I Ate a Whole Humble Pie This Week!

Not just a slice. Like, God pie’d me in the face with the whole humble pie.

I’ve been home for only five days, and I feel like I have learned many humbling lessons. Let’s just say: If you ask God to humble you and teach you how to love others more deeply, He WILL. Not always in the way you expect/prefer, but He will.

Without boring you too much with all lessons I learned, I will share just one slice of this humble pie, which is my hip pain that I’ve been complaining about this past week. After consulting two physical therapists, we have concluded that it is very likely that I have a labral tear, which means I will not be able to run the Spartan Race in two weeks. I’m kinda crushed, but I am thankful for loving friends and family and the ability to still walk and move.

Time to get reacquainted with lots of yoga and Pilates!

Humble pie isn’t the only thing I ate at home (thankfully). There have been two birthday celebrations and much-needed family/friend time!

Thursday

Back in Boston, my day started with green banana silver dollar pancakes. Because I had time…

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…or so I thought. Until I left way too late for the bus station FOR NO GOOD REASON AT ALL and ended up having to run for the bus. I felt like such a dummy for leaving so late and almost missing my bus. I am often late to things, but this really woke me up. #humbled.

Thanks be to God, I juuuuuuuust made the bus and arrived to New York that night. My family welcomed me back with a belated birthday dinner at my favorite Japanese restaurant!

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fantastic fried calamari to start

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salad that came with my sushi dinner

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eel avocado, yellowtail, and tuna — all my favorites!

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“Ichiro Sushi Sandwich” — spicy tuna, lobster salad, crab, egg, avocado wrapped in soy paper

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Ben and Pop’s sushi and sashimi for two!

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celebrating 21 with a shiso leaf mojito — very tasty!

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We left full to the brim with sushi, so my dessert was a scrumptious mini pistachio muffin (made by my aunt) from our fridge.

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Friday

I started the day with Lori and Michelle’s great 18 minute plank workout, followed by a hearty breakfast.

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steel cut banana oats with cinnamon raisin pb + two eggs with veggies and sriracha

Madre and I went to get our nails done and then to shop at Trader Joe’s. It was a lovely mother-daughter date 🙂

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afternoon snack plate

We tag-teamed dinner — I made the brussels sprouts and she made the salmon (plus the leftover rice).

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Classic and so satisfying!

Saturday

Breakfast was small because there was a giant feast ahead!

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greek yogurt with bananas, cinnamon, and almond butter

Moves and grooves of the day included 45 minutes of YouTube yoga before we all got dressed up and headed to the Big Apple for Pop’s grand 50th birthday celebration! He wanted to go all out for his half-century on this planet, so we started with an uber fancy late lunch at Jean-Georges, a Michelin Star restaurant located in Columbus Circle. Ooooooooo la laaaaa.

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’twas such a gorgeous day!

After we took some photos outside, we stepped into the restaurant for our 2:15pm reservation.

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Pop wanted to do the spring tasting menu, which the waiter requested the whole table do. The birthday boy had spoken, so we went with the fixed spring tasting menu. It did not disappoint!

Bread basket: I went with a slice of the Swedish rye (smeared with butter), which was very textured and flavorful!

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Amuse bouche: sesame-crusted asparagus with yuzu sabayon + beet-cured salmon sashimi with chili pepper over sunflower seeds and yogurt + warm herbal tea. Everything on the plate was delicious on its own, and the herbal tea was more like broth, but very good!

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Course one: softly poached organic egg, caviar, whipped yogurt, herbs + buttered brioche stick for stirring and dipping. This was my favorite dish of the whole meal! That buttered bread stick with the soft egg and perfectly salty caviar — so unique and incredible.

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Course two: Madai sashimi, pastel radishes, nasturtium vinaigrette. This was very zesty and similar to ceviche. Refreshing and pretty to look at!

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Course three: warm green asparagus, sautéed sorel mushrooms, sherry vinaigrette. These were some of the best vegetables ever. Those mushrooms were so flavorful and meaty!

