Soaking Up the Slumber

I have goosebumps.

It’s been a little bit chilly here in Boston this week! But man, is it lovely. We have been blessed with sunshine and ~perfect~ temperatures.

Classes start again in just 4 days, so I have given myself guilt-free permission to soak up as much slumber and relaxation as I can before all hell breaks loose (← drama queen).

For example, on Monday I set my alarm for 8 am, but I closed my eyes for two seconds… and the next thing I know, it’s 10 am. LOL. It’s still been a productive week of getting some errands done, catching up with friends, praying, and (yes) even a little bit of studying to prepare for classes.

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Here are some random thoughts and things from the noggin on this Friday:

1) What is your all-time favorite fudgy brownie recipe? I made some for my friends and myself last weekend using this recipe from I Am Baker, and they were delicious, but I’m open to recommendations!

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2) The Super Premium French Vanilla ice cream from Trader Joe’s is RIDICULOUS. It is the most luxuriously creamy and dreamy ice cream I have ever purchased from a store.

3) Shoutout to my friend Evan for poaching eggs for avocado toast. We ran into each other at Mass on Sunday and decided to catch up over lunch. I offered to make us avocado toast instead of going out to eat (yo girl has been spending so much $$ recently), and we both appreciated the decision.

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I think making avocado toast is my love language to all my friends.

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more egg toasts this week (one with cheese, garlic salt, red pepper flakes and cumin + one classic avocado with sriracha)

4) I had some random determination to make a vegetarian meal for this week’s dinners, so I made this chickpea and spinach curry. The full-fat coconut milk in it warms my heart and clogs my heart all at the same time, and I love it. This was also my first time using garam masala! It only took me TWENTY MINUTES to find it at the grocery store.

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5) The BEST thing I made this week was peach blueberry cobbler — a summer necessity in my book! I doubled this recipe and obviously added blueberries.

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buttery biscuit goodness enveloping saucy sweet fruit YES

Undoubtedly had to eat it a la mode (hot out of the oven, might I add). More of that dreamy vanilla ice cream from TJs.

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I got to share it with many friends the day I made it, which made me very happy.

6) I ate out for three meals in a row, and although I felt a little “blah” from all the heavy food, it was so worth the company and conversation. The food was also fabulous.

Meal #1 was at Audubon with my dear friend Casey. We hadn’t caught up one-on-one in so long, so this was much needed.

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love this girl so much

We shared the polpette (meatballs that they made with venison and beef) with asiago, tomato sauce and the most delicious charred hunk o’ bread.

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And then I had the roasted vegetable salad, which had delicious things like sweet potatoes, beets, fennel (did not realize how much I liked fennel ’til that night!), brussels sprouts, fennel, arugula, and pine nuts. Look how pretty this stack is!

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It does’t look like much in this photo, but there were SO MANY vegetables in there. I had to take some home.

Meal #2 and #3 do not have photo documentation because I didn’t feel like whipping out my phone in the middle of conversation. Yesterday afternoon, Fr. Barnes (our Catholic Center chaplain) kindly treated me to a burger and a beer at the Sunset Grill and Tap as a belated birthday gift to me. Both the burger and the beer (I got the Great Divide “Roadie” Grapefruit Radler) were superb.

Late at night, my friend Elayne and her parents generously treated me to dinner at Barcelona Wine and Tapas, since I helped Elayne move earlier in the day. We shared four bomb tapas + seafood paella + crepes and ice cream. Oh my goodness.

Full of many good things indeed.

7) I am convinced that my current training goals include move-in and move-out. I work out so that I can move furniture and boxes up and down stairs efficiently and safely. #FunctionalFitness.

8) This burpee box jump workout is killer if you ever need something to get the heart rate up. I subbed 12 heavy over-the-shoulder slam ball throws for the wall balls. Your soleus might be extremely sore the next day, to the point of wanting to strangle a small animal when foam rolling them.

