October

It is WILD to me that it’s already October. On the one hand, I’ve already made pumpkin mac and cheese this season (which all my friends apparently think is appalling and gross). On the other hand, I don’t really know how to dress for 50°F weather.

I went into this month thinking, “This is going the be a rough month.” Midterms, bittersweet nostalgia, shorter days — meh. But Fr. Barnes, our chaplain at the BU Catholic Center, spoke earlier this week about how wonderful of a month October is, because we celebrate so many “powerhouse” saints — saints who knew how to experience hurt deeply, yet love even more deeply.

Something I find myself doing more often these days is putting my hand over my heart. I place my hand over my heart when someone says something touching; when I feel hurt; when I see or hear something beautiful; when I hear something that I know to be so true, even if if I don’t want it to be true in the moment; when I receive the Eucharist.

It’s kind of a habit now, but I think it started because my emotions have become more visceral this year. But as C H E E S Y as it sounds, I also think I feel closer to God when I place my hand on my heart, because I’ve been meditating on giving my heart completely to Him, whether it is filled with joy, anger, fear, nothing at all, or whether it’s broken. And because, before I can even offer Him my heart, He is the first to knock and seek to dwell within my heart.

LOL this was meant to be a post that took me 5 minutes to write, but thoughts just burst out of my head, so here we are with this more emotional post than I was expecting.

In case you were wondering, I still take selfies like a tourist in Disney World.

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I’m goin’ hiking in Maine this weekend and I. am. STOKED. You probably won’t hear about it for another month though, given my recent blogging track record.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

So tell me:

What are you ~feeLiNg~ this October?

What are your plans for the weekend?

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The Great and Small Things I Learned This Semester {Study Abroad}

It’s hard to put into words how I feel about my experiences in Ireland, but I will do what I’ve done every semester before this — write up a list of…

the great and small

[freshman 1 ~ freshman 2 ~ sophomore 1 ~ sophomore 2]

…study abroad edition 🙂

  1. Ireland is underrated for its beauty.img_3103
  2. The grass really is greener in Ireland and there really are sheep everywhere.img_5538
  3. Aer Lingus has delicious food.img_2858
  4. How to use the Dublin Bus, aka one of the least user-friendly public transportation systems in the world.
  5. A little bit more about booze and how to drink it. I despise Rosé and red wine; I can tolerate light beers, hard liquors, and white wine; I can only tolerate Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse; I like “baby Guinness” shots; I am not willing to pay for the amount of alcohol it takes to make me even tipsy. (#BoozeAndGrooves)
  6. “Slagging” is when Irish people tease you and give you a hard time, but it’s supposedly a way to break the ice when you first meet someone.
  7. How to share a kitchen with over ten people.
  8. No matter how many times you might politely ask people to wash their own dishes, there will always be those who just. don’t. get it.
  9. How to take charge with travel plans, directions, and public transportation.img_4695
  10. How to not panic when I get lost in a foreign country
  11. It is indeed cloudy and rainy most of the time in Ireland (although we had mild weather this year!).img_5556
  12. Tea breaks are a real thing in the Irish workplace.
  13. I love the said tea, scone, and biscuit culture.14462810_1188492134507275_7641167688898127242_n
  14. But Megan and I also make some great scones that we like even more than the ones at the bakery…img_5595
  15. What dry needling entails and what it feels like.
  16. How to give bomb massages.
  17. I LOVE HARRY POTTER. I am a Hufflepuff with Slytherin undertones.img_6308
  18. I don’t get that homesick, but FaceTiming friends every week also helps.
  19. What black pudding and haggis are and how they taste (not bad!).img_6196
  20. How Airbnb works.img_3493
  21. I can just make it through Italy with my minimal high school Italian language “skills”.
  22. Assisi is the best place on earth.
  23. Heck, all of Italy is the best place on earth.
  24. How to better identify when my funky mood is due to lack of sleep.
  25. I can get fitter in four months without a gym.img_4291
  26. People feel most loved when you listen to them. Truly listen. This is something that I need to work on.
  27. What retrocalcaneal bursitis is and how it forces you to just RELAX and stop walking so much.img_5634
  28. 100% recovery is possible.
  29. Dublin is a fantastic brunch city.
  30. Megan loves brunch, loves dessert, and questions the purpose of coffee and alcohol as much as I do. And she’s an awesome travel buddy 🙂img_4765
  31. Irish dairy and beef are superb.
  32. Potatoes really are served with everything in Ireland.img_4214
  33. How to ask more questions.
  34. Irish sociology, culture, healthcare ethics, and insurance.
  35. How to play Gaelic sports (and that I royally suck at 2/3 of them).
  36. Names like Colm, Caolon, and Niamh exist, and they are not phonetical whatsoever.
  37. I don’t get sick of overnight oats.img_5698
  38. I don’t know how to do bars and pubs.
  39. Brown bread/soda bread is one of those “this-is-like-cardboard-but-somehow-delicious” foods. It’s all in the generous spread of butter.img_5533
  40. How to challenge my faith and to not be afraid of doubt.
  41. How to live with, get along with, and love a vastly diverse group of peers.
  42. How to have good craic (pronounced “crack”; means “fun”).
  43. I can’t believe I ever disliked the idea of studying abroad.
  44. How to fall in love with God (whomp whomp, so Christian-girl-mushy, sue me).
  45. God will truly lead you to where He wills you to go. Just ask Him.img_4935

I want to thank my parents, brother, friends/family at home and abroad, and all the staff and faculty at Boston University and Dublin City University who made my study abroad one of the best experiences ever. It is you who make my experiences full.

