Living Life Like the Little Ones

Thank you all a million times over for your love on last week’s blog anniversary post (and on every post, really)!

Pop and I made it back home to New York without any 7 hour delays, thank the Lord!

I spent the past three days with lots of family members, including lots of BABIES! (I’m that crazy lady who would like to hold your baby whenever you’re ready/in two minutes/now, please.) In case you missed the update last week, I was visiting St. Louis for my baby cousin’s baptism.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Let’s catch up!


Mom and I started the day with a rather delicious and filling {complimentary} hotel breakfast. This is what I ate every morning:

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Two plain oatmeal packets with honey, banana, and two little packs of peanut butter + a box o’ milk

As long as the breakfast trifecta is present, I’m all set.

Then we went to see my baby cousins!

Processed with Moldiv

My cousin CC (bottom right): “Um, Alison?”

Me: “Yes?”

CC: “Um, I’m having so much fun!”

From now on, I’m going to announce when I’m having fun, just like that.

They took us to a farm/park close to their house, where we saw some Butterball-worthy turkeys, loud goats, majestic horses, and lots of bacon giant pigs.

Processed with Moldiv



Meet Maurice. He’s bigger than you and me.

We worked up an appetite for lunch involving a Southern/Midwestern delicacy.

Chick-fil-A, chickadees.

I’ve never seen a fast food joint so packed in my LIFE. A line that never shortened, a drive-thru that was backed up, and not a table to spare.

I was bummed that we missed breakfast, because the #1 thing I wanted was a biscuit, but I tried some of their fried chicken with the special sauce, and it was pretty bomb. My main order was the grilled chicken wrap + “superfood salad” (a cup of kale and craisins).

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

The afternoon consisted of some hanging out and errands. Another Midwestern stereotype coming to life:

Man at TJMaxx (with beard, cowboy hat, and southern twang): *stares at me for a few seconds* ”

Excuse me? What nationality are you?”

Me: (in my 200% American accent) “I’m Chinese and Thai.”

Man: “Chinese and Thai… Well. Welcome to the United States!”

Me: ….

Man: “I mean, you probably already live here..”

Me: “haha yeah… I live in New York.” *walk away slowly*

He seemed rather intrigued that an Asian was standing there in the flesh.

Moving on. Dinner consisted of…



We ate at The Old Spaghetti Factory and ordered another St. Louis classic to start— toasted ravioli.

Processed with Moldiv

I like their definition of toasted (fried). I ordered the Angel Hair Pomodoro (so I guess… not spaghetti), which was everything I was craving and more. Followed by a peanut butter cookie from the hotel lobby.

After picking up bro Ben from the airport, I ended the night looking like my own worst nightmare.


moisturizing, hydrating, terrifying face mask + lip gel mask thing

I Snapchatted my friends telling them to sleep with their eyes open that night. Sorry if this traumatized you. I’m still recovering myself.


In short, Saturday involved family time allllll day, leading up to a big barbecue at my cousins’ house. It started with a wonderful walk with my aunt in the morning, and the day continued with helping out in the kitchen and contributing my “famous” roasted sweet potatoes.

Processed with Moldiv

Steaks, burgers, creamed corn, sweet potatoes, and salad. I had some of everything and an oatmeal raisin cookie a la mode + sugar high for dessert. Thank you to all who made it happen!

With all the excitement and joy of being around family, especially the little ones, I didn’t have the time or care to worry about healthy food and/or exercise. You eat, play, and just enjoy the time you have with your loved ones. It makes sense, and the little ones have it down pat. 

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18:3-4

I’ve learned trusted that my body gravitates toward what it needs. If I need some butt-to-couch time, I will sit down and be a couch potato for a bit. If I want to let off some energy, I’ll go do something fun with people I love. For instance, the “big kids” went out for some frisbee golf at dusk, which was a blast.


Ben, stop acting surprised that I’m taking candid photos of people


This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!


The Sunday Mass and Baptism were beautiful (definitely cried tears of joy at some point), and the reception was lovely. God is good.

Processed with Moldiv Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Congratulations, Josephine and family!

After bittersweet goodbyes, everyone split ways. Dad and I en route to New York. Mom and bro Ben en route to Florida. We’ll see each other again soon!