This is also a short and sweet 16- minute workout that will make your butt sore for days.

4 rounds, 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off:

  • goblet squats (35# KB)
  • dive bomber pushups
  • box jumps (25 in)
  • side jump lunges
  • pushup burpees
  • KB swings (35#)

9) I just enjoyed a very green smoothie, because my veggie intake yesterday included lettuce on my burger and a couple mushrooms smothered in goat cheese. And many many potatoes.

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10) I hope my American/Canadian friends have wonderful Labor/Labour Day weekends! And good luck to all my fellow college students starting the new semester. If you’re anxious…

Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan? If even the smallest things are out of your control, why are you anxious about the rest? – Luke 12:25

These words have been giving me a lot of peace amidst the worry of a very busy semester ahead.

BYE FOR NOW!

So tell me:

What is a classic summer dessert that you love to eat/make every year?

What is your favorite store-bought brand of ice cream?

Favorite brownie recipe?

What are you doing this weekend?

College students: How does the schedule look like this semester? Mine makes me a little nauseous looking at it, but we shall overcome!!

 

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There’s Something About…

There’s something about carrying three backpacks to campus that reminds me of front-packing in Italy.

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There’s something about carrying a large box of vegetables around all day that makes others stare a bit.

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My friend Lauren orders a box of produce from Ward’s Berry Farms every week, but she very generously gave me hers last week since she was out of town! This thing had SO MUCH PRODUCE. The only thing was that I had to pick it up in the afternoon, carry it to class, to a fitness class, to Trader Joe’s, and on the bus. Talk about functional fitness.

There’s something about taking a fitness class with fellow healthy living/fitness social media influencers that makes me feel empowered and humbled at the same time.

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Last Thursday, Colby invited me to take a “Firestarter” HIIT class taught by her friend, Sam (@wellbysamantha), at Equinox (holy LUXURY gym!) in the financial district. It was a quick, sweaty and super fun class!

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My dear friend Christina (@foodietunes) was also present and kicking butt!

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There’s something about pizza (even if it’s just a frozen one from Trader Joe’s) on a Friday night.

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There’s something about finding a beer you enjoy.

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There’s something about said beer that makes me slightly loopy (not the primary reason I enjoyed it, just a side effect).

There’s something about caring friends who give me bread rolls to eat when seeing me loopy.

There’s something about the Game of Things that makes my friends and me cry of laughter every time.

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There’s something about people who say thank you when you hold the door open for them that makes your day just *that* much better.

There’s something about eating a smoothie out of a bowl that makes it 10x more satisfying than drinking it from a glass through a straw.

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There’s something about getting random texts from your friends about little things like tacos (@Sarah) that makes me so grateful for friendship (and technology).

There’s something about boxing that is addicting. I don’t think I’ve loved a form of training so much so quickly!!

There’s something about vegan ice cream that seems wrong to me, but it is still very so delicious.

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Confession: I bought this for Colby on the fourth of July since she eats dairy-free, but she left before dessert, so I took it for myself.

There’s something about the Vermonster from Ben & Jerry’s on National Ice Cream Day that feels so right (slightly gross, but overall so right).

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Alright, so the Vermonster. Twenty (yep) scoops of ice cream, four toppings, four whole bananas, caramel, fudge, four cookies, a brownie, and a mountain of whipped cream. In a bucket.

It took six of us (although we definitely could have used 8-10 people) plus a lot of rallying from Ben to finish it.

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We got five flavors (four scoops of each), but they all muddled together anyway. It was a delicious mess.

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Gluttony? Yep. Good for your health? Depends on how you look at it. Happiness? Yep. Doing it again? Probably never.

This summer is bringing a lot of ice cream into my body.

There’s something about great friends who are great study buddies that makes school fun.

There’s something about listening to old songs I forgot I loved (Natasha Bedingfield’s “These Words” and “Love Like This“) that makes me smile.

There’s something (infinite things) about how God works that is mysterious, not always what I want at the moment, yet always more beautiful than I could imagine.

