Hole-y Weekend

You know there are donuts and bagels involved in this post.

But first, can we talk about how it is absolutely frigid outside? Two weeks ago, the northeast was blessed with gorgeous weather, and now there’s this.

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#springbreak

And the temperature makes you hate everything when you’re outside.

But thank God for warm sunshine, warm clothes, warm radiators, and warm hearts.

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thanks for the pic, Fiona!

There’s supposed to a blizzard tomorrow, and this is the one time I am praying there is NOT a snow day, because I have a huge lab practical exam for gross anatomy that I would like to get over with ASAP. Please and thank you. The world revolves around me.

Before leaving home in New York on Friday morning, I made French toast for Madre, Brother Sam, and myself. It was some of the best French toast I’ve ever made! I think the keys were:

  • drying out the bread on a cooling rack overnight
  • adding more milk to the egg mixture (allows the inside of the toast to be more fluffy!)
  • sprinkling cinnamon over the bread after soaking it in the egg mixture, rather than adding cinnamon to the egg mixture (the latter causes clumps of cinnamon to form on the French toast)
  • using medium heat for the skillet
  • using a healthy dose of real butter for the skillet

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Also, real maple syrup!

Now that I’m back in the apartment, my food photo effort has decreased significantly, but the food has still been tasty.

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Friday night tuna salad made with Greek yogurt, mustard, sweet relish, raisins, chopped carrots, salt and pepper

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Greek yogurt with banana, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, granola + a couple handfuls of cashews

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two sunny eggs on buttered toast (ketchup added to eggs post-photo) + veggies with hummus

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microwave oatmeal with cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, banana, and cashews

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this morning’s breakfast: super thick overnight oat smoothie with frozen bananas, vanilla protein powder, oats, lots of chia seeds, milk, yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch o’ salt

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Irish soda bread sample from Trader Joe’s (one of the best parts of my job is shopping for my bosses at TJ’s, and this is why)

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smoked trout deviled eggs that my boss asked me to make from her South Beach cookbook, and dang that egg mixture (that I tasted for #qualitycontrol) was delicious

On Saturday night (after a 1.5-hour nap at 5pm + this Fitness Blender workout) I cooked one of the best meals in my apartment this year. I bought this Korean BBQ marinade from Thrive Market and used it to marinate chicken thighs (soooo much more flavorful and moist than chicken breast—just do it) for a few hours before grilling them.

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Served with brown rice, sautéed onions, and roasted garlic broccoli.

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and a substantial swirl of Sriracha post-photo 🙂

YUM.

Besides cooking and working, the rest of my weekend has involved lots of studying for that lab practical. Since I took a 1.5-hour nap on Saturday night, I ended up going to bed at 2am, which was actually 3am thanks to DST. Haha.

Sunday involved a lot of fun shenanigans though! First was my attempt at Crossfit Open Workout 17.1.

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The movements and equipment are accessible to me, so I thought I’d just go for it, but I definitely had to scale it. I used a 25-lb. dumbbell instead of a 35, and my gym only had an 18-in. or 24-in. box, so I used the 18-in.

And I still DIED. I had 7 burpee box jump-overs left by the 20 minute time cap. Womp womp. It was a “fun” workout though! Perhaps I will try it again later.

After I was annihilated, I showered and went to lab to study for a bit before meeting with Fiona, Rachel, and Austin for food bucket listing! On our list for the afternoon was Bagelsaurus for a sea salt bagel and Union Square Donuts for the PB&J donut (I gave up pb for Lent, but since it was Sunday, Rachel and I agreed that it would okay for me to have at least a bite of the donut).

Situation: Both places closed at 3pm, we were getting an Uber at around 2pm, and the walk between the two places was 28 minutes. Rachel and I thought we should divide and conquer, but Austin (the marathon runner) and Fiona (the army gal) convinced us that all of us could book it and make it to both places (because one of our rules for food bucket listing is that we go with each other to the actual store and buy the food together). Friends motivating friends for love of food.

I’m glad they pushed us, because we made it!

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Sadly, Union Square Donuts did not have the PB&J donut that day, but we decided to still cross it off the bucket list. Instead, we ordered six donuts to split between the four of us (omg so much donut).

