13 States in the Past Week

It’s like I’ve traveled through colonial America.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Habari Gani, and happy holidays ALL AROUND!!! I hope you have all enjoyed your holidays and that they have been filled with good people, conversation, fun and food 🙂

Let’s catch up! As the title suggests, I’ve been hopping all over the place ever since I arrived in (1) New York from Ireland.

Monday

On Monday morning, Madre dropped me off at the train station so I could head up to Boston for a couple days! It seems petty, but I really wanted to see Rachel and all my friends at school before finals ended and everyone scattered for winter break. 

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salad that I packed in a tupperware for a midmorning snack

(P.s. the train left from (2) Connecticut, and went through (3) Rhode Island before arriving in (4) Massachusetts.)

Upon arriving in Boston, Rachel kindly picked me up at the train station. We hugged, [almost] cried, and went straight to lunch at a bucket list place. As we do. 

Al’s Cafe was a two minute walk from the station and perfect for us hungry ladies. The item to get was the large meatball sub. Since we were quite hungry, we also ordered a large steak and onion sub. 

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But guys, when they say “large”, they actually mean MAMMOTH. These sandwiches are the size of freaking baseball bats!! Two feet, more or less.

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We split them, and although we ate a decent portion of them, they still made for a good 2.5 meals. They’re super delicious and cheap to boot!

I saw as many people as possible while in Boston, and it was just delightful. I couldn’t stop smiling.

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my friend Kelsey so sweetly made a welcome home sign for me ♥︎ ♥︎ ♥︎ 

Rachel’s Christmas gift to me was also spot on.

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Tuesday 

We tackled one more bucket list place on Tuesday morning – the Thinking Cup for a cup of coffee.

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I don’t drink coffee, so this was actually my first full cup of coffee EVER. I got a cappuccino, and it was…fine.

I had to add a little sugar to make it more palatable, but I finished the whole thing, so I didn’t dislike it.

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A tasty Greek yogurt cup for my real food.

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I had a little over 24 hours with Rachel, as I had to drop her off at the airport at 1pm, but those 24 hours were worth it!

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I was pretty sleep deprived but also antsy at this point, so I took a long walk after dropping her off, which made me feel a lot better.

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Then I went to Mass at the Catholic Center, followed by dinner with Joe and girl talk with Fiona and Kelsey before I had to head back to NY.

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‘Twas a beautiful thing to reunite with some of my favorite people in Boston, even if just for a couple days. 

Wednesday

I started my day with a Popsugar cardio-kickboxing-sculpt-something-basic-girls-do workout, and then my parents and I took my great-aunt out for a Korean lunch!

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Korean short ribs might be my favorite meat ever

In the afternoon, I had to unpack and re-pack for Florida and Texas (more to come on Texas later).

That night, we picked up my brother from work in the city and rode into the sunset for (5) Maryland, our first pit stop in our road trip to Florida. We passed through (6) New Jersey, (7) Pennsylvania, and (8) Delaware.

Thursday

My cousins came to our hotel to have breakfast with us, so I moved and grooves super quickly with this < 10 minute body weight countdown workout before going to the lobby for a nice complimentary breakfast (yay for Marriott!) with the fam.

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Always fun to see these cuties (and my aunt and uncle, who are also cute 🙂 ).

Then it was time to hit the road again! We drove through (9) Virginia before arriving in (10) North Carolina for the night. 

Cracker Barrel for dinner! One of the most satisfying meals there ever was.

complimentary biscuits and cornbread (praaaaise) + lemon pepper trout with sweet carrots, steamed broccoli, and mac and cheese + apple pecan crumble pie a la mode to share for dessert

Friday

I utilized the exercise room for a 20 minute workout before breakfast. 

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plus a hard boiled egg

The last leg of our journey included (11) South Carolina and (12) Georgia before we finally reached (13) Florida! A total of 19 driving hours later…yowza.

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lunch on the road — Madre’s fantastic Asian pork and egg sandwich on Jewish rye bread (what a tasty combo, honestly)

We celebrated our arrival with dinner at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant!