So tell me:

If you are college student, three things you learned this semester!

If you are not in college, three things you learned this fall! 

Overwhelmed with Goodness

So much to tell you. SO LITTLE TIME.

How in the world is it the last week of classes this semester? I can’t deal. I can barely deal with this weekend. I went to work on Friday, and two things stood out to me while I was working:

  1. I set off the fire alarm making steak (this is the second time I’ve done that now, but that steak was PERFECT).
  2. My boss told me I have “a look of wellbeing.”

I was very flattered and humbled by that comment. Part of me was thinking, “Really? This is the face of one tired lady.” But another part of me was thinking, “Well, I think I know why.”

If I do indeed have a look of wellbeing, it’s because God has filled overflowed my life with nothing but love. He always has filled my life with love, but I think I have learned to better appreciate and focus on His love, rather than sulk in my insecurities, trials, doubts, guilt, and fears.

Basically, I am overwhelmed by the goodness around me. Sometimes I feel unworthy. Sometimes I squander the gifts I’ve been given. Sometimes I’m afraid it will all disappear. But that’s humanity. We’re not worthy, we do fall, and the world will pass away. That’s why I need God. Like, NEEEEEEEED.

And yeah, this got religious real quick, but even if we don’t share faith, I hope that you can relate to this sense of gratitude and awesomeness (in the truest sense of the word) in your life.

So what’s all this goodness then? Time for show-and-tell!

-People who genuinely care about your life.

-People who wait 3 more seconds to hold open the door for you.

-Laughter, even when studying is stressing you out.

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me trying to figure out if respiration is hindered when lying supine

-Good conversations with people who I’ve just met.

-Really good hugs and high-fives.

-Running with your best friend, even though you didn’t really want to at first.

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-The wonder and beauty of the human body and being able to learn about it in depth.

-Soul talk. It’s fun talking about food, fitness, the latest party, and Justin Bieber’s comeback, but nothing is as satisfying and fulfilling as talking about, well, what truly satisfies, fulfills, and challenges our souls.

-Seeing and experiencing the beauty of God with and through other people.

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-Sharing food and fellowship.

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Mike & Patty’s for our food bucket list!

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“Egg Fancy” = two fried eggs, avocado, bacon, cheddar, and house mayo (OMG) on multigrain

That was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.

My lab partner/friend/fellow foodie, Christina (go follow her on Instagram @foodietunes!), have been on many food adventures this weekend…

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breakfast before lab

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Indian night in the d-hall

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distracted by cupcakes during our walk on Saturday

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split a pumpkin gingerbread spice cupcake— OH WOW.

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grand opening promo event at Sweetgreen yesterday

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free {healthy} food? yes, please.

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One of my friends just came home after studying abroad in Australia for the past four months, and he gave me a Tim Tam to try! Very tasty.

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thinking about you, Arman

-People who affirm and encourage you constantly. It’s easy to be self-conscious or upset about your body, personality, or achievements. However, having people who truly believe that you are beautiful and who push you to be the best version of yourself— that helps you live a little more fully and confidently every day.

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So to YOU, I say: There will be many lies and doubts (both internal and external) holding you back from being the best version of yourself. It’s tempting to sit in grief until you feel good enough to finally do something great. This time of feeling weak and useless is the perfect time to start giving. In giving, you will receive so much. Give your smile, your thoughts, your talents, your love.

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I know I am currently living at a time of peak physical and social nourishment, so I understand that everything in my eyes seems like rainbows and unicorns. I have nothing to truly complain about. Maybe I’m naive and in a bubble. But I know for sure that “to whom much is given, much will be expected,” and I pray that I can just give from the overwhelming amount of goodness I am given.

Phew. Hope you all have a wonderful week 🙂 “Let us begin.”

So tell me:

The best thing you ate this weekend.

Three good things from last week/this weekend.

About the last time you set off the fire alarm (if ever).

Incredible Things

There are some incredible things as of late that are noteworthy:

It’s incredible that Thanksgiving is this week. That means finals are coming, which means the semester is almost over, which means I’m almost halfway done with sophomore year of college, which means my senior friends are almost done with college, which means I need to shut the freak up before I go insane.

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dining hall thanksgiving dinner {that cornbread stuffing}

It’s incredible how kind people can be, despite the fact that you’ve only met in person once (or not at all). My blogger friends near and far have been nothing but kind and loving to me and to other fellow bloggers, often for no particular reason. Sweet prayers and messages from Julia and Hayley. Kind words by Emily. Heavy care packages from a certain no-bake king. All of YOU who choose to read about what goes on in my brain. God bless you.

