A Funny Word

Moves: Rock climbing! I’m taking it as a class at BU’s gym, and it has been just splendid. I love rock climbing and had always wished I could do it more often (also to actually use the rock wall at the gym #tuitiondollars), so the extra wiggle room to add this into my schedule this semester was very welcomed.

“Weenie”: One of my friends jokingly used this word on Wednesday to describe herself because she likes to learn (alternative word: “nerd”?). Yesterday while I was rock climbing, my forearms were getting smoked and the skin on my fingers was burning, so that word popped into my head and I said, “I’m such a weenie todayyyy; my fingers hurtttt.”

Then I felt the need to search the actual definition of “weenie.” Merriam Webster says, “(informal): a frankfurter or similar sausage.” On the other hand, Urban Dictionary defines it as, “A scared person who is afraid to take chances or step out of their comfort zone. Usually, this word is used to describe a person who is afraid to go after the boy or girl that they like.” Also, a small male…extremity.

I have been a weenie in the sense of 4/5 of these definitions — all except the last. (My mom used to call me “sausage” when I was a baby.)

World Food Day: This was honestly the first day I had heard of World Food Day (I’ve been living under a rock perhaps), but I dig it. World Food Day was on Wednesday, and it is a day sanctioned by the UN to, “promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.” Pope Francis had a nice message about it — I appreciate that he not only the excess in food consumption  but also the deficiency in food consumption that contributes to an overall broken relationship with food, which is only one (albeit one very good and necessary) physical form of nourishment, charity, and comfort.

Swimming: I’ve committed to going swimming this morning with my friend Abby. I have not ever worn a swim cap in my life but I guess today is the day. Pics to come perhaps. I also have never swam more than 2 laps at a time. #ForTheFemur!

Thank you to everyone who has expressed so much love and support for the plethora of blog posts this week! I am grateful. I think I will take the weekends off, but boy, has it felt great to hop back onto this platform.

Happy weekend!

So tell me:

Have you ever used the word “weenie”? In what context?

Do you like rock climbing or swimming?

Had you heard of World Food Day before this year? It’s okay if you make me feel bad about not knowing about it until yesterday.

Ya Ever Wanna Crush Things With Your Bare Hands?

Moves. 45 minutes on the assault bike (a fitting name for it). I basically did my own spin-class-style workout to my “werk” playlist on Spotify, doing a variety of sprint intervals, recovery songs, and endurance/tempo songs.

I ended with songs from the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, and I felt like I was INVINCIBLE. My favorite songs are “Memories” (a slower, moody, lyrical hip-hop type of vibe) and “What’s Up Danger,” which I have expressed to my friends is a song that makes me “wanna break things and throw boulders while wearing a Mulan-in-armor-esque type of costume.”

…Which explains the title of this post. Side note: Highly recommend the movie if you have not watched it yet — a very well-done cartoon!

Femur felt fine after the workout, but I still need to make a doc appointment to get it checked out for real.

Spontaneous conversation. My friend asked me if I wanted to hang out / study with her on campus yesterday. When I got there, we initially had our laptops open to do some work, but she asked me how I was doing and asked specific questions about my life, opening up a lovely, spontaneous conversation about deeper things than I was expecting for a rather normal Tuesday afternoon. She showed genuine interest in me, which was so touching. I forgot how much even a brief heart-to-heart can refresh my being. Thanks, Lauren ♥︎

Punctuality. I was late to ^^^said meet-up with Lauren, about which I NEED TO BE BETTER. I am punctual for class, work, and meetings with professors/bosses, but when it comes to casual meet-ups with friends, it’s like my brain cannot get my body to move and think fast enough to be on time. I always leave too late and overestimate my ability to get done what I want to get done. But I do not want to keep taking advantage of my friends’ / family’s time, because that ain’t right.

Stuffed cabbage rolls. I made these babies for the first time ever, which was super random; I’ve literally never eaten a cabbage roll in my life, but I had beef… I had cabbage (#cheapestveggieindaclub)… Cabbage rolls! My Ukranian roommate saw me cooking them and said, “I have never seen anyone in America make these.” I enjoyed them! Baby meatloaves in a blanket!

