I Don’t Know How to Exist in a Pub, But I Do Know How to Pour a Guinness

This is the most beer that has ever surrounded me in my life.

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You can tell I’m cut out for the Irish lifestyle.

This past week was fun! Since my long day of work last Monday, work has involved massaging a couple butts (honestly though, I’m loving the massage experience) and Christmas dinner at a teppanyaki place! It was a lot of fun going out with the staff members after hours. They even made me take home the bottle of white wine, which is currently sitting on my desk, since we’re not allowed to keep alcohol in the dorm kitchens. *shrugs*

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my tiny eyebrows are still on my face

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‘Twas a super savory selection of meats and fried rice. It was just a lot of oil and soy sauce, but I still appreciated the Asian flavors. I hadn’t eaten Asian food since New York!

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The music was very international as well. They played “La Bamba” and “Brown Eyed Girl”, which were random but also two of my favorites, so I can’t complain!

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On Friday night, a few of my friends here invited me to join them for the Etihad Skyline tour at Croke Park, which was a tour of the Dublin skyline at dusk from the top of the biggest stadium in Ireland. It was such a unique experience!

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The tour guide took us to the top of the stadium, which has a walkway all along its border, and then she pointed out all the landmarks around Dublin from there as the sun was setting.

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We lucked out with relatively warm weather and no wind!

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She gave us harnesses for one point on the tour when we were standing on a slightly precarious balcony that looked straight down to the stadium.

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As long as you’re a competent walker, you don’t need the harness, but it adds an element of danger and fun 17 stories up, ya know?

The tour ended with a complimentary tea/coffee/hot chocolate, and we of course all chose the hot chocolate.

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I hadn’t had hot chocolate in forever, and this Cadbury one was the bomb. The marshmallows were the best part.

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Highly recommend the Etihad Skyline tour for something different in Dublin! We loved the view, the experience, our tour guide, and the hot chocolate 🙂

Saturday was pretty productive (WHOA!). I studied a bit, worked out, did some homework, did laundry, FaceTimed Madre, and went grocery shopping. In the evening, Megan and I did a mini mobile soup kitchen inspired by our friends back in Boston, who give out sandwiches, socks, blankets, and other goods to people who are homeless every. single. week. They are so full of love; we had to bring the love to Dublin too, even if on a smaller scale!

Then we headed to Mass at our favorite church and dinner. We had a pub called P.Mac’s in mind, but when we arrived, our plans slowly changed.

We got to P.Mac’s at around 7, and they were serving food until 7:45. Not a problem, except the atmosphere was definitely more bar than restaurant at that point. No one was eating food, and when we tried to find a table, people gave us weird looks. I asked a waitress if we could eat…then how we should go about eating…and where we should get a table. Basically, HELP US DO PUBS.

After probably only two minutes of walking around cluelessly, we decided that we weren’t cool enough for P.Mac’s after dark and left for a different restaurant. *sad trombone*

It’s okay though, we found American BBQ.

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Pitt Bro’s BBQ was bustling (and had good reviews on Yelp, to be honest), so we waited for a table and dug into some satisfying pulled pork!

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Megan got the pulled pork bun meal with mac and cheese, and I got the pulled pork meat meal with salad and mac and cheese.

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The pulled pork was awesome, but the sides were just meh. The mac and cheese wasn’t cheesy enough, but nothing some pulled pork can’t fix up.

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What a hero.

We ate prettttty quickly because we were hungry hippos by the time our food arrived, but we had room for the complimentary, swirl-your-own vanilla soft serve!!

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CLASSIC. It was so good. What a way to increase my itch for America.

We actually went back to church after dinner, because they had a prayer service with Adoration, confessions, and music going on. Better yet, it was hosted by young people our age! There have not been many people under the age of 60 at Mass in Ireland. It was a beautiful and unexpected night.

On Sunday, we brunched per usual 🙂

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My friend Cassandra invited a few of us to White Moose Cafe, which was so cute and HILARIOUS. They had a “breastfeeding corking fee” (because they allow breastfeeding there, and they are known for their satire).

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My food was delicious too! I had their spinoff of huevos rancheros, which was two baked eggs in a spicy sauce with chorizo, peppers, and kidney beans, served with homemade tortilla crisps.

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Megan and I also split an order of silver dollar pancakes with berry compote and mascarpone cream. They were denser pancakes, but I enjoyed them.

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Afterwards, Cassandra and I headed to the famous Guinness Storehouse! I don’t even like Guinness, but it’s an Ireland staple, so why not?

