Two Museums, Two Desserts, Two Blistered Feet

I did something this weekend other than “oh ya know, just layin’ low…” !!!

Not that there’s anything wrong with laying low (after all, I love kicking up my feet after work these days). But it’s nice to exit the abode and live a little, especially when the weather is as gorgeous as it was this weekend!

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Friday

There’s nothing really to share about Friday except that I worked, ate my favorite dinner of the week, and went to bed at 9.

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brown rice with eel + avocado = all the good things in sushi, amplified in a bowl

Also, BEN CAME HOME FROM SPAIN! He completed El Camino de Santiago, which is historically a Christian walking pilgrimage. There are many routes, but Ben did a super long one that totaled 890 km (553 miles) within 32 days. Casual.

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Congrats, Ben! YOU ROCK.

He actually came home at 2 AM Saturday morning, but I snuck into his room later in the morning to say hi to him before I left for NYC.

Saturday

Since I went to bed so darn early, I woke up at around 6 AM for some sunrise moves and grooves!

100 burpee workout // 10 reps of each // Click here for demos!

  • 10 tuck jump burpees
  • 10 T pushup burpees
  • 10 candlestick to chair burpees
  • 10 alternating side burpees (this one actually hurt my shoulder a bit because the pushup becomes kinda awkward, so I would not recommend this variation)
  • 10 broad jump burpees
  • 10 spiderman pushup burpees
  • 10 handstand burpees
  • 10 superman burpees
  • 10 dive bomber burpees
  • 10 plank jack tuck jump burpees

I tried to do some new/weird variations to keep things interesting, so it was definitely a fun (and tiring) one!

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banana bread baked oatmeal with plain peanut butter + “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter from The Peanut Principle

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from the farmers’ market 😀

Plus a couple pieces of my mom’s egg white pork bake.

After washing up, Pop dropped me off at the train station to head down to the city! Cue this Tori Kelly song (because she is the soundtrack to my life).

First of all, I saw an extraordinary number of dads with their kids on the train/in the city that day, and it made my heart explode.

Secondly, Park Ave looks so clean and luxurious, but it honestly just smells like manure. #overrated

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First stop of the day was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Can you believe I’ve lived in NY for 11 years, and this was my first time going there?

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I guess if you don’t live in NY, you don’t really see the big deal. But this is one of those “must see” attractions in the city.

I did my tourist thing while waiting for my friend, Christine.

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Squealing greeting + photos in front of the MET, because we’re bananas (yellow on the outside, white on the inside, in case you haven’t seen me make that joke 100 times on the blog).

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apparently this is where Gossip Girl cast ate lunch in the show??

In we went!

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We interspersed our “ooo’s” and “aaah’s” with some serious girl talk and some attempts at reading our people’s language.

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My contribution every time: “I have no idea what it means, but it looks familiar.”

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At least we’re proficient in fit fam culture.

