Operation “Say Yes”

…”to the dress.” I’m getting married!

Just kidding. This is about how I am the flakiest, most indecisive person ever.

“Hey, Alison, do you wanna go out tonight?”

“Oh!…maybe. I’ll let you know. I want to, but I need to do ‘stuff’ tonight.”

“Okay let me know!”

(Two hours later) “I think I’ll come!”

“Yay!”

(20 minutes later) “Actually…I think I should stay in….”

“Aw. Okay.”

(5 minutes later) “But should I just go out?”

“Yeah if you can!”

(2 minutes later) “Maybe not…”

“Alison… Do whatever you want.”

I’m indecisive because I spend too much time thinking about whether I should go somewhere or not, and then I end up procrastinating anyway, when I could have gone out, come back, and done what I needed to do.

So this past week was Operation: “Say Yes”

Yes to going out on Thursday night.

Because Thursdays are the new Friday, right? We actually don’t have classes on Friday, so Thursday really is the start of our weekends for the first half of our semester.

97% of the time, I’m not one to say, “I wanna go out tonight!” I’m usually more like, “let’s go get dessert and be in our PJs early tonight!” But I felt like celebrating the submission of our first big paper on Thursday, so I went out to a pub with some friends that night. It was my first night really “going out” in regards to drinking and such.

I drank more than I ever have that night, but I was still totally sober throughout, haha.

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“Baby Guinness” (Kahlua and a touch of Bailey’s— looks like a Guinness but tastes like chocolate!)

I only had one of these. I’m not that tolerant (or wealthy).

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arguably the most pointless €5 purchase of my life

Not even tipsy, but not mad about it. Watching all the other wild kids around me was fun enough.

My favorite part was coming back past midnight and sharing a big bowl of popcorn with my friend.

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Yes to napping.

Because I went to bed at 2:30 am after a night out and woke up naturally at 8:50-ish on Friday morning.

I was thinking of doing a longer workout later that day rather than napping, but napping gave me energy to PR my 100 burpee time! 6:16!
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I was on the ground panting two minutes before this photo was taken

Yes to walking somewhere solely for dessert.

My friend Brenna and I went to Bread & Butter to pick up dessert on Friday night, which was a freaking fantastic decision. I bought bread and butter pudding for €2.95, and the portion was HUGE. Megan was kind enough to have half, and she shared her vanilla ice cream with me to go with it 🙂

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this is only one half of the whole portion they gave me

10x better than alcohol. 100x happier. (Half the price too, holla.)

Yes to the Bray Cliff Walk with three friends.

I could have spent the whole day working on my ethics essay, but I decided to go to another cliff walk for the first half of the day. So worth the fresh air, exercise, and company!

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selfie with a banana, because I am a banana

The walk took approximately 2 hours, since we stopped for a bunch of photo sessions.

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thank you to Brigid and Caroline for this photo!

For lunch, we chose The Happy Pear, a super cute vegetarian market/cafe/restaurant.

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I got this bomb Buddha bowl, which had brown rice, pickled cabbage, “kimchi” (wasn’t actually kimchi, but that’s what they called it), lentil dahl, garlic kale, avocado, and sweet potato fries!

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Hiking and buddha bowls, are we in LA!?

Yes to FaceTiming four people over the weekend.

I miss my friends a lot, and although it can take a couple hours to FaceTime a couple people, it is always worth it to talk with such beautiful souls. I laughed and cried.

Yes to Sunday brunch.

After Mass on Sunday, I met up with my friend Cassandra for brunch at a fabulous little place called Herbstreet.

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This was one of those restaurants where you think, “I could honestly order any of this.” Cassandra and I both went for savory + sweet.

Cassandra got the “Eggos Mexicalos” for her main, which was spicy and satisfying (and GUACAMOLE). I got a strange combo— smoked salmon with capers and dill creme fraiche + small stack of blueberry pancakes with orange butter. I ate them separately, don’t worry.

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I was totally craving pancakes, and MAN did these deliver. I love blueberry pancakes, but the zesty orange butter really put it over the top.