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The museum itself was amazing. It’s self-guided, but the layout is seamless as you ascend the museum’s seven stories.

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peep the bottom right quote: “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” -graffiti

I didn’t see what that had to do with anything, but Guinness has a giant fish riding a bike.

Of course, the tour includes Guinness itself. We first learned HOW to taste Guinness. I had been doing it wrong (the two times I ever sipped Guinness).

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At the end, we learned how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness and left as certified pourers. BOOM. Someone sign me up to be a bartender.

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#unimpressed

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Lastly, we drank our perfectly-poured pints up at the Gravity Bar, which overlooks all of Dublin.

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Like I said, I don’t love Guinness, but this Guinness was a lot better than the previous ones I’ve tasted. Something to do with the freshness (and my pouring skills), I’m sure! I could still only drink 1/4 of my pint. It’s a lot.

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I’m glad I went though, because if there’s anything I learned in Ireland, it’s how to pour a Guinness. And that hops are plants.

Have a wonderful week, everyone! I have a more serious post coming for you on Wednesday… ooooooooooo.

So tell me:

Do you like Guinness? What is your favorite beer?

The best thing you ate this weekend!

Have you ever stepped into a place that felt too cool for you? 

Day in the Life: Internship Abroad

There are only a couple weeks left of my Dublin study abroad experience, can you believe it!?

I shared a day in the life post a couple months ago when we still had classes all day, but now we are well into the internship phase of the program, which involves a full day (more or less) of work Monday through Thursday.

I intern at a private physiotherapy clinic that focuses on dry needling, manual therapy, massage, and Pilates classes. I am loving it! The people are wonderful, the patients are so kind, and I am learning a lot about the international physiotherapy scene. I even get to massage patients who are willing to let a li’l student knead them out.

Here’s what Monday looked like this week. This was actually an unusual day because we had a conference in the evening, which threw off the work hours a bit, but it’s still a general idea of what goes on.

7:55 AM – First alarm goes off. Snooze.

8:04 AM – Second alarm goes off. “I could get up now. But I don’t have to and I could use more sleep.” Reset alarm for 8:30.

8:30 AM – THIRD alarm goes off. Drag butt out of bed. Go to the bathroom, brush teeth, say morning prayer.

8:50 AM – Head to the kitchen for breakfast. There is never a day when I am not excited for overnight oats.

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so ugly, but the value is within.

9:05 AM – Decide that I should roast my broccoli that’s been sitting in the fridge for days. I get home late on Mondays (and especially this particular day), so I know I’ll be happy to have it already roasted when I get back at night.

9:30 AM – Start typing this blog post as I wait for my broccoli. (Somewhat unrelated: Ever since I read Paige’s post on her productivity secret, I’ve been using the “Pomodoro Method” to get work done this past week, and I am a believer! Definitely check out Paige’s post if you’re interested.)

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I use this pomodoro method app

9:45 AM – Broccoli is out of the oven. I taste test as always, no matter how hot it is.

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olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper at 400F for ~30 min

9:50 AM – Let the broccoli cool for a bit, pack it up, wash the dishes.

10:10 AM – Squeeze in a very quick warmup + workout. I was feeling energetic and willing to sprint, but you know me. I don’t actually run (plus I have my bursitis as an excuse), so I sprinted in the form of burpees with Lori and Michelle’s 100 burpee challenge. It’s one of my favorite workouts of all time!

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10:35 AM – Stretch and figure that I would be cutting it too close to shower before I need to leave to catch the bus. I’m not sweating that much…

10:40 AM – Comb hair, put on makeup, pack my bag, and put on a good dose of deodorant (I promise I am a hygienic person).

11:00 AM – Leave the dorm to catch the bus. I walk to a farther bus stop because the bus would take a little while to get to the closer stop anyway, so I might as well meet it farther down.

11:20 AM – Hop on the bus and pull out this honker of a book.

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People probably think I’m actually 12 years old, but HP is worth it ♥︎

11:40 AM – Hop off the bus and walk a couple blocks to work.

11:50 AM – Arrive at work. My bosses didn’t have too many patients in for the day since they were preparing for the conference, so my day involved helping them with the prep, researching for my paper on trigger points, and the usual desk duties.

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I also snacked on these “milk & cereals” flavored BelVita biscuits throughout the early afternoon. They kind of taste like coconut biscuits, which is a-okay with me.

