hope you have a marvelous Monday!

So tell me:

Two things you did this weekend!

What is the best thing you’ve cooked recently?

Did you watch any sports this weekend?

Day in the Life: Internship Abroad

There are only a couple weeks left of my Dublin study abroad experience, can you believe it!?

I shared a day in the life post a couple months ago when we still had classes all day, but now we are well into the internship phase of the program, which involves a full day (more or less) of work Monday through Thursday.

I intern at a private physiotherapy clinic that focuses on dry needling, manual therapy, massage, and Pilates classes. I am loving it! The people are wonderful, the patients are so kind, and I am learning a lot about the international physiotherapy scene. I even get to massage patients who are willing to let a li’l student knead them out.

Here’s what Monday looked like this week. This was actually an unusual day because we had a conference in the evening, which threw off the work hours a bit, but it’s still a general idea of what goes on.

7:55 AM – First alarm goes off. Snooze.

8:04 AM – Second alarm goes off. “I could get up now. But I don’t have to and I could use more sleep.” Reset alarm for 8:30.

8:30 AM – THIRD alarm goes off. Drag butt out of bed. Go to the bathroom, brush teeth, say morning prayer.

8:50 AM – Head to the kitchen for breakfast. There is never a day when I am not excited for overnight oats.

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so ugly, but the value is within.

9:05 AM – Decide that I should roast my broccoli that’s been sitting in the fridge for days. I get home late on Mondays (and especially this particular day), so I know I’ll be happy to have it already roasted when I get back at night.

9:30 AM – Start typing this blog post as I wait for my broccoli. (Somewhat unrelated: Ever since I read Paige’s post on her productivity secret, I’ve been using the “Pomodoro Method” to get work done this past week, and I am a believer! Definitely check out Paige’s post if you’re interested.)

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I use this pomodoro method app

9:45 AM – Broccoli is out of the oven. I taste test as always, no matter how hot it is.

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olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper at 400F for ~30 min

9:50 AM – Let the broccoli cool for a bit, pack it up, wash the dishes.

10:10 AM – Squeeze in a very quick warmup + workout. I was feeling energetic and willing to sprint, but you know me. I don’t actually run (plus I have my bursitis as an excuse), so I sprinted in the form of burpees with Lori and Michelle’s 100 burpee challenge. It’s one of my favorite workouts of all time!

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10:35 AM – Stretch and figure that I would be cutting it too close to shower before I need to leave to catch the bus. I’m not sweating that much…

10:40 AM – Comb hair, put on makeup, pack my bag, and put on a good dose of deodorant (I promise I am a hygienic person).

11:00 AM – Leave the dorm to catch the bus. I walk to a farther bus stop because the bus would take a little while to get to the closer stop anyway, so I might as well meet it farther down.

11:20 AM – Hop on the bus and pull out this honker of a book.

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People probably think I’m actually 12 years old, but HP is worth it ♥︎

11:40 AM – Hop off the bus and walk a couple blocks to work.

11:50 AM – Arrive at work. My bosses didn’t have too many patients in for the day since they were preparing for the conference, so my day involved helping them with the prep, researching for my paper on trigger points, and the usual desk duties.

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I also snacked on these “milk & cereals” flavored BelVita biscuits throughout the early afternoon. They kind of taste like coconut biscuits, which is a-okay with me.

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3:30 PM – The biscuits held me over quite well, so I had a very late lunch. ‘Twas this ugly-looking egg and sausage scramble that I had made the night before. It tasted like stuffing since I used the same sausage and herbs I used for Thanksgiving, so in other words, it was delicious.

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pork and apple sausage + one egg + egg white + sautéed onion + spinach + thyme + sage possibly?

I followed this with a big, juicy orange.

4:20 PM – Leave with one of the physiotherapists for the conference at a hotel in Dún Laoghaire (pronounced “Dunleary”).

4:40 PM – Arrive at the hotel and help set up and sort through all the logistics of the night. I ate a Cadbury caramel chocolate at some point. My supervisor told me, “This is the only kind of chocolate. America does sweets well, but they don’t do chocolate well.”

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I must admit that this stuff is LUSCIOUS

6:00 PM – Head downstairs to the exhibition tables for tea and biscuit hour (a fine practice which I’ve come to love in Ireland).

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I put milk in my tea and I don’t know why. It does nothing.

7:00 PM – Conference begins! It was hosted by a woman from Parliament with the Migraine Association of Ireland, and our physiotherapy company gave a presentation about myofascial trigger points as a potential source of migraines, which can be relieved through massage and dry needling.

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7:30 PM – We give our presentation to the first session. When I say “we” and “our”, I mean the owner presented and I was the guinea pig for dry needling. It was fun having a couple dozen people staring at my trap muscles twitching like crazy.

8:15 PM – Second session presentation.

