Beautiful Weekend in Stowe, Vermont

I feel like I went to Narnia this weekend.

I was only gone with my family for 36 hours, but I feel like I was away for a week! After finals ended on Thursday night, I stayed with my parents at their hotel, since Friday required an early morning wake-up call for my brother’s graduation.

I went to bed past midnight and somehow got myself to roll out of bed at 5:35 AM (mostly because I needed to pee), so I hit up the hotel gym for a super quick workout. My hair was still in nightmare world and my eye bags were fluffier than my pillow.

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2 minute warmup + 16 minute HIIT (24 rounds of 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest) + stretching:

  • burpees
  • side jump lunges
  • DB clean and jerks (20# DBs)
  • tricep dips/spiderman planks
  • tuck jumps
  • split jack lunges/alternating reverse lunges (20#)

The ‘rents and I got dressed up and headed to TD Garden (home of the Boston Bruins and Celtics!) for the graduation. The arena doesn’t allow outside food or drink, so we made sure to eat a good meal before being in there for 6+ hours. Subway looked like the best option at 7 AM.

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egg white, cheese, veggie on honey oat

But since we got to the arena two hours early to get good seats, I was hungry by the time commencement started, so I bit the bullet and bought FIVE DOLLAR in-shell peanuts to tide me over. It was either those or hot dogs for $4. Hot dogs in the morning. Need I explain my decision?

Anyway, the commencement was just peachy. Their speaker was US Secretary of State, John Kerry! His best line that made the crowd go wild was: “You are Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.”

Congratulations, Ben + Northeastern Class of 2016!

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Afterwards, we were so ready for lunch. I got a Thai chicken salad with some sort of sweet dressing that was delicious.

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We filled our bellies and then promptly hit the road for Stowe, VT for a little family weekend getaway.

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We stayed at the Stowe Mountain Lodge, which was just gorgeous. The skies were a bit gloomy, but there are some awesome mountains behind those clouds.

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The resort itself was huge and beautiful as well. It was such a labyrinth to walk through. We felt like we we walked at least a quarter of a mile just to get to our room!

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Since we arrived pretty late, we bolted for the hotel restaurant for dinner before it closed. ‘Twas a convenient but pricey decision.

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mason jars ♥︎ 

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salad with pistachios, cranberries, and grilled chicken

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apple crisp a la mode

The room had a kitchen and some artsy, rustic cutlery. A blogger’s dream.

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Ben: “Should I model it?”

Saturday was a near perfect day in my book. I slept in and then started the day with a banana and some nuts and a workout at the {amazing} hotel gym.

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dynamic warmup + 3 rounds of:

  • 15 close-grip DB chest press
  • 30 double unders
  • 10 clean and jerks

+ playing around on the Pilates ladder barrel

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Then we brunched at a local place called McCarthy’s. Super Irish, which is perfect as I prepare to study abroad in Dublin this fall 🙂

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I ordered the French toast special with two sunny eggs + bacon. Everything breakfast should be. {Side note: I decided not to bring my peanut butter on this vacation because I thought I should try to detach myself, haha.}

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I also shared a very decent portion of my mom’s Irish home fries and corned beef. KILLER.

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Ben and I dropped off our parents back at the resort and then headed out on an expedition to Stowe Pinnacle!

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I would say I built this, but that would be a lie

It was about 1.65 miles going up, and the incline wasn’t crazy steep, but it was, as Ben put it, persistent. ‘Twas a fab idea to have such a hearty, fatty meal an hour before this. We made it to the summit in pretty good time though— approximately 50 minutes.

Boy, was this view worth it.

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It was pretty comparable to the glorious view from Bear Peak in Colorado a year ago, except this time I could breathe because we weren’t at high altitude.

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There were these two golden retrievers up at the summit that were old, fat, and adorable. We couldn’t tell if they belonged to anyone in particular, but all they wanted was to be loved by all the people who made it to the summit.