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3:30 PM – The biscuits held me over quite well, so I had a very late lunch. ‘Twas this ugly-looking egg and sausage scramble that I had made the night before. It tasted like stuffing since I used the same sausage and herbs I used for Thanksgiving, so in other words, it was delicious.

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pork and apple sausage + one egg + egg white + sautéed onion + spinach + thyme + sage possibly?

I followed this with a big, juicy orange.

4:20 PM – Leave with one of the physiotherapists for the conference at a hotel in Dún Laoghaire (pronounced “Dunleary”).

4:40 PM – Arrive at the hotel and help set up and sort through all the logistics of the night. I ate a Cadbury caramel chocolate at some point. My supervisor told me, “This is the only kind of chocolate. America does sweets well, but they don’t do chocolate well.”

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I must admit that this stuff is LUSCIOUS

6:00 PM – Head downstairs to the exhibition tables for tea and biscuit hour (a fine practice which I’ve come to love in Ireland).

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I put milk in my tea and I don’t know why. It does nothing.

7:00 PM – Conference begins! It was hosted by a woman from Parliament with the Migraine Association of Ireland, and our physiotherapy company gave a presentation about myofascial trigger points as a potential source of migraines, which can be relieved through massage and dry needling.

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7:30 PM – We give our presentation to the first session. When I say “we” and “our”, I mean the owner presented and I was the guinea pig for dry needling. It was fun having a couple dozen people staring at my trap muscles twitching like crazy.

8:15 PM – Second session presentation.

9:00 PM – The therapists stick around to answer questions before we clean up everything and head back to the clinic to drop it off.

10:00 PM – Back at the clinic, where we unload everything. They kindly call me a taxi to get home.

10:20 PM – Get home ready for FOOD. I warm up my pre-roasted broccoli (*ding*) + leftover pizza from Sunday night.

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11:00 PM – Shower after reading blogs for a bit.

11:30 PM – Pray and head to bed.

So this might not be a true “day in the life,” because I don’t usually have work until 10 pm, but it was still an exciting day of interning!

So tell me: 

Three things in your daily routine. 

What is your favorite chocolate brand? 

Have you ever heard about trigger points as a cause of migraines?

Summer Job + Recent Eats and Moves

I’ve had some pretty sick tan lines for the past few weeks, and I’m proud of them in an odd way.

There are two different shirt styles printed on my back though. Like, mostly a racerback tan line, but also a faint bathing suit tan line. It’s a good thing I’ll be working in business casual clothes and scrubs all summer.

Speaking of which…

Yesterday I started my job at a rehabilitation hospital!

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It’s called HELP (Health Experience Learning Program), specifically designed for college students studying to be health professionals. We’ll be exposed to various health professions through classroom and clinical learning experience, and I could not be more excited!

I felt like a nervous child on her first day of school going into it yesterday, but as the orientation went on, I felt more comfortable and made some friends (I hope)!


I haven’t done a classic show-and-tell of my eats, moves, and grooves recently. I don’t know about you guys, but these are some of my favorite kinds of posts (ex: Kath’s “Lately” posts) because I like a nosy quick and dirty rundown of someone’s food and fitness.

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Gina’s oatmeal cookie dough cereal with blueberries and bananas

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avocado, smoked salmon, roasted red pepper, artichoke, spinach in a Flatout wrap

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whole wheat toast: one with avocado, egg, sriracha + one with pepperjack cheese and egg

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overnight oat green smoothie

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spinach, tomato, chorizo, cheddar, avocado egg white omelette for Pop — I was so wishing that I made this for myself though

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Italian chicken, mozzarella, basil, balsamic toasted sandwich

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salad at a local Mexican restaurant (eaten with corn tortillas taco style) with the family

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summer watermelon

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dried figs with plain Greek yogurt!

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my new favorite pasta dish inspired by Fr. Barnes: whole wheat spaghetti tossed with olive oil, marinated artichokes, mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, spinach, Italian herbs, minced garlic, and lots of black pepper, topped with chicken/shrimp. WOWZA

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leftover oatmeal dried fruit cookies from Christmas (thank God for freezers)1

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overnight oats in a peanut butter jar on my first day of work

Moves and grooves these days have been really…organic. My workouts are chosen and done on a day-by-day basis, depending on what else I’m doing, how I’m feeling, and the weather. Honestly, this go-with-the-flow attitude allows me to have the most fun working out.

Last week involved a lot of rest and light hikes at Fiona’s summer house, but there were some other great workouts sprinkled in there!