Quote. I pray every day, but it has been a long time, it seems, since I smiled during prayer from the depths of my soul. But yesterday, I could not help but (soft) smile, and this quote was part of the reason:

Prayer is nothing more than a friendly conversation with the One whom I know Loves me. — St. Teresa of Avila

Hump day already, baby! Let’s get it.

So tell me:

Do you ever feel like you could crush things with your bare hands because of a super intense workout song?

When was the last time you had a refreshing spontaneous conversation?

Punctuality — great at it or struggle with it?

Have you ever eaten stuffed cabbage rolls? 

Goodness Gracious, Galway

Is there a place on this island that won’t steal my heart!?

My goodness, Ireland might be one of the most underrated beautiful nations in the world. Then again, I haven’t been around too much of the world yet, but I can appreciate this little country for what it is!

Friday

I did some chores and work in the morning before a few of us headed to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin city centre.

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This place is truly a masterpiece. Arches, carvings, stained-glass window, stairways, tombs— like a fantasy novel setting! It’s also Anglican, not Catholic, which I did not know!

Then I did homework on Friday night. Lame award of the year. But it was for good reason because I was also packing for a weekend trip to Galway. Even though it was a two day trip, I was more nervous for this weekend jaunt than leaving the US for Ireland. I think it was because this is the first trip I planned completely without my parents’ intervention at all. Just Megan, me, and the good ol’ Internet (← in other words, we had infinite resources at our fingertips).

Saturday

I woke up at around 5:50 to get in a super quick workout before we hit the road. I did a warmup + 12 minute workout before gathering my things, eating some pb+j banana oats, and walking to bus #1.

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We successfully made it to the airport, where bus #2 departed. But we used the airport restroom and found this dispenser, which was…handy?

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Megan: “Why can you get toffee from the same machine as your tampons?”

So we ran away to Galway. It was about a 2.5 hour bus ride, and we emerged in the new city (SUCCESS) without a plan until dinner time. First stop: lunch at The Dough Bros.

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They had free crunchy chocolate chip cookies at the order counter, so that was our appetizer 😀

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And then we shared the “Hey Pesto” pizza, which had homemade basil pesto, goat cheese, smoked semi-sundried tomatoes, balsamic red onions, and fresh rocket (arugula).

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BOMB.

With happy bellies, we walked around the streets of Galway city, which were just charming. Our secret mission was to find dessert (I had scones on my mind for whatever reason), so we circled around before finding a little strip of street vendors.

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I sampled four different kinds of bread from The Happy Loaf, and then I finally bought a white chocolate blueberry spelt muffin (that he baked right there in some outdoor oven contraption!).

Megan bought a caramel slice from a different vendor, and we brought our desserts to the River Corrib, where we blissfully enjoyed our treats with a view.

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the muffin could have used more blueberries, but it was still delicious!

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“the garbage swan” ➔ Megan’s unofficial name for this thing

We walked up to the ocean area called Salthill, which offered a delightful sea breeze and a peaceful atmosphere.

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We couldn’t stay too long, because we had to catch a bus to Kinvara for dinner. However, in our haste, Megan twisted her (semi-recently sprained) ankle 😦 Darn cobblestone.

Luckily there was an ambulance literally right there where she twisted her ankle, so I asked the EMTs for an ice pack. One guy, Tom, kindly ran around the corner (to who knows where) to get one, while another guy, Eoin (pronounced “own”) came to chat with us and check on Megan.

Not only were these two gentlemen very helpful in Megan’s plight, but Megan and I agreed that Eoin was a darn good-looking and friendly man, who made the situation slightly less stressful. He even recommended a good fish & chips place.

God provides.

Tom came with the ice (and even an ACE wrap), so Megan was able to elevate and ice her ankle on the 40 minute bus ride to Kinvara (couldn’t have been a better situation, given the circumstances!).

