Work Hard, Rest Hard

It finally happened this summer.

I went to bed at an ungodly hour on a Saturday night and woke up at 11. Ughhhhh.

I’m not too mad about it though, because I got to spend some quality time with high school friends who I hadn’t seen in forever.

Other weekend happenings:

Thursday

Not part of the weekend, but I made some good food that night! “Made” = throwing things in a bowl. Like this salad with baby kale mix, leftover sautéed brussels sprouts, sweet cherry tomatoes, sliced beets (from a can ➔ college d-hall memories), and avocado.

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Late night baking adventures involved Amanda’s Greek yogurt banana oat bread! I baked it in two 8×8 pans to speed up the baking time since it was late (and I’m impatient).

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I brought most of the banana bread to work on Friday, and it disappeared by the end of the day! I was that girl who brought whole grains into the midst of (freaking delicious) brownies and chocolate chip cookies.

Friday

You know when you’re go-go-go all day, and then you finally sit down? Then you realize that you never ever want to move your butt off that chair? That was my Friday after work.

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[source]

But I love days like that (after I get to sit down).

Part of the hustlin’ day included cooking up a hearty dinner. I baked some chicken thighs with half a sliced onion, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of artichokes, lots of garlic, oregano, fresh basil, sweet cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper, then topped with fresh mozzarella near the end of baking.

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that broiled, crispy mozzarella is magical

Then I boiled some whole wheat spaghetti for the base.

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TGIF.

These babies also happened:

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balsamic roasted brussels sprouts (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper @ 400F for ~30 min)

Whenever I roast vegetables, I eat my fill straight off the pan when they come out of the oven. 😀

Saturday

Early morning overnight oat smoothie bowl (almond milk, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, cinnamon, blueberries, frozen banana, vanilla protein powder, greens + granola on top) before some praying and morning Mass.

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I came back home and napped before movin’ and groovin’ in the backyard. I didn’t have too much time, so I did 5 rounds of Jess’ KILLER 1000 rep workout. I used two 15# kettlebells and a 36# bar, so I made some substitutions:

This workout is quite difficult in an AC’d gym. HALF of this workout is MADNESS in the humid heat. God bless naps and rest days that allowed me to power through that.

I definitely snacked on some brussels sprouts and tomatoes before that workout too.

After showering in cold water, I headed to lunch with two of my good high school friends, Sam and Je’lyn! We met up at The Beehive for sandwiches (after a long bout of menu indecisiveness).

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I went with the turkey club (oven roasted turkey, thick cut bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pesto mayo) + side salad. I was hungry, so I wanted something hearty. I got what I wanted, because I think the earth shook when this landed on our table:

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thinking, “is this all three of our orders on one plate?”

A double-decker, half-foot-long (maybe longer) turkey freaking CLUB.

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Literally three meals. I had this portion you see in this photo (eaten as a single decker + an open-faced sandwich), Ben had another portion for his dinner that night, and I had the last portion yesterday for brunch. Talk about a deal!

The three of us caught up on our lives and had great conversation before heading home. I hung out with Ben for a bit, ate some frozen bananas and kettle corn, and then we went to Mass (counting for Sunday Mass). I was still pretty full from my late lunch/late snack, so I ate veggies and crackers with hummus for a light snack.

I dropped off Ben at the train station since he had his first overnight work shift in the city on Saturday night. Oof.

While he was over there making dough, I was spending dough on ice cream with Sam, Michael and Jordan. More long-since-seen friends!

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blueberry cheesecake + captain crunch berry ice cream

Village Creamery is amazing.

Sam invited us over to hang out at her house. We vegged out on her couches and chatted for several hours. Later in the night, Sam gave me a Tim Tam and made me Vegemite toast, since she just got back from studying abroad in Australia (‘Straya)!

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Vegemite smells like stale bread.

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You’re supposed to butter the toast and add a super thin layer of Vegemite. Verdict? I like it! It’s just…salty. Like, extra salty buttered toast with a hint of yeast flavor. I understand why no one can really explain what it tastes like.

Arman, are you proud!?

I got home at around 1, had a dance party by myself in the kitchen, reminisced on old blog posts for old time’s sake, and went to bed after 2:30 AM. I am fully culpable for messing up my sleep schedule.