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freakin’ regal

We trekked back down the mountain, which is less physically challenging but definitely more technically challenging in terms of not falling off the face of the mountain. I only slipped and fell on my butt once going downhill, which is on par for me. I really need to wear the hiking shoes I have.

When we got back to the road, Ben and I went on a quest for a maple “creemee” per my friend Courtney’s suggestion. A creemee is special Vermont soft serve ice cream. Unfortunately, we could not find a place that was open and selling maple creemees. Unlike other cities we’re used to, Stowe actually closes shops seasonally *gasp*.

Instead, Ben stopped for a craft beer and we took a Ben & Jerry’s factory tour. Not a bad detour!

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I got their banana peanut butter frozen Greek yogurt because that epitomizes my food choices // Ben got strawberry cheesecake and Spectacular Speculoos (so good!)

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Ben and… Allie’s?

What a great post-hike snack 🙂

We went back to the hotel, showered, and then headed to dinner with our parents at the Trapp Family Lodge (yes, the von Trapps from Sound of Music!).

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spring vegetable salad with an amazing yogurt sauce + some of my mom’s pancetta-wrapped chicken thigh and quinoa + a bite of Ben’s wiener schnitzel

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roasted carrots for the table to share

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cheese plate

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the BEST apple strudel a la mode! 

Full and oh so content.

Sunday (Mother’s Day!) started with Mass and breakfast at Cafe on Main. I was in the mood for a good sandwich instead of breakfast food, so I went for the turkey club. Tasty!

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Then we walked downstairs to the quaint Stowe Mercantile store, where I freaked out over their local peanut/almond butters.

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May or may not have bought three jars.

Four hours later, we were back in Boston, where Ben and I unloaded/loaded some things from our places. We ended our family time with a late lunch at Super 88! All I wanted was crunchy, fresh vegetables, so I ordered the tofu and vegetable rice noodle soup. Hit the spot so good!

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And then the fam parted ways. I’m back in Boston for one more week, which means lots of oatmeal for meals, which is perfectly fine with me!

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THIS WAS SO LONG. But hey, thanks for reading! If you’ve made it this far, consider yourself bear-hugged.

Hope you all have a magnificent Monday! I am grateful for YOU.

So tell me:

Have you ever been to Vermont?

What was the best thing you did this weekend?

What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

Favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor!

Have you ever fallen on a hike?

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Lately + Swallowing Pride

I am done with sophomore year of college!!

I guess you could say I’m halfway done with undergrad, but I guess I have one more year of undergrad + 3 more years of grad school…so…still lots of school left.

Needless to say, these past two weeks have been crazy with exams and things, so I haven’t been talking to you guys as much. I apologize! Let’s catch up.

Last Saturday, our dear friend Emma came to visit from Ohio, so we went to breakfast at Tatte!

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I ordered the shakshuka because I’ve always wanted to try shakshuka (from any restaurant), but for whatever reason, I never had the opportunity/the restaurant didn’t have it that day. THIS WAS THE DAY and what a glorious day it was! Shakshuka is a North African spiced tomato-based dish with poached eggs (and feta in this case). Toasted challah on the side. UGH.

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Luckily for Rachel and me, Tatte was on the food bucket list for their nut boxes, which are essentially pecan pies except 100x more fun and delicious. Rachel and I shared their mixed nut box.

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shortbread cookie box with mixed nuts and caramel goo (unofficial term) holding it all together

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Shakira should sing about shakshuka

I miss Emma already!

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Then I went to work and made this one pan chicken that I wish I could eat myself. I always do this to myself— make tantalizing food that I can’t eat.

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I keep forgetting that it’s May. What is this weather!?

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At least we students don’t feel as tortured being inside as we study.

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Lots of good food has been fueling me through the week. A good balance of nutrients + soul food.

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There are no photos of the soul food because sometimes you just need a moment with your warm cookies.

Some solid moves and grooves kept me and my friends sane this finals week. A few friends joined me for a yoga study break on Monday!