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She had to buy a brace once we arrived, but she’s a trooper. We walked a few minutes over to Dunguaire Castle, where we were scheduled for a medieval banquet!

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First, we toured. This thing is over 500 years old!

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location of the banquet we would enjoy in the evening

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super narrow at the top

Then I got antsy and did some weird things on the lawn, which definitely got in the way of some people’s photos from afar.

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Megan: “I took a picture of you doing your weird squats over there.” 

I was stretching my hips!

At 5:30, our banquet commenced. They served us mead at the beginning, which is honeyed wine. It was meh. I didn’t have much of it, but it was fun to sip it while listening to harp music.

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We made a toast and headed upstairs to the banquet! Sorry for the bad quality pics to come; medieval times aren’t generous with the lighting, ya know?

Each dinner course was announced, and our meal/social time was interlaced with lovely singing pieces. The singers were so talented!

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smoked salmon + capers and veggies

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soda bread with butter (Megan’s favorite food of the whole banquet. It was really good bread.)

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potato leek soup from a pitcher (my favorite food of the night, especially with the bread dipped in)

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no spoons!

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chicken in mushroom sauce + veggies and fried potatoes

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apple slice with fresh cream

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I had a single sip of red wine. I just don’t like alcohol apparently.

There was a longer performance after our meal was complete. Overall, Megan and I had a fun experience and were glad we did it. We were definitely the youngest ones there, but the couple sitting next to us was super friendly, and we loved talking with them!

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So stuffed and so happy.

Our first Airbnb experience was GREAT! Our host, Valerie, was phenomenal. She even picked us up from the castle after I told her that Megan was injured. Her room for us was so clean and cozy, and the bathroom was AMAZING (because any step up from a dorm bathroom is amazing). Also, her dog is the happiest dog on earth.

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she left us tea, water, and “buns”!!!

We slept well that night.

Sunday

Valerie prepared a nice breakfast for us, consisting of brown bread (can’t get enough) with butter and jam + tea + cereal.

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‘Twas hearty and filling for the journey back to Galway city. Valerie is the best; if you ever stay in Kinvara, go to her!!

Megan and I meandered around Galway city again once we got back there. We wanted to go to Mass at the Galway Cathedral at 12:30, but we had some time to kill. We visited the Spanish Arch, which was kinda underwhelming, but it’s old and historical!

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What we really got excited for was this playground.

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“living her best life”

Then we paid 50 cents to use the cathedral washroom before doing our church thing. Prayer, confession, photos, and Mass. The Galway Cathedral is just stunning!

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After Mass, we walked to Brasserie on the Corner for lunch. There was a two-course meal deal for €18.95, which was fantastic. Especially because of…

THE SODA BREAD.

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we’re slightly obsessed and vow to not eat anymore unless we are served it

I ordered the salmon with pea and bacon cream for my entree. The entrees came with potatoes two ways + steamed vegetables. Everything was so tasty!

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I had to eat very slowly, because this stuff was rich. But the dessert compartment stayed open for this peanut butter parfait (not the kind of parfait we’re used to back home…parfait is more of a frozen mousse here, kinda like a semifreddo) with vanilla ice cream and honeycomb.

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This meal kept us full until almost 10 pm!

And so we just strolled some more until our bus ride back home. We saw a few churches and revisited Salthill to walk down the whole bar and feel the wind in our hair. A very Titanic moment.

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what a precarious moment lol

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We barely talked, except for the few times we starting singing “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. We just wanted to soak in the views and the breeze.

Megan and I also had a weird obsession with the award plaques on restaurant fronts. We just wanted to touch all of them.

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We’re adults. We travel on our own.

And now I’m back at the dorm, gearing up for our second week of classes. It’s funny, because finals are in less than a month. YAY.

But seriously, I am so grateful for this weekend in Galway with Megan and for the experiences I’ve had here in Ireland so far. God is good.

(All the time!)

So tell me:

Have you ever been to Galway?

Do you like Irish soda bread?

Have you ever used Airbnb?