Sunday

I got up at 8 AM first to pick up Ben from the train station. Then we both hit the hay again, and I woke up at almost 11.

Big brunch it was!

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last of the turkey club with extra greens and sriracha + unpictured brussels sprouts and cherry tomatoes

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a small piece of banana bread baked oatmeal + blueberries

I decided to truly embrace Sunday as the day of rest (something that I need to work on). I watched Food Network while typing this post for a couple hours, went on a long walk, danced a little, did some reading…

“Work hard, play hard” is fun, but “work hard, rest hard” is what I needed.

Madre and Pop were away for the weekend in California for a family function, so after they arrived back home last night, we went to (a Groupon) dinner at Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse.

Me to Ben: “I don’t know if I’m ready for that much meat.”

If you’re not familiar with Brazilian Rodizio, it’s essentially meat on demand. Waiters come around to your table with giant skewers of various meats and sausages, and you can just say “yes” or “no” to the meat that arrives.

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red side of the card for “no meat, please” // green side of the card for “please bring me dat meat”

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They slice off a piece of the meat for you, and you use your personal mini tongs to grab it. So interactive, I love it.

There’s a salad bar buffet, where you can fill your plate with fresh accompaniments for your plethora of meats.

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And there are these complimentary Brazilian. cheese. puffs.

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These pao de queijo were so incredible that we asked for a second basket. Madre, Ben and I each had three, ignoring most of the other side dishes. They’re made with tapioca flour, which makes them the DOUGHIEST little nuggets of gold you ever tasted. I definitely Googled how to make them when I got home, which was a great yet terrible move, because I learned that they’re so easy to make…Cheese puffs ALL THE TIME.

Other side dishes that came with the meal included some superb rice, baked beans, pickle-y salsa, yucca flour (??), and fried bananas (← we ate as dessert).

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I must have tried 8 different meats, but my favorites were the top sirloin, chicken, bacon-wrapped turkey, and beef rib. They also had some bomb grilled pineapple at the end!

Me: “I think I’m going to go vegetarian for the rest of this week.”

^^^Lies.

What a wonderful dining experience to end the weekend!

Now Ben and I are skipping around between watching Sharknado (the most horrendously bizarre show I’ve ever laid eyes on), American Ninja Warrior, and Harry Potter. I’m also baking some more banana bread baked oatmeal for the week!

Hope you all have a delightful Monday!

So tell me:

Two things you did this weekend!

What are your favorite rest activities (oxymoron, I know)? Baking, walking, meditating, and jamming out to music are my faves.

What is the biggest sandwich you’ve ever ordered? 

Have you ever had Brazilian Rodizio? 

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No Hunger, No Problem

Did any of you watch the CrossFit Games this past week!?

In-freaking-sane. I was on the edge of my seat eating kettle corn watching these superhumans do the impossible.

In other news…

Three of my high school dance company friends got together for a reunion at Bareburger. It had been forever since I’d seen Pam and Charli (I saw Susie not too long ago in the city), and it was so fun catching up with these girls! We’re all talking about our jobs and intense research projects these days. TOO MUCH (quasi-)ADULTING.

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what radiant women

As Charli said, we came with our eager stomachs for some kickass burgers. Pam also spotted these incredible brussels sprouts on the menu that we shared. Get this: brussels sprouts with sriracha, blue cheese, pork belly, and butternut squash.

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Whoever thought of this combo is out of his/her mind, yet so brilliant. For my burger, I got the El Matador: bison burger, queso fresco, pickled jalapeños, guac, pico de gallo, and green leaf lettuce on a sprout bun.

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it looks like a guacamole sandwich tower at first sight, which is very pleasing

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Demolished that.

Warning: the rest of this is going to be very first world problem. 

When my family went out for our Groupon dinner (that was postponed last week) at North Street Tavern after Mass, I was not hungry at all. Lunch at Bareburger was fatty and filling, but it was also pretty late (we finished at around 3:30).

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I could have eaten a salad at Bareburger, but I didn’t want to be “that person” to order salad at a burger place, especially while dining with good friends. Not that they would have judged me, but I knew that we chose this reunion to be at Bareburger for a reason (read: dang delicious burgers).