So tell me:

“There’s something about…”

Have you recently rediscovered any old songs you loved?

Did you celebrate National Ice Cream Day?

Feelin’ The Heat

🎶 I’m burnin’ up, burnin’ up for you babayyyyy.🎶

Does ANYONE remember that Jonas Brothers’ song!?

It’s finally getting steamy over here in Boston! I used to hate the heat, but I appreciate it now. Mostly at night when I can walk out of a restaurant and not have to brace myself in the chilly air (← problems that are not real problems).

I was definitely feelin’ the heat of the sun this weekend and also feelin’ the heat of work/school starting up again. I’m excited to have a routine again though. I can only go so long as a nomad of life. I’m actually currently typing this as I help proctor an exam (don’t worry, I’ve got my eyes on the students too 😉 ).

Friday

I worked all day at my usual side job as a house helper.

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overnight oats in a pb jar(!) for the morn’

Living farther from work/campus in June and July means my sustenance depends on tupperwares.

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“use all the leftovers” kind of lunch — two eggs, two egg whites, greens, pepper jack and feta

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After work, I met up with an incoming BU freshman who I met on one of my campus tours. We had a lovely time chatting and getting to know each other for over two hours over berry hibiscus iced tea at Pavement.

I also went to the gym that night for the first time in a long time! I still can’t run, but rowing is fine. I missed cardio (never thought I’d say that) these past couple weeks after very little impact for my healing hips. It was also bumpin’ in the gym on a Friday night. People are so dedicated in the summer!

The moves and grooves:

Warmup (5 min rowing)

  • 3×10 scap flye pushups // 3×10 stability ball scorpions
  • 1×10 lat pulldown (70#), 3×6 assisted pull-up negatives (50# assist) // 3×10 decline pushups
  • 1×10 military press (20# DBs), 2×10 Arnold press (12# DBs) // 3×10 med ball squat cleans (20#)

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 cals rowing // 8 burpees between each set

Boston was looking SO FINE on my way home.

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Bedtime snack:

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Saturday

I got up relatively early the next day to meet Ben for our usual Saturday Spartan workout. He let me lead so that the workout was sure to be friendly for my hip. He also asked me to “murder his arms,” so I immediately thought of Lori and Michelle’s 18 minute plank workout, aka the slow but sure killer. He kept calling the exercises “fake,” but that’s just because they were hard 🙂

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We also did some reverse rows, tricep dips, and this same 10 minute ab workout from Pinterest that we did a few nights before.

With wiggly arms and warm cores, we parted ways. A tupperware breakfast to enjoy on a bench:

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leftover green pancakes with almond butter and jam

Then I went to Mass downtown and walked home for lunch.

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leftover Thai food

For the rest of the afternoon, I studied a little bit of gross anatomy for work, read some Brideshead Revisited, and took a delicious 20 minute nap (← My mom calls naps delicious and I don’t know I feel about it, but here I am.)

Saturday evening involved a super special belated birthday surprise from the bff, Rachel! She asked me to put on a cute dress, come over to her place for dinner, and let her take me out for the night. Already loved everything about it.

I arrived to a set table and the smell of pasta cooking on the stove, and we soon sat down for a lovely dinner of salads with arugula, feta, dried cranberries and homemade apple cider vinaigrette…

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…and tortellini with marinara. So simple and satisfying.

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Look at this chef!

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After finishing, we cleaned up and headed out into town. Before dinner I didn’t know where she was taking me, but after a little thought and prodding, I figured out that she was taking me to the Omni Parker House for drinks and desserts! So fancy!! Also a food bucket list destination 🙂

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We sat down at the bar (what a GROWN WOMAN thing to do, we’re GROWN WOMEN wow) and ordered a drink each, plus two cakes to share.

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We had to get the original Boston Cream Pie, because a) it originated at the Parker House; b) it’s on our food bucket list. I also learned that Boston Cream PIE is actually cake.