Art eventually drains ya girls, so we headed over to lunch at Bluestone Lane for some Australian fare at around 1 PM.
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the restaurant is an extension of an Episcopalian church!
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I spy vegemite toast and the word “brekkie”
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Christine got the egg and bacon roll + I got the Aussie meat pie with mint pea puree
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dynamite
Our waiter was Australian, which really added to the experience. Arman, I could not stop thinking about you.
We made it our mission to find both ice cream and Levain Bakery for dessert, so we took the scenic route and walked around the Central Park reservoir. It was the absolute perfect day to do it! Hot, but not unbearable, and bluuuuuue skies.
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We didn’t know where to get ice cream, but we happened upon Amorino Gelato, which is famous for making roses out of their gelato! That stuff is expensive, but it is undeniably pretty and delicious.
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Christine got fruity flavors + I got pistachio, black cherry, and a cookie butter flavor!
That cone was tiny and that gelato was melting wicked fast. You would think I was a magician, that’s how quickly I made it disappear.
We continued walking and found the legendary Levain Bakery. I had been hearing about their incredible chocolate chip cookies since I moved to New York, basically. This was THE DAY.
But first, a short wait on a line that spanned half the block. Expected.
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this is my “THIS IS BETTER THAN DISNEY WORLD BUT I’M TRYING TO BE CIVILIZED” pose
We descended into the little bakery…
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…I bought one chocolate chip cookie and one oatmeal raisin scone. We desperately needed to charge our phones, so we walked over to a Starbucks, where I finally unveiled the glory…
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 these are both HUGE
…wait for it!!!
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You have no idea how long I had been waiting to take that money shot. Ladies and gents, this was one of the best things that my taste buds have ever encountered. I’m not even a big fan of chocolate.
Warm.
Crispy on the outside.
Slightly under-baked and gooey on the inside.
Melted chocolate chips.
Rich walnut chunks.
Thick and decadent.
a poem about Levain’s chocolate chip cookie by Alison
Christine and I split the mega cookie, and we had a few bites of the scone, which was fantastic as well. Not too sweet at all, but BUTTERY. The bag smelled like buttered popcorn. Mmmmm.
Afterwards, we walked back around the reservoir to where we started, and continued with some more girl talk until Christine had to leave. Next museum of the day was Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design with one of my high school dance company mates, Susie!
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had to take a pic of this
This is probably my favorite museum of all time. It’s so interactive, and the vibe is an intersection between classical architecture and modern technology.
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They give you this high tech pen that acts as a memory stick. The pen has a “+” sign on the back that synchronizes to the “+” sign on each description panel on the exhibits. When you go home, you go onto their website and enter your unique code that they gave you, and you can see pictures of all the exhibits you saved via the pen. MAGICAL.
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This immersion room is your childhood dream. You basically design your own wallpaper with the pen, and watch it come to life in front of your eyes.
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Five stars for Cooper Hewitt! Thank you so much, Susie, for suggesting it!
We worked up a good appetite playing around in the museum. Susie chose an excellent Greek restaurant called Korali for dinner.
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a rare moment when no cars are about to run you over in the city
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beet salad with grapefruit, pine nuts, goat cheese, fennel, dill and scallions
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when the manager walks up to you offering a FREE platter of melted Greek cheese, you do not refuse (such a nice gesture of them!)
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soup of the day: lentil
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Susie gave me a bite of her lamb shank, which was heavenly
We also walked by this gem of a Citi bank sign (great eye, Susie).
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This is Gabby Douglas, US Olympic Gymnast. But peep the caption in the upper left hand corner…
THIS is Allyson Felix, US Olympic Track and Field Runner:
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Alright, Citi Bank.
And then I bid NYC a good night.
Ben picked me up at the train station, and I was all excited to tell him that I walked 11 miles that day (according to the Apple Health app), but then I remembered that he had been walking an average of 20 miles per day for the past month. Overachiever.
I still gave myself a foot massage before bed.
Sunday
I got up a little past 7 to get ready for Mass and say goodbye (already!) to Ben and Madre. Not for long though. Pop and I will meet them in Florida soon for our big family vacation next week!
Breakfast after Mass:
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I also had leftover roasted broccoli while cooking this. Cravings, man.
I watched some gymnastics, read some blogs, and napped before getting up and eating again. Sundays, man.
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smoked salmon avocado toast + unpictured carrots and hummus + half a frozen banana
Then I started this blog post and FaceTimed with my beautiful friend, Briana, from college. Followed by some killer moves and grooves in the basement (which I have deemed to be my “pain cave”).
60 seconds strength/45 seconds  cardio/20 seconds  plyometric/15 seconds rest
3 rounds of each block, 1 minute rest between blocks
BLOCK #1
BLOCK #2
  • pistol squats (30 sec each leg)
  • jumping jacks
  • broad jumps over a step, lengthwise
BLOCK #3

BLOCK #4

I hadn’t done a workout that made my quads cry in a while. I stretched out before Pop and I went to one of our favorites for dinner— Bareburger!