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Course four: slowly cooked bass, crunchy oat tuile, herbal lime dressing. Melt-in-your-mouth fish with great tangy dressing and some sort of pea puree. The crunchy oat tuile was so fun too!

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Course five: rack of lamb crusted with herbs, fresh chickpea puree, carrots, and aleppo pepper sauce. The best lamb I’ve ever eaten. The aleppo pepper sauce went so well with the meat, and everything on the plate just WORKED.

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Course six: strawberry gelée, frozen basil and vanilla morsels, crunchy tapioca pearls, strawberries. Insanely interesting. It was like the most sophisticated version of strawberry jello with dip ‘n’ dots you could ever imagine. I wouldn’t choose this dessert myself, but it was fun to eat and pretty tasty!

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Bonus dessert: Pop’s surprise chocolate birthday cake with raspberry filling

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Bonus dessert part two: homemade vanilla bean marshmallows, orange liqueur jelly, lemon curd-filled chocolates, basil chocolates, sesame caramels, chocolate liqueur-filled chocolate balls. They cut the marshmallows table side, which was the coolest. And all the chocolates minus the orange jellies were so interesting in a good way!

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he totally made his arm/hand positions perfect for my photo

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Utterly STUFFED. The food at Jean-Georges was ridiculously creative and well done, and the service was top-notch. Thank you, Madre and Pop, for letting us join in on this spectacular food experience!

After our long lunch, we gave Pop his cards…

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love how my aunt gave him a KIND bar in his card haha

 …and then walked over to Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church, which is beautiful.

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Following Mass, we had another appointment at Minskoff Theater for the Broadway musical, The Lion King! We had heard rave reviews about it basically since we moved to New York, and this weekend was finally our time to see it.

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The show is really unlike any other Broadway musical I’ve ever watched. The characters are pulled off with ingenious costumes, humor and fantastic visual effects. And the singing and dancing is marvelous!

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Highly recommend 🙂 Such a heartwarming classic brought to life in an imaginative way.

Ben and I had a (literal) midnight snack at home and then we all hit the hay. What a wonderful day.

Sunday

Pop’s official 50th birthday! I slept in and then started on lunch for the fam. I needed a little snack though, so I ate some leftover salmon on a bed of spinach to hold me over.

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I grilled up some pancakes, roasted chicken drumsticks, and made Pop a chopped salad. Madre fried some plantains and helped me clean up a lot. What a team.

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After digesting, I laid low before doing a strength workout in the basement:

4 rounds:

  • 20 bentover rows (15# KBs)
  • 20 thrusters (36#)
  • 20 weighted setups (15#)
  • 20 donkey kicks each leg

(Walking and running hurt, but squats don’t hurt at all.)

Later that night, I met my high school dance friend, Susie, in the city for dinner! We met up at Cava, which is basically a Mediterranean version of Chipotle, except much better IMO. They give you so many toppings!!

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Susie recommended their juices, so we both got the strawberry mint lime. We tasted a bunch of them before deciding, and they were all so good!

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In my bowl: superfood greens, brown rice, harissa, eggplant feta dip, tzatziki, grilled beef meatballs, radishes, cucumber tomato salad, cauliflower quinoa tabouli, pita chips, and lemon herb tahini.

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RIGHT!? So much goodness! The company was the best part of the night though. It was so great catching up with Susie!

Monday

First thing in the morning, I dropped off Ben at the train station and then headed to the hospital I worked at last summer for one of my physical therapist friends to do a quick evaluation of my hip. She (along with my PT aunt) said that I probably have a labral tear. *sigh*

Head up, Alison!

I went back home for breakfast and a nap. I have been SO tired this week at home.

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greek yogurt, cinnamon, berries, chia seeds, purple corn flakes (!!), leftover pancake quarter, almond butter

The rest of my day involved Mass, some computer work and organization for school, and this Blogilates workout. I still want to move my joints and keep my muscles strong, but workouts are definitely very low impact and careful now.

At night, my high school friends Sam and Michael came over to hang out, which was so fun! We ordered pizza, and Madre (being the hospitable gem she is) fried up some egg rolls and TWO different kinds of pork.

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margherita

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veggie

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fried noms

And now it’s 1am and I should sleep, because next week I will be an 8-5 working human.