Last Monday I knew I wanted to go outdoors for a workout. I also really wanted to use this wall, so I put on my creative cap (which I don’t have with me more often than not) and did this doozy of a workout:

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsI broke that dumbbell at the very end of the workout because I dropped it on the ground in my exhaustion. At least it was 25 years old and had a good life.

On Friday, I did Tina’s At-Home Chipper Workout outside also. For the squats and lunges, I used my makeshift sandbag (a canvas bag filled with a bunch of random free weights ~26 lbs.). The burpees and pushups were the hardest!

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Also, I know how I should do hollow rocks, but I feel like I am a useless, cranky banana when I do them.

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Sunday’s workout involved these:

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The stairs may be going up, but it kinda feels like hell.

3 rounds:

  • STAIRS UP
  • 5 pistol squats
  • 10 pushups
  • 15 v-ups
  • 20 tricep dips
  • STAIRS DOWN
  • 5 pistol squats
  • 10 pushups
  • 15 v-ups
  • 20 tricep dips

And then up the stairs uno màs.

My body still felt like a stone from Friday’s workout, so I let myself take decent breaks in between rounds.

those DAM stairs are always killer. nice to be back home for the summer 🌞 #fituniversity @gofitu

A video posted by Alison (@alison_grooves) on May 22, 2016 at 9:54am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsI also took a 1 hour walk on Saturday night in the drizzly dark while jamming out to music. Pretty sure all my neighbors thought I was an angsty teen.

Lastly, this yoga video saved my body from the tension and antsy-ness of sitting in orientation all day yesterday.

Hope you guys have a lovely day!

So tell me:

College students: What are you up to this summer?

What was your favorite summer job you ever had?

Do you like these kinds of posts?

Best way you moved this week!

Best dish you cooked this week.

I Need to Focus + Energy Balls Recipe

Thinking-Out-Loud

Pretty sure Amanda came up with thinking out loud before Ed Sheeran

1) I’m so glad you all enjoyed yesterday’s vlog! Your comments totally made my day. Thank you! The terms “cute” and “adorable” were big themes in the comments though…

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[source]

This photo is the story of my life. #ForeverYeungYoung

2) Shoutout to my friend Fiona for reminding me to change my age in my side bio. In the meantime, I also edited my About page and Blogroll. Check it!

3) I made balls yesterday! (<— balls jokes won’t get old.) They’re stereotypical energy balls, and they count as a recipe towards my summer bucket list! It’s kind of a cop-out, since this recipe didn’t take much thought or effort, but I’ll count it for now until my creative juices start flowing.

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Into a food processor:

  • 1+1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1.5 c. roughly chopped dried figs
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter (any nut butter will work!)
  • 2 scoops (1/3-1/2 c.) vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/3 c. almond milk (just enough to get the mixture to bind)

Pulse until the ingredients are well combined and wet enough to bind. Wet your hands with water and roll into 1.5 tbsp-sized balls. Makes ~20!

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Confession: I did not measure most of the ingredients. Those are just estimates. Luckily, recipes like these are very customizable and flexible!

4) I need to focus. I get way too distracted with technology and social media these days, and it eats up a lot of my time. I accomplish the tasks that need to be done, but I still find myself scrambling because I spent just a little too much time reading blogs or watching Youtube videos.

5) New goal (please keep me accountable): No casual perusing on social media/technology after I get home from my internship (anywhere from 5-6pm). If I go on to blog or do something with a specific goal, that’s cool, but otherwise I will spend my time reading or doing something productive around the house. This will hopefully help me get into bed earlier and feel more relaxed at night!

6) I also need to read more books— read things that are not pixelated. Basically, I need to be my own parent this summer: “No technology close to bedtime. Eat more to grow bigger. Do your reading.”

7) I liked this song when I heard it on the radio, but once I found out that it was a tribute to Paul Walker, I loved it.

Paul Walker was (and still is) my biggest celeb crush. What a beautiful man.

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[source]

8) I am enjoying my physical therapy internship more and more every day. I’m learning bucketloads of information and practices on how to take care of the human body through movement. The best part is the people though. I love the interpersonal patient interactions and the one-on-one environment of this particular outpatient clinic. Can I just stay at my internship and not go to college?

…LOL. Dreaming.

9) If you ever make Gina’s cookie dough cereal (which you should, it’s delicious), make it with at least 1.5 tablespoons of nut butter. If not, two tablespoons. You won’t regret it.

