I Have a Dream + Lately

I posted this yesterday morning, but for some reason, some readers only saw half the post while others saw the whole post. So I took it down and here I am re-posting it!


This post is not about Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Although he is obviously a character to be revered and happens to be a Boston University alumnus #holla. And may we also remember his courage especially during this time of the events in Charlottesville and Burkina Faso. Let us pray for the souls lost, those who are injured, all those affected and those who have hurt others.)

This post is about a dream that I have that was prompted by a bowl of ramen. Allow me to explain.

Last Saturday, I went to a quasi-famous little ramen place called Yume Wo Katare with my friend Justin, and the experience was fantastic, in the truest sense of the word. There was a line of people waiting outside before it opened for dinner, and we got to see the staff’s pre-opening ritual (perhaps?), which involved shouting things in a circle, jumping up and down and getting FIRED UP.

So they bring you into their little shack of a restaurant, which is made up of an open kitchen and three rows of 6 seats each, all facing the chefs. Our host gave us a rundown of what the restaurant is all about — good food (ramen) and good people who share their dreams and support others’ dreams.

The bowl of ramen is symbolic of your dream (could be a short term or long term dream). Eating the bowl of ramen is symbolic of you achieving your dream. Why? Because there will be people, doubts and circumstances that will try to get in the way of your dream, but you have to just push through the obstacles to achieve your dream.

peep the fatty broth, the fat rim on the pork, and the FAT SPRINKLE ON TOP WHAT THE FRICK

The bowl of ramen is similar in that the fattiness and saltiness of this epic bowl of ramen will try to slow you down and keep you from finishing it all, but you just have to persevere and try to get to the bottom of that bowl.

There are three sizes: regular (a lot of food), buta (translates to “pig”, means bigger sized bowl with more pork belly), and extra large (for the insane). I got a regular and Justin got a buta because he’s one of those metabolic machines (read: a young man).

So you wanna reach your dream by finishing the bowl of ramen, right? If you finish everything, including the broth, the staff shouts, “PERFECT!” If you finish everything but the broth, they shout, “GOOD JOB!” If you leave some solid food and broth, they say, “Almooooost.” If you leave a lot of food left, they say, “Next tiiiiime.”

I got a “GOOD JOB!” and got cramps afterwards, but it was a glorious bowl of ramen. The noodles were my favorite part.

But before they grade your ramen bowl, they give you the option of stating your dream to the other 17 customers + staff in the room. I didn’t know what I wanted to say as my dream, but I decided I would say something anyway.

I ended up saying:

My dream is to make everyone I meet in life know how much they are loved.

That is some of the mushiest cheese that I have ever spoken, but it’s true. As a nomad of life and an indecisive person, I have no specific professional or personal dreams, but making everyone feel genuinely loved is very important to me.

I can only say this because I have been genuinely loved by other souls throughout my life, even (and sometimes especially) when I don’t deserve the love. “To whom much is given, much will be expected.” – Someone Wise

And now for some updates on life! I’ve missed blogging so much. Finals were kicking my DERRIÈRE, but WE ARE DONE AS OF TODAY!! For two weeks at least.

Colby (← her new website is BOSS) finished her summer in Boston a couple weeks ago 😦 As a “see ya later” send-off, we went to a Power Stryde class at MyStryde in Boston’s North End, because moving and grooving together is what we do best. It was a fun class!

can’t wait to see your face again, Colby ♥︎

We followed that with a trip to Boston Public Market (my first time there after living here for three years?)!

I bought brown sugar blueberry bread from Jennifer Lee’s allergen-free bakery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this delicious bread for dessert/study reward the next three nights. Served a la mode with peanut butter, of course.

On one night a couple weeks ago, it was raining, I desperately needed to go grocery shopping, and Target decided it was a good time to switch over to paper bags. Ergo…

But now I don’t live so far away from campus, so this doesn’t have to happen anymore! I moved from Christie’s place to an apartment closer to campus with Rachel and our friend Lauren, which has been great. I’m tolerated a decent amount of disaster in my half-unpacked room as finals finished up, but now I can start fixing up this crib.

