Marathon Monday 2017

PJ: “Marathon Monday is the most American day of the year.”

Me: “Even more so than Fourth of July?”

PJ: “Definitely.”

After this year, I can actually believe him. Marathon Monday, aka Patriot’s Day (technically, vice versa) was yesterday, and it was as awe-inspiring, patriotic, and fun as ever!

I’m sure many of you know that the Boston Marathon is a pretty huge deal, and we students at Boston University have the privilege of getting the day off classes watching the participants charge right through our campus.

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LOTS of police security

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If you missed coverage of it, here are 12 must-see things moments from the marathon. My friends and I got to see Jose Luis Sanchez (a marine who lost his leg and ran the race with a prosthetic leg while holding a LARGE American flag) run to the finish. It was incredible. Everyone who participated is incredible.

Marathon Monday is also a notorious drinking day for the young, 21+ adults of Boston, but that’s much less important.

My day started early with more peanut butter, banana, strawberry overnight oats (it’s good to be back).

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Then I headed to my friend Lauren’s place to watch them celebrate Marathon Monday the way young adults do 🙂

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applause for those leggings, please

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After a couple hours of hangin’ out, I headed back to my apartment to study for an hour and nap, because I have been the worst at letting myself sleep at night lately.

I woke up feeling refreshed and then scarfed down a quick lunch before meeting back up with the crew on their way to see our friend/Rachel’s boyfriend, Austin, at the finish line!

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As always, we had a grand ol’ time cheering on all the runners/cyclists. It’s not a Marathon Monday without losing your voice a little bit. But we were truly the loudest kids on the block when we saw Austin coming!

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Congrats, Austin!! He got pretty badly dehydrated but still finished in 3:45:15. What a champ.

The rest of us were just like, “Our feet hurt from standing. Let’s go eat.”

Afterwards, I went back home to study a little bit more and do a quick workout in the apartment:

4 rounds for time:

  • 10 pushup burpees
  • 20 jump lunges
  • 15 pushups
  • 30 mountain climbers each leg
  • 40 air squat to side leg lifts

It took just under 19 minutes to complete. That’s about the extent of my stamina right there.

Then I rushed out to meet PJ for dinner at Saloniki Greek in Fenway!

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It’s kinda like a Greek version of Chipotle or Subway, except a little more gourmet. I got “The George”, which had spicy Colorado lamb meatballs, charred eggplant spread, zesty garlic yogurt, secret sauce, greens, tomato, cucumber, Greek fries, and I added some broken olive tapenade, all in a homemade pita.

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It was giant and so delicious. I [slowly but surely, and very messily] finished every last bite. Thank you again for treating, PJ!

Of course, we had to end with dessert, so we went to Cafe 472 for frozen yogurt. I got the apple pie flavor with granola on top. This isn’t like other froyo, guys. This is more like a massive soft-serve-blizzard-type deal.

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I also finished every last bite of that. Look at this sunset we got to witness while we ate!

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Goodness gracious, I love you, Boston.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

So tell me:

Did you follow the marathon at all? What were your favorite parts if you did?

Best thing you ate yesterday! That pita for sure.

Good News, Bad News

What a week!

As the title suggests, things have been an ever-exciting cocktail of highs and lows. Life is a rickety wooden roller coaster, but fortunately, those are my favorite kinds of rides. Also, there is more good news than bad news!

Good News – Gross anatomy exams went so well last week! I am grateful for intelligent and motivating classmates/friends who helped me through that intense study period.

Good News – The men at the Catholic Center put on an incredible “Women’s Appreciation Night” last Thursday, complete with real plates and silverware, a three course meal, and SWING DANCING. Chivalry is not dead!

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look how dressed up they are!

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that bacon-wrapped chicken was bomb

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shoutout to Evan and Veronica for giving the swing dance lesson (and to all the guys for actually dancing with us – I tried hard to not be the leader 😀 )

Are we queens or what!?

Bad News – Megan and I have found SIX cockroaches in our apartment in the past two weeks. The first one was not cool, the second one was a problem, and the next four have been borderline traumatizing.

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And she really did leave a singular rain boot for me in the kitchen.

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As well as the delicious corn bread, which made matters slightly better.