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Ben and I also watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that night, which was unfortunately quite unsatisfactory compared to the book. There’s just SO MUCH HAPPENING IN THE BOOK. 

Christmas Eve

I got to sleeeeeep innnnnn (sort of, I went to bed at 2 am).

We ate breakfast, cleaned the house, exercised, and also I massaged Madre on our new portable massage table (that I requested ever since I started giving massages in Ireland)!

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We went to the Christmas vigil Mass in the evening, which was wonderful and so joyful! The Lord has come!

Then we drove to our friends’ place for Christmas Eve feasting and fellowship.

Christmas Day

I was up and at ’em early(ish), not for presents under the tree but to prepare brunch for the family. Just as exciting, in my opinion! I made Ben my sous chef 🙂

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I made square, muffin-sized quiches, and Ben helped me make cinnamon rolls, Canadian bacon, and turkey sausage.

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individual quiches = more buttery crust surface area (I used this crust recipe and this quiche recipe as a guide)

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mini frittatas with the extra egg mixture that couldn’t fit into the quiches

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in pajamas — the best way to do Christmas brunch

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used the Minimalist Baker’s recipe!

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swoooooon

Not gonna lie, Ben and I crushed the brunch game. We were all mighty happy clams all day after this meal!

Other Christmas happenings: more massages, a nap, yoga, and a visit to Disney Springs after dinner! Disney Springs is basically like Disney’s own little city with lots of shops and restaurants.

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a couple white dudes freestyle rapping — entertaining for sure haha

We walked around for a good 2+ hours, weaving in and out of the surprisingly dense crowd.

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the decorations were beautiful! (Disney only does aesthetically-pleasing everything, or else it’s not Disney.)

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Hoooooooowee. That’s a lot of catching up to digest, isn’t it? Just like how my stomach has a lot of digesting to do from brunch yesterday STILL. More on that in tomorrow’s post though!

So tell me:

Two things you did for Christmas/the holidays this weekend!

Does your family have any Christmas/holiday traditions?

Something outrageous, funny, or exciting you witnessed in the past week.

Christmas Chronicles

Post-Christmas healthy living bloggers be like:

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And I’m still just like:

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There’s been an endless supply of food on our vacation in Canada so far, and I can’t say I’m very stressed or upset about it at all. It’s definitely a lot more sugar and salt than I’m used to in such a short period of time, but there’s some nutrition in there. Most importantly, though, there has been a lot of fellowship and joy surrounding the meals, which is the best part!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/weekend. Here’s what’s been going on with me and my family…

Christmas Eve breakfast was a festive affair! Davida’s green pancakes with pomegranate arils to complete the holiday look.

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We went to Mass on Christmas Eve since we would be traveling all day on Christmas.

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After Mass we ate dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant for suuuuushiiii.

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note the ideal fish to rice ratio — crucial aspect

Apple pie a la mode was waiting for us at home (leftovers that we froze from Thanksgiving)!

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I WAS SO FULL. But superbly content.

I woke up at the fine time of 4:20 AM (lol) after going to sleep at midnight. I had a little bit of time before we were hitting the road, so I did a super quick workout just to get the blood flowing before being the car for 10 hours. Working out before traveling these days is about moving for the sake of moving, not for the sake of burning calories. It’s nice and a lot less self-imposed pressure.

Mom and I packed some quality road trip food, if I do say so myself. Exhibit A: Mom’s salmon, brown rice, and broccoli packets.

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When we finally arrived at my grandparents’ place, we had some good rounds of ping pong (if that doesn’t scream Chinese workout of the day, I don’t know what does).

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(Also, my grandma owns me in ping pong.)

Dinner was the first of many Chinese meals on our trip. It was absolutely delicious, MSG and all. The fish was super fresh too. Suuuuper fresh.

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I apologize if any of you are squeamish, but that fish was incredible.

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We’re staying at my fellow fit relatives’ place currently, so of course we partook in some ninja activities upon arrival.