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10) Happy birthday to the humblest, gentlest, grooviest, most hardworking and pious man I know— Pop! I love you ♥

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That’s it for today, friends! Hope you have a fantastic day. Eat more nut butter and unplug a little bit.

So tell me:

Who is your biggest celebrity crush?

Are you called cute often? Or another adjective?

Do you ever have trouble “unplugging”? 

Getting Back Into a Routine {Recent Eats}

The altitude got to me in Colorado, but now the two hour time loss in New York is getting to me.

I’m such a wimp, I know. I’m mostly just bad at managing my time right now, so I end up going to sleep at midnight when I need to wake up at 6 AM to take my dad to the train station.

{Oh look, it’s 11:30 PM as I type this. Good.}

Luckily I have been keeping busy with my physical therapy internship, which I am loving so far! By observing and being in the clinical setting, I can really see myself in the career. I’m relieved that I don’t hate it 🙂

Moves have been on the slower side with some stretching, foam rolling, and strength exercises. It’s just what I need right now. I also went to a modern dance class at my good ol’ studio last night! It felt amazing to dance again. AMAZING. It also felt a little tight, because I haven’t been stretching enough…

Of course, the domestic duties are also keeping me busy. Since food is more exciting than chores and errands, I’m sharing some of the things I’ve been cooking up this week.

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leftover whole wheat banana pancakes from before Colorado (I froze ’em!) with 2% Greek yogurt, a trio of nut butters, and maple syrup + an unpictured glass o’ milk

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honey mustard pork chops with caramelized shallots + blanched broccoli with tahini sauce

For the tahini sauce (roughly): 1/4 c. tahini, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. lime juice, 1 tbsp. maple syrup, water to make it drizzle-consistency

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lunch for a long day of interning and errands: salad with sweet potato, leftover pork, homemade honey mustard dressing // carrots and hummus // orange // BelVita biscuits // Balance Bar // Enlightened mesquite bbq crisps

Stay tuned for an awesome giveaway featuring Enlightened products! I’m addicted to their roasted broad beans, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

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whole grain seed toast with melted Cabot garlic and herb cheddar and two sunny side eggs + a storm of cracked black pepper

This was brunch-y, cheesy, salty, dippy goodness that I ate for dinner one night. Get the cheese. I’m not sponsored by Cabot, but I just want to announce that I love their garlic and herb cheddar.

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Kozyshack tapioca pudding with cinnamon and nutmeg

Y’all know how much I love tapioca pudding. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, and you won’t have to worry about anything ever again. (Ha, if only.)

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overnight oatmeal smoothie: oats, Greek yogurt, milk, chia seeds, and peanut butter stirred in the blender the night before // greens, frozen banana, frozen grapes, more milk added in the morning // blend and eat out of a bowl with a spoon!

I know it looks like swamp water with algae growth, but this was so delicious and quick in the morning. Normally I would also add granola for crunch, but we were out.

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Spaghetti squash!

This was my first time roasting spaghetti squash! I cut off the stem, sliced the squash in half lengthwise, scooped out the guts, rubbed each half with olive oil + salt + pepper, roasted them face-down for 40 minutes at 375F, let them cool, and then raked away with a fork until it looked like this:

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I added some caramelized shallots

I never wanted to try spaghetti squash in the past because I knew it wouldn’t taste like real spaghetti, but it’s still tasty! It’s tastes like other squashes except in string form.

I thought it would be a good time to try spaghetti squash since there was one left in the grocery store, and my dad is eating low carb right now (I can assure you that I am not eating low carb), so it was good base for something like my favorite sriracha chicken.

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sweet and spicy goodness

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coconut cashew Quest bar with sunflower seed butter

I still have tons of Quest bars from Blend (many of which my brother took to Florida as well), so I decided to have one for dessert last night. I followed Quest bar protocol and microwaved it before spreading the nut butter and eating it with a tiny fork. I Snapchatted my Blend roommate Colby to ask if I was doing it right, and she approved.

It’s already Friday! I hope all my fellow Americans have a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend. Pop and I will hopefully be doing a small barbecue for ourselves and any of my friends who want to come. You’re invited!…but I’m not giving you my address. Sorry.

So tell me:

Do you have trouble adjusting to different time zones?

Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? What do you like to eat with it?

What is your favorite way to eat Quest bars?

What are you doing this weekend? I’ll be cleaning the house, seeing Daliza (!!!), blogging, reading, BBQing, and eating ice cream, among other things.