Sharing Food and Sharing Life in NYC

I am wearing fuchsia yoga pants right now and I feel fabulous.

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trying not to pull my tight hamstrings

I decided to attend ballet class at my old dance school tonight last night, but I don’t think I fit into any of my leotards and tights anymore. Ergo, these bright and fun capris! I never wear this color, but I’m a fan.

(Thanks for buying them for me, Madre ♥︎)

These past couple of days I have been meeting up with a few friends to share food and share life. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in college, it’s how to be a better listener and sharer. Last year, I developed a deeper and much more sincere interest in other people’s lives (especially people I don’t know that well).

I’ve also come to believe more that my own life experiences are worth sharing in conversation. I mean, I share my life to the whole world on this blog, but no one has to read it if he or she doesn’t want to. In real time conversation, however, I used to be afraid to talk about my life because I didn’t think it was interesting or that the other person wouldn’t care. Sometimes that’s true, but you never know which little stories could turn into great conversations.  It sparks human connection. I’ve said it before: Your story matters and it’s beautiful!

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Anyway, let’s talk about Monday. It started off with breakfast, an 8 minute ab workout, and a train ride to Grand Central.

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whipped banana oatmeal: 1/2 c. oats, half banana, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, chia seeds, an egg, and peanut butter

I was on my way to see my girl Colby, who was one of my cabin-mates at Blend Retreat last year! We met up at Grand Central before walking to The Picnic Basket for some bomb-dig sandwiches.

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French Goat Cheese – chicken, sundried tomato pesto, grilled zucchini, figs, tomatoes and fresh greens on multigrain

This thing was massive and so tasty. I ate one half and saved the other half for later (ended up being Pop’s dinner on the train ride home!). Then it was time for the 50+ block walk to get the beloved…

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Lloyd’s carrot cake! Remember when Ben and I detoured to get this over Thanksgiving break? Colby saw my snapchat at the time and told me she wanted in on it.

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I wasn’t mad about it.

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does she love me or the carrot cake?

We housed our hefty slices of carrot cake WITH raisins and walnuts (major key) while our fingers froze off. FUNNY STORY: When we were walking back, we stopped at a Barnes and Noble to use the restroom, and my fingers were so cold that I couldn’t re-button my jeans. I am telling you, I could. not. do it. My fingers were deprived of the energy to do any sort of fine motor movements. Luckily, I was wearing a big ol’ belt, so I just buckled that over the button and called it a solution.

Moving on.

We walked only 20-ish blocks back before we decided to take the subway to Grand Central where Colby and I parted ways. It was such a privilege to spend the day with this girl! She is so genuine and kind, and I admire her balanced outlook on food and fitness.

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From there, I had two hours to kill before dinner with my lovely friend, Christine. After half an hour of catching up with some things on my phone, I explored Grand Central.

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casual squash tournament of champions going down

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Grand Central Apple Store

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Grand Central Market

You literally have everything you need there.

My phone was running low on battery, so I walked to a Duane Reade pharmacy and stood awkwardly behind a wall of paper towels and nail polish to charge my phone at an outlet. Then it was time for dinner at Lan Larb with Christine!

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spicy basil pork with rice

I thought I was still full from carrot cake until I finished this whole thing. I guess that’s what walking over 23,000 steps does to ya!

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p.s. I never check this app, but I was interested on Monday since we walked so much!

It was so fun catching up with Christine and having some great girl talk. She is such a sweetheart (with substantial sass!).

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I need lessons from Christine on how to pose in photos

Bonus: Yesterday I met up with an old friend from high school for lunch! She was kind enough to reach out to me so we could catch up.

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tuna cucumber and eel avocado roll (my faves!)

And that, my friends, is how to share food and share life. 

Just kidding, do it however you like. This was all a grand time though. I am so grateful for good people and nourishment.

So tell me:

Are you an open book, closed book, or somewhere in between when it comes to sharing life stories in conversation? I’m still somewhere in between, but I’m more of an open book than before! Also depends on the person/context obviously. Fun fact: I used to be more introverted, but according to my most recent Myers-Briggs test, I’m an extravert!

Have your fingers ever been SO cold that you literally couldn’t move them?

What is the best thing you ate Monday/yesterday? The carrot cake for me. Duh.

The brightest color of clothing you own!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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The Groupon came with four desserts, ok?

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

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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!).