The best of the meal was Cassandra’s sweet pick: the French toast with caramelized bananas, pecans, and clotted. cream.

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Be still my heart (but not literally, please, I know this is a lot of cholesterol, sry). We already decided that we have to go back.

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Yes to working out outside. 

I usually work out in my room these days, because a) that’s all I have time for; b) it’s dewy and cold outside in the morning. But on Sunday, I took a nap and just went outside with my jump rope. It was glorious to move and groove outside!!!

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5 rounds:

  • 50 double unders
  • 2 laps (~1/3 of a mile)
  • 5 pistol squats each leg

Yes to walking.

It can be time-consuming to walk to city centre from our campus, and sometimes I feel like I should save time and take the bus, but it’s [almost] always a good idea to walk.

I say [almost], because yesterday we walked to Parliament for a field trip, and it was down pouring. I was soaked and freezing throughout the rest of the field trip, but Megan reminded me to be grateful that I can go home and be warm, whereas some people cannot.

#HUMBLED.

Yes to cooking for real. 

I bit the bullet and bought a tikka masala simmer sauce for some chicken, plus bell peppers and real rice (I refuse to buy microwave or “boil in a bag” rice).

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Prior to this, I had just been seasoning things with salt and pepper because I wanted to be cheap and minimalist, but variety is the spice of life. Or spice is the variety of life?

This delicious lunch salad also happened a couple days ago:

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beets, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, two fried eggs, salt and pepper

Yes to saying no to blogging.

It’s been a busy week with essay writing and such, so the blog has been on the back burner. I wanted to type this post for Monday…then Tuesday…then Wednesday…then Thursday…and now it’s finally typed. Life happens, and I’m always learning how to prioritize.

Yes to a free online yoga inversions class on the CodyApp.

It was on Tuesday night right after my healthcare policy class ended, plus it was free, so I just signed up and did it! I highly recommend CodyApp, guys. I mean, I’ve only tried the free classes so far, but even those are great. This inversions class really did help me learn more about handstand alignment!

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not in the inversions class, but wanted to see how titibasana was coming along

I hope you guys have an awesome weekend! I’m organizing a wine and cheese night for the group tonight, and I AM PUMPED. Finals are next week already, LOL (we start internships in November!).

So tell me:

Are you indecisive?

Is it hard for you to say yes to things?

Two beautiful things that you did/happened to you this week!

A Grand Ol’ Weekend Recap

Instead of thinking of a title for this post, I’ll just l start typing as I belt out “No One” by Alicia Keys (← quality song).

There’s so much to share today, so let’s nix a proper intro and catch up!

Thursday

On June 9th, 2015, I chopped my hair to shoulder length. On June 16th, 2016, I chopped my hair to chin length. Who knows what June 2017 will bring? #pixiecut?

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even the same shirt color as the emoji

My hair was shoulder length all year, but it was starting to flip outwards like Betty Rubble from the Flintstone’s, which is not the look that I’m personally going for.

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Just like last year, I’ve gotten mixed reactions to my new ‘do, but most people have been in support of the short locks (thanks, friends)! One of my friends from work said I look 10 years old though…

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Ya know, I’d rather look like Dora than Betty Rubble, so I’d say it’s a step up.

After a long day of work, Pop and I came home to a KILLER dinner made my Madre. She made sushi hand rolls + delicious chicken drumsticks. *jaw drop*

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leftover brown rice + roasted broccoli on the side (pro tip from Madre: cut the meat off the bone a little bit before cooking if you want the drumsticks to cook more quickly. it’ll still be juicy!)

Spoiled.

Friday

Banana and mango overnight oats to start the day— my forever favorite ♥︎ (p.s. post about how to make oatmeal two ways coming soon!)

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Dinner was simple and light because I was planning on working out soonish afterwards.

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sunny egg on avocado toast with sriracha + salad with homemade honey mustard dressing

But then I rebelled against my dairy cutdown and also ate cheesy jalapeño Popcorners. And then Pop came home and I decided that I really wanted Greek yogurt with dried figs.