9:00 PM – The therapists stick around to answer questions before we clean up everything and head back to the clinic to drop it off.

10:00 PM – Back at the clinic, where we unload everything. They kindly call me a taxi to get home.

10:20 PM – Get home ready for FOOD. I warm up my pre-roasted broccoli (*ding*) + leftover pizza from Sunday night.

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11:00 PM – Shower after reading blogs for a bit.

11:30 PM – Pray and head to bed.

So this might not be a true “day in the life,” because I don’t usually have work until 10 pm, but it was still an exciting day of interning!

So tell me: 

Three things in your daily routine. 

What is your favorite chocolate brand? 

Have you ever heard about trigger points as a cause of migraines?

Behind the Scenes #17: Just…Food.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Reflecting on food with my fellow food lover, Amanda!

1. We’re finally home! After visiting several cities for the admitted students’ days at University of Maryland and University of Virginia, I’m so happy to be chillin’ out back at our house. Except for the fact that there were patches of snow on the ground when we arrived…Excuse me?

2. Remember how I said I despise driving in DC? Well, I meant it. I meant it with a deep burning passion, because getting out of that city was a pain yesterday. It’s a good thing I had this brunch at Busboys & Poets beforehand, which made things a whole lot more bearable 😉

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Mom and I shared the Oaxaca omelette that had black beans, pico, cheese, and GUACAMOLE. Served with the best home fries and whole wheat toast. So, so delicious.

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I had to take a picture of the men’s restroom sign. Had to.

3. After this amazing breakfast and almost a week without my usual breakfasts at home, I had some sort of enlightenment: I might be okay with savory breakfasts. I’m as shocked as you are, but I think I’ll start introducing some eggy, toasty-type breakfasts into my rotation! Sweet breakfasts will always have a special place in my belly heart though 🙂

4. I drove the whole 4.5 hours back home from DC yesterday, which has resulted in major tightness in my neck today. Luckily, we made a stop for Naked Juice and Cinnabons by the highway, so it’s all good.

5. After I attended altar server rehearsal at church for the Holy Thursday and Good Friday Masses last night, I met my parents and Victoria and her mom for dinner at a fancy tapas restaurant called 42. We had to wait a little while for a table to open up, but it was definitely worth it. We shared everything, and everything was divine. (A lot of these are small plates! Others aren’t 😉 )

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Crispy calamari, shrimp, and jalapeño with lemon tartar sauce

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Spring salad with arugula, grapefruit, asparagus, radish, pecans, and house balsamic vinaigrette

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Beef and pork pastry with burrata cheese and egg-yolk sauce

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Macau pepper steak with soft egg, burnt scallion chimichurri and brioche

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My dish: Halibut with mango pepper sauce, pickled mushrooms, zucchini, squash, and mint

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Mom’s dish (my FAVORITE of the night): whole wheat tortellini with black truffle, ricotta, parmesan, and herbs

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Victoria’s dish: Vegetable paella

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Dad’s dish: Branzino with lemon jam and roasted peanut potato

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Wendy’s (Victoria’s mom) dish: Kale caesar salad

6. Yeah, I’m not done yet. You didn’t think we wouldn’t leave room for dessert, did you??

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Cutest little plate of milk and cookies ever. Coconut macaroon, double chocolate chunk, snickerdoodle, and peanut butter cookies!

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Creme brûlée doughnuts. YOU READ THAT FLIPPIN’ RIGHT.

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“The Bar”: Ovaltine mousse, peanut butter crunch, dulce de leche, vanilla ice cream

I don’t know where all this food went, because looking at all these pictures, it looks like it was meant for 20 people. We didn’t finish the desserts, but we cleaned up our plates pretty darn well!

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This was before the food came. If we took a picture afterwards, we would have been slouching with our eyes closed…but still smiling 😀

7. I did have some MUCH needed house-made food for lunch yesterday though:

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Salad with homemade honey mustard dressing and a soft-boiled egg

Plus some fruit and snap peas with hummus. The freshness of this simple meal made my belly so happy…before I filled it with all those tapas, which also made my belly very happy. Tooooo happy.

8. Surprisingly, I was hungry for breakfast this morning. I was also craving oats and nut butter, so I had some cookie dough cereal and it hit the spot! Since we don’t have any ripe bananas currently, I ate it with kiwis, but I ended up eating those separately. Kiwis + nut butter is not my combo of choice.

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9. Of course, my hospitable mom set up a huge bed+breakfast spread for our guests:

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Because we obviously don’t have enough food in our lives.

10. I had a dream last night that I had a super cute piglet as a pet!!! I want him back.

Happy Holy Thursday! May we remember to serve others as the Lord has served us. 🙂

So tell me: 

When was the last time you really craved light, fresh food?

Sweet or savory breakfast?

Would you want a pet piglet?