Great and Small Things I Learned This Semester

{Second Semester of Grad School}

It’s been another relatively long hiatus, but we BACK. Finals were stressful. This senior year of undergrad/first year of PT grad school was wild. But we did it; we finished undergrad!!

I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Health Studies this past weekend. People call it a “fake” degree, because it’s sort of just a dummy bachelor’s degree to acknowledge that we’ve received an undergraduate education, but the Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the end of this 6-year program is what we’re really here for. Two more years until that, God willing!

temp-for-output-2

Although I haven’t been blogging much at all in these past 9 months, I can’t neglect to do my traditional “what I learned” post at the end of the semester. I have no idea where this one is going to go, to be honest. I have learned truly countless lessons that cannot be exhaustively listed in this blog post. However, I’ll do my best to recount this grand ol’ journey in list form!

temp-for-output-1-2

1. Dairy probably makes me break out, but not enough to make me want to give it up for more than the 40 days of Lent.

2. I do laundry more often than most college students (I do it every 7-12 days), and it’s costing me a FORTUNE (especially since it’s $10+ for wash and dry at my laundromat!!!).

3. Alllllll about the lower extremity. Hip, knee, ankle problems? Let me have a look at it (with my non-professional student PT eyes)!

img_2152

4. Also a whole crap ton about neuroscience that I did not expect I would learn going into PT school. Even my neuroscience major BFF (Rachel) was impressed with how much we were learning.

5. The pain of doing God’s will.

6. The incomparable beauty of doing God’s will.

IMG_E1169

7. How to do split screen on a Mac computer.

8. How to set aside time for people who mean a lot to me, despite a busy schedule.

img_2161

9. I like Shawn Mendes’ music (“Youth” is my JAM currently).

10. Curried tuna salad is a FANTASTIC Friday meal.

11. How to have a little less of a big mouth.

12. How to be less judgmental of others.

13. The discipline of not listening to music after 10pm (as I realize that it’s 10:30pm and I forgot to turn off my Spotify… whoops).

14. I can blog if I set aside a short time for it every day.

15. How to be okay with the mess.

temp-for-output-1

16. How to communicate better and to be honest with myself and others.

17. How to fall in love with God even more.

IMG_2073

18. Body shape-wise, I’m the roundest/fullest I’ve been in several years (or ever?), but I’m probably the happiest with my body and can do more physically than I ever have been able to do.

19. I have medial tibial stress syndrome (aka shin splints), and I don’t even run that much. The best/worst part is that I know how to help myself.

20. Long term acute care PT is right up my alley, and I could see myself working in that kind of setting.

21. I’m still into selfies.

Processed with MOLDIV

22. How to lead a retreat.

DSC_4647

23. Uncomfortableness is a very good thing sometimes.

24. How to reflect on all these things that God does in my heart, just like the Blessed Virgin Mary did throughout her life.

25. God is good. All the time.

————————-

That’s what I have for now! Hopefully the first half of summer will lend to some more blogs (maybe VLOGS!?). I’ll be staying in Boston working as a gross anatomy teaching assistant again, and then I have clinical starting in July. It’ll be busy but good (hopefully)!

Thanks, Madre and Pop ♥

So tell me:

What are some things you’ve learned this year!? 

 

 

Advertisements

Virtual Breakfast Date

Hey, hi, hello, let’s meet and eat.

virtual breakfast date

…I would {obviously} peek at what you’re having for breakfast. Here’s what I’m having this morning:

IMG_1442

To wipe that disgusted/confused look off some of your faces, I’d explain that it’s an overnight oat smoothie blended with greens this morning and topped with the crunchiest purple corn flakes (I just attempted to find which brand it was, because we threw out the box, but I’m not sure which one it is!). I would assure you that it tastes delicious. Wanna try a bite?

…I would say never mind, don’t have a bite. I came down with a fever a few days ago and I feel 95% recovered, but my throat still hurts a bit, so don’t take your chances.

…I would attribute my sickness to two days in a row of theme parks in less-than-ideal weather. But with an ideal theme park companion by my side! My dear friend, Lauren (fellow air saxophone and groovy tune enthusiast), visited us in Florida for a few days after New Years, and we had a grand ol’ time.

Image-1

The night she arrived, Madre and I (poor Pop was the first to get a fever that night) took her to Disney Springs for dinner and perusing. We shared so many hysterical laughs at the silliest things, and it was the best.

…I would exclaim that dinner at Paddlefish was STELLAR. They started us off with the fluffiest bread with honey cinnamon butter, and now I think honey cinnamon butter should be on every table across the nation. Lauren got the mahi-mahi special, which had a macadamia nut crust and sat on top of crab fried rice. Madre got the fish and chips, which came with two giant pieces of perfectly crispy fried cod and sweet potato fries (her absolute favorite). And I got the scallops with bacon, crispy brussels sprouts, and cauliflower puree. We all shared bites of each other’s dishes, and everything was blissful.

We finished the meal with their “charred carrot cake,” which was three times larger than I was expecting. It came with excellent vanilla ice cream, shortbread crumbles and little fried carrots *jaw drops*. We took most of it home.

…I would stop drooling over my past meal and continue the story of our fun evening. Following dinner, we walked around and admired the charm of overpriced Disney merchandise.

mom: “kiss the Lego girl!” *obey* mom: “alison you need to be closer” 🤭

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

THEN WE DANCED…and participated in a lip synch competition that was 20 minutes longer than we were expecting. I posted some of the craziness on Instagram:

I was l i v i n g. This is basically what I do in my room by myself when I’m bored, except this time I was less loser status and actually had an audience! Having Lauren there was extra fun, because she’s often my groove buddy.

…I would tell you that we went to Universal Studios and Disney’s Magic Kingdom the next two days. It was rainy and chilly on Universal day, so some of the rides were down unfortunately.

after v. before the rain at universal studios #hunchbacksofharrypotterworld

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

Lauren and I managed to have a nice time at Harry Potter World though, sipping warm Butterbeer, eating delicious ice cream from Florean Fontescue, and remarking at how Diagon Alley = diagonally, and Knockturn Alley = nocturnally. But the Revenge of the Mummy ride outside of HP World was our favorite. We went twice.

Image-1-2

Magic Kingdom was…fine. Mistake #1 was arriving at 11am, which is way too late for a theme park like Disney. It was utterly packed that day (the wait for Space Mountain kept teetering between 2.5 to 4 hours lol), and also utterly FREEZING for Florida. I was quite underdressed and just miserable by the end of the day, but it was still fun hanging out with Lauren all day and even meeting up with our friend Domenica and her cousins sometime in there (bottom middle photo)!

…I would say that Lauren really made the theme parks fun. If it weren’t for her humor and both of our “well…we’ll work with what we got” personalities, it would have been a rather disappointing two days. But anything can be a great time if you let it be.

…I would wish you warmth! As we road-tripped home from FL to NY this weekend, it felt like the movie The Day After Tomorrow when the ice was invading the city like a wave. Just coldness creeping and increasing with every pit stop. I’m such a baby when it comes to the cold. You’d think I’d be okay with it living in the Northeast for 12 years, but nah.

…I would say that I’ve been eating ohhhhh so well this winter break. But I’m sure you’ve noticed.

Image-1-3

Yes, we did go to Popeyes on our road trip. It was one of the greasiest most delicious things I’ve ever put into my mouth. Other things have included desserts from my brother and his girlfriend (she got me banana pudding from Magnolia bakery!), sushi (I think NY has the best sushi in the northeast), and mom’s homemade food (*angels singing*).

…I would laugh at how I had coffee date with a friend in a heated train station yesterday. My friend who I met abroad in Ireland, Cristen, and I got hot beverages and muffins from The Black Cow yesterday, but there were no seats left in the tiny coffee shop. Thus, I asked the cashier if she knew any place nearby where we could just sit and chat, and she suggested the train station… So we went.

Image-1-4

These chairs were actually attached to the floor because they were more like art pieces, I think. But it was heated in there, sort of. I had to push a button every 20 minutes that said, “PRESS IF YOU WANT HEAT.” YES WE WANT HEAT.

Cristen and I are up for anything though, and we had a lovely time catching up on life. I’m not a coffee drinker, so I had the steamed milk and honey (loved it) and a morning glory muffin.

Soul warmed by conversation and esophagus warmed by hot beverages.

…I would shut up now because this post is so long and ask you:

What are you eating for breakfast?

Have you ever had a less-than-ideal theme park experience?

Tell me about an odd situation you’ve experienced recently.

How was your first week of 2018?

Weird Facts About Last Week

Are you ready for this post!? I don’t think you are. Because I’m not.

To put everything into context, I am back in Boston after a week of touring NYC with my friend Rachel for our spring break. I shared our Tuesday adventures with you all last week, but that was just the very beginning. More food, more fun, more freakiness awaited us.

To sum it all up without boring you to death, here are some weird facts about our experiences last week!

Fact #1: I basically forced vegetables down Rachel’s throat by hiding greens in all our breakfast foods. Such a mom move.

DSC_0791 DSC_0793

Davida’s green silver dollar banana pancakes (one of my absolute favorites)

DSC_0799

banana peanut butter oatmeal “dough boy” smoothie with greens blended in (inspired by Kath Eats)

Fact #2: We were spontaneously part of a street show in Central Park, and someone jumped over my head.

Processed with Moldiv

11060312_862237793841391_4540284148557201247_n

it’s because I’m short

Fact #3: We came across some trendy, delicious places to eat in NYC, and I pretended that frozen yogurt was a healthy afternoon snack.

Processed with Moldiv

Toasties Deli and Chillbox Greek Frozen Yogurt

Fact #4: Rachel and I regressed to become 5-year-olds at Dylan’s Candy Bar. Candy is so nostalgic.

Processed with Moldiv

Fact #5: It was warm enough for us to be a little sweaty while walking around in NYC. HOORAY FOR SWEAT! That means spring weather!

Fact #6: My family took us out to not one, but two Groupon meals last week. The first one was at our favorite Persian restaurant…

Processed with Moldiv

The Groupon came with four desserts, ok?

And then the next night we went to Ichiro, aka my favorite Japanese restaurant ever.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Fact #7: Rachel and I dedicated a whole day to studying. I know, what nerds.

Fact #8: We took a casual study break and met a stranger who also happens to be an awesome iPhone photographer (follow him on Instagram here!).

IMG_4127

{PC: @neivy}

Fact #9: We could have slid on our butts down this staircase of death if we wanted to weren’t careful.

IMG_4129

Fact #10: We ended our study day with the sushi dinner above, Cold Stone, and more nostalgia as we watched the movie Ice Princess. I almost gagged at how bad the acting is in that movie, but I used to love it.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

shared apple pie a la cold stone with the bro

Fact #11: Daliza was our tour guide for the day on Friday as she drove us all around our county to show Rachel (and me) the pretty and hip places.

Processed with Moldiv

Fact #12: See that bottom right photo? That’s Rachel and me. Freaky things happen in Sleepy Hollow… (Anyone know the legend of the headless horseman?)

Fact #13: I eat banana soft serve with Greek yogurt. And apparently with cinnamon and granola as well!

DSC_0798

Fact #14: Rachel and I walked outdoors all day on Saturday despite it being rainy.

Processed with Moldiv Processed with Moldiv

NY Public Library, High Line, and Chelsea Market

Fact #15: We decided that we could live in Chelsea Market. All the food, all the shops, all the time.

Processed with Moldiv

Fact #16: Rachel had her first authentic New York bagel ever, and I have never even eaten one myself.

Fact #17: But I did have the creamiest, richest “Two Cookies and Cream” ice cream from Ronnybrook in Chelsea Market with both Oreos and Biscoff cookies. Wowza.

Fact #18: I had a salad at Bareburger. Not because I was opposed to a burger by any means but because I really wanted artichokes. REALLY WANTED THEM.

Processed with Moldiv

and those sweet potato fries

Fact #19: Overnight oats are so clutch when you have a 5AM train to catch.

Processed with Moldiv

stop smiling, Rachel, it’s too early

Fact #20: I saw Grand Central the emptiest I’ve ever seen it.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Fact #21: The other people who were crazy enough to take a 5AM train into the city on a Sunday morning were the NYC Half Marathon runners. #whodoesthat 😉

Fact #22: My wallet is crying, but the adventures were worth it.

Fact #23: We didn’t eat a lot or anything. Ha.

Fact #24: Rachel and I walked a total of 35 miles, give or take, last week.

Fact #25: Rachel receives credit for a lot of the photos in this post!

Fact #26: This year, Boston has officially broken the city’s snowfall record with 108.5 inches of snow this winter! Now it all needs to go away.

Happy Monday, everyone! It pains me to say that I probably will not be posting very much this week. Schoolwork post-spring break is calling. Hope you all have a wonderful week though!

So tell me:

Three weird facts about your last week!

Have you ever eaten a NY bagel?

Have you ever watched or been pulled into a street show?

Weekend Confessions {MIMM #19}

I feel like I haven’t blogged in forever, but it’s only been 3 days! Maybe it’s because this weekend has been packed with activities, or maybe it’s because this is one of the most social things I’ve done this weekend. #loser.

I’m only [half] kidding. 😉

This weekend involved a lot of things that I think would be fun to include in a “Confessions” post. I absolutely love it when bloggers do these kinds of posts because it gets personal (but not too personal— this isn’t the Sacrament of Penance here), and they’re often pretty darn funny. I don’t know if my confessions will be funny, but you can humor me. ….Please?

MiMM

I’m linking up with Katie‘s Marvelous in My Monday party!

Confession #1:

I procrastinated like a boss on Friday and Saturday. (How’s that for an ironic sentence?) I totally could have knocked out a lot of homework on Friday evening, but I decided to take my sweet time reading blogs and looking at prom dresses. All of a sudden it was 11:00 pm and I wanted to sleep. Then on Saturday night, I was glued to my bed with the biggest food baby I’ve had in a while (details below), so I just watched a bunch of Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen Degeneres on Youtube. At 10:30 pm, I finally got myself together and prepared my lesson for Sunday school.

images

The shame.

[source]

I ended up getting homework done on Saturday morning before dance and Sunday evening after dance.

Renewed policy: Do work first. THEN relax. (<— Easier said than done.)

Confession #2:

My abs were soreeee on Saturday! I did a longer-than-necessary tabata ab workout on Friday that consisted of 40 rounds. Why 40 rounds? That’s how my Gymboss App Timer was already set, so I just went with it. And the price was paid.

I went through these moves until the time was up: leg raises, reverse crunches, spiderman plank, side plank hip raises right and left, ankle touches, Russian twists, and ball roll-ins. I’ve actually been enjoying doing ab exercises in a tabata fashion because it keeps me from getting bored, and it keeps up the burn!

Confession #3: 

I finished a whole plate of pasta at a restaurant, and I flippin’ LOVED it. My mom had yet another Groupon (surprise, surprise 😉 ) for an Italian restaurant, so we put it to use for dinner after church on Saturday night.

We started with some delicious bread and salads:

photo 1 copy 2

photo 1 copy

Then came some appetizers dal mare (We thought the Groupon came with two appetizers, but in fact it only came with one…whoops):

photo 3 copy 2 photo 2 copy

Then came the entrees. My parents thoroughly enjoyed theirs, but I think I went to Heaven and back when eating my dish. I ordered the “Gnocchi Ala Sasa,” which was homemade gnocchi in a tomato and basil sauce, baked with mozzarella on top.

photo 2

Pillows of tomato-y, cheesy goodness.

I think this was the best gnocchi I’ve ever eaten. My mom and dad shared a few bites with me, but I still housed that baby. A year ago, I would never have even thought of ordering a pasta dish as an entree because it would be “way too many carbs.” Thank God things have changed significantly, because this gnocchi was on the verge of life-changing.

Dessert was also a huge hit:

photo 3 copy

Peach cobbler a la mode. More like yellow cake with a couple peaches in it, but I seemed to have enjoyed it, considering I ate most of by myself.

photo 4 copy

I also had a bite of the real winner— Nutella Banana Calzone. That crispy cinnamon crust with the warm, oozy Nutella and sweet bananas? All in one bite with some cool vanilla ice cream? I can’t. 

Cue the food baby!

Confession #4:

Even though I’ve been packing on the cocoa butter moisturizer, I still have those pesky hangnails. I wish I could wear spa gloves in public.

prod_1040170

[source]

On a similar note, my feet, along with the feet of all my fellow company members, are burning. It has been a while since we’ve danced on our bare feet for four hours, so the calluses are nonexistent right now and we have to rebuild them. We’re all waddling and currently obsessed with socks.

Proof: I just laughed out loud at all the Snapchats I just received from some of my dance mates. I sent one out saying, “Waddling through the house. Feeeet,” and these were some of the responses:

  • “Same. I have four pairs of socks on right now.”
  • “Body. is. dead.”
  • “Everything hurts.”
  • “I’m so sore it’s embarrassing.”
  • “I feel so bad for my feet.”
  • “Can’t function.”

Sums it up pretty well.

Confession #5:

I’ve been drinking a ton of water recently, which I’m quite happy about since I’m usually terrible at getting enough H2O. But I’ve also been needing to go to the bathroom all. the. time.

Confession #6:

When I came home, I accidentally opened the other garage door instead of closing the one through which I entered…so both of them were open for a good 5 hours. Our neighborly neighbor called at 10 pm to let us know. Nice move, Alison.

Confession #7:

I still haven’t made a huge dent in reading Catching Fire. Why can’t I just read the darn book?! I’ll go do that now.

Confession #9:

I’m still probably not going to read it tonight.

Alrighty, I think that’s all the confessing I have for you today! Maybe you guys can relate to some of these and make me feel better. 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Happy Monday!

So tell me:

Do you have any confessions?

What is the best pasta dish you’ve ever had?

Any other chronic procrastinators out there? (How do you keep yourself in check?)

WIAW: Thanksgiving Leftovers

Wednesday!! It’s always lovely to see ya. Last night, my friends from company and I were moping over how it was ONLY Tuesday. I think that’s how weeks tend to go by right after a break— nice and slowwwwww. At least there’s Christmas to look forward to!

For this edition of WIAW, I’ll be showing you what I ate the day after our Thanksgiving feast. Unlike other people who were full for the rest of the weekend after Turkey Day, I still had my appetite on Friday morning! Last year, I might have tried to ignore my hunger, thinking that I’d already eaten way too much the night before. I would hold back for the rest of the weekend and try to amp up the workouts in order to compensate. After reflecting on how my Thanksgiving went this year, I realized that it went a lot like Clare’s— much more enjoyable.

I also ended up cooking just as much on Friday as I did on Thursday since I wanted to jazz up some leftovers. I think I spent a good three hours making new dishes, which amounted to only two. I’m a painfully slow chef (“chef”), but I love cooking whenever I have the chance! Alright, I’m done rambling. Here’s what I ate on Friday:

WIAWbutton

Thanks for hosting, Jenn!

Breakfast

DSC_6965

Pumpkin seed raisin bread with cherry butter toffee peanut butter, apple, Korean pear, strawberries + glass o’ milk

Lunch/Snacks

I kinda just munched here and there throughout the afternoon…

DSC_6983

More Korean pear + apple slices

DSC_6981

A slice of Thanksgiving Leftovers Frittata

DSC_6984

A piece of leftover cornbread

I also had a bite of my mom’s turkey congee— YUM. I probably had more snacks that I didn’t photograph.

Dinner

DSC_6985

The rest of the quinoa stuffing and some more frittata

Dessert

THE BEST.

DSC_6987

The last of the berry crumb pie a la mode

Thanksgiving leftovers are seriously just as good (if not, better) than the actual turkey dinner. *Sigh* I’m gonna miss that pie.

Happy hump day 🙂

So tell me: What did you eat the day after Thanksgiving? Were you still full or did you have an appetite?