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I made my own burger: turkey burger, spinach, sprouts, tomato, pimento cheese on sprout bun + ketchup and mustard
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sweet potato fries with their curry ketchup + special sauce
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the inner beauty of my burger
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Pop’s “Hog Wild” burger: wild boar burger, pimento cheese, frizzled chickpea onions (!?), fried egg, and pickled green tomatoes on a brioche bun
Decadence once again.
We picked up some groceries afterwards, and now I’m finishing typing this while watching sports on TV (← yay for Olympic season coming up!). ‘Twas a fabulous weekend filled with good food, great conversation, and even better people.
Back to the grind today, but one more week until vacation! Hope you all have stellar Monday. Give yourself a foot massage. You deserve it.
So tell me:
Two things you did this weekend!
What is your favorite museum?
What is the best cookie you’ve ever eaten?
Are there any sports you are following currently?
 
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I Am The Most Indecisive Person Ever

Mornin’!

The world is set aright now because mom and I went for a mini spa day at the nail salon yesterday. My dry winter hands and feet are rejuvenated, my shoulders are loosened, and my finger nails are painted for the first time since…prom probably! Thanks for treating me, Madre!

My whole day was very chillax actually. It started with a breakfast that I leisurely made at 10 am:

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Leftover pumpkin gingerbread muffin French toast + Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and banana slices sauteed in coconut oil

Beautyyyyy. I ate it with a tiny fork because I wanted to savor every bite. To French toast-ify the muffins, I sliced a few of them in half horizontally and dipped them for approximately 30 seconds on each side in a whisked mixture of:

  • 1 egg
  • ~2 tbsp. almond milk
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Cook ’em up on a greased skillet/griddle on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes each side (making sure to cook the rounded muffin tops all over) and voila! French toast muffins!

More treats came our way when my aunt’s famous cookies showed up for us in the mail!

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I mean, just look at those flavors. These cookies are buttery, just sweet enough, and delicious. Thanks, Aunt Sharon!

Moves were pretty zen yesterday too. I walked around my neighborhood for half an hour, with some breaks to do jump squats, jump lunges, high knees, and low jacks.

I also did this yoga video at night, but not after some ridiculous indecisiveness on my part. After coming home from our mini spa day at 5:30, I wasn’t too hungry, but I could have eaten dinner right then. I knew I wanted to do some yoga, so I could either do yoga for an hour first and then eat, or vice versa.

I first decided to eat, so I took out a sandwich from the fridge and started to warm it up in the panini maker. But then I thought, “Hmm, I think I can actually do yoga first.” So I turned off the panini maker after it had already started warming up the sandwich, wrapped the sandwich back up, and put it back in the fridge.

I went upstairs to start some yoga, but by the time I put up my hair and chose my yoga video, I had become hungrier. Then I thought, “Ugh, I think I’ll have dinner first.”

Thus, I went back down to the kitchen, thought for a few seconds as to whether I really wanted to eat dinner at that moment, and finally made the decision to eat. I took the sandwich back out of the fridge, put it back into the panini maker (which was still warm from when I first turned it on), and ate it before I changed my mind again.

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When I have too much time on my hands, I have too much time to think.

Welcome to my brain, folks!

Hope you have a lovely Christmas Eve Eve! Or just a lovely Tuesday! My cousins are coming over today, hooray!

So tell me:

Are you an indecisive person?

Do you like French toast?

Have you been eating Christmas cookies yet?

P.S. I’ve been missing posting more frequently like this! Winter break is allowing me to stay true to the title of my blog, Daily Moves and Grooves. 

WIAW: A Poem

Every Wednesday there’s this fun party

About bloggers’ eats, both junk and healthy.

It’s hosted by a cool chick named Jenn,

Whose spunk will never run out ’til God knows when.

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Some people call it WIAW (wee-aw), because it’s “What I Ate Wednesday,”

But since I’m such a huge a rebel, I’m showing what I ate on Monday.

Just like Maria, we’ll start from the very beginning, a very good place to start.

Cookie dough cereal with bananas and sunflower seed butter; adding blueberries was also quite smart.

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I believe I also had half a nectarine,

But the photo is nowhere to be seen.

