Finals Week: Brought To You in Part By Bread

Ohhhhh we’re halfway there.

WHO-OA bread is everywhe-ere.

I’m halfway through finals week, but since I don’t have any exams until Thursday (plus a research paper due tomorrow), I’m feel like I’m on study autopilot. Like, “meh, time to stuff more information into my brain today.” I’m not as overwhelmed as I’ve been in past finals weeks, which is great, but it’s a little weird too.

Fortunately, there have been pockets of fun amidst the stream of studying. Many of the fun things have involved BREAD (or a variation of it).

Pita chips with spinach artichoke dip two nights in a row.

Night 1: Last Thursday I stopped by the Admissions Ambassadors (aka campus tour guides) end of the year gala to mingle for a few minutes and eat some hors d’oeuvres. I was severely underdressed since I needed to study and wasn’t planning on staying long, but I just ate the fabulous spinach artichoke feta dip in the corner, took some pics, and ducked out.

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Night 2: A few friends and I went to the senior art exhibition by the fine arts students here at BU. I was also underdressed this night because I came from work/studying/walking in the rain all day, but the art was the focus of the night anyway.

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there is so much cheese under those crackers

Friday morning bagel run with so many friends.

My friend Sarah (the girl who has been getting me to run more recently) has been wanting to have a “bagel run” with people for the longest time, and her dreams finally came true.

First, Sarah and I ran ~2 miles together and then stopped at Bruegger’s Bagels to get 16 bagels + cream cheese for everyone coming to the bagel run. We individually packed them in Ziplocs because we’re the moms of the group.

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Then we met up with 15(!) of our friends to run 1.5 miles to a dock by the river to eat bagels!

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100% brought peanut butter to share

It was such a fun little event! There’s also an epic playground by the dock, so we obviously had to play there until a dad with his two little kids came, lol.

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Moves and grooves at their FINEST, I say. Thanks, Sarah, for organizing! And thanks, friends, for coming out on a Friday morning! ♥︎

Turkey, pepper jack cheese, and mustard between bread or with crackers.

I am so into this “after school snack” type of lunch right now. Doesn’t this remind you of something you’d find in your lunchbox as a kid??

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strawberries are in season and on sale, praaaaaise

Also, there were [vegan] chicken nuggets in the dining hall. They’re not the most amazing nuggets in the world, but that breading brings me back to the good ol’ days of frozen nuggets warmed up in a toaster oven.

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BBQ sauce all the way

Blueberry cobbler a la mode.

One of the best desserts in the d-hall in a while.

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Frozen nutella hot chocolate checked off the food bucket list with Rachel.

This isn’t bread-y, but I had to include it. This frozen nutella hot chocolate is from Paris Creperie, and it was delicious!

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The best way I can describe it is: nutella frosty.

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It was also so nice getting to catch up with Rachel — it had been a while!

Free cookie cake from the Google Allo cookie truck.

Basically, if three people downloaded the new Google Allo app and started a group chat on it, this random Google Allo cookie truck gave you a free cookie cake with personalized frosting.

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Free dessert sounded good to us, so Zoe, Sarah, and I took a study break to get one. We had them write “Regina Caeli” on it, which means “Queen of Heaven” (aka Mary). Because we’re Catholic and we were coming from the Catholic Center and we like Latin.

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That same night, Sarah, Domenica and Kelsey were wearing matching America socks. Look at how adorable they are!

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I also definitely brought my yoga mat and foam roller for everyone to use #finalsweek

Sunday morning French toast with Megan.

It has been one of our goals to make perfect French toast ever since we came back from Ireland, and Sunday was finally the day. I bought some quality brioche from Trader Joe’s + used some of my thick whole wheat bread to make, if we do say so ourselves, excellent French toast. We used this method!

Megan is a purist and drizzled hers with some maple syrup and powdered sugar. She’s also a stacker.

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I Alison-ified mine with peanut butter, caramelized bananas, and maple syrup.

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We each had 2.5 slices (so, yes, I ate all of that above) with a glass o’ milk on the side, and it was blissful.

Perfect avocado toast is BACK.

I hadn’t bought avocados for a while since they weren’t on sale, but Target had 4 for $4, so I jumped on that.

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one with avocado + sriracha, one with pepper jack cheese // carrots and hummus // strawberries and Pirate’s Booty at the end

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I ♥︎ pirate’s booty

Baking peanut butter banana bread / chocolate chip banana bread with PJ and Kelsey.

So I could have been hardcore studying last night, but PJ and Kelsey invited me to join in on some pb banana bread baking… A good study break, right?

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It was worth it. And I did get some studying done still because they took on the brunt of cleanup (thanks, friends!). I also winged a random cookie recipe because we had a butter/sugar/egg white mixture that was a mistake for the banana bread recipe, and this is what turned out.

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Kinda bready oatmeal cookies that tasted decent with peanut butter sauce on top.

Bread has been fueling studying and lots of moves and grooves.

I worked out with Ben again on Saturday morning and took us through this circuit workout:

2 rounds of each set, 30 sec on, 10 sec off

  • jumping jacks / air squats / mountain climbers / high knees
  • pushup to T / skaters / squat jumps / plank
  • side jump lunges / spiderman kick through right / spiderman kick through left / tuck jumps
  • one legged burpee right / one legged burpee left / ski jumps / tricep dips
  • broad jumps / plank jacks / side plank / burpees

On Sunday, Rachel, Sarah and I went on an easy run…

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…and stretched our calves at the foot of the stairs in the Catholic Center.

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Regina Caeli 🙂

Plus some other good workouts throughout the week at the gym.

And now it is time to eat lunch, fold laundry, and STUDY. I consider blogging a non-priority, but I still think it’s good to do during hectic weeks like this. There are many good things to stop and appreciate amidst the blur of life.

So tell me:

How are finals going for you, college friends!?

How do you eat your French toast?

What is the best bread-y thing you’ve eaten recently?

Two fun things about this past week!

Back in Boston + Five Minute Friday #7

Dinner last night was leftover salad with hummus, Popcorners, a frozen banana, and two spoonfuls of cashew butter. Why did I come back to Boston when the dining halls aren’t open yet???

Well, despite the fact that dining halls aren’t open, I am both nourished and having a great time with friends.

Rewinding back to New York: On Tuesday night, my parents kindly took me out to dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant for the best sushi ever.

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I came home and made myself some peanut butter banana soft serve (frozen bananas blended in a food processor with a splash of milk and peanut butter)— an old time fave. I ate it with a little Greek yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and granola. Fabulous.

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And then this beautiful person came to visit me after her class ended (at 10 pm!)!

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Daliza! ♥︎ I fed her a pancake with half peanut butter and half nutella + glass o’ milk. Her visit would be incomplete without me giving her something with peanut butter or nutella on it.

Wednesday morning involved overnight oats, packing, and some moves and grooves (handstand walks, pushups, and a 16 minute interval workout) before preparing brunch for my friends Joe and Louis.

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French toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon

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“The bacon was very good, Alison. The whole brunch was very good, but the bacon was VERY good.” — Louis

It was my first time cooking bacon, so I’m glad it turned out well. I also blended up a green peanut butter banana smoothie (milk, greek yogurt, frozen banana, peanut butter, and spinach) and forced it down their throats convinced them to try it, since I knew for a fact that they would not be able to taste the spinach.

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They didn’t taste the spinach. #VICTORIOUS. (“There’s like a little