Asian cashew salad at Wendy’s in the Detroit airport for dinner

Back on the grind this week. We’ll get through it together.



So tell me:

You and babies. What happens?

Do you ever use facial masks?

Have you ever played frisbee golf?

Have you ever eaten at Chick-fil-A?


I Need to Focus + Energy Balls Recipe


Pretty sure Amanda came up with thinking out loud before Ed Sheeran

1) I’m so glad you all enjoyed yesterday’s vlog! Your comments totally made my day. Thank you! The terms “cute” and “adorable” were big themes in the comments though…



This photo is the story of my life. #ForeverYeungYoung

2) Shoutout to my friend Fiona for reminding me to change my age in my side bio. In the meantime, I also edited my About page and Blogroll. Check it!

3) I made balls yesterday! (<— balls jokes won’t get old.) They’re stereotypical energy balls, and they count as a recipe towards my summer bucket list! It’s kind of a cop-out, since this recipe didn’t take much thought or effort, but I’ll count it for now until my creative juices start flowing.


Into a food processor:

  • 1+1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1.5 c. roughly chopped dried figs
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter (any nut butter will work!)
  • 2 scoops (1/3-1/2 c.) vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/3 c. almond milk (just enough to get the mixture to bind)

Pulse until the ingredients are well combined and wet enough to bind. Wet your hands with water and roll into 1.5 tbsp-sized balls. Makes ~20!


Confession: I did not measure most of the ingredients. Those are just estimates. Luckily, recipes like these are very customizable and flexible!

4) I need to focus. I get way too distracted with technology and social media these days, and it eats up a lot of my time. I accomplish the tasks that need to be done, but I still find myself scrambling because I spent just a little too much time reading blogs or watching Youtube videos.

5) New goal (please keep me accountable): No casual perusing on social media/technology after I get home from my internship (anywhere from 5-6pm). If I go on to blog or do something with a specific goal, that’s cool, but otherwise I will spend my time reading or doing something productive around the house. This will hopefully help me get into bed earlier and feel more relaxed at night!

6) I also need to read more books— read things that are not pixelated. Basically, I need to be my own parent this summer: “No technology close to bedtime. Eat more to grow bigger. Do your reading.”

7) I liked this song when I heard it on the radio, but once I found out that it was a tribute to Paul Walker, I loved it.

Paul Walker was (and still is) my biggest celeb crush. What a beautiful man.



8) I am enjoying my physical therapy internship more and more every day. I’m learning bucketloads of information and practices on how to take care of the human body through movement. The best part is the people though. I love the interpersonal patient interactions and the one-on-one environment of this particular outpatient clinic. Can I just stay at my internship and not go to college?

…LOL. Dreaming.

9) If you ever make Gina’s cookie dough cereal (which you should, it’s delicious), make it with at least 1.5 tablespoons of nut butter. If not, two tablespoons. You won’t regret it.


10) Happy birthday to the humblest, gentlest, grooviest, most hardworking and pious man I know— Pop! I love you ♥


That’s it for today, friends! Hope you have a fantastic day. Eat more nut butter and unplug a little bit.

So tell me:

Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

Are you called cute often? Or another adjective?

Do you ever have trouble “unplugging”? 

Fascinating Friday Links #30

Look at good ol’ Fascinating Friday Links hitting 3-0! I’ll just pop in quickly here to say hello and happy Friday! Enjoy this week’s link love 🙂

fascinating friday links

Health and Fitness

[Love yourself too] 8 Tips to Have a Positive Body Image and Stop Obsessive Eating Habits via Your Trainer Paige

[Move and groove even with a bump!] The Pregnant Lady Workout via Itz Linz + 15 minute pregnancy-safe indoor interval workout via Purely Twins (Congrats, Lori!!!)