I hope you all have a lovely week! Prayers especially for all those in England and Europe in general ♥︎

So tell me: 

Which food in this post would you want to try!?

Two fun things you did this weekend.

What is your favorite musical?

Have you been humbled recently?

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Gluttony or “Just Living”?

This weekend was definitely gluttony.

Disclaimer: If you are struggling with disordered eating, I ask that you please read with caution or not read this post at all. Please take care ♥︎ 

But let’s talk about guilt over gluttony in the context of recovering from an eating disorder. I’ll start with a little fact about myself:

Before I developed disordered eating habits, I experienced guilt over eating more than I thought I should, because I felt that I was being selfish if I ate to the point of satiation. What about all the children my age who have nothing to eat for dinner tonight? My parents shut that down really quickly, but this is a real sentiment that I had when I was younger.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s prudent and good to avoid gluttony and to be mindful of our brothers and sisters who have less to eat than us. However, I know from experience that there can be uncertainty between two thoughts during recovery:

“Am I eating all this for the sake of recovery?”

vs.

“Am I just being gluttonous?”

I am neither a dietitian nor a priest, but I do know that “gluttony” is necessary for recovery from an anorexia-type eating disorder. I put “gluttony” in quotation marks because eating a lot— an amount greater than you feel like eating—during recovery from an anorexia-type eating disorder is essential for healing the mind and body. It is the only way to get yourself to reach a healthy weight and challenge restricting behaviors.

(This doesn’t mean eating until you get sick, but many of you probably understand what I mean.)

So what happens once you are completely recovered (or even 99.9% recovered)? Personally, I believe I am well past the point of “eating more food for the sake of my health”. If I eat more than I think I should at this stage of my life, it’s probably unnecessary. But am I gluttonous or “just living”? 

I think it can be argued that “just living” involves a little bit of gluttony. Most of us don’t need that extra drink or dessert, but those extra treats that put us a little over the top can be good for our mental health and social experience.

According to Google, gluttony means “habitual greed or excess in eating”. I certainly believe that eating more than you really need is not a terrible thing every now and then (if you are at a healthy stage in life). However, for ME, once it becomes habitual — once excess eating becomes…excessive — that is where I’d say I’m being a little bit gluttonous.

This is a self-reflection. I do not mean to speak for anyone else! But I’m curious to hear if anyone has similar reflections.

So let’s look at the amount of food my family and I ate this weekend.

Friday Night

Dinner at Shiki with our family friends.

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some bites of my parents’ yakitori

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squid appetizer for everyone to share

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gigantic mussels for everyone to share as well

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sushi for me!

Saturday

Back story: We and our family friends are HUGE foodies, and for whatever reason, it’s a tradition for us to go into NYC and do a “food crawl” to many different food vendors. Rule: We must walk.

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light breakfast (light for my standards): Greek yogurt with half a banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, blueberries, and pb

First stop: Chelsea Market! Also known as the land of “I can’t choose what to eat.”

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We all parted ways and bought our own dishes before reconvening, but we also shared a bunch of things. Many little bites here and there!

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little bites of a couple kinds of doughnuts from Doughnuttery — delicious!

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one of my favorite bites of the day: ginger pecan pie

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egg, ham, cheese, scallion corn muffin — totally up my alley

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Ben’s Mexican plate with cactus and beef

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I couldn’t even finish my salad after bites of all the other things!

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way too much food before noon #chelseamarket #nyc

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

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After Chelsea, we walked uptown towards Broadway via High Line for a more scenic route. The weather was overcast, cool, and absolutely perfect!

We watched a matinee of Book of Mormon, which is a pretty esteemed musical. It was definitely hilarious, but it was also so vulgar and blasphemous that every time something funny happened, all I could do was stare with wide eyes and a dropped jaw. I may have smiled too.

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I do appreciate it as a musical, however. The music is super catchy and the acting was phenomenal.

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"Hello!" 📘👔🙏🏼 #bookofmormon #broadway #nyc

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We headed over to Koreatown for our post-show/pre-dinner snack. Madre and Pop suggested a Korean food court called Food Gallery 32.