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The second cake was carrot cake, because Rachel knows it’s my all-time fave.

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Neither cake blew me away, but they were both still cake, rich and delicious!

Our drinks thooooough. We took the waitress’ recommendations , so Rachel got an “Craft Manhattan” on the rocks. It was Woodford Reserve Bourbon (which the menu says has “a bouquet of banana bread, orange and vanilla” WHAT) paired with Doulin Rouge (“a lighter sweet vermouth”), stirred with orange bitters.

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I don’t know what half of those things are, but it was super strong and good.

And I got the Blackberry Whiskey Sour, which was Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup, and blackberry puree. So like juice, just how I prefer it. Rachel said it was one of the best drinks she’s ever tasted.

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It was so wonderful getting to chat with my best friend all night and do fancy grownup things with her. Thank you so much again, Rachel. Love you forever.

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I slept in on Sunday and started the day with some yoga in my room. Other happenings included a sweaty walk to a work meeting, sitting by the river, and Mass. I won’t get into too much detail about my day on Sunday because I have a “week in the life” vlog coming for ya later this week! I might do the full week, I might just do half a week because my life isn’t that interesting. We’ll see.

Have a fantastic week ahead, friends! Eat cake and do something fancy.

So tell me: 

Have you ever eaten Boston Cream Pie? 

Two things you did this weekend! 

Do you ever have to pack a whole day’s worth of food with you?

Gentler Moves and Grooves

Yesterday was a very blue Tuesday!

Not because it was a sad day, but because the color blue popped up a lot.

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Breakfast was the last of my Fage Greek yogurt (the BEST – thanks, Madre!) with blueberries, purple corn flakes (blue enough), cinnamon, and almond butter.

On the other end of the day, I met up with my friend from study abroad, Cristen! She and I (along with Megan) experienced so much of the great green Ireland and Edinburgh, Scotland together. And she loves peanut butter + banana as much as I do!

We discovered on our abroad adventures that we live pretty close to each other, so we finally met up for some ice cream at The Blue Pig.

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Isn’t it adorable!? I got the roasted banana with salted caramel + fluffernutter (basically vanilla with large chunks of peanut butter), and both were very tasty. It wasn’t the creamiest ice cream, but the flavor was on point.

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Cristen was the best part of the night! I love catching up with this one.

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I actually had second dessert when I got home because I still needed something to fill the tank. Mini muffins with a glass o’ milk to the rescue!

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My aunt made these, and they are BOMB. Perfect amount of sweetness and great texture.

I ate these while geeking out with Ben over the solar eclipse that’s coming across the United States this August 21st. We found this video in our research, which is equal parts hilarious and incredible.

Other foods of the day included salads and half a bagel with Kerrygold butter. Memories of Ireland…

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nothing like toast with quality buttah

Madre even had the idea to make egg-in-a-hole with a bagel, so I made it for her as a midnight snack. It looked scrumptious!

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Her dreams came true and she loved it.

Besides eating, I moved and grooved a bit yesterday. I mentioned in my last post that I likely have a minor labral tear, but there are still many movements that feel good/are not painful. I definitely want to keep some good range of motion in that hip joint, so I’m exercising but being verrrrry conservative and immediately stopping anything that doesn’t feel nice. Like walking. Walking doesn’t feel nice, so I’m not doing that as much (Boston will be hard when I get back there!).

The goal is to not need surgery 😀

Here’s what I did:

(Superset = three sets back to back. Also, my hair has a mind of its own.)

This workout was all about pain-free movement, not about speed or reps. It was still fun though!

Back to Boston today!

So tell me:

Did you eat anything/go anywhere blue yesterday?

Will you be in the path of the total solar eclipse on August 21st!? We will not be, unfortunately, but if you will be, PLEASE FILM IT. The chance of a lifetime. I love space things (← obviously not an expert though).

Your opinions on buttered toast.

Have you ever needed to modify workouts due to injuries?

 

 

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?