It’s an off-campus apartment, so I get to stay put for a WHOLE. YEAR. HALLELUJAH.

the lighting is nice in the living room too, just saying

Before I left Christie’s place, I had one last night with her dog, Koga, and boy did we have a memorable night together! Koga is a really good dog, but he apparently had way too much water to drink that day, so the poor thing peed inside while I was alone at home with him.

How could you be mad at this face though?

Moving was a (relative) breeze thanks to Christie and Andrew, who helped me move and drive all my stuff to the new place, and my parents, who came up to deliver my bed frame and mattress last weekend. Blessed.

Another #blessed moment was when Rachel spotted a curbed dresser a block away from our apartment and convinced me to take it for my room, since I have practically zero furniture. But when we quickly discovered that the dresser was absurdly heavy, a knight in shining armor kind and burly man sitting on his deck offered to help us move it into my room. It was still a ridiculously sweaty and difficult task with the three of us, but the man’s strength and chivalry was SO appreciated.

I’m baking him cookies sometime this week.

My legs get more attractive by the day, lemme tell you.

(bruises from moving the dresser)

Studying for four exams within 7 days has been…a lot. But some bonafide pray, eat, move and groove action has made it all beautiful.

still doing workouts with Spartan buddy (feat. “the best chocolate milk in the world” – Ben)

getting peer pressured into going to Tasty Burger with friends on Sunday night instead of going straight to studying *shrugs* – worth it

banana pancakes!

chicken enchiladas with homemade sauce (← so much easier than I imagined)

5.3(!!) mile run with Janice and Justin (they definitely slowed down for me, but I think we all enjoyed it!)

Elayne made us a healthy skillet cookie one night before an exam ♥︎ 

study snackage

our friend Joy made blueberry cheesecake that night too, and it was phenomenal (we had some for breakfast the next day too heh)

chatting, studying and sharing a giant blueberry muffin with my girl Janice = happiness

Lastly, this happened before 10 am Sunday:

Rachel and I went to MET Back Bay for brunch, since their Croque Madame was on our food bucket list. LOOK AT IT. The photo does not do the cheese weight and deliciousness justice. The fries with crispy sage and garlic dipping sauce were also ridiculous. We split that and the California Hen House Hash…

…which was a deep skillet of potatoes, chicken, onions, peppers, 10 more pounds of cheese, avocado and two eggs.

Just as we needed to put our forks down before finishing that monstrously epic meal, I need to put my fingers to rest with this freaking long post.

Hope you all have a blessed week! You are so loved. Promise.

So tell me:

What is your dream (short term or long term)?

Three things that have made you smile this past week!

Best thing you’ve eaten recently. I am so spoiled and can’t even choose. Probably the croque madame though.

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Bittersweet

What is your record number of times you’ve moved within one year?

By the end of the summer I think I’ll be at 7. College student, ya know…c’est la vie.

This past week has been a bittersweet whirlwind as I’ve gotten to spend quality time with many of my best friends yet watch many of them graduate and move on to the next chapter of their lives. It happens every year, but it never gets easier.

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some of the beautiful grads straight outta Compton commencement

I also feel like I’ve kind of graduated, since I’m done with undergraduate studies and am now a graduate PT student, even though I don’t officially graduate until next year. So I tell my friends that I feel like an insignificant blob: “Am I an undergraduate? A senior? A grad student? I’m moving on, but not really. Most of my closest friends have graduated. I have to do adults things, but I’m still dependent on my parents.”

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Anyway, this past week was such a blessing. Buckle up, there’s a lot to catch up on!

Monday 

I went to coffee at Trident Cafe (one of those trendy bookstores/cafes) with my friend Connor, but we neither ordered coffee nor read books. We just sat there and had great convo for a while.

Later that night, I invited some non-senior friends who still hadn’t moved out yet to my apartment for dinner, ice cream, and High School Musical 3. It was the BEST.

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Tuesday

I worked from morning until afternoon on Tuesday, did 100 burpees for time at home (the fastest workout in all the land), then went to the Catholic Center to help our superwoman of an office director, Fran, set up and cook the annual dinner for our graduating seniors.

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we (“the help”) got our fair share of the delicious food as well!

Fran works exceptionally hard for our community, and even for this one event, she was up literally before dawn to make sure everything was perfect for the seniors. What a woman.