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We finally just called Emergency Facilities yesterday, so they’re coming to fumigate the place today.

We’re clean people, we promise! We also tried spraying the place ourselves, but apparently, using bug killer spray on the perimeter of the floors just makes the roaches crawl on the walls and on top of the refrigerator (!!!????!?@#$!@#%!).

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How I currently walk around the apartment more often than not. Although, squishing the roaches is potentially worse, because it might attract more?? Whatever the case, Megan and I take at least 20 minutes to recover from each huge roach we encounter.

Me to Rachel:

Good News – We have a warm bed, food, and shelter. There are worse things that could be happening.

Bad News – Speaking of housing though, my roommates for next year and I are scrambling with apartment searching/landlord issues. GAH adulting is hard.

Good News – I have been drinking and eating delicious mango things.

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champagne mangos that go down like buttahhhh

Bad News – Last night I had one of those “oh crap I have so much work to do these next few weeks” moments. Naturally, I started writing this blog post in the midst of it all.

Good News – On Saturday, my friend Rebecca and I attended a free trial class at CrossFit Fenway! It was a pretty basic class, understandably, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Crossfit “box”, and our instructor was very knowledgable and motivating.

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After going through the warmup + basic movements, our short WOD (workout of the day) was:

90 second max calorie row

1 min. rest

8 min. AMRAP:

  • 12 squats
  • 9 abmat situps
  • 6 ring rows

Nothing fancy, but it was fun to do it with a group. Other people at the gym were doing Open Workout 17.5 and I was wishing I could participate! Thrusters and double unders are two movements I can actually do.

Bad News – I think it would be fun to join CrossFit box, but it is expensiveeee and your girl can’t afford that right now. Also, our Fitness and Recreation center on campus is fantastic already.

Good News – I had my first workout/Bible study this past Sunday, and it was great! Four girls are in the group, and I take them through a 30-45 min. workout + a 30-45 min. Bible study based on Theology of the Body (trying to tie together that body-soul idea ya know). I’m really excited for it! The girls killed this workout I put together:

4 rounds (10 sec rest/30 sec work)

  • burpees
  • squats OR squats with overhead press
  • plank OR spiderman plank
  • side jump lunges
  • pushup to T OR plank to T
  • high knees

And then we had a good discussion about body image!

Bad News – It’s rainy all week.

Good News – I finally got to watch Inside Out, and I LOVE IT.

Bad News – I didn’t actually get to finish Inside Out, sooooo now I’m at a cliffhanger and I need to find another time to watch the rest.

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[source]

Good News – I watched all of Beauty and the Beast in theaters with Rachel on Friday, and it. was. magical. Wonderful animation and music, and Emma Watson is gorgeous. Highly recommend! (p.s. Disney is making a live-action Mulan movie coming out November 2018!!!)

Bad News – Eh, I’m done complaining. No more bad news.

Good News – I made and ate enchiladas for the first time ever last night. I bought a can of Hatch enchilada sauce from Thrive a while ago and finally put it to use with this recipe. They ROCK and I can’t wait to eat the rest of them this week!

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I hope you all have a great Tuesday! Laugh about the little problems and have faith that it will all be okay.

So tell me:

One piece of good news (you can share a bad one too if you want, but at least one good one!) 🙂

Have you ever had a pest problem?

Have you ever eaten enchiladas before?

 

Big Kids in the Big City

I just finished one of the best smoothie bowls I’ve ever made!

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How I made it: Last night I mixed together 1/3 c. milk, 1/4 c. Greek yogurt, 1/4 c. [dry] quick cooking steel cut oats, 1 tbsp. chia seeds in a bowl. I also sliced and froze a whole ripe banana and half a mango. This morning I added to a blender another 1/2 c. milk, the oat mixture, a lot of mixed greens, a pinch of salt, a drizzle of honey, and the frozen fruit. Then I blended ’til the cows came home (probably also ’til I woke up Madre, sorry :/ ).

This was the thickest and coldest smoothie ever, thanks to the overnight chia mixture + the frozen fruit. Topped with sunflower seeds, Honey Bunches of Oats, and sweetened shredded coconut.

All I need is a tropical beach.