I also really wanted a burger because I had just worked out and I wanted hearty foooooood.

If I’m honest, I was almost…disappointed that I was so full by the time dinner rolled around. We were about to eat at this fancy restaurant, and I had zero desire for any food. This would have stressed me out to NO END a couple years ago.

“Why did I eat so much at lunch? I will definitely only have a salad now. Maybe I just shouldn’t eat at all. Should I just try to stuff all this food?”

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crab cakes with mango salsa for the table to share ➔ 1/2 a cake for each person

But as intro anatomy taught me, rest and digest is the way to go. It’s easier said than done for some of us (trust me), but there’s no need to stress over food. In my recovery, there was a weird phase where I unsure whether I was stuffed because I actually overate or because I just needed to adjust to this new amount of food that I should be eating. This made me hyper-attentive to my stomach at all times, and I would stress about having to eat a certain amount for each meal, even if I wasn’t that hungry.

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tuna tartare ➔ mom shared a bite with me

Sometimes that anxiety still creeps up on me, even though I’m certain that I’m eating a healthy amount overall. Or maybe it’s just anxiety that I need to eat all this good food while it’s in front of me. Either way, I’ve learned to CHILL.

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mom’s fave: sweet potato fries ➔ I had a few of these

If I’m not hungry at all, no one is forcing me to eat. Don’t eat. If I have a few bites of food— because, hey, I’m at a nice restaurant with my family— that’s still okay. God gave us food to live and to enjoy, but He definitely did not give it to us to stress over it.

If you’ve struggled with food in any way, you know that it’s hard to naturally accept those thoughts “like a normal person”, but I can attest that it is possible to work through it.

Luckily for me, the rest of the family didn’t have nearly as much food as I did during the day, so they were ready for this meal.

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my wood-fired personal pizza with roasted red peppers, mushrooms, ricotta, and basil ➔ 2 slices of this

As I relaxed into the meal more, I found that my appetite started to appear (it had been ~4 hours since I finished at Bareburger by then).

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a bite or two of Ben’s lobster mac and cheese

I knew to save room for dessert, don’t you worry. This I finished all by myself.

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carrot cake!

A few disclaimers:

  1. We ordered so much food because the Groupon was worth a LOT.
  2. Hooray for leftovers.
  3. We are humbly grateful to have so much delicious food available to us.
  4. We also don’t usually eat out every weekend, but I dunno, I guess we have Groupons to use.

Other eats at home have involved peanut butter and banana (but I didn’t need to say that).

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brown rice breakfast bowl

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overnight oat smoothie with blueberries added in

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whole wheat banana pancakes for Sunday morning breakfast

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topped with Greek yogurt, nut butter, and blueberries

I also taught Ben how to make and eat avocado egg toast. It is truly an art and a skill. Let me know if you want a tutorial.

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I’d say the young lad needs a bit more practice, but not bad for a rookie.

Hope you all have an awesome Monday! Rest and digest.

So tell me: 

Thoughts on this first world problem of mine.

What was your Sunday morning breakfast?

Did you watch the CrossFit Games?

What are you thankful for today? Well, if I do indeed wake up after I go to sleep tonight (typing this Sunday night), then I’m thankful for another day of life and for the opportunity to go a job that I find enjoyable and fulfilling.

 

I’m Okay With That

Hi!

I feel like I’ve been off my blogging groove since there were a million and one things going on last week. Senior scavenger hunt, prom, after prom, graduation, and graduation parties…Phew! I seriously cannot believe that all happened within a week. I haven’t cried yet, but I have to admit that I’m getting pretty sad that everything is over.

Once I start shopping for dorm bedding…that’s when it gets real.

Well this weekend has been all about celebration, which meant a heck of a lot of food! When I think about my mentality towards food and fitness, I’ve made enormous progress between last year and this year, and definitely between two years ago and this year. If I was surrounded by all this food in the midst of my eating disorder, I probably would have locked myself in my room. Maybe not actually, but I would have gone insane trying to avoid it all.

This weekend, I was so happy to think, “I’m okay with that” for so many things {some food- and fitness-related, some weird-Alison-related}.

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Partying this Monday morning with the lovely Katie!