After dinner, some of the senior guys invited everyone over to their apartment for game night. We decided to play “Salad Bowl” (aka “fish bowl” to some), which is a cross between Catch Phrase, Taboo, and charades. Highly recommend this game for a crowd — ’twas a hilariously good time.

Wednesday

By the middle of the week, the temperatures were [finally] getting steamy and summery!

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I did one of my favorite workouts sometime in the morning before cooking a picnic lunch for my friend Casey and me. Casey has been a mentor and one of my best friends here at BU, and this was one of our last formal mentorship meetings since she was graduating.

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I made us some Korean BBQ salmon, sautéed frozen veggies and brown rice to eat by the Charles River on the gloriously warm and sunny day.

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My friend Briana left me with a bunch of frozen salmon and frozen veggies that sustained me during my last days on campus. Thanks, girl!

Casey and I ate and chatted for hours, so you know it was quality time.

That night, my friend Lauren invited people to go swing dancing at MIT, and you bet I came along to move and groove!

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Thursday

Domenica, Sarah and I (as non-seniors) helped out our dear senior friends with their photoshoot in the morning. Their photographer, Kelsey, was also among the graduating seniors, so she needed to be photographed too!

The following ten photos are property of my talented friend Kelsey!

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UGH I’M GOING TO CRY. I love them all so much.

After Mass that night, a bunch of us went out for $0.25 wings at Thornton’s! Wings aren’t my favorite things in the world, but I definitely couldn’t pass ’em up when they were so cheap. Plus, they had sauces other than buffalo (← yuck).

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4 BBQ, 4 teriyaki, 4 honey mustard = $3

Finger-lickin’ goodness.

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As the sun set, we headed over to Cafe 472 for some froyo. Domenica and I split a cup of vanilla peppermint that was super refreshing.

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I ended my night with some packing and more frozen veggie cooking, haha.

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sautéing them with fresh onions, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano makes them pretty gourmet, if I do say so myself

Friday

Graduations begin! First we attended the College of Communications graduation for Kelsey. Then we had a couple hours before the next graduation, during which I did a 20 minute workout in my apartment and inhaled lunch. We have a couple friends in the Business School, so we attended that one as well, but it was LONG.

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There were approximately 900 students in the school of business, so some of us had to leave for potty and snack breaks during the diploma presentations.

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I went home to pack some more afterwards, and Rachel kept me company and joined me for dinner!

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more of the same — this time, pesto salmon for me and sriracha salmon for her

Connor and Louis invited some friends over to their place to watch Shawshank Redemption, which neither Rachel nor I had ever seen. I could only stay for half since I needed to go to sleep early-ish, but I want to finish it soon!

Saturday

I needed to sleep early the night before so that I could work out with my fellow Spartan, Ben at 7am Saturday morning. We did a hodgepodge of things at the park, including suicide sprints, burpee pull-ups, planks, sit-ups, push-ups, and squats.

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I showered at home and took a nap before my parents arrived to help me move out of my BU apartment and into a friend’s apartment just for June and July. I so appreciated their help in making move-out/move-in so smooth! It was also just lovely to see Madre and Pop ♥︎

They took me and my friends out to lunch at a ramen place called Pikaichi, which was fantastic.

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fried shrimp shumai and fried chicken to start

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spicy miso ramen for me (finished it ALL)

Next I went to Mass and then rushed to work for a wedding in Cambridge all night. It was a Catholic couple who was looking for young and competent people to help out for the night, so a few friends and I hopped on the opportunity. It was a busy and tiring 7 hours, but also very fun to help make the couple’s night smooth and special.

We also got to eat some of their food, which included BBQ and Colombian food(!!!).

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Sunday

Another busy but wonderful day! It started off with the Neuroscience graduation for Rachel.

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She graduated summa cum laude and got invited into a prestigious honor society! What a babe!

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Rachel’s mom kindly took us out for brunch at Panera afterwards. I got something substantial to hold me through the long, school-wide commencement to follow.

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The weather was perfect for the big outdoor commencement — sunny, not too hot, not too cold. Sitting in the sun for 2+ hours gets intense no matter what, though, but check out these fun hats they provided!