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{PC: @neivy}

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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and those sweet potato fries

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

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stop smiling, Rachel, it’s too early

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

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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?

The Great NYC Food Tour {A Story}

Once upon a time {yesterday}, three diverse Boston University girls took on NYC…

The first {Asian} girl named Alison rolled out of bed early to prepare two banana bread breakfast bakes for herself and her {White} friend named Rachel, who was still snoozing. Once breakfast was ready, they dabbled and dolloped on the toppings.

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Rachel went for Nutella and almond butter

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Alison went for Greek yogurt and three different types of nut butter (Nuttzo Power Fuel, peanut butter, almond butter)

After watching the Today Show and thinking about how they were going to be right where the Today Show is filmed in just a couple hours, the two girls took a train down to Grand Central…

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Alison attempted to be a good tour guide by leading the way, but she ended up walking around the whole block in a circle. Eventually though, the two friends were on their way to lunch with a pit stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller…

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As they kept walking, their noses were able to follow the smell of THE famous Halal Guys on 53rd and 6th. They waited in line and happily devoured {most of} their chicken and rice bowls…

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With very happy bellies, Rachel and Alison meandered over to Times Square, where they were mega tourists, stopping by a couple of stores, M&M World, Hershey World, the Disney Store…

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The third {African American} girl named Jordan met up with them at the four-story Forever 21 in Times Square a little later. They shopped around and took another tourist photo before heading to Chobani SoHo

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As a fun afternoon snack, the three ladies each got a special Chobani creation, both sweet and savory…

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From top clockwise: {savory for Alison} Red Pepper Harissa, Feta, Mint, Black Pepper, Olive Oil with Simit Chips // {savory for Jordan} Avocado, Mango, Cilantro, Lime, Olive Oil with Blue Corn Tortilla Chips // {sweet for Rachel} Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, Orange, Mint, Honey

The experience was quite delightful for all three of them. With souvenir Chobani cups in tow, the girls walked around and explored SoHo, including the Samsung Galaxy Store, where they virtually traveled the world…

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After more walking through minor rainfall and a quest for a bathroom in NYC, the girls trekked to Il Laboratorio di Gelato (aka the cutest and coolest gelato place ever) for dessert before dinner. Oh, but a quick step into Rice to Riches was necessary, just for some sampling…

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Please note the toppings called “Jesus droppings”

Finally at the gelato lab…

laboratorio gelato

The flavor choices overwhelmed the three girls (flavors such as avocado, pink peppercorn, earl grey, pumpkin, turkish fig, kaffir lime, passionfruit sorbet, and dark chocolate orange) so they obnoxiously asked for samples of nearly everything before deciding on what to buy…

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Alison asked the employees for their flavor recommendations and decided on fresh mint, hazelnut amaretto crunch, and toasted almond. A fine choice indeed.

Jordan led the way to the Economy Candy Store just for nostalgia, since it has every candy you could ever imagine. If you thought we would be too full for dinner at this point, you are mistaken. Jordan continued to lead the way to Vanessa’s Dumplings, which had rave reviews on Yelp…

vanessas dumplings

The girls’ wallets were relieved that everything was $5 and under…

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8 handmade, boiled cabbage and pork dumplings dipped in sriracha for $3

Dinner hit the spot, and the girls made their way back to Grand Central, where Rachel and Alison parted ways from Jordan. All the eating, walking, standing, and smiling made Alison dead meat…

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But nothing a half-hour nap on the train can’t fix! She even ate more when she got home…

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simple salad and some brussels sprouts for some greens

Alison chatted with her family and Rachel for the rest of the evening as she typed up this story. She finished and took a shower, preparing for another adventure far, far away {NYC again}. After ten years of living in New York, she finally realized how amazing the Big Apple really is.

The end.

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Sharing this {true} tale on Armans blog!

So tell me: 

Once upon a time {yesterday}, I ate ______, and it was _______.

The most fun thing that happened yesterday!

My First Time {At Chipotle}

Good morning!

This is the last week before spring break, and I can hardly stand it. Last week I said I had two field trips and a college visit on Friday, but that has decreased to one field trip and a college visit. I decided to pull out of one of the trips so I wouldn’t be too stressed over making up work.