I had a bite of taiyaki, which is a pastry shaped like a fish, stuffed with red bean paste. Fresh out of the iron, this thing was FANTASTIC. Crisp exterior, gooey interior, rich filling.

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Colby, you’d love this.

Plus a sip of Ben’s taro bubble tea.

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Dessert before dinner (but don’t worry, we ate dessert after dinner too).

My uncle made reservations for us at Momofuku Nishi, a trendy, modern Japanese restaurant.

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#minimalist

We were basically sitting on wooden boxes, but I wasn’t mad about it.

Family style all day!

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cold shanghai noodles

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some magical fried chicken

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butter noodles that tasted cheesy but weren’t actually cheesy

Then there was this “Impossible Burger” that we split into eight little pieces.

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Perhaps you are asking, “What the heck is this sad looking burger doing at an upscale Japanese restaurant?” Well, the burger is vegan (the patty at least). But it 100% looks and tastes like meat. Hence, the “Impossible” Burger.

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The only wow factor was that it was vegan, because otherwise, it just tasted like a really mediocre fast food burger with subpar french fries.

The main event was this 10 lb. pork roast that my uncle had to order ahead of time for our party of seven.

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the bone literally slid right out

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Ben rolling up the sleeves

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We ate it in lettuce wraps with many delicious condiments, herbs, and sticky rice. There was a good amount of meat that we got to take home for leftovers! It was a heavenly piece of meat.

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Then it was time to walk our way to dessert. Our family friends stopped at Momofuku Milk Bar to pick up some cookies to go. Then we headed to Van Leeuwen ice cream. On our way though, we got distracted by a place called Snowdays, which sells “shaved cream”.

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It’s a frozen block of cream that is shaved. My aunt shared her black sesame shaved cream with coconut and mochi with all of us. Pretty unique! It’s like ultra light ice cream.

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Had to take a picture for ol’ Disney Channel’s sake. Did anyone else watch Wizards of Waverly Place?

Finally, Van Leeuwen. Ben and I shared three scoops (I was greedy. We definitely should have just gotten two scoops). I chose ginger, honeycomb, and vegan banana nut. They were all so good! I couldn’t choose a favorite.

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Obviously, humans don’t need this much food (unless you burn calories like Michael Phelps). I did feel gluttonous (especially with that ice cream at the end), and I do not condone eating like this every day of course, but it happened, it was a wonderful time with family, and I am grateful for all the food.

So tell me:

Have you ever struggled with discerning gluttony vs. “just living”?

Have you ever done a “food crawl”?

What are you doing today? Happy Labo(u)r Day!!! 

25 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

You know what hurts a lot?

Stubbing your toes. I get bruises, cuts, bumps, and scrapes all the time, but nothing hurts quite like when your poor little piggies get assaulted by a coffee table’s leg.

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I bring that up because I just collapsed on the couch wailing at the world after stubbing my toe, while my brother and dad were watching the Democratic National Convention. They didn’t pay any attention to me, so I’m pleading for belated consolation.

On a happier note, today I’m doing a light-hearted survey that I found on Hayley’s blog a while ago. I’ve had deep thoughts for the past few posts, so this is a little break for me (and you). And who doesn’t love a good survey!?

25 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

Emphasis on “probably”, because Lord knows that I share about 90% of my life and thoughts on this blog.

1. I’m happiest when I’m praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament…

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photo credit to my friend, Bobby

 2. especially if it’s on retreat. Truly a glimpse of Heaven.

3. I’ve always wanted to lay outside somewhere quiet and dark and stare at the stars with someone I love. Also to see the Northern Lights.

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via Michael Shainblum Photography

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via Michael Shainblum Photography ➔ visit this guy’s Instagram!! I’m obsessed.

4. My family and I have a tradition of “the family hug”, in which we say “one, two, three, SQUEEZE”, subsequently squeezing each other in a four-way hug. Repeat for a total of three squeezes and then kiss one another on the cheek.