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lol

Rachel’s mom, Dom and I were betting on how long it would take for the 6,300+ graduates just to process in and take their seats. We were thinking 15 minutes or less…It took 26.5 minutes.

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Yeesh. But the ceremony and the speakers were great. I’m so proud of these people!!!

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I spent the rest of the day and night with Rachel and her mom, who took care of me so well. Her mom took us out to all you can eat sushi and let me stay at her hotel for the night. What generosity! It was so fun spending time with both of them.

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Monday

Yesterday, I said goodbye to more friends who were either going back home, moving on to work elsewhere, or going on vacation. It was a gloomy day, which definitely reflected my emotions.

Some other happenings of the day included a killer workout…

…getting some work business done, unpacking, getting interviewed randomly by two women on the sidewalk, getting asked out to coffee but a completely random stranger on the sidewalk (I know, it was a weird day to be on the sidewalk), Mass, and hanging out with PJ and friends at since PJ is leaving for a long time 😦

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we shared nachos + I got chicken fajitas

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We will miss you, PJ!

And now here I am catching you up on these million and one things that have happened this past week from my mess of a bedroom.

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But while everything changes constantly, two things always remain the same: God and peanut butter in my breakfast.

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Hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday!

So tell me:

What have you been up to recently!?

Did you watch anyone graduate this month/did YOU graduate?

What’s your favorite party game?

What’s for breakfast?

 

Friday Fun(ny) Facts

And then there were three…

We helped move Ben back into his apartment in Boston yesterday since he starts classes on Monday, leaving Pop, Madre and me at home. It’ll be my turn to go back to Boston in 8 days!

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not in this weather though…

For this Friday’s post, I’m sharing some random fun/funny facts about this week!

1) I accidentally discovered a way to make my eyelashes look fabulous. First of all, I have super short, straight eyelashes that point forwards and sometimes downwards (#AsianProblems). Mascara helps, but it’s still usually hard to see those little stinkers.

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Example.

Last week, when I was roasting baby potatoes for our New Year’s Eve dinner, I opened the oven to check on them and hot air/steam blasted my face. It kinda hurt and I felt something weird happen to my eyelashes. I feared they might have burned off or something, but when I checked in the mirror, it looked as if I just used the best eyelash curler in the world. The hot air seemed to have “ironed” my lashes upward (I was also wearing mascara).

Lesson: I need to put on mascara and then nearly burn my face to get nice-looking eyelashes. (Nah.)

2) I attempted to make lava cake for Madre, but it ended up being…cake. With a weird texture.

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I think I scrambled the egg in the stovetop portion of the recipe. At least it tastes good (to a chocolate-lover)!

3) I decided to run on Wednesday night, and I kept passing a couple ladies walking their dogs whenever I looped around. One of the ladies said, “You’re fast!” Hahaha that’s new. She was being quite generous because I was going at, like, 10:00 pace. But I still appreciated the encouragement!

4) I ate peanut butter with chopsticks.

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Long story short: I needed something to eat, there was nothing else to eat in the car, and there were no spoons around. Thankfully, Madre carries chopsticks in her purse.

5) Ben’s apartment is on the fourth floor of his building. There are no elevators in his building. I’ll leave it at that.

We did fuel very well the night before with a lovely family dinner at a place called Bistro 12IMG_9750

delicious, light, and crispy calamari to start

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(HUGE) tasty salmon

Madre, Ben and I fueled very well after the move-in too. Large platters of meat, rice, and veg at our favorite Vietnamese market.

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7) I am constantly in awe of the supportive blog community. Seriously, thank you all for being such great people who truly care about the person behind the blog post. ♥︎

Speaking of the blog community, here are a few of my favorite links from this week (and last week)!

A Letter to All Girls: You Are Magnificent, So Don’t Settle via The Peanut Butter Lover

The Smartest Thing You Can Do For Yourself Today via Marc and Angel

Sit Back and RELAX via Emmy’s Yummys

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bake via Fit Foodie Finds


Happy Friday, friends. I’m seeing Daliza today!!!

So tell me:

A fun/funny fact from this week.

Do you have a secret to luscious lashes?

What are you doing today?