Not gonna lie, I had a mini breakdown on Saturday morning because I was overwhelmed by all the things I had to do this weekend and the fact that I haven’t been getting that much sleep. Not insomnia or anything. Just overall, I was fatigued and not a fan of getting up early on Saturday and Sunday after long days and late nights. I mean, everything that happened this weekend was super fun, but at the same time, I just wanted to slow down and rest. I didn’t need to cry, but I just vented to madre, and I felt much better afterwards.

It’s weird— I wouldn’t cry if I didn’t have anyone to talk to, but once I get the words flowing, the tears follow shortly after.

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[source]

It is springtime.

Other than that episode of typical Alison, my busy weekend was still nothing short of marvelous!

MiMM

Thanks for hosting, Katie!

Friday

I received this Polar Loop activity tracker in the mail on Thursday because I won it from Gina‘s giveaway a while ago (luckiest win I’ve ever scored)!

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I don’t need it for any reason in particular, but I’ve been wearing it for the past few days to see what it has to say about my activity throughout the day. Since I don’t have the heart rate monitor with it, I know it doesn’t show the most accurate readings, especially when it comes to calories (seriously, I don’t pay attention to those counts at all). I don’t completely know how to work the thing yet in terms of setting daily goals and such; I apparently need to walk, jog and jump, like, an extra hour every day, even if I’ve been dancing and walking ALL DAY. Yeah, no. I’ll probably end up giving it to mom for her walking/running ventures.

It makes for a pretty sleek watch though!

Moves

I headed to the gym after school to do a bodyweight upper body workout that looked like this:

5 min. row warmup + supersets of the following:

  • 15 TRX rows + 10 TRX pike pushups
  • 20 tricep dips + different pushup variations
  • 10 TRX bicep curls + 10 BOSU pushups
  • 40 sec. pulling down on the rope machine + 40 sec. pulling up on rope machine

I may or may not have done some core exercises. I forget!

After a quick, but necessary, afternoon nap, my friends from company, Livv and Jane, went to our other friends’ (from company) senior high school musical production of Legally Blonde! We actually bought the last three tickets available, so we were sitting in the very back corner of the theater, laughing our heads off and making comments at everything like little rascals. 😉 It was such a great show though!

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Thanks for this beautiful selfie, Livv. Freaks in the back of the theater.

Saturday

Up and at ’em at 8:20 AM (okay, that’s not that early, but this girl was still exhausted) for an altar server meeting at 8:45 AM.

After getting back, I made a comforting bowl of banana oats with Greek yogurt and sunflower seed butter. The usual.

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I maneuver my spoon to save the nut butter for last 😉

Then it was off to assisting dance class at 11 AM, followed by my very last Saturday modern class of my high school career. 😦 It was a great, challenging class. After that, most of company (some people had prior engagements) walked over to the train station to go the city. We had a performance at Peridance that evening!

Once we got to Grand Central, we subbed it over to Union Square, where I had this stuff for the first time:

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Is Chipotle popular or something?

I finally “lost my Chipotle virginity” (<—my dad is so creeped out that I said that), and it was fantastic. The guac mountain was as good as people say it is. I must have gotten a little excited and asked for way too much food, because this bowl easily turned into THREE meals (lunch, dinner, and then lunch the next day) for myself. Now that’s a deal!

We made a Starbucks stop and then hung out at the park for a bit before going to the Peridance Center for warmup, tech rehearsal, and the performance, which started at 8:30 PM. Luckily, we were third in the program, so once we finished performing, we booked it out of there. Girls were beat from the long day.

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No, this isn’t part of our dance. We’re just weird.

Before catching the train back home though, we were craving something…

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Shake Shack vanilla frozen custard. Creaminess factor was unreal.

Sunday

That alarm could not have sounded worse at 7:40 AM. Dad and I had a religious education faculty meeting at 8:30, so that happened, followed by teaching per usual. I do love teaching, so there is no complaining there! I attended 11:30 AM Mass afterwards.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day yesterday, so I took a short study break to do some sun salutations and random burpees outside. The Polar Loop was also urging me to move around, so I thought, heyyy why not? 

A two hour nap also took place, which was just what my body needed.

I baked.

I did homework.

I read blogs.

I typed this.

I ate dinner.

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Spinach, soba noodles, curry chicken, sriracha

And then I realized: Life is wonderful. And I’m such a drama queen for crying about it.

I’ll work on it 😉

Happy Monday, friends!

So tell me:

Do you like Chipotle?

What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

Do you just cry sometimes? Please make me feel like less of a baby.

What did you do this weekend?