Friday

I woke up near noon, and I’m {more than} okay with that. I added more sunflower seed butter on top of my overnight oats, even though there was some on the bottom already. I mean, why not? My moves: a brisk, peaceful four mile walk with mom at the park. Nothing intense, and I’m okay with that.

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I still can’t do a dead hang pull up, but I’m okay with that. ‘Cause that’s flippin’ difficult.

But I can do toes to bar now!

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I ate delicious fried hors d’oeuvres at Lauren’s graduation party, and I’m okay with that. (There were fried broccoli and cheese bites, whaaaaat??)

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I filled my plate with a LOT of food, and I finished nearly everything. I’m okay with that. Maybe not at that moment though, since I immediately started dancing afterwards…bleh.

I busted some moves and grooves in the middle of the dance floor, and I’m {obviously} okay with that. Not sure if others were though. 😉

Saturday

I woke up late again and ate a normal-sized breakfast, even though I knew I had a big graduation luncheon coming up at 1 PM. I’m okay with that because I need nut butter in my life.

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I embraced the rich, amazing food at Je’lyn’s lovely graduation party at Morton’s Steakhouse.

I was really okay with the huge, cheesy crouton on this Caesar salad. You would be okay with it too, trust me.

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Also okay with that fresh parm. Mmm.

I used a good amount of the mustard mayo that came on the side with these crab cakes, and I’m okay with that. It’s not pictured here, but there was a small gravy boat of the mayo that came later!

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I devoured most of this key lime pie {crust was the best part of course}, and I’m okay with that.

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Then I hopped on over to Kristi’s graduation party (’tis the season for grad parties)!

I was super full when I got there, but after a couple hours, I ate some chips and a piece of cake. Sugar high? YUP. But I was okay with that. That cake was stellar.

My only moves the whole day was jumping on Kristi’s trampoline, and I’m okay with that. I had a blast!

Even though I ate a lot of crap that day, I knew I never really had a proper dinner, so I ate a midnight snack of veggies, chicken, and an isolated spoonful of almond butter. I’m okay with that.

Sunday

I was somehow hungry for breakfast. Hey, I ♥ breakfast, I’m cool with that!

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cookie dough cereal from Fitnessista

I had a nectarine with my cookie dough cereal, just because it was ripe and I wanted it. Summer in a juicy fruit? Heck yeah, I’m okay with that.

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I went to Mass by myself since my parents and bro went Saturday night while I was party-hopping. Just thought I’d chuck that in there since it was an important part of my day.

Moves: Lori and Michelle’s 18 min. plank workout done in my room. It never seems to get easier, but I’m okay with that because it gives me something to work on.

In the afternoon we went to hang out with Victoria, her friend Eric, and her family in the city!

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Didn’t get a picture with Victoria and/or her family. Whoops.

We had an early dinner at Peking Roast Duck, which was okay with me because I had a wonky, light lunch.

I tried a little bit of everything, and it was all fantastic. Especially the duck.

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I had so much meat during that meal, but I’m okay with that. Putting my carnivore teeth to good use.

I had about ⅔ of my order of Moo Shu Chicken. ‘TWAS THE BOMB.

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Victoria’s dad had the awesome idea to order everything sans salt, and everything ended up tasting perfect! My fellow Asians tend to use a heavy hand with the salt.

I ate dried figs with Greek yogurt at 11 PM, because I love that stuff, and I’m okay with that.

So yes, I was definitely more than okay with this weekend. Not all my food choices were healthy, but that’s life. Sometimes ya just have to say, “Guatever.” 🙂

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

So tell me:

What is something you’re okay with now, but were not okay with in the past?

What has your exercise looked like recently? 

Graduated

We did it!!!

I knew we would…most of the time.

Last night’s commencement exercises were short and sweet, just how everyone likes ’em. All the speeches and words of wisdom were so inspiring and thoughtful!

The first half of the ceremony was actually terrifying for me since my heartbeat was sprinting away from me as I waited to deliver my speech. At the very beginning of the ceremony, I also messed up the words to the alma mater when I sang it on stage with the rest of the chorus members. Woooooo.

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Sam, the salutatorian, delivered a wonderful, funny speech to welcome everyone to the commencement. When it came time for my speech, I breathed my first sigh of relief when I made it on stage without face-planting the floor in my high heels. Then I breathed a second sigh of relief when some people laughed at my bad jokes. Finally, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I finished the speech.