5. I was a terrible thrower. Still can’t really aim/follow through with any sort of projectile object.

6. My first job was searching and entering addresses into a spreadsheet for my dad.

7. I could probably eat (besides peanut butter and bananas) a sandwich every day.

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8. I wish I could bring all my Boston friends to Dublin with me this fall. </3

9. I was born on the same day as Brooke Shields.

10. My all time favorite films are Anne of Green Gables, The Help, and The Princess Diaries.

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11. I do a pretty mean British accent (but not on the spot, so don’t ask me to do it if you see me in person).

12. I’m still mad that I didn’t keep up my rigorous stretching after figure skating and high school dance.

13. I met my husband…  Did I!?

14. I always knew I wanted to pursue a job related to human movement. I wanted to be a dance choreographer (among other things) before gaining interest in physical therapy.

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15. I’m not afraid to be vulnerable. I wasn’t always unafraid of vulnerability though! I credit a lot of good people at college for changing me.

16. I make the best overnight oats, yogurt bowls, and avocado egg toast (because I can’t actually come up with my own recipes for much).

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17. I have absolutely no patience for rudeness toward anyone who is genuinely trying his/her best to provide good customer service.

18. I always cry when there is a sky full of stars (cue Coldplay).

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via Michael Shainblum Photography (but I’ve never seen a sky full of stars like THIS)

19. I’m overwhelmed by the possible ways by which I can finish this sentence.

20. I spent 2 years playing lead roles in my middle school musicals. I was Molly in Annie, Jr. in 7th grade and Jasmine in Aladdin, Jr in 8th grade.

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too small to fill out the scandalous “belly shirt” = wrinkly Jasmine

 21. I wish that every person had sufficient and convenient access to fresh water. (Ya know what, I’ll say what Hayley said: “I wish…everyone in the world had enough food, water, and shelter. And love.”)

22. At age 5, I was deeply in love with my Sailor Moon CD. I would sing and dance to the songs in my parents’ gigantic bathroom in Kansas, and Ben would film me. Video evidence is strictly confidential.

23. I believe if people took time to learn the complete truth before making judgements, the world would be a better place. Seeking truth will lead to Truth (aka God), and there would be a greater sense of understanding and peace in the world.

24. I can’t stand port-a-potties. I choose the woods over a port-a-potty any day.

25. Whenever “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by JT or “Let It Go” by James Bay is on the radio, I listen (changed this one, because I don’t really watch TV, but I listen to music like it’s my job).


And this isn’t a fun post without some recent food photos!

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peanut butter banana soft serve with Pop on Sunday night

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Sunday lunch: lettuce wraps with steamed lemongrass salmon, Thai basil, cilantro, fresh backyard mint, and sriracha

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Tuesday breakfast: leftover banana pancakes with butter and blueberries + two eggs scrambled with lots of veggies

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Monday dinner a la Madre: honey sriracha chicken drumsticks (she used this spice blend!) + sautéed mushrooms and onions over greens (+ unpictured salad roll)

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Wednesday breakfast: blueberry muffin overnight oats inspired by Fit Foodie Finds’ recipe

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the best

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tried this new bar

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it looks more gross than my cuticles, but it tastes fine

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and lastly, here is Ben doing post-dislocation shoulder exercises using bananas #TheWorldisYourGym

Happy pre-Friday already!

So tell me:

You’ve always wanted to…

You do a pretty mean…

You can’t stand…

Or any of the other questions you want to answer!

My First Time {At Chipotle}

Good morning!

This is the last week before spring break, and I can hardly stand it. Last week I said I had two field trips and a college visit on Friday, but that has decreased to one field trip and a college visit. I decided to pull out of one of the trips so I wouldn’t be too stressed over making up work.

Not gonna lie, I had a mini breakdown on Saturday morning because I was overwhelmed by all the things I had to do this weekend and the fact that I haven’t been getting that much sleep. Not insomnia or anything. Just overall, I was fatigued and not a fan of getting up early on Saturday and Sunday after long days and late nights. I mean, everything that happened this weekend was super fun, but at the same time, I just wanted to slow down and rest. I didn’t need to cry, but I just vented to madre, and I felt much better afterwards.