My midday meal happened late in the afternoon,

Since I woke up super late and a normal lunchtime would be too soon.

So after some yoga and chores, I ate a delicious meal,

With simple ingredients, supah fresh, and supah real.

{Except the ketchup I added to the eggs afterwards.}

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A monster spring mix salad, in a bowl the size of my head,

And a toasty wheat roll with avocado and perfect scrambled eggs.

Since I always need cheese in life, I also had some brie

Atop my favorite crackers, Wheat Thins, slightly sweet and so crispy.

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I had quite a few— too many to count

Later on, the same thing happened with these peanuts

I had three times this amount.

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{Sweet and Salty Valencia Peanuts from Costco!}

I took a walk and visited Daliza

Because I always like to see her (say that in a British accent so it rhymes with Daliza).

Despite a late lunch and lots of snacking,

I was hungry for dinner pretty early, and my food’s flavor was not lacking.

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I had leftover pasta salad with extra parmesan cheese

Plus a couple ravioli Mom cooked up, which made me quite pleased.

I used to be afraid of all these carbohydrates. I thought it would make me fat in my sleep.

How foolish that conception was, for without pasta today, I would weep.

Some veggies were thrown in there for nutrients and fun

Hey look, I could still take a picture at night by the light of the sun!

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After going on a lovely evening walk with mom and dad,

I was ready for a sweet treat that’s tasty and rad

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It was peanut butter banana soft serve, cool and creamy.

It’s incredibly easy to make, and it always tastes so dreamy.

I ate it with a side of Greek yogurt, because would you expect anything else?

It added a lovely tanginess, plus some extra protein for myself.

Since I’m basically nocturnal and I stay up pretty late,

I needed a little something to satisfy and satiate.

Of course, I turned to a trusty ol’ classic that never fails me:

Dried figs and Greek yogurt, the best snack that ever could be.

dried figs and greek yogurt

{recycled photo}

That concludes my day of yummy eats. I hope you enjoyed!

My poetry skills are terrible, and my brain is starting to become void.

So tell me:

Are you a good poet?

Fun fact: I won a national pro-life poetry contest in 8th grade (those skills were not reflected here today…), so I got to go to Washington D.C. to be honored for it. I met Dr. Alveda King, who is Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece!

What has been your favorite snack recently?

Weekend Confessions III

Hey there!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekends, whether you were celebrating the red, white, and blue or catching up on rest and relaxation! My weekend was very relaxing, but I also had a blast with my friends and family. So blessed!

MiMM

Joining Katie‘s marvelous Monday!

I have so much to say about my weekend, so I’m gonna do it confession style {third edition}:

Confession #1:

On the night when we were supposed to have fireworks(the night before 4th of July), Daliza and I wanted soft serve ice cream so badly, but the nasty thunderstorm was preventing us from going to get some. So we pouted and nearly cried like 4-year-olds…

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…until it stopped raining.

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Score.

We’re adults, I promise.

Confession #2:

I spend a good 20+ minutes each day working on my handstand. I shall stick the dang thing. Right, Amanda?

Confession #3:

My moves have been walking, Pilates, and yoga recently. Because slower workouts just need to happen right now.

Confession #4:

I left Ben at home on 4th of July to go to a graduation party. He had just arrived from Boston for the holiday weekend, so I picked him up, brought him home, and left him there. I made him pasta salad and he napped, so he was alright. He also went over to his friend’s house, so it’s not like I completely abandoned him. 😉

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Confession #5:

Italian families are so FUN. Michael had his graduation/his mom’s birthday party on the 4th, and it was a blast. Not only was the food amazing (*ahem* an Oreo+Reese’s ice cream cake— holla), but the company was even better. We played Loaded Questions of course (thanks for lending it to us, Veronica!).

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Also, watching the World Cup with his family was craaaaazy. In a good way!

Confession #6:

I was so hyper on sugar when I got home from the graduation party (ice cream + cookies=Alison is off the walls). It was too dark to walk outside and I wasn’t really feeling yoga, so I literally walked up and down my stairs for a good 20 minutes. I prayed while I was at it, because…I’m insane for walking up and down my stairs at 11 PM why not?