Other fun eats from this week at home:

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quick cook steel cut oats (that 1/4 c. serving size is diddly squat) with butter-caramelized banana slices + Greek yogurt with the rest of the caramelized banana, chia seeds, cheerios, and sunflower seeds

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half of one of my lunches: salmon and hummus on top of the last of the spinach in the container (fewer dishes FTW)

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crockpot split soup – one of my all time faves

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overnight oats (made with the quick cook steel cut oats again, because that’s all we have at home), topped with sunflower seeds + Honey Bunches of Oats

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leftover split pea soup + salad with homemade honey dijon vinaigrette

I’ve also been eating copious amounts of Boom Chicka Pop’s kettle corn, because once you start you can’t stop.

On Wednesday I had the privilege of hanging out with some of my beautiful friends from Boston University in NYC! Casey, Connor, Louis, Adrienne, and Fiona ♥︎

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We met up in Times Square and walked almost 4 miles down to The World Trade Center from there. We lucked out with some gorgeous weather!

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I also lucked out when this famous bagel place was on the way.

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It’s called Best Bagel and Coffee, which is the most gimmicky name ever, but over 1,000 people on Yelp loved it, so I went. In Yelp I trust.

I went for bacon, egg, and cheese on a whole wheat everything bagel.

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Indeed, this was whole and everything.

Confession: This was my first NY bagel in my entire life. Like, I’ve eaten bagels in the state of New York, but I’ve never had a quality NY bagel until this day. I’ve only lived here for 12 years. I’m a slow person in many regards.

My bagel sandwich was absolutely delicious and great walking fuel while the rest of my friends built up a “hangry” appetite for lunch by the time we arrived at the World Trade Center. It’s so interesting being the only nourished one in the group. You just watch everyone else get angry and/or delirious.

After they were all fed at a gastropub called Suspenders, we walked around to the 9/11 Memorial.

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Connor is from Maine, so the big city was a bit too overwhelming for him.

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sees grass. lays down.

And since I’m queen of navigation when it comes to food places, I brought my pals to Rice to Riches (the most vulgar but amazing rice pudding place you will ever enter)…

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…and then Eileen’s Special Cheesecake (it was featured on Food Network, so you know it’s legit).

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Holla for International Women’s Day!

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A delightful amount of food, a crap ton of walking, and countless laughs with some of my favorite people (I kind of hate myself for the cheesiness of that last one…but it’s true).

When I got home, my body wasn’t sore and had a lot of energy for the first time this whole week, so I did a quick 16 minute workout in the basement (30 seconds work/10 seconds rest/4 rounds):

Yesterday started with that smoothie up there + a manicure and pedicure with Madre early in the morning, because I had to take a train right back into the city for lunch with Pop, my brother, and Christine from Boutiquefull (also my good friend from BU)! Christine met my brother and dad in NYC, since they all work down there, so Pop asked to take us out to lunch one day.

I wouldn’t usually take a 40 minute train + 20 minute subway ride just to eat lunch in NYC, but I’d do it for these folks 🙂

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We went to Harry’s Italian, and let me just say, thank God for complimentary focaccia bread.

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Also for giant meatball subs, one of my favorite meals on the planet.

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It was so fun catching up with Christine and hanging out with Pop and bro Ben!

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After lunch, I headed uptown to meet with a couple of the Sisters of Life. I signed up to be a co-worker for them, which is essentially a volunteer to help women in crisis pregnancies (with resources, babysitting, material donations, praying, just being a friend, etc.), so we just chatted about that and all about life (duh).

All the Sisters of Life are just pure JOY. Ugh. Love ’em.

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stopped into this church as I was speed walking to catch my train back home

Last night we went to flavor town (as Guy Fieri would say) for dinner. In other words, I roasted/grilled a bunch of veggies, Madre made salmon and rice, and we dug in.

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grilled eggplant with s+p

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Moroccan roasted carrots (olive oil, salt, pepper, Moroccan spice, brown sugar)

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honey balsamic roasted brussels sprouts!!!

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the crispy leaves are the best, and I pretty much ate all of them straight out of the oven

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homemade roasted bell peppers for the first time ever

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Madre’s perfectly cooked teriyaki salmon

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altogether now

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Madre bought apple strudels, so I ate one a la mode of course

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Fancy, eh? The occasion was our friend Brother Sam visiting for the night!