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My bro offered to take a slow motion video of me throwing knives, and I thought that would be a fantastic idea so I could scare all my best friends back at college. ‘Twas a great Christmas overall 🙂

Leftover green pancakes the next morn’!

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My cousin and I worked up a sweat for an hour or so playing Just Dance on her Wii. That game is no joke! Like, you need a decent amount of dance skill to be fairly good at it.

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And then more food with more cousins for lunch! Followed by Mah Jong (Chinese card game) and Chinese checkers. Did I mention we’re part Chinese?

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solid combo of leftover Christmas food and fresh sushi

At night, we all attended my great uncle and aunt’s golden anniversary celebration. 50 years of marriage, how ’bout that!? Inspirational.

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It ain’t no celebration without copious amounts of food in this family. Ergo, more eating.

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Peep the full pig on the right. We like heads on our food evidently.

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Ermahgersh.

Also, ermahgersh at all the little ones and the ex-little ones who are now taller than me (not saying that much, because I’m so short).

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Yesterday morning, I woke up early-ish to get some moves and grooves in. I did a fun yet killer circuit workout that I came up with in the basement. A classic and refreshing Greek yogurt bowl was breakfast afterwards.

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My family went to Mass and lunch (more Chinese food!) from the late morning to the early afternoon. Then we drove over to my mom’s side of the family for the rest of the evening. They greeted us with more food hahaha. ha. ha.

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another great combo of Thai food and Shepherd’s pie

Surprisingly, I never felt super full or overwhelmed. I ate what I wanted, and that was that. Yes, there were more times than usual this past week when I felt stuffed, but honestly, it’s the holidays. THERE, I SAID IT. I’m using the holidays as an excuse. What are we gonna do about it?

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The best part was hanging out with my cousins though. We even unintentionally matched with our cousin telepathy.

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girls show teeth, boys do soft smiles

It was a fun evening, and now it’s late… and I’m kinda hungry again… Not even kidding.

I am beyond grateful for my family, nourishment, health, and fellowship. God is good. Joy to the World, the Lord has come!

Hope you all have a great Monday! Three more days of 2015!!!

So tell me:

Three things you did this Christmas/weekend! 

Best thing you ate over the holiday. The sushi on Christmas eve OR that super fresh fish.

An Untraditional Christmas + Double Unders Cardio Workout

Greetings from Florida!

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I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Kwanzaa/Joyful Holiday Season! My mom, brother, and I were on the road for the past 48 hours (with a brief hotel break in Savannah, Georgia to catch some zzz’s) on our way to Florida, and we have finally arrived! My butt and legs are so thankful. #sittingissues

We were indeed driving all Christmas day, which explains the title of this post. It wasn’t an ideal way to spend the beloved holiday, but there were many festivities happening throughout the week that made up for it!

Christmas Eve Eve

My cousins, aunt, and uncle came over on Tuesday so that we could all spend some quality time together for a day. It was a joy to play with my little cousins, converse with my aunt and uncle, and celebrate the anticipation of Jesus on Christmas! And we ate lots because…’tis the season..?!

Mom and I prepared a buffet spread for the crowd that included curry chicken, green beans, salmon with dill honey mustard yogurt sauce, brown rice, and Singapore noodles from H-Mart. Everything was fabulous!

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Lots of cookies have been consumed in the past few days, but I think these chocolate-dipped peanut butter pretzels from our lovely neighbors take first prize. Oof. Just look at that peanut butter to pretzel ratio.

Christmas Eve

Mom and I got up early to prepare breakfast for everyone, and my cousin Angela also helped make the banana pancakes and waffles with me!

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That photo of the arranged Mickey Mouse pancakes/French toast muffins would be my plate, not my cousin’s. Because I knew I would be in Florida, so Disney, so yes.

The rest of the day involved more fellowship, food, relaxation, and some moves! I did Jen’s 1000 rep home workout before going to Christmas Mass in the evening.

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No equipment, but all sweat! It was a fun, fast-paced, effective workout. However, I only quickly ate an apple after doing this and before going to Mass, so I was starrrrrrving for the 2.5 hours before we went to dinner. Christmas Mass was glorious though, and the hymns were beautiful distractions from my hunger.