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My body has been pretty tired from lack of sleep, being sick, stress, etc., so workouts have been pretty low key. But my favorite workout this week was on Wednesday:

  • lots of lat pulldowns + single arm dumbbell press
  • 20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2 cals on rower // 12 overhead kettlebell swings + 5 burpees over rower

MY LUNGS.

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Last night I took my family out to dinner since my parents just arrived for my brother’s graduation! (And since I had a lot of dining points to use 🙂 ).

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And last but not least, Five Minute Friday! We’re talking about swallowing pride and letting go of control. (p.s. that is a regular jacket hood, not a nun habit)

Have a fantastic weekend, friends! I can’t wait to talk with you guys more since school is over 🙂

So tell me:

Do you struggle with asking others for help/letting go of control?

Have you ever tried shakshuka?

What is your favorite way you moved this week?

What are you doing this weekend?

Brother-Sister Rivalry

Hello and Happy Memorial Day!

This weekend has been the closest taste of summer yet, which I guess is often true once Memorial Day swings around. The community pools open, the air fills with BBQ smoke, and the Hugh Jass (stole that from Kath) bumble bees start harassing me. A lot of marvelous things have been happening in the past few days including some moves, a Frozen movie date, treats, and a trip to Boston!

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All marvelous things, yes? Thanks for hosting as always, Katie!

 

Here are the highlights:

Friday

1) Finished the AP Bio exam and keep myself from jumping up and down like a maniac.

2) Went to the gym for some moves:

5 min. arc trainer, then 3 sets of each:

  • 10 pistols each leg + 20 Bulgarian split squats each leg
  • 1 min. wall sit + 30 side jump lunges (my glutes were sore for two days AGAIN)
  • 20 hamstring ball roll-ins + 20 single leg bridge pulses

I was gonna do abs, so I started to do some exercises, but then I stopped because I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

3) Ate my new favorite dessert:

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Vanilla bean ice cream with fresh mangoes

You’re welcome.

Saturday

1) Baked the best banana muffins (from Two Peas and Their Pod) I’ve ever had:

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Fresh out of the oven with almond butter— this is what dreams are made of.

2) Went grocery shopping for two bunches of bananas, two tubs of 2% Greek yogurt, and two containers of hummus. It was like Noah’s Ark on that checkout conveyor belt.

3) Attended a super late lunch/early dinner with the other religious education teachers and volunteers, courtesy of our pastor who is retiring this year!

4) Worked on handstands. I’m starting to hover more with that freestanding handstand! I’ve caught the Crossfit Games bug. (You can yell at me for the fact that I’ve never done Crossfit in my life.)

5) Watched Frozen with one of my best friends, Daliza! Now I understand the hype for that movie— Anna is my hero and if Olaf were real, he’d be my best friend. Daliza and I are also working on our duets for some of the songs, so you better watch out for our voices in Frozen 2.

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Sunday

1) Drove up to Boston to visit Ben!

2) Disowned him for wearing this shirt:

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No.

Northeastern and Boston University sibling rivalry has commenced.

3) Ate a delicious sushi lunch at Avana Sushi:

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4) Bought some BU gear and put on my (mouse-like) game face:

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5) Walked to J.P. Licks for some awesome ice cream. Ben and I shared a scoop of mint cookies and cream (uh, two favorite flavors in one) and a pistachio scoop. Perfection:

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Wait, why did I share my ice cream with this kid again?

6) Took a lovely, long stroll along the Charles River. The weather was absolutely PERFECT on Sunday, even though it was supposed to rain according the forecast. The sun was out, there were almost no clouds in the sky, and the temperature was just right (even though I think I did overdress with my jeans and long sleeve shirt). Can we please just pause the weather so that it can be like this forever?

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Aww cute bro + sis picture…

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k bye.

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It really hasn’t sunk in that this will be my home for the next four years. I’m excited though!!

Now I’m off to go exercise outside on this warm, sunny Memorial Day, and then we’re gonna dig into my mom’s grilled feast! Hope you all have a wonderful day!