Have you ever had an unfortunate experience, but somehow all the circumstances to deal with it were in place?

What did you do this weekend? 

“Dessert Rejuvenates Me”

My room is decorated!!

With wet t-shirts and damp underwear. They’re donning my windows, armchair, desk, and radiators because the laundry was finally installed in our dorm, but my exceptionally large load of laundry was not sufficiently dried in one dry cycle.

I honestly might go frontier-style and start washing my clothes in the sink and air drying them, since laundry will be at least 4.50 euros each time. Yikes.

These past couple days:

Wednesday

We had an orientation for our internships that will start in November, and one thing that the presenter said that struck me was, “It’s not always about what you do on the job. It’s about who you are and how you are.” In other words, in Ireland at least, it is just as— if not, more— important to be social and interactive with your coworkers as it is to be constantly diligent and focused on your tasks. Forming good relationships can be more valuable in your work experience than merely doing what needs to be done.

I know I can get so caught up in doing my job that I forget to talk to people or even refuse to go to social functions. But there’s so much more to a work/learning environment than burying your nose in the work, and I’m excited to really allow myself to do that here and find that balance between work and “play”.

I get it, universe. It’s not all about “just doing well.”

In other news, look at these bathrooms on campus.

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The vibe is, like, Hulk meets hospital. It also smelled strongly like Skittles, which was pleasant.

Lunches recently have been eggs in some form with butter and carbs in some form.

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Thursday

One of my new friends, Kendall, woke up (semi-)early to work out with me before our morning class. It was a fabulous morning too, so we did it outside. YAY. We did a 30 minute HIIT:

7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 reverse lunges
  • 30 plank jacks
  • 100 high knees
[30 sec break]
7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 pushup to T
  • 10 broad jumps
  • 20 spiderman planks
  • 20 air squats
[30 sec break]
7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 side plank side crunch each side
  • 10 side lunge to knee twist each leg
  • 30 mountain climbers
  • 20 split jack lunges
[30 sec break]
7 min AMRAP:
  • 10 in and out pushups
  • 20 sumo squat hip looseners
  • 15 plank to ankle taps each arm

The project manager on campus told us as we walked back to our dorm, “You know you’re making all of us feel guilty right?”

I wish I had answered, “JOIN US NEXT TIME!” But that would have been weird, so we just laughed.

Another Ireland lesson: Milk and yogurt expire much more quickly here than in the States. I almost poured curdled milk into my oatmeal yesterday and then I finished my extra sour Greek yogurt last night.

Lunch was 100% safe though.

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peep the potatoes with kerrygold butter, salt and pepper ♥︎ ♥︎ ♥︎ 

The strawberries from the local grocery store here are also 5x better than Costco strawberries.

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The most frustrating moment of my Thursday was walking 45 minutes somewhere to pick up a bus card, but finding immediately upon walking into the office that the card machine was out of order. *heart drops to stomach* I hated the thought of wasting 90 minutes, but I loved the walk, and I even got to stop into a beautiful church to pray for a bit!

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This photo doesn’t do it justice. I walked in and froze for a couple seconds because I was in such awe.

We had our first Irish language lesson last night too. The professor is the sweetest and most joyful woman I’ve met in a while. The language still eludes me a bit, but it’s cool to learn about it!

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Leftover beef burger for dinner!

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split in half and eaten on top of toast with BBQ sauce, mustard, greens, white cheddar, and caramelized onions

This burger thing was the best culinary idea I’ve had in my 1.5 weeks living in Ireland (which isn’t saying much, given I’ve been living off oatmeal, chicken, and eggs).

Later, a few of us went out for dessert at Restaurant 104. They had “proper bread and butter pudding” on their menu, so I knew we had to go. And that’s just what I ordered!

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WITH raisins @Rachel

I also tried some of my friends’ sticky toffee pudding and [unpictured] “Death by Chocolate” cake.

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Everything was divine. When we all finished, Megan announced:

Dessert rejuvenates me. It’s my life source.

I’m so excited to be traveling Europe with this gal.