“Sureeee. Go wild. But you might pay for it later.” – Pop

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I was totally fine later. Actually, my digestion this week might be the best it’s been in a while! Hmmm.

AFTER I ate dinner and dessert, I worked out at 10 pm in the basement. I needed 5 hours to decompress from work and nourish myself before working out, I guess.

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Saturday

A weekend breakfast favorite:

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Kylie’s simple paleo pancake + peach + peanut butter + glass o’ milk

I really wanted to put Greek yogurt on this, but I think having too much dairy still wouldn’t be great for me.

Madre and I went on a couple errands including grocery shopping and clothes shopping. Productivity, I say!

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didn’t buy this, but LOL I am a mother from the 50s

Moves and grooves of the day: 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

After Mass, Madre wanted to take Pop out to pre-Fathers’ Day dinner, so we went to a place called The Iron Tomato. It’s a casual Italian marketplace, so we each ordered something at different stations and reconvened.

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I got chicken meatloaf + artichokes, beets, and broccoli rabe to share with mom

We digested for a couple hours before I made a beloved classic for Pop and myself:

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Peanut butter banana soft serve!!! For two people: 3-4 frozen overripe bananas blended with peanut butter in a food processor, topped with granola.

Sunday (Father’s Day!)

My dad just made a good point (as a good father does): I FaceTimed a lot of people from Europe yesterday.

  1. Rachel in Ireland.
  2. My brother in Spain.
  3. My uncle, who is a priest in Rome.

What a great day already!

I made breakfast for Pop (and myself) in the morn’.

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made him a chorizo, onion, spinach egg white omelette + banana oatmeal

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banana, mango, chia oatmeal for moi

He opened his gift while eating. Peep the Sephora-bag-turned-“man-bag”.

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He loves Under Armor shirts!

After some more FaceTiming and relaxing, we all got started on our late afternoon BBQ! Pop requested that he grill on his special day. Madre and I went shopping and marinaded/skewered everything, and he and Madre split the grilling job. Teamwork!

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Madre’s incredible ribs, smothered in Stubb’s sticky sweet BBQ sauce (thanks so much to my pal for sending us this— you know who you are 🙂 )

To think that I used to not like ribs… So naive.

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our favorite Moroccan chicken!

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We ate everything in lettuce wraps, Asian style — with Thai basil, cilantro, fresh backyard mint, cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts, and Madre’s fantastic peanut sauce. None of us could choose a favorite meat that we cooked (maybe the ribs though).

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don’t ask me what I’m doing because I could not tell you

We cooked way too much food for three people, but hooray for leftovers for work lunches this week!

We ended “dinner” at 5 pm (talk to Europeans, eat like Europeans), after which we chilled out and digested. Pop and I went on a 2 mile walk around the ‘hood in the evening, and the weather was absolutely perfect. Cool and comfortable.

I got started on dessert when we got back home. We had weird peaches that were ripening but not softening. Like, we had them for a week, and they were starting to taste overripe (read: kinda alcoholic), but they were still hard. So I tried this recipe for individual peach crisps to put them to use.

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Pop and I had one each, topped with Talenti pistachio gelato. I ate the peach first (it was still hard and weird even after baking) and then ate the gelato. And then went back for a little more gelato.

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I just proceeded to do the 7 minute workout with Madre shortly after finishing dessert. Ice cream and squats is not an ideal combo, but I’ll survive.

I might do some late night stretching before turning in. My legs are super tight (I was a bad girl/PT student and didn’t stretch after working out on Saturday).

Happy Fathers’ Day to all fathers out there— of children or of souls! 🙂 You are so loved and appreciated.

Hope you all have one heck of a good Monday! Strike a silly pose when no one’s looking, but someone could be looking.

So tell me:

Did you do anything notable for Fathers’ Day/the weekend?

Do you like ribs?

What is the best thing you ate this weekend?

What is the worst hairstyle you’ve ever had? Honestly, my “bangs” in middle school were pretty painful.

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seriously WTF is happening with that

A Very Blogger-esque Weekend

Ermahgersh.

That has been my catch phrase of the weekend, because everyone and everything that I encountered deserved such a remark. Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start!