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‘Twas a lovely evening of food, fellowship, and watching embarrassing home videos with the guest.

I’ll catch ya back in Boston! I need to buckle down and study, because I spent 75% of this spring break reading blogs (#noragrets).

Hope you all have a blessed weekend!

So tell me:

Do you like to sip or eat your smoothies? Eating them out of a bowl with a spoon is the superior way, but your opinion is still welcome.

Have you ever eaten a real New York bagel?

One fun thing you did this week!

The Most Low Key New Year’s Eve

Happy 2017!!! That’s such a weird year number, but I can’t wait to see what it brings.

Saturday started with a fun stair workout to mix things up:

10-8-6-4-2 sets of stairs with two 5# dumbbells. This circuit in between each set:

I like this one a lot! After stretching and showering, I helped Madre prepare lunch for some family friends who I hadn’t seen since I was in diapers (so basically meeting them for the first time!). I made the salmon by baking it with a marinade of garlic salt, pepper, mustard, honey, and dried dill. It was one of the best salmons I’ve ever cooked!

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Madre did most of the cooking though. She made sautéed vegetables, brown rice, Chinese sausage, pork ribs, and pasta with meat sauce (“for the kids”). As always, everything was fantastic! Madre is amazing.

We ended the meal with her fried bananas, clementines, and some mint chip ice cream that was sitting in our freezer. We defy all common food combinations.

Once our house guests departed, we headed to vigil Mass. After that, I felt a wall of exhaustion hit me — the kind where I don’t want anyone to talk to me, because it takes too much energy to respond (or at least respond without sounding really grumpy). So I napped!

Soon after I woke up, we left for our 8pm dinner reservation at Seasons 52, a restaurant I had visited once before and wanted to return to while we were in Florida. They serve up a lot of delicious seasonal dishes that are sophisticated but not intimidating, healthy enough but not obnoxiously healthy.

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We all shared a braised short rib flatbread and blistered shishito peppers to start, which were both super tasty.

For me entree I ordered the caramelized sea scallops with leek and butternut squash risotto, broccolini, and lemon butter. I LOVE scallops and these were great!

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We like to share bites of all our dishes, so I had a bite of Madre’s roasted pork tenderloin with mashed sweet potatoes, Ben’s seafood paella, and Pop’s lamb shank. All got a big thumbs up!

Our last dessert of 2016 was a trio of the famous Seasons 52 “delights” — classic desserts in mini glasses. I got the pecan pie, Madre got the chocolate peanut butter torte (this was my favorite!), and Ben got the raspberry cannoli.

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With full and happy bellies, I drove us home for the New Year’s countdown. There were fireworks going off from every direction (I think Disney was setting off a show every hour), so we didn’t even have to go anywhere to experience the celebration. Good thing, because my whole family was in bed before midnight, haha.

I spent the first hours of 2017 FaceTiming Rachel! It was cozy and fun 🙂

On the first day of 2017, I spent the whole day chillin’ at home. I…

  • Slept in. I feel like my sleep deficit is finally catching up with me.
  • Moved and grooved. I stretched (oh so sore from Saturday’s workout), tried to learn a dance on Youtube (lol), had a dance party by myself, and did Colby’s first workout of her 10 day holiday workout challenge!
  • Blogged (2016 recap here!)
  • Caught up with a couple friends
  • Listened to a great podcast
  • Caught up on other people’s blogs
  • Made breakfast for dinner

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open faced egg, Canadian bacon, and cheese sandwich + sautéed spinach

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more bread for dessert — toast with butter, honey, and cinnamon (tastes like a cinnamon roll!)

I’m off to San Antonio tomorrow for SEEK, a Catholic college students’ conference, and I’m pumped!!

I also just want to say thank you for being you. For your support this past year, your kind words, your prayers, and your existence. Much love to you ♥︎

So tell me:

How did you spend NYE and the first day of the year?

First Friendsgiving

GUYS, I HAD AN AMAZING DATE THIS WEEKEND.

Actually, I had many dates!

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🙂

I didn’t fall in love with an Irish boy, but I did fall in love with these luxurious Medjool dates that a patient brought into work last week. What have I been doing without these things my whole life!? They taste like caramel and maple syrup!!!