Confession #7:

This weekend was the first time I went to the pool this summer. I went because the kids I babysit wanted me to join them and their parents. My skin doesn’t like chlorine, so I didn’t want to go at first, but I caved (their little faces!!!) and went. It was fun! And COLD. Next time, I won’t go when the sun is setting.

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I just didn’t put my head underwater because a) I would have been extra cold; b) I still had makeup on— don’t wanna scare people looking like a raccoon.

Confession #8:

My parents are like teenagers updating their social media pages. 

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It’s okay, they needed to post real time updates for their anniversary celebration!

Confession #9:

The food at the restaurant we went to for their anniversary was pretty terrible. My gargantuan crab cake had lots of fillers and no flavor. Dad’s “blood orange mascarpone cheesecake” was rubbery. Mom’s “panna cotta” was curdled. The food was clearly not fresh, which was a bummer.

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Blood orange mascarpone cheesecake was actually just a funky rainbow sherbet sponge

#firstworldproblems

Oh well. Ya win some, ya lose some.

Confession #10:

I turned into a huge sports fan this weekend. All the World Cup and Wimbledon excitement has me yelling at the television like my dad. I do usually like watching tennis, but this is a once-every-four-years occurrence when it comes to soccer.

I know, I’m a fake fan.

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I definitely have so many more confessions, but I think ten is quite enough, huh? So despite the gnarly food at that restaurant, this weekend was absolutely splendid!

Hope you all have a marvelous day!

So tell me:

How did you celebrate 4th of July?

Have you gone swimming this summer?

Have you ever eaten food at a restaurant that was just nasty?

 

 

 

 

Things I Learned Yesterday

Yep, it feels like summer.

I usually look around and realize how much I have to do, but yesterday I looked around and realized how much I DON’T have to do. In one sense, that was liberating, but in another sense, that made me anxious. I like to be productive (or at least feel like I’m being productive), so this threw me for a loop.

It was a relaxing day, but I did find some fun + not-as-fun things to keep me occupied. Idleness ain’t cool. So this is what I learned yesterday as I found things to do:

I’ve lost so much flexibility.

I did this 60 minute yoga video, and some stretches that used to feel awesome felt…not so awesome anymore. I mean, I still got a nice stretch, but man was it humbling! I guess it’s a gentle/painful reminder to keep stretching.

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[source]

I can do a headstand {against a wall}! 

Then I try to get my toes off the wall and I’m down in three seconds, yay! But hey, at least I know my noggin can handle the weight.

My burpee wound is finally healed enough for me to not wear a bandage. 

It’s ugly and scary though.

Nectarines are naked peaches. 

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I always thought there was a slight difference in flavor between the two, but nope! They taste exactly the same. Peaches just have the fuzz.

I can do a dead hang pull-up!

It has to be at the right time, and it sorta looks like I’m fighting to not fall off a cliff, but I finally got it!

I still don’t like to vacuum.

I vacuumed yesterday so I could be useful around the house. It was fine, but it’s still my least favorite chore. It’s really the mile-long cord that’s the biggest obstacle.

There are dragonflies outside my house that could be mistaken for mini dinosaurs.

What the heck.

Brie + jam sandwich ➔ “where have you been all my life?”

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Do it if you haven’t yet. Do it if you already have.

June is over.

That’s not even possible. So many awesome things have happened this month, but it’s been such a whirlwind that I haven’t noticed that the calendar days keep flipping.

I have so much to read this summer!

Mostly books related to faith/meditation, but books nonetheless! I’m actually excited to read those kinds of books. I might throw some fiction in there for spice and everything nice (I’m usually more of a memoir person). The Rosie Project, Paper Towns (recommended by Jeannine!), and Hungry look interesting! Oh, and maybe I’ll finally finish Catching Fire… but chances are slim.

Hope you all have a lovely day!

So tell me:

Do you work on flexibility often?

Any recent fitness goals reached?

Brie and jam?!

What’s on your summer reading list?