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(left to right) top row: toasted coconut + maple bacon // middle row: Vietnamese coffee + orange cardamom poppy seed // bottom row: sea salted bourbon caramel + raspberry basil

Let’s talk about donuts. These were delicious. But since donuts aren’t my dessert of choice (I feel like it’s difficult to get really good flavor into a donut), none of them blew me away. The raspberry basil was probably my favorite though, because the basil packed a surprising punch. We were all super excited for the sea salted bourbon caramel, but it was kinda disappointing. Too much bourbon, not enough caramel. Like I said though, these were all delicious still! Good quality donuts for sure.

We bought the donuts first but ate them after our bagel sandwiches at Bagelsaurus.

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I got the “Eggspañola” on a sea salt bagel, which was an over medium egg, pimento aioli, feta cheese, parsley gremolata, and I added avocado.

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This was also fantastic! I loved the flavors of the pimento aioli and parsley gremolata + the saltiness of the feta + creaminess of the avocado + richness of the egg. The bagel was really chewy though, so with every bite, everything slid out of the sandwich. ‘Twas a blissfully messy situation.

(I still liked my NY bagel from last week better. I’ve had one NY bagel and now I know everything about bagels.)

Eating bagels and donuts in one afternoon… You could call it a “hole-y” Sunday (creds to all my friends for coming up with great donut/bagel puns).

We did also go to Mass at night, making it a truly holy Sunday 🙂

Lastly, we rang in the new week with my friend Lauren’s 21st!!

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Woohoo!! Happy birthday, Lauren, my dear ♥︎

Hope you all have a warm and productive Monday!

So tell me:

How do you feel about donuts?

Two fun things you did this weekend!

What is the best thing you’ve cooked recently?

Have you ever done a Crossfit Open workout?

 

Goodness Gracious, Galway

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

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

Friday

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

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

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

Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BOMB.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God provides.

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

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

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

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location of the banquet we would enjoy in the evening

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super narrow at the top

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

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

I was stretching my hips!

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

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

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

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smoked salmon + capers and veggies

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

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

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no spoons!

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chicken in mushroom sauce + veggies and fried potatoes

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apple slice with fresh cream

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

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

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So stuffed and so happy.

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

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she left us tea, water, and “buns”!!!

We slept well that night.

Sunday

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

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

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

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What we really got excited for was this playground.

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“living her best life”

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

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

THE SODA BREAD.

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

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

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

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This meal kept us full until almost 10 pm!

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

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what a precarious moment lol

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

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

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We’re adults. We travel on our own.

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

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

(All the time!)

So tell me:

Have you ever been to Galway?

Do you like Irish soda bread?

Have you ever used Airbnb?

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

What did you do this weekend? 

WIAW: Full Day of Dance

Hey there!

It’s another crazy week around here, and yesterday I was so domestic that I barely did any homework (I didn’t have much yesterday anyway). I did laundry, cleaned the bathroom, baked muffins, and cooked this rockin’ sriracha chicken all before ballet, and I felt like SUPERMOM. Minus the mom part, so, just super.

I’ll save any rants and thoughts for tomorrow’s Behind the Scenes. Today, I’m joining the WIAW party to show you all what I ate on Sunday, the day of my last dance company rehearsal ever. EVER. It still hasn’t hit me yet, so I won’t talk about it too much. I could burst out in tears at any second at this point.

Anyway, our last rehearsal before a show always involves running our dances multiple times, so it was a long, tiring day. Here’s what fueled me through teaching religious education and 4.5 hours of groovin’!

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Jenn‘s got the linkup for some fabulous eats!

Breakfast

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Fuel for proclaiming God’s word, shushing third graders, and picking up paper and pencils off the floor: 

Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie (plus spinach, minus chia seeds) + side of Greek yogurt. Dipped like so.

Lunch

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Fuel for jumping, running, and turning…all at the same time (aka dancing): 

PB & J. Holy moly I hadn’t had one of these babies in such a long time and it hit the spot like no other.

Snacks

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Fuel for more dancing: Carrots and hummus

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Post-dance fuel: Greek yogurt, sliced banana, crapton of cinnamon and nutmeg, stevia

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Plus nuts

Dinner

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Fuel for finishing homework, blogging, cleaning, and chatting with Dad:

Lime-cilantro salmon on spinach + sriracha + avocado toast

The salmon turned out well! It’s always a celebration when I don’t under-season meat. For this one salmon filet, I put on some fresh lime juice (from half a lime), about 2 tsp. honey, sea salt, pepper, and cilantro. Baked at 400*F for 8 minutes (in our small toaster oven).