So tell me:

Three fun things you did this weekend!

What are you Americans doing for Memorial Day?

Have you ever watched Frozen?

Behind the Scenes #3: Feelin’ Festive

This week’s thoughts and random musings are being linked up to Amanda’s awesome Thinking Out Loud party!

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1. Christmas is in LESS THAN A WEEK. Last night I really got into the holiday spirit by celebrating National Bake Cookies Day for basically the whole evening. I was feelin’ some Christmas snickerdoodles (my favorite) and these Nutella cookies. I then proceeded to torture all my friends by posting a picture of the Nutella cookies on Instagram. Muahaha. I’ll be sharing them at school today though— I’m only a LITTLE bit mean. 😉

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Maybe the recipe meant 1 TSP of cinnamon instead of 1 TBSP? The cinnamon and colored sugar made for an interesting combo. They are tasty nevertheless.

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2. More Christmas awesomeness? These Christmas tree-shaped ravioli from Sam’s Club!

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Cuuuuuuuute. And delicious.

3. My family and I will be heading to Canada tomorrow to see all our relatives and friends for Christmas and New Year! Woot woot! I’m so excited. Not only do I love going to my other place of citizenship, but I also cannot wait to spend time with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides of my family!

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I still haven’t gone to where the moose are…I want to.

4. The only thing that stinks about leaving for Canada is that I’ll be missing our dance school’s holiday party this Saturday. It’s this cute and fun little gathering of all the dancers and their families to watch some lovely, short pieces choreographed by the dancers themselves and some crazy, cheesy dances created by company members (juniors do a dance for the seniors, and seniors do a dance for “little sisters”). Ohh well. You can’t be in two places at once.

5. I forgot how much I love applesauce. I mean, I haven’t really had much of it since my nugget years, but I could totally get into it again. I had to buy some to make monkey bread, but there was still a lot left over. What to do? Mix it with yogurt to make a concoction that my little cousin used to eat and call “yo-sauce.” I can see why the toddler enjoyed it so much.

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Basically, I like baby food.

6. I did not do any homework at home yesterday. Classes were especially laid-back, so I could finish a lot of my work. And when I got home, all I really had to do was bake up a storm! That’s what homework should be in my opinion— baking to soothe the soul (and the belly) and to put smiles on people’s faces.

Ha. Wish me luck as I try to argue that one with my teachers.

7. I made it into a couple colleges so far— Northeastern and Drexel! I was getting antsy since so many of my friends were getting into their early decision schools (they’re freakin’ amazing—Duke, Colby, Tufts, Cornell, SUNY Geneseo, Barnard, and Connecticut College are some of the places they’ll be going to!). I didn’t apply early decision (which is binding if you’re accepted) anywhere, just early action, so I really just wanted to get something. I would check my email like a mad woman. Sometimes, I would see an email from a college, get super excited, and then see Happy Holidays from ___ University! Stop playing with my emotions. -_- But now I am grateful that I can at least go somewhere now!

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I was this dramatic when my friends got in. 🙂

8. I’m kind of upset that I didn’t take the opportunity to go sledding with my brother at all this year. He’s home only for this semester since he’s working through his Co-op program (at Northeastern!), so he’ll be going back to school in the new year. I might just cry. No more British accents or game nights 😦

9. No matter how much I put on lotion (actually….I don’t put it on THAT often…but still often), the skin around my fingernails is perpetually dry and gross. I’ve had visions of myself just sitting with my fingers immersed in a jar of cocoa butter or coconut oil. Tell me that would magically penetrate into the depths of my dermis and make it soft forever? Because I would do it.

10. Eyyy I have a school concert tonight! For some reason I keep forgetting about it… Probably because I’ve had to learn all the songs after school since Chorus didn’t fit on my regular school day schedule. Well, it should be a good one anyway!

Have a great Thursday!

So tell me: Did you bake cookies yesterday? What is your favorite cookie? How do you deal with dry skin in the winter?