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 ūüôā

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¬†‚ô•Ôłé¬†‚ô•Ôłé¬†‚ô•Ôłé¬†

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 Рthe 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 ūüôā ).

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¬†‚ÄĒ 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 ūüôā

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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¬†‚ÄĒ 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¬†‚ÄĒ 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.

You Want To Be Productive But Then…

Friday was the best April Fools’ Day of my LIFE.

I am truly grateful that all of you are so supportive of my fitness company endeavors. ūüėČ

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how I felt about tricking even my DAD about starting a fitness company

This weekend, I had a nice long list of schoolwork and shorter list fun things that I needed/wanted to accomplish, but one thing leads to another, and the list of accomplished fun things inadvertently becomes longer and the list of accomplished schoolwork consequently becomes shorter…

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Friday started off on a productive note with banana oats in an almond butter jar, biomechanics, a campus tour and a workout at the gym.

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fab lunch: kung pao sweet potatoes over spinach + bbq lentil meatball sub

There were definitely some time periods during which I could have been studying when I opted to chat with new and old friends…

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salad with carrots, chicken, beets, and balsamic + some unknown, delicious, cheesy couscous concoction

…but I think some more homework snuck in there before a bunch of my friends and I headed swing dancing!

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we’re so gross and sweaty in this photo¬†FYI; TMI

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too adorable

It’s always fun to move and groove, even if it’s with¬†clammy men¬†who are either exceptionally advanced or exceptionally…not advanced.

My fellow banana (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) friend, Christine, was in town this weekend so I had to hang out with her. On Saturday, I ate wild berry freezer waffles with peanut butter and an apple in 60 seconds before meeting up with Christine for coffee/tea and a bomb pear almond scone that she kindly shared with me.

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Girl talk with Christine is always a fun time! It wasn’t the studying I planned on, but it was 100x better. You should check out her blog for fashion and fitness (especially because fashion is nearly¬†nonexistent¬†here on Moves and Grooves)!

I went to work from 10-1 and then grabbed a freaking weird (but yummy) lunch while studying reading blogs and getting caught up in a political discussion thread on Facebook.

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“seared tuna” salad +¬†roast beef, smoked gouda, veggie, mustard, artichoke herb spread sandwich on whole grain ciabatta + apple

I told you it was a freaking weird lunch. Separately, everything worked well, but I must say that the seared tuna was a little more like a fish version of spam. Not the worst thing?

Then I cranked out some work. Wait no, I went to go pray at church with my friend Kelsey for a bit. The prayer time was much needed. Then I actually cranked out some work. Homework intermission was brought to you by Amsterdam Falafel!

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three falafel on the bottom with almost every topping possible

It’s one of the places on the¬†food bucket list that Rachel and I are making our way through. Since Rachel already went to Amsterdam Falafel on her own though, I decided to go there on my own for dinner on Saturday night.

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I ate this in private.¬†I know for a fact that I looked like a caveman¬†eating this. ‘Twas super tasty!

I ended my night with some yoga. My arms and shoulders were BRICKS from whatever I did on Friday (probably the wall walks), so yoga was lovely.

For Sunday morning, I set my alarm for 8:00 and 8:30, the latter for if I wanted to sleep in. I turned off both alarms and slept until 9:20. I knew I needed it, so I was okay with sacrificing that extra hour of work for quality zzz’s.

Breakfast was a leftover whole wheat pancake with peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon.

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Then I went to confession and Mass with Kelsey before heading to lunch to be greeted with the best dining hall meal ever!

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It was “Sargent Choice” day for brunch in the d-halls, which meant that the Sargent Nutrition Center took over the options for the whole dining hall. They offered avocado toast (!!!) with saut√©ed spinach and a fried egg, so I beelined for that (and topped it with sriracha, of course). Plus a side of garlicky kale and butternut squash.

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And then for my sweet tooth, I had some plain Greek (!!!) yogurt with kiwi, peaches, and blueberries + applesauce tea cake with brown sugar glaze.

I end up eating more when the dining hall offers things that I normally eat at home, because I’m like:

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[source]

My afternoon consisted of a Catholic student group meeting at Harvard and a dorm workout (warmup, foam rolling, and a 20 minute leg circuit workout):

3 rounds of 10 seconds rest, 30 seconds work // Do each exercise twice for each round (once on each leg if applicable)

Then stretch!

I showered, did laundry, did some work, and then went to dinner with some friends, which ended with a good ol’ bowl of {three different kinds of} cereal.

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Afterwards, I called my parents for a quick bit to talk about some¬†study abroad¬†business!¬†I’m going to Dublin, Ireland this fall!

My beautiful study/snapchat procrastination buddies for the night:

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It’s funny because I feel like the three of us talked the whole weekend about how we need to do work, yet¬†we could not get ourselves to be as productive as we wanted to be. C’est la vie.

Hope you all have a productive week!

So tell me:

You want¬†to be productive but then…¬†

Have you ever been swing dancing? 

Do you freak out when a restaurant/event/dining hall offers a bunch of healthy food that you love?