Friday

I took the day off from my {unpaid} physical therapy internship to spend the day in NYC. First of all, can I just tell you about how I had to run to catch my train? Running (literally) late left me shaking due to a lack of high intensity exercise recently. I was late for no reason other than the fact that I’m terrible at managing my time and I get distracted too easily. Working on it.

First stop in the city was to meet my dad for lunch! He took me out to one of his favorite spots called Dig Inn, which is such a healthy living blogger eatery. Just look at this sign— made of wood, says “seasonal market”. Fits all the criteria already.

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lentil salad with upstate apples // roasted sweet potatoes // bulgur with wild salmon salad

It was kinda like a full service version of Whole Foods hot bar, but even fresher and more delicious.

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This is me with the Brooklyn Bridge and the city air that left soot in my nose.

Then I saw this kangaroo sausage lover!

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Arman from The Big Man’s World! Upon meeting, he immediately boosted my ego saying, “I thought you were going to be tinier (shorter)!” That was an exciting compliment!

But seriously, Arman is such a cool and genuine dude. It was an honor walking and talking with the Australian no-bake master in person. He even brought me a batch of his newest strawberries and cream bars, which are not only me-approved, but Pop-approved. Go make them!

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The sunshine, heat, walking, talking, and less-than-ideal amount of sleep during the week left me royally pooped at the end of the day. I didn’t even have the energy to take a shower before going to bed, which is nasty but I did not care.

Saturday

I started the day inspired by Arman’s creations with this strawberries and cream “oatmeal pudding” based on his cake batter oatmeal.

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The rest of the day involved chores, handstands, bodyweight leg exercises, church, and experimenting in the kitchen.

I found turkey bacon in our freezer, resulting in the strong urge to wrap it around chicken. So I searched Pinterest, found this recipe for cheese-and-pepper-stuffed, bacon-wrapped chicken, and made it for dinner. I just used turkey bacon and garlic herb cheddar instead of real bacon and regular cheddar.

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This was one of the best decisions I’ve made all week! Is that sad? I say nay, because this was freaking fantastic. I served it with sautéed onions and mushrooms, and steamed veggie medley.

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Dad asked what I would name the chicken dish (besides “cheddar and pepper stuffed bacon wrapped chicken”). I said that it kinda looks like a race car, so he said it should be Chicken Lamborghini.

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Close one eye and envision the Chicken Lamborghini. Close the other eye if needed.

For dessert I baked peanut butter cookies (for a belated National Peanut Butter Cookie Day celebration) and prepared a new mango banana chia pudding recipe that I’ll be sharing later!

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Sunday

It’s always fun when we get to make Sunday a pancake day! Strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes from Smitten Kitchen to be exact.

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The crisp of the cornmeal will get you out of bed

I am a major cornbread fan, so any opportunity to make cornbread in breakfast form is an opportunity to snatch.

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buttah, baby

And because I wanted peanut butter, I ate a bowl of full fat Greek yogurt with banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, and a big spoonful of pb alongside my griddle cakes.

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More blogger interaction took place in the afternoon. In addition to texting Alison and Hayley throughout the weekend, I FaceTimed the beautiful Julia from Lord Still Loves Me! Despite some crappy wifi connection, we managed to have a lovely conversation. She is such a sweet and genuine lady— I adore her!

I’m starstruck from this weekend.

I also baked this banana bread baked oatmeal, which I’m saying is for my dad, but we’ll see how much actually gets to his mouth before it gets to mine.

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So yes— a very blogger-esque weekend. Meeting bloggers, cooking, eating, blogging… I think I’m going to continue the trend and get my yoga on right now.

Hope you all have a joyous day!

So tell me:

What is the best thing you ate this weekend?

What would you name the cheese-and-pepper-stuffed, bacon-wrapped chicken?

Which bloggers would you love to meet in person (I’m not looking for myself as an answer, promise!)?

Current Simple Joys

Morning!

How are you all doing so far this week? I don’t know about you guys, but yesterday was just so…Monday. Like, a very Monday kind of Monday, ya feel? I got ready with my eyes half closed and nearly (just nearly, don’t worry, mom and dad) nodded off at least 20 times during statistics, BUT it was still a great day overall thanks to many simple joys that outweighed those Monday blues.