Reinforcing Lessons About Exercise

There is currently a fly buzzing around the kitchen, which makes me equal parts mad and sad. Mad because it wants to get at my banana bread mug cake. Sad because flies are gross.

Alright, I have some foodie talk this morning before we get into the meat of the post.

First of all, I ate classic overnight oats in a sunflower seed butter jar (with 2+ tbsp left in the jar) for breakfast yesterday! It might be one of my all-time favorite breakfasts. I enjoyed it in my backyard since it was such a gorgeous and mild morning. Very few things could have made it more perfect.

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Secondly, I think pita bread needs to be on people’s grocery lists more often. That’s right, I’m asserting my opinion over your grocery list. *smiling purple devil emoji* For good reason though! Pita bread takes sandwiches to a new level. The fluffy, doughy factor is superb, AND you can fit more oddly shaped foods inside.

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inside the pita: avocado, pork souvlaki, mint yogurt sauce, tomatoes, and sriracha added later

Let me know if you buy some pita bread now. If you do, I’ll look into marketing and advertising as a side job.

Speaking of jobs, I want to talk about some lessons that my physical therapy internship has taught me/reinforced. There is very little doubt in my mind that physical therapy is what I want to continue pursuing as a career, and it’s thanks to my summer internship experience and what it has taught me!

Besides everything I’ve learned about anatomy, diseases, and therapy techniques, I’ve sort of re-learned a lot of lessons about taking care of our bodies through movement.

Health Lessons Reinforced Through My Physical Therapy Internship

  • Do not dismiss seemingly easy exercises. Go back to the basics and re-check your form/range of motion. Try an exercise that you’ve never done before, even if it looks easy. You’d be very surprised how well certain exercises can work those smaller (yet still very important!) muscles.

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like these…they kill those smaller glute muscles you never knew you had

  • Flexibility is essential. This doesn’t mean you have to be able to bend backwards until your head is through your legs, but flexibility is certainly important for your overall health and fitness. A full range of motion will help you in your fitness endeavors as well as in injury prevention.
    • P.S. Hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds. That is the minimum for lengthening to actually occur. You can hold it longer, but it won’t make any difference. 30 seconds is the magic number!
  • Almost every injury or anatomical issue can be aided by core strengthening. Planks, y’all. Your core protects your back, promotes good posture (which also protects your back), supports your legs, and helps with balance.

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speaking of form…

  • Form is everything. I’m sure you all knew this already, but this is just to reiterate. Don’t go for another rep or for the advanced variation of an exercise if your form is off. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Oh, unless…DON’T DO IT. I’m guilty of bad form, and I have indeed injured myself as a result.
    • Also, make sure to learn proper form before performing an exercise. I’m guilty of this as well, and guess what. I hurt myself because I didn’t know what I was doing.
  • Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. This is especially for people recovering from injury or getting back into an exercise routine after some time off. You might feel great when exercising, so it is easy to over-do it and agitate your body. You have to think about how your body might respond later. 
  • It’s all about progressThe looks on patients’ faces when they can walk without a limp or raise their arms completely overhead for the first time in months— it is the best part of the job. Exercise and movement is about YOUR progress. You will be filled with so much more joy if you just concern yourself with that rather than everyone else’s abilities.

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even if it’s literally one step at a time up a mountain

  • Be thankful for the ability to move. Exercise is nourishing for our bodies (in healthy amounts, of course). Whatever you do to move, keep safety first and rest when you need to. Exercise doesn’t have to be about getting big, getting skinny, or hitting PRs. It can just be about joy. It can just be about necessity for health. In any case, be thankful for movement and don’t disregard the “easy” stuff. Every form of exercise has its place.

With all that said, my PT internship has helped encourage me realize that there are so many ways I can move my body and improve its fitness without pushing it too hard. I can work on flexibility/mobility, balance, and strengthening those smaller muscles.

Kayyyy I’m done talking…typing…whatever. Hope you all have a grand ol’ day!

So tell me:

Do you like pita bread? What would you put inside?

What is one way you’ve progressed with your exercise/fitness recently? Resting more counts 🙂 

{Disclaimer: All information I learned is from two physical therapists with their doctorate in physical therapy. One is also a certified personal trainer.}