Things to do in Dublin, Ireland! ūüôā

University of Virginia + Washington DC Fun

Salutations! (Charlotte’s Web anyone?? ūüôā )

I totally wanted to put up a recap post of my visit to UVA yesterday, but I was pooped from another long day of walking and eating yet again. Thus,¬†I’m comin’ atcha today with a huge photo dump from the past couple of days!

{If you haven’t read the¬†other posts from my¬†great college tour finale, you may want to check out what I think of University of Maryland and Charlottesville!}

Monday

Up and at ’em at 7:30 AM!

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Breakfast part 1: banana with coconut peanut butter in the hotel room

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Breakfast part 2: trail mix in the hotel room

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Breakfast part 3: hunk o’ yummy banana bread at the UVA Days on the Lawn Welcome (pear saved for later)

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Super talented a cappella groups entertaining us as we waited for the event to start

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Grand Wahoo welcome!

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Singing one of their famous anthems

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Bavaro Hall

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Kinesiology info session

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Word.

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After all our dining out this past weekend, I was more than ready for these veggies from the dining hall. They had some delicious options!

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And then this. Free froyo, people.

Alright, I’m sure you want to know the verdict on University of Virginia, so here’s the rundown:

Pros:

  • Gorgeous campus
  • Super nice people
  • Charlottesville is a very walkable town
  • Great education
  • Awesome Catholic center
  • Blogger/foodie town
  • Kinesiology program
  • Best campus food I’ve had so far
  • The students seem very serious about their studies
  • School spirit

Cons:

  • Out-of-state tuition is pricey
  • Distance (7 hour drive from home)
  • Not very close to a big city
  • The opportunities did not seem quite as vast as UMD

Conclusion:

I do not think I will attend¬†UVA. As much as I liked my experience at Cville this weekend, UVA just didn’t click with me like UMD did. The price and distance are also major factors. This conclusion took a lot of thinking and pondering!

After the Days on the Lawn finished, mom and I drove to Dulles Airport (near DC) to pick my friend, Victoria, and her mom, who flew in from California! We’ve known each other since we were 5 years old when my family lived in southern California. Victoria is also visiting colleges on the east coast, so I have a buddy for this college decision process!

We went out to dinner with their friends who live in DC, which was fun, delicious, and filling. As if I hadn’t eaten enough this spring break. The restaurant was called Miss Saigon, and the food was absolutely fantastic.

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We shared a ton of dishes family style. We also left with four containers of leftovers.

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But there’s always room for mango with sticky rice!

I feel like I’ve had a food baby after every dinner on this trip. SO MUCH FOOD.

We did make it over 20,000 steps that day though!

Moves: a crapton of walking.

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Champs.

I ended up giving the Polar Loop to my mom so she could track her steps, and we were super excited to see that we made it to 20.6K steps on Monday!

Tuesday

Slept in until 8:30 AM. I basically max out at 8 hours of sleep nowadays.

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Coffee and hot cocoa at Illy with Victoria ūüôā

We walked around American University for a while since that is one of Victoria’s top choices right now. It¬†has a beautiful campus in the midst of DC. Plus, if she goes there and I go to UMD, we would be super close to one another! SoCal girls’ partayyyy.

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I guess I like to get in my veggies at lunchtime. This is¬†the veggie burger in a lettuce wrap from Elevation Burger at the AU dining hall. Very tasty! Especially since it took 10 minutes for them to make…

In the afternoon, Victoria and her mom went to an art museum in DC while my mom and I went back to relax at the hotel. I snacked and got some homework done.

After picking them up and having dinner at the hotel cafe (we ordered a bunch of apps to share), everyone except my mom walked through wind, rain, and suddenly freezing temperatures for one reason and one reason alone.

Cupcakes.

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Baked and Wired Bakery

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After our courageous trek. Hi from Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

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Our reward!

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Carrot cake cupcake (they call them “cakecups”). It’s supposed to be “enough to share”‚ĶHaha. Nah.

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DEMOLISHED that sucker.

It’s a cycle, really. Snacky breakfast‚ěĒ veggies at lunch‚ěĒ sugar at night. It balances out.

This “cakecup” got me all sugared up¬†for a late night workout at the spiffy hotel fitness center. Moves¬†included a 1 mile run on the treadmill, some bodyweight lunges, pushups, and Julie’s 8 minute ab tabata. It felt good to move! And groove to my music when no one was watching ūüėČ

Unrelated side note: I officially despise‚ÄĒ DESPISE‚ÄĒdriving in DC. Half of the roads are one-way for only certain hours in the day, some roads are two-lane or one-lane for certain hours in the day, there are too many roundabouts, tour buses are everywhere, cars are parked in driving lanes‚Ķ.holy moly. DC makes NYC look like a breeze.

And that’s a wrap! I apologize for the length of this post, but it was another two-days-in-one-post deal.

Hope you all have a happy hump day!

So tell me:

Have you ever been to Washington DC?

Do you like veggie burgers?

What is your favorite cake/cupcake flavor?

Where is the worst place in which you’ve driven?