My supervisor at work told me to take the box home on Thursday, since they knew I had a big Thanksgiving feast that night where I could share the bounty of dates.

How was your Thanksgiving, American friends? I don’t feel like it happened, since it’s not celebrated here in Ireland, and this weekend was the first time I really missed New York. My family mom was sending me lots of photos of the Macy’s Parade and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, which tugged at my heart a little bit. New York is the BEST place during the holidays!

But my friends and I here got down with the holiday spirit here in Dublin too! Two lovely ladies in our program took it upon themselves to organize an epic Friendsgiving on Thursday night, and the event totally surpassed everyone’s expectations.

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all out with the decor and table settings!

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the masters behind the night: Edna and Becca

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In true Thanksgiving fashion, there was so much food. Edna and Becca cooked a lot of it, others contributed more dishes, and the rest made monetary contributions. It worked out quite well! I contributed sausage and apple stuffing (my favorite Thanksgiving food) using this recipe.

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The only thing that put a damper on my night was that I was not hungry AT. ALL. My stomach had been in a funk in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, so as much as I wanted to eat all the delicious food, I had zero desire to put anything into my stomach. Fortunately, though, the night proceeded very slowly, so I had time to slowly digest appetizers…

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…before the main course. By then it was only a little bit uncomfortable to eat, so I got to try a good number of dishes!

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turkey (possibly pork though?) with sausage and veggies + cranberry sauce + brussels sprouts galore + stuffing + goat cheese pomegranate salad + roasted carrots + butternut squash + mac and cheese + mashed potatoes + mashed sweet potatoes

I nearly cleared that plate. #Perseverance. Everything was delicious.

There was also an immense dessert selection, so I told myself: “Choose wisely. You have limited space even in your dessert stomach.”

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apple pie a la mode + cake (that our program director bought for us!)

Sufficiently stuffed.

Even better than the food, though, was the company. I am beyond grateful for the wonderful people in my study abroad program. They are all gems.

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last four photos compliments of my friend, Cassandra

Thank you to everyone who made the night a complete success!

The rest of my weekend largely involved reading Harry Potter, watching Harry Potter, working on an essay, and eating leftovers. Megan and I are on the fourth HP book, and we are falling in love with the wizarding world more and more.

(Side note: I took the sorting quiz again, and I’m actually a Hufflepuff. I don’t know how I feel about it. I was starting to embrace Slytherin.)

I have all this leftover celery from my stuffing, and since I don’t love celery by itself, I tried ants on a log.

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I don’t really get it. It’s like…why would you ruin peanut butter with celery?

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leftover pork and apple sausage + caramelized onions with sage and thyme (I have way too many herbs left over) over spinach

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the best leftovers

Megan and I made some new food yesterday too — pancakes! We used this recipe and finished the whole batch between the two of us. “Four servings” is a suggestion, right?

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banana pancakes for me, chocolate chip for Megan

As always, I ate my pancakes with plain yogurt, peanut butter and maple syrup.

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Me: “Don’t judge me for this weird thing I’m about to do.” *puts yogurt and peanut butter on pancakes*

Megan: “It’s just not my ideal pancake, but I respect that. Peanut butter isn’t weird. The yogurt is a little weird. But as long as you enjoy it.”

Thanks, girl!

Our plethora of pancakes was breakfast and lunch. At night, we ate more carbs in the form of pizza at Independent Pizza Company.

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mozzarella, parma ham, arugula, tomatoes, and parmesan — perfection

And now I have pizza leftovers for dinner tonight 🙂

Moves and grooves have been a little less intense recently because of my mild bursitis, but I’m still doing some fun HIIT with lower impact exercises. I miss all the walking I normally do around town, but now I get to focus on stretching, which I have not been doing enough this whole semester. I’m paying for it now.

Hope you all have a great start to the week! I thank God for you ♥︎

So tell me:

Your three favorite things about this Thanksgiving weekend if you celebrated!

Do you like Medjool dates? 

One thing you’re excited for today. Less than three weeks before we go back to the States, WHAT!? (Not that I haven’t been loving it here, but I’m excited to go home too.)