It’s been a long time since I shared my current simple joys (January was the last time!), so I thought today would be the perfect day to share those with you all. There’s always something to be thankful for in this whirlwind we call life.

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Current simple joys…

  • Power naps (came to the rescue for me yesterday, holla)
  • Cooking real food in a real kitchen and picking up groceries from Trader Joe’s (for the people I work for, not for myself…but still so fun!)

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Lasagna!!! (It was my first time making it ever and I pray that I didn’t mess it up for them.)

  • Finally “getting” a statistics problem that initially made me want to blow up my computer/textbook #probabilityrage
  • MARCEL THE SHELL THREE
  • Free KIND bars for showing my squat form at the Physical Therapy fitness fair

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  • Sunny, warm days in late October
  • Outdoor workouts on said days

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  • FaceTiming with family and friends
  • Really awesome hugs
  • Singing with some of my coolest friends at church on Sunday
  • A surprise care package from my little cousins, aunt, and uncle! Cookieeeeeees ♥ (whole wheat too, because my aunt knows what’s up)

  • When the dining hall has an arsenal of bananas (my heart breaks ever so slightly when there are none available at breakfast)
  • People who hold the door (bonus points if they smile)
  • Raisin bran for dessert (stop cringing/laughing at me)

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  • When there is no one on the escalator so you can walk up, because walking up an escalator is empowering with all that extra upward momentum
  • This message from my bro when I was studying away on Sunday night:

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I should do these kinds of posts more often, because now I am just so happy despite the fact that my eyes are fluttering shut as I type this on Monday night.

Have a wonderful day, friends! 🙂

So tell me:

Some of your current simple joys!

Do you eat cereal for dessert sometimes?

How was your Monday?

Trying New Things…Like Horror Movies

Hello hello!

{“I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello!”}

That’s a Beatles song, right? If not, I’m embarrassed…as I often am.

On the topic of embarrassment, I went with maybe 20 of my Catholic friends to go see the horror movie on Friday night about a possessed doll, Anabelle. It was against my better judgement, but I covered my eyes with my jacket for approximately 75% of the movie. And I was still terrified. Heck, I was terrified by the previews! Because you see, my level of movie fear starts at The Little Mermaid, okay? Ursula is no joke.

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Luckily, a few of my friends were on the same boat as me, so we covered our faces in fear together. Comically commentating a horror movie is also a good way of getting through it (thanks, Adrienne).

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Before the movie started, hence our smiles.

In happier news, we got nachos and tacos beforehand! I was ravenous by the time we sat down to eat, so I restrained myself to a few nachos (which were pretty awesome) before completely demolishing my fish tacos + honey ale cornbread like a champ.

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Saturday involved some studying, a meeting, a workout, laundry and then more food and friends. We went to North End for dinner and desserts, and then I was semi-coerced into watching an episode of American Horror Story. I watched more horror things on Friday and Saturday than I had watched in the entire span of my life prior to that. My friends are so inspiring.

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I had gelato though, so all was okay.

Also, guess who I FaceTimed that night!

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What are you doing with your fingers?

DALIZA!!! I miss that honorary child of our Asian family.

In other news, the weather was glorious yesterday with not a cloud in the sky. I went to church, ate lunch with friends, studied, and did some more FaceTiming with my parents. I joined bro Ben for dinner and dessert before we had our virtual family reunion.

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Sushi, hot pot, and pumpkin (!!!) froyo with grape nuts (what are those even?), mochi, graham cracker crumbs, and Reese’s pieces

I like to think that ice cream and frozen yogurt are all-year-round desserts. Can I get an mhmm?

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I know Katie would agree with me 🙂 Linking up on her blog today!

Alrighty, I’m gonna sign off now so that I can either a) sleep, or b) squeeze in some more homework. Life choices…

I hope you all have a fabulous day!

So tell me:

Do you like horror movies?

One thing you did this weekend!

What are your favorite froyo toppings?