PS— when my principal introduced me, he mentioned THE BLOG.

PPS— I’m quiet??

PPPS— Here is my brother’s quasi-rap commencement speech from 2011. If you want to laugh, watch it!

Of course I had to make my speech about social media, right?

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My mom was all over the place last night. If she wasn’t snapping photos of me in the back, she was manning the video camera. The school should have just hired her to be the pro photographer of the evening.

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I think I’m finally starting to get a little emotional about this whole leaving high school thing. At least I have three graduation parties this weekend!

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Pam! Dance and school buddies since the beginning.

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Jeannine and Veronica (we were missing Je’lyn!)

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The Times Square after-prom crew

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Brianna, Kristi, and Sam (amazing salutatorian!)

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Thank you for coming, Sister Sandy and Auntie Earnest!

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Proud to follow in his footsteps

I kept telling people during the commencement ceremony: “I’m hungry.” So I was more than ready to eat some (read: a crapton of) sushi at my favorite restaurant afterwards!

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I also requested Cold Stone ice cream afterwards. Dad, Ben, and I shared a “gotta have it” (large) size of mint ice cream mixed with oreos. If you ever go to Cold Stone, have that combination— you won’t regret it.

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It was like mint cookies and cream!! How could you say no?

This post is uber late today because a) I was spending all last night uploading photos to Facebook; b) I slept until almost noon today. Hello, summertime sleep schedule! 😉

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you have a fantastic weekend.

So tell me: 

…I dunno…What are you doing this weekend??

Behind the Scenes #23: Prom

Well, hello, world! I have so much to tell you about this week, so it’s perfect that today is Thursday because…

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with the wonderful Amanda!

1) Prom. It happened on Tuesday-Wednesday. And it was awesome.

2) Except for the fact that I had to go to two hair salons. Long story short: at the first salon, the lady that was supposed to do my hair was not there, so the lady that usually does nails did my hair instead…and it didn’t turn out quite as envisioned. I was getting flustered and dramatic about it, but mom was cool as a cucumber and took me to a more trusted salon to get it fixed. Yes, we should have gone to the more trusted salon first, but we thought we would dabble with the cheaper salon. Hmm.

3) My mom hosted this snazzy pre-pre-prom party at our house so we could take some of the standard prom pictures. Per usual, she made a plethora of food, which was a huge hit.

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Yes, my mom put those balloons up herself just for the occasion.

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I put on the boutonniere incorrectly apparently. At least I didn’t poke Michael!

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Charlie’s Angels? Eh.

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4) Everyone looked INCREDIBLE. Like, my school’s got some style.

5) ‘Twas a windy night, but the weather was perfect. If it were any warmer, we all would have been sweaty and nasty.

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5) Dance, eat, chat, eat, repeat! The food was really good at prom, and the make-your-own ice cream sundae station at the end made me pretty happy. 😀

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Photo boothin’

I still need a foot massage from dancing in heels all night.

6) At 11 PM, when prom ended, I was BEAT. I could not fathom the fact that Daliza, Jordan (her date), Michael, and I were going to NYC for another 6 hours afterwards. I kinda wished we could just sleep and go to after-prom the day later, but that would not complete the prom experience…whatever the heck that is anyway.

7) A majority of our classmates went on a boat around NYC, but we opted to (*ahem* stay sober) have our own adventure on land in Times Square.

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After prom on St. Patrick's Cathedral steps. #turnup

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After-prom on St. Patrick’s Cathedral steps #TURNUP

8) No, seriously, our little foursome had a blast. We played hide ‘n’ seek in Times Square!!! Rules: Between 42nd and 45th street, only on 7th ave, only outside. Fun times!

9) We also ate halal food from THE famous Halal Guys on 6th and 53rd as fuel for the next 5 hours. And I totally got a second wind, so I actually wasn’t tired in NYC!

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10) We got back to my house at around 7 AM (yah, I know), and then we took naps and watched High School Musical 3. Party animals.

11) I’m graduating today!!! I have a speech to deliver?…Meep.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

So tell me:

Did you go to prom in high school?

When was the latest you’ve stayed up?

What would you do for after prom?