It’s weird— I wouldn’t cry if I didn’t have anyone to talk to, but once I get the words flowing, the tears follow shortly after.

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It is springtime.

Other than that episode of typical Alison, my busy weekend was still nothing short of marvelous!

MiMM

Thanks for hosting, Katie!

Friday

I received this Polar Loop activity tracker in the mail on Thursday because I won it from Gina‘s giveaway a while ago (luckiest win I’ve ever scored)!

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I don’t need it for any reason in particular, but I’ve been wearing it for the past few days to see what it has to say about my activity throughout the day. Since I don’t have the heart rate monitor with it, I know it doesn’t show the most accurate readings, especially when it comes to calories (seriously, I don’t pay attention to those counts at all). I don’t completely know how to work the thing yet in terms of setting daily goals and such; I apparently need to walk, jog and jump, like, an extra hour every day, even if I’ve been dancing and walking ALL DAY. Yeah, no. I’ll probably end up giving it to mom for her walking/running ventures.

It makes for a pretty sleek watch though!

Moves

I headed to the gym after school to do a bodyweight upper body workout that looked like this:

5 min. row warmup + supersets of the following:

  • 15 TRX rows + 10 TRX pike pushups
  • 20 tricep dips + different pushup variations
  • 10 TRX bicep curls + 10 BOSU pushups
  • 40 sec. pulling down on the rope machine + 40 sec. pulling up on rope machine

I may or may not have done some core exercises. I forget!

After a quick, but necessary, afternoon nap, my friends from company, Livv and Jane, went to our other friends’ (from company) senior high school musical production of Legally Blonde! We actually bought the last three tickets available, so we were sitting in the very back corner of the theater, laughing our heads off and making comments at everything like little rascals. 😉 It was such a great show though!

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Thanks for this beautiful selfie, Livv. Freaks in the back of the theater.

Saturday

Up and at ’em at 8:20 AM (okay, that’s not that early, but this girl was still exhausted) for an altar server meeting at 8:45 AM.

After getting back, I made a comforting bowl of banana oats with Greek yogurt and sunflower seed butter. The usual.

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I maneuver my spoon to save the nut butter for last 😉

Then it was off to assisting dance class at 11 AM, followed by my very last Saturday modern class of my high school career. 😦 It was a great, challenging class. After that, most of company (some people had prior engagements) walked over to the train station to go the city. We had a performance at Peridance that evening!

Once we got to Grand Central, we subbed it over to Union Square, where I had this stuff for the first time:

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Is Chipotle popular or something?

I finally “lost my Chipotle virginity” (<—my dad is so creeped out that I said that), and it was fantastic. The guac mountain was as good as people say it is. I must have gotten a little excited and asked for way too much food, because this bowl easily turned into THREE meals (lunch, dinner, and then lunch the next day) for myself. Now that’s a deal!

We made a Starbucks stop and then hung out at the park for a bit before going to the Peridance Center for warmup, tech rehearsal, and the performance, which started at 8:30 PM. Luckily, we were third in the program, so once we finished performing, we booked it out of there. Girls were beat from the long day.

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No, this isn’t part of our dance. We’re just weird.

Before catching the train back home though, we were craving something…

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Shake Shack vanilla frozen custard. Creaminess factor was unreal.

Sunday

That alarm could not have sounded worse at 7:40 AM. Dad and I had a religious education faculty meeting at 8:30, so that happened, followed by teaching per usual. I do love teaching, so there is no complaining there! I attended 11:30 AM Mass afterwards.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day yesterday, so I took a short study break to do some sun salutations and random burpees outside. The Polar Loop was also urging me to move around, so I thought, heyyy why not? 

A two hour nap also took place, which was just what my body needed.

I baked.

I did homework.

I read blogs.

I typed this.

I ate dinner.

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Spinach, soba noodles, curry chicken, sriracha

And then I realized: Life is wonderful. And I’m such a drama queen for crying about it.

I’ll work on it 😉

Happy Monday, friends!

So tell me:

Do you like Chipotle?

What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

Do you just cry sometimes? Please make me feel like less of a baby.

What did you do this weekend?