Our Christmas Eve dinner was spent at a Brazilian/Italian restaurant called Gaucho Grill. Daliza’s family kindly gave us a gift card for the restaurant as a thank you for taking Daliza to Florida with us this summer (missing you here now, girl). The food was so delicious!

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shared a crab cake for appetizer // Pop’s skirt steak // Ben’s meat-tastic paella // grilled asparagus and spinach for the table // Mom’s gargantuan chicken parm // my scallops with lentils // apple strudel a la mode to share for dessert 

Came hungry, left pretty stuffed, but happy.

Christmas Day

Why did we decide to travel all day on Christmas you might ask? Well, Pop only had Christmas Day off of work this week, but we needed to get to Florida to prepare the house for our family friends who are coming today. Thus, my family decided to spend Christmas Eve together before mom, Ben and I left for our two-day road trip. As I said before, these were not ideal Christmas plans, but we still had lots of family time, so it’s all good!

Ben and I drove the whole way down because poor mom is battling a stubborn, nasty cold that is giving her cough attacks and puffy eyes, so driving for her wouldn’t be very safe.

Morning of travel calls for overnight oats! Bonus points for it being in an almost-empty peanut butter jar.

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A road trip in the northeast also calls for a stop at Cinnabon. The three of us split this [big] baby sans frosting because none of us are too crazy about it— the cinnamon roll is sweet and delicious enough as is! (Sorry, Arman.)

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Virginia is for lovers…me, myself, and I.

After 12+ hours of driving, we hunkered down in Savannah, Georgia for the night. There is no feeling quite like stretching out after being cooped up in a car all day.

Ben and I walked to and from Hardee’s (a fast food restaurant) near the hotel for a refreshing evening walk. We didn’t get anything— just walked in, took a whiff of the burgers and fries, and left.

Afterwards, I convinced Ben to join me in doing this 15 minute arms and abs workout. The chest-to-floor pushups really got us both on that one!

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Too happy about hotel beds.

Friday

Also too happy about free included hotel breakfasts.

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oatmeal with honey, dried fruit, pecans, and banana + eggs

Ben generously took the last 4 hour driving shift all the way to Orlando, where we stopped for lunch at Tako Cheena, a little Asian-Latin fusion restaurant. We all got some yummy Asian tacos!

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tom yum chicken // “sweet stranger” tempeh and veggie // panko-crusted cod // tom yum shrimp // korean beef

And now we are finally settled into our Florida vacation house for the next 2.5 weeks! Moves were desperately needed after two days of mostly sitting, so Ben and I took a stroll around our neighborhood and then I did a quick impromptu workout in our backyard:

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This workout plus Florida humidity=drenched in sweat and chugging water like no other. The double unders were really fun though! I’ve improved a lot since this video from the summer!

Dinner last night was a salad of spinach (that traveled all the way down the east coast with us in a cooler) plus balsamic vinaigrette and parmigiano reggiano + half a toasted banh mi sandwich we picked up earlier in the afternoon.

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A couple hours later, I made a late night Publix run for some groceries, but this was the real reason I went:

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Publix ice cream is the besttttttttt. I got the limited edition peach cobbler ice cream…naturally. When I got home from the store, I grabbed a clean spoon and scooped out the melted perimeter of the ice cream carton, because that is where ice cream is in its prime state of matter. And that was all I needed. That big melty spoonful made me content.

There you have it, friends— our not-so-typical Christmas. Then again, what is a “typical” Christmas for us anyway? We almost didn’t make it to Christmas last year.

Thank God for safe travels and of course, for sending His Son as a child to dwell on earth and die for our sins. Wishing you all a blessed weekend wherever you are and whatever you’re up to!

(I unfortunately think I might be coming down with something… It was inevitable considering Ben and my mom have been coughing up a storm for the past week!)

So tell me:

One fun holiday-related thing you did this week!

The best thing you ate this week.

Do you like to jump rope?

Is there a food you like to get on road trips?

Do you love that melty part of ice cream or nah?