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spoiled

The power of a 10 minute nap is incredible. I was in desperate need of a nap the morning/afternoon before my exam on Thursday. I could have studied straight through until 3:30 pm, but my friends forced me to take a nap. SO BENEFICIAL. My brain could actually function. Who ‘da thunk?

It’s incredible how talented humans are. Besides people like Michael Phelps, Mother Theresa, and Beyonce, there are some darn talented people around you! Including you. I was reminded of that at my friends’ a cappella concert on Friday night.

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It’s incredible how God shows so much love through people. It’s truly life-changing to have friends and family who seek to love as Christ loves.

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It’s incredible how much work I have to do over Thanksgiving. I’m just complaining for the sake of it, which is not model behavior, but… I have two exams and two essays due next week. It’s always a good time to be thankful for a great education, but this is REALLY a good time for that, eh?

It’s incredible that it’s still pretty warm outside in late November. Not that I’m complaining!

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It’s incredible that Justin Bieber made it onto my Spotify playlist. It’s his song “Sorry“. I’m sorry I like it. UGH.

The power of patience and prayer is incredible. Because guess what this girl got this weekend!!! Let’s just say I might not need another gynecology appointment. More on this later.

Find something to smile about at every hour of the day. When in doubt, nap it out.

So tell me:

Something incredible in your life right now.

Thanksgiving plans for my fellow Americans? I’m going back to New York to see the much-missed fam and COOK!

Weekend Confessions + Vlog with Rachel

weekend confessions

Confession #1: I miss blogging more often, and I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting very much lately!

Confession #2: I also don’t feel that guilty for not posting, because school is happenin’ and so is friend time. I love blogging, but it can be hard to choose screen time over a night out with friends, ya know?

Confession #3: I wore shorts and a tank top on November 5th in Boston, Massachusetts. HAHA. I was wearing my marshmallow coat three weeks ago. What are seasons?

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like, MAYBE, who knows now?

Confession #4: Rachel and I decided to have best friend day on Saturday and made sure the whole world knew about it on Snapchat.

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Confession #5: We could not stop saying “mmm” and “WOW” and “I can’t even” while eating this sandwich from Cutty’s (on our food bucket list!).

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It’s called the “Roast Beef 1000” (slow-roasted beef, thousand island sauce, frizzled onions, and sharp cheddar on a brioche bun). Yeah.

We also both ordered the vegetable of the day, which was hot ‘n’ sour brussels sprouts. Also “mmmmm”-worthy.

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Guy Fieri was there!

Confession #6: We were so inspired by the brussels sprouts from lunch that we bought two bags of brussels sprouts from the grocery store, roasted them in the communal kitchen after dinner, and ate a whole tray of them within 15 minutes of them coming out of the oven.

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sort of based on Arman’s balsamic brussels

Confession #7: Before our brussels extravaganza, Rachel and I were workout buddies. Except that we didn’t work out together.

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We ran to the workout pad that I always go to, and while she continued running, I stopped and did six rounds of this workout until she ran back.

Confession #8: I’ve finished 5 large (32+ ounce) jars of peanut butter this semester. It’s fine.

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My sixth jar may or may not last until Thanksgiving. I’m erring on the side of not.

Confession #9: I put Sriracha on everything.

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eggs

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salad

Soon I’ll be mixing it with peanut butter.

Confession #10: Rachel and I filmed a VLOG! You’ve seen a couple vlogs with Daliza, my best friend from home, so I thought it would be fun to film one with best friend who I met at college 🙂

This is a “best friend tag” vlog. Basically, how well do we know each other? Quirks? What’s annoying about the other? Who do we have a CRUSH ON!?

Here’s the link in case the embedded video isn’t working (and if you still want to watch it). In case my fellow bloggers want to play along with their BFF or significant other, here are the questions!

How and when did you two meet?

Who is your best friend’s hero?

If your best friend could go any place on earth, where would it be and why?

What is the name of your crush?

What is your best friend’s biggest fear?

If your best friend was deserted on an island, what three items would he/she want to have?

What part of your best friend’s body is his/her favorite?

What are two things about you that your best friend doesn’t know?

How would you describe your best friend’s ideal spouse?

What is a weird quirk about your best friend?

What are three things you would never fail to find in your best friend’s refrigerator?

What is your favorite memory together?

What is one thing about your best friend that annoys you?

Does your best friend have any nicknames?

What would your best friend do if he/she won the lottery?

Can you describe your best friend in one word?

What would your best friend say he/she admires most in you?

Sorry it’s kinda long. Just promise me you’ll watch Rachel’s face at 4:09.

She’s gonna kill me.

Hope you all have a fabulous week! Tell your good friends/family members that you love them.

So tell me:

What is one “confession” you have from the weekend?

Have you ever eaten a whole pan/pot of something in one sitting?

What is the best thing you’ve eaten recently?

If you were deserted on an island, which three items would you want to have?