[Mayyybe I’ll start running one of these days] 30 Convincing Reasons to Start Running via Greatist

[Healthy eating for toddlers on a tight schedule] 7 Time Saving Tips for Feeding Toddlers via A Healthy Slice of Life

[Other awesome workouts] 60 Minute Boot Camp via Peanut Butter Fingers + 216 Squat Challenge via The Slender Student

Food for Thought

[There’s more to people than what they look like] Rethinking What Fat Means to Us via Fitting It All In

[Yep.] Why Magazines (Geared Towards Women) Suck via Olive to Run

[These are worth it] 18 Chances You Will Not Regret Taking In Life via Marc and Angel

[Be yourself] Finding My Blogging Voice via The Healthy Maven

[Believe that you can achieve] A Writer’s Biggest Struggle via Goins Writer

Food for Belly

[Genius] S’mores French Toast via Family Fresh Cooking

[So fresh] Nourish and Glow Miracle Bowl via Oh She Glows

[Savory, cheesy, avocado-y goodness] Chipotle Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Andouille Sausage and Avocado via Bake Your Day

[I can almost taste it] Strawberry Fields Salmon Wraps with Homemade Feta Vinaigrette via Peas and Crayons

[Need these] Almond Oat Banana Crepes via Pinch of Yum

[Everything about this.] Coconut Cream Pie Chia Seed Pudding via How Sweet It Is

Miscellaneous Fun

[Prep ahead of time] 10 Foods That Freeze Well via The Lean Green Bean

[Love this] 10 Dating Rules for My Daughter via Thought Catalog

[Make it vintage and home-y] Food Photography Tip 4 via Edible Perspective

[“Prank it forward” So cool!] Best Shift Ever via Share Dots

[Their talent is incredible] Lennon and Maisy Cover— That’s What’s Up via YouTube

Have a great weekend, folks!

So tell me:

What are you doing this weekend? Tonight I’m going to my dance friends’ high school production of Legally Blonde (we all go to different schools)! The rest of my weekend will be spent doing the usual— {last} Saturday dance class, Mass, teaching, and homework. Hopefully some baking in there too!

Which links did you enjoy? 

Fascinating Friday Links #16

Another week is in the books! This one was quite long and eventful for me, but I am thankful for all the blessings nonetheless.

There are some fun activities on the agenda for tonight! Company is going into the city for a class at the Alvin Ailey Studios, dinner, and an Alvin Ailey show! The AA company is probably my all-time favorite. Their athleticism, grace, and joy makes me swoon every time I watch them. If you ever come to NYC and are looking for an amazing dance show, go see Alvin Ailey!!!




This is an annual trip for our dance school, and it’s definitely one of my favorite events of the year!

Of course, I also have some Fascinating Friday Links for all of you 🙂 Enjoy!

fascinating friday

Health and Fitness

[Why do YOU train?] What’s Your Training Reason? via Your Trainer Paige

[I tried this and it rocks] Under 20 Minute Home Plank Workout via Purely Twins

[My favorite type of workouts!] Collection of Boot Camp Workouts via Peanut Butter Fingers + Roundup of 50 Circuit Workouts via Lean Green Bean

[Everyone’s journey is different] My Recovery via Fitting It All In

[What’s on your wish list?] Best Holiday Gifts for Active Women via The Blonde Ponytail

[Great tips] Five Things I’m Doing to Age Gracefully and Healthfully via Peanut Butter Runner

Food for Thought

[Take risks] Experimentation— The Key to Self Discovery via Goins Writer and Joel Boggess

[Do what you do] Blogging Confidence via The Big Man’s World and Snack Therapy

[Agreed] Holidays Should NOT Correlate With Guilt via Strength and Sunshine

Food for Belly

[Score.] Healthier Chicken and Waffles via Chocolate and Carrots

[Gah!] Peanut Butter and Jelly Nanaimo Squares via Peachy Palate

[Halloween meets Christmas] Gingerbread Cookie Dough Cups via Yeah…Imma Eat That

[How fun!] Maple Syrup Snow Taffy via Back to Her Roots

[Whoa.] Toasted Marshmallow Cream Hot Chocolate via How Sweet It Is

Miscellaneous Fun

[Too funny] 25 Best Taylor Swift Audience-Dancing Moments of All Time via BuzzFeed

[Beautiful and inspirational] ‘Disabled’ Mannequins Remind Us That Beautiful Doesn’t Mean ‘Perfect (VIDEO) via Huffington Post

[Holy cuteness] 11 Incredibly Important Photos of a Baby Covered in French Bulldog Puppies via BuzzFeed

[Holiday treats for your dogs!] 8 Holiday Recipes for Your Dog Too! via DogVacay

Happy Friday, everyone!

So tell me: What are your plans for tonight? Have you ever seen or heard of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater? Which links did you enjoy?