Now it’s Friday morning and I’m typing up this blog post! I need to do some schoolwork before going on a cliff walk later today. I did Blogilates’ Extreme Abs 3 (never gets easier) just ate some PB&J banana egg white oatmeal porridge to fuel the day:

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Have some good craic* this weekend!!! 😉

*craic is pronounced “crack” and means “fun”

So tell me:

What kinds of produce are much better abroad than at home for you? 

What is a recent frustrating experience for you?

What are you eating for breakfast this morning?

Do you like bread pudding?

Chronicles of Becoming a Grownup II

This is the most hippie thing I’ve ever posted.

I posted “Chronicles of Becoming a Grownup” a year ago (right about this time in the summer too!). And since they are chronicles, there must be subsequent posts!

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I even posted a photo of this exact breakfast in that post. This was yesterday’s breakfast (oatmeal cookie dough cereal via Fitnessista)

This is a quote from my first chronicle post a year ago:

“And don’t get me started on the mental/emotional/spiritual changes and revelations that are occurring as I become a grownup. To be chronicled in the future…”

Lo and behold. ‘Tis the future, and I am going to tell you about some of those mental/emotional/spiritual changes and revelations riiiiiight now.

Alternative title for this post: “Oh, That’s Why That’s a Cliche!

1) Revelation #1: Long story short— my coworker and I were blamed by a patient for unfairly helping another patient at the first patient’s expense. I have learned that I literally cannot make everyone happy, even if my colleagues and I are trying our very best to do so.

2) Adding on to revelation #1: I have to remember not to take things too personally and not to ruminate on how bad I feel about disappointing someone. It reminds me to help people NOT because I gain validation and appreciation but because I truly do care for them. I have to be willing to help, even if I know someone does not like me or he/she might have a negative response.

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3) Revelation #2: It’s easy to revert back to my former self when I’m back at home with my family. Sometimes I forget that I don’t “have to” be the baby of the family and I don’t have to bicker with family like I used to.

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4) Revelation #3: I find little things a lot funnier than I did when I was a teenager (yes, I know I just became a non-teen 2 months ago). Older folks have so many funny antics and hilarious things to say! Sometimes they’re not the nicest, but that applies to human beings in general.

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5) Revelation #4: I find it easier to understand why people act/react in inhospitable ways, especially as I work in a healthcare setting, and I thus feel a little less offended if someone is rude towards me. Not that rudeness is justified, but it can be more understandable.

6) Adding onto revelation #4: I’m (more often, but not always) slower to judge others by isolated character flaws.

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6) Revelation #5: The more I learn about others’ hard realities and the stresses that everyone works through in order to “make it”, the easier it becomes to despair sometimes. But there is a difference between empathy and straight up despair. Despair doesn’t help anyone. I cannot justify my sulking just because everyone else is sulking. Get out of your hole (and it’s okay to ask for help!), and someone else might be inspired to pick up his/her head as well.

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7) Adding onto revelation #5: Spread joy. ← I used to cringe at how cliche and grossly cheesy that phrase is, but the world can never, ever get enough of it. I don’t know about you, but a genuine smile or compliment can seriously make my day.

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8) Revelation #6: You want to be loved. I want to be loved. The person next door wants to be loved. Everyone wants to be loved, so START LOVING. Don’t wait on others. How to love is a whole ‘nother post (or two).

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9) Revelation #7: Cliches remain cliches until you realize why they’re cliches. Then they become ingrained life lessons. But of course, just because I learned these lessons a few times doesn’t mean that I don’t completely ignore them and allow my selfish/itch-bay side come out at times. #It’sAProcess

10) Revelation #8: GIFs are my favorite modern way of communicating the inner recesses of my brain.

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Hope you have a marvelous Thursday! Just love (like Us the Duo says in this great song):

So tell me:

What are some revelations you’ve had as you became/are becoming a grownup? Can you relate to any of mine here?

What is one cliche that is particularly relevant in your life right now?

Something that has brought you joy this past week!

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joining Amanda’s party today!