Desserts

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Fuel for baking: Half of this juicy navel orange

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Fuel for sleeping 😉

Sample of homemade apricot-orange Irish soda bread

There ya have it! A busy day’s worth of delicious eats. The PB&J was the highlight, without a doubt. Those will be returning to my life with a vengeance; I bought some new strawberry jam a couple days ago just for the cause. 😀

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

So tell me:

Do you like PB&J/AB&J’s?

What has been fueling you through long days?

Have you tried a great new recipe recently?

Feelin’ Lucky {MIMM #28}

Good morning and…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Fun fact: St. Patrick’s original associated color was actually blueSo if you accidentally wear blue today, you can tell people that.

I hope you all had a fun weekend filled with some luck and {root} beer (as my Economics teacher says)! I wouldn’t say my  weekend was filled {root} beer, but it was definitely filled with loads of smiles, tears, and delicious food, which always makes me feel lucky. And marvelous!

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We’re lucky to have Katie as the fabulous host of MIMM!

It’s becoming one of the most (if not, THE most) hectic times of year with school, dance, and church events, so it’s easy to overlook all the blessings right in front of me. We’re all doing ten things at once at any point in the day, but it’s a wonderful thing to just reflect on all the things we’re blessed to have. So here’s to all the blessings from this weekend! But for the sake of St. Paddy’s day, we’ll just say lucky. 🙂

Friday

We were lucky to have a chilly, but absolutely gorgeous day on Friday. I couldn’t fathom the idea of cooping up in the gym for a workout, so I opted for a refreshing outdoor workout.

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Moves consisted of several plyo exercises (jumping jacks, high knees, burpees, jump lunges/squats) and different variations of pushups. I took sufficient breaks and took it easy, but it was nice to get the blood flowing in the great outdoors… of my backyard.

I’m lucky that coconut oil tastes good. I tried that trendy oil pulling technique (inspired by Gina and Katie) on Thursday. Basically, you swish around a vegetable oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes every day, and it’s supposed to aid in teeth whitening, gum health, and have some other health benefits. I’m in it for the teeth whitening. I still haven’t done it again since Thursday though…

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Let’s face it. Swishing oil in your mouth for twenty minutes is kinda nasty.

I’m lucky to have had another smooth evening babysitting my company director’s little guy. I fed and changed him, and then he went to sleep in no time. All I had to do was check on him every once in a while, watch Youtube videos, read blogs, and do homework. Is that what motherhood will be like?? 😉

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I’m also lucky that they had watermelon popsicles in their freezer.

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Yeah, I raided their freezer (with permission).

Saturday

I’m lucky to have peanut butter, oatmeal, and Greek yogurt. As if I haven’t made that very clear.

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I’m lucky to have lunches on the go. This was eaten at dance: spinach salad with curry chicken and grapes + BelVita biscuits.

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I’m lucky to have a dad who loves taco night as much as I do. We had a fiesta in honor of St. Patrick’s Day because we’re multicultural like that.

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Whole wheat tortilla, lean ground beef, cabbage, avocado, cheese, cilantro, pineapple salsa, and squeeze of lime.

It had beef and cabbage, so it’s sort of like corned beef and cabbage, right?

Sunday

I’m lucky to have 14 dance company girls and an amazing company director who made my last company rehearsal EVER pretty darn great. My feet hurt and we were sweaty beasts, but I’m glad to have spent it with such beautiful, hilarious, loving ladies. I didn’t cry, but the waterworks are guaranteed to come during our last show in less than two weeks.

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I WON’T CRY NOW.

I’m lucky to have a dad who will run to the store to pick up some buttermilk for Irish soda bread. I’m a huge fan of the stuff, so of course I had to make some for St. Patrick’s day! I used this recipe (I used half whole wheat flour), which is a fun twist on the traditional Irish soda bread with raisins. This one has dried apricots and orange zest!

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Sample with some buttah. The crispy crust— DUDE.

Lucky. Lucky. Luckkkkyyy. I’ve been saying it in my head a billion times, so now it has lost its meaning and it sounds weird.

I hope you all have a great day!

So tell me:

Did you do anything for St. Patrick’s Day this weekend?

What is your favorite St. Paddy’s food?

Ever tried oil pulling?

What are you feelin’ lucky about?