I’m a Slytherin!?

APPALLED.

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I was appalled when these Pottermore results showed up on my screen. I chose a snowy owl as my pet, guys. HOW.

I guess I should just own it, because apparently I’m in the “coolest and edgiest house” in Hogwarts. Slytherins are also “frequently misunderstood,” which might be fairly accurate for me.

The day after I took this quiz, I was telling my friends: “I can’t believe I’m a Slytherin.”

Friend: “How come you’re wearing black and green right now then?”

*Look down at my green Ireland t-shirt and black athletic pants*

Touche.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m thoroughly obsessed with Harry Potter now. Megan and I finished the second book and movie last week, and now we’re well into number three. HELP (but don’t, because I’m having so much fun).

Besides becoming completely immersed in the wizarding world of HP, other good things have happened in the past week, like KaisaFit liking my Instagram video! She’s one of my favorite fitness influencers of all time, and I couldn’t help but smile when she liked one of my videos that I hashtagged #KaisaFitxAsics for one of her giveaways. No shame.

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She also liked every other video with that hashtag, so I’m not special, but I won’t let that fact steal my excitement.

On Saturday, a few of us went on a Ring of Kerry bus tour! We started our day super early at 5am so that we could walk to the bus pickup in city centre. Thankfully, we had 2.5 hours to nap as we drove to Killarney.

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It had snowed a few days before we visited, which is rare for Ireland. It made the mountains look even more beautiful!

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The Toc Waterfall in Killarney National Park was my favorite stop of all. The moss-covered trees looked magical (HP on the mind, ya know), and the waterfall itself was bigger than I imagined!

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water and green things— a Slytherin’s dream.

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The tour was a lot of sitting on the bus with many photo stops that ranged from 10-45 minutes each. The scenery was gorgeous for sure, but I don’t think it was my favorite bus tour in Ireland. Connemara a couple weeks ago might have won it for me.

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always climbing trees

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Inch beach in Dingle

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We had a long lunch break in Killarney, so Megan and I walked around the charming city (reminded us a lot of Galway!) and bought…

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DESSERT.

We both got this super sweet sticky toffee caramel apple muffin, which was delicious. I very much desired a glass of milk to go with it, but life wasn’t bad without it.

(p.s. we had already eaten real lunch on the bus at 10 am due to early morning wakeup.)

It was a long trip, mostly due to travel time between places, but I enjoyed it! I think that was my last trip within Ireland, and I’m glad I went.

The weather has been frigid these days. Usually I wouldn’t mind, but I’ve had to wear only my Toms outside because I’m pretty sure I have retrocalcaneal bursitis, which causes my heel to hurt when I wear any tight shoes, such as boots or sneakers. Toms give me just enough room for my inflamed bursa to breathe.

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It’s nice to work in a physiotherapy clinic, where people can take care of me and educate me on the job 🙂 Google is also great.

Luckily, Megan offered me her bag of frozen vegetables to ice my heel like the good friend she is.

I have been advised to not do high impact exercise for a while, and to even take it easy on lower body weight bearing for a couple days. I’ve been mostly compliant. Sadly though, walking is becoming more and more painful, and I generally walk with a slight limp now.

It’s so hard to avoid walking though! How else am I supposed to go to Mass and Sunday brunch!? (The bus, yes…)

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After Mass this past Sunday, Megan and I went to Whitefriar Grill for another Sunday brunch. This one was a WINNER. She got the classic eggs benedict, and I got the crab cake eggs benedict to compare with the one I got at San Lorenzo’s last weekend.

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This was our favorite savory brunch so far. The crab cakes in my dish were a lot fresher at Whitefriar than at San Lorenzo’s IMO. And that hollandaise was phenomenal. Megan agrees!

We also got free watermelon bellinis because I “checked in” on Yelp.

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“We don’t always drink, but when we do, it’s for free.” – Megan

We didn’t even finish them.

Later on Sunday night, Megan and I made some amazing focaccia bread, if I do say so myself. Megan comes up with the best ideas. Last weekend she suggested scones, which were a hit. This week, focaccia was another fabulous treat.

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We made it using this recipe, plus rosemary, thyme, garlic, and caramelized onions. ‘Twas a pillow of olive-oily, aromatic goodness.

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fresh out of the oven ♥︎ 

We’ll be in Boston opening up our scone and focaccia storefront soon.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!!

So tell me:

Which1 Hogwarts house are you? 🙂 I want to retake mine, but the Sorting Hat has decided.

What is one delicious thing you made and/or ate this weekend?

Have you ever been to the Ring of Kerry? 

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Virtual Brunch Date

If we were having brunch…

…I would sit down with wild hair, out of breath, and slightly overwhelmed. But look at all this brunch! Megan and I have adopted a tradition of eating brunch in town after Sunday Mass. It’s always a heart-healthy affair highlight of the week!

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two weekends ago at Herbstreet: “breakfast of champions” cassava rosti with smoked salmon, spinach, avocado, a poached egg, and capers — top notch.

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yesterday at San Lorenzo’s: crab cakes with poached eggs and hollandaise + char-grilled asparagus, tomato, arugula, and home fries 

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sorry and you’re welcome for this photo

…I would tell you that I cleaned my plate both weeks.

…I would tell you that our good friend from Boston, Briana, who is studying abroad in Spain, visited us in Dublin a couple weeks ago! Of course, we had to get some bread and butter pudding with her 🙂

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…I would tell you how pleasantly surprised I am with the Dublin Zoo. A few of us went two Fridays ago, and we had so much fun! It was pretty cold, but a lot of the animals were out to say hello. But we were reminded very easily that zoos are mainly an attraction for people ages 5-13.

“Moooom! MOM. Mooooooooom, look!!! It’s a TIGER!”

I was just as intrigued by the tykes as I was by the animals, tbh.

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ostriches are the most fabulous/terrifying creatures

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…I would tell you that, although I didn’t miss peanut butter too much in Switzerland and Italy, it was good to be reunited with my fave when I got back to Ireland.

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…I would tell you that the weekends are not just about brunch. Dessert is also our idea of a good time.

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post-zoo, pre-dinner crepe with banana and salted caramel + vanilla ice cream

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spiced pear ginger cake a la mode on some random night

…I would tell you that I’ve also been cookin’ up some colorful, more nutritious foods. I basically cook one thing to eat for lunch/dinner the entire week. Some say it’s sad and boring to eat the same thing every day for five days straight, but I don’t mind at all.

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beet and goat cheese salad with balsamic

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two weeks ago: whole wheat rotini with sundried tomatoes, basil, chicken, and garlic (best thing I’ve cooked here in Dublin!)

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last week: white jasmine rice with chicken, peppers, and Jalfrezi sauce

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salmon salad (greek yogurt, spicy mustard, cracked black pepper, and raisins— don’t judge, it was good!)

A lot of eggs also.

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goat cheese, spinach, eggs, ketchup on toast

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avocado, goat cheese, mustard, spinach, egg sandwich

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classic avocado toast with eggs

Would it be more economical to invest in an actual hen at this point?

…I would tell you that I am enjoying my internship at a physiotherapy clinic so far! Some of the highs:

  • I get to observe some of the sessions and compare physiotherapy in Ireland to physical therapy in the States.
  • The people at work are super kind and fun.
  • They play Boyce Avenue all day at the office.
  • I get to wear long athletic pants and sneakers (BLESS).
  • They dry needle and massage me for educational purposes.
  • I get to participate in the Pilates classes.
  • I can take the bus (and read Harry Potter on the ride) OR walk if I’m feelin’ it.
  • The owner of the clinic bought me a superb doughnut one day last week.

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I don’t even like chocolate, but this was amazing

Some of the lows:

  • Sometimes the desk part of the job involves more sitting than my butt prefers.
  • I made an extremely poor choice of footwear one day last week…

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they were squelching with water by the time I arrived at work — completely saturated

…I would tell you that dry needling is not common in the US, but it is in Ireland, and I kinda love it. It’s like aggressive acupuncture? A super thin needle is inserted into your myofascial trigger points (your muscle “knots”) repeatedly, and the muscle grabs onto the needle and releases, causing it to “break up” the trigger point. It’s a sore process during and afterward for a day or so, but it works!! She did my traps and calves. Yeeeeeeeesh.

“Your calf reaction is pretty intense.”

Yeah, I felt it.

…I would tell you that I laid low this weekend and loved it. I barely did anything on Friday after class. I wasted time on my phone, ate pizza and gelato with friends, and watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with Megan and Cristen (I’m such a fan now. A whole new world has been opened unto me.)

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dinner at Milano: dough balls with garlic butter to start (yeah, it’s everything you want)

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Roman-style thin crust pizza with goat cheese, caramelized onions, red onion, spinach + a salad in the middle — divine.

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I sense the holidays 🙂

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mint chip gelato at Gino’s!

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a bite of Megan’s pistachio gelato cannoli — so pretty!

…I would tell you that Megan and I wanted to WALK on Saturday, so walk we did! Almost 10 miles just around Dublin city centre. We learned that TJMaxx here is called TKMaxx and that Burger King’s chicken fries are actually delicious.

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Comes to Ireland. Goes to Burger King for chicken fries.

And God bless Megan. As we walked back home after several hours of semi-aimless window shopping, she said, “Let’s make scones tonight!”

So we did! We picked up the ingredients for less than €5 and got 12 scones out of this recipe. This is dangerous, friends. DANGEROUS.

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we made a few cinnamon swirl, a couple plain, a couple chocolate chip, and a couple cinnamon raisin 

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These were freaking fantastic (on their own OR with butter OR with butter and jam), not gonna lie. Comparable to, or even better than, all the other scones we’ve had here in Ireland!

We also made Irish flapjacks, which are not pancakes. They’re oat bars with golden syrup, brown sugar, and butter.

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“It’s like really unhealthy granola.” -Megan. AKA your dream that you try to suppress.

Shhh. Let it happen.

…I would tell you that moves and grooves have been happening as they may. Recently I’ve felt pretty tired and sore overall (probably lack of sleep for no good reason), but that just means that workouts are even more fun and appreciated when I feel up to them!

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…I would apologize for this being so long and for being bad about blogging recently. I am always so appreciative of the loving comments and support!

…I would also thank all those who shared their thoughts and feelings with me regarding my random vlog yesterday, “Why Am I Catholic?”

…I would ask you:

What are you eating for breakfast/brunch this morning?

Tell me two things about your life lately!

Have you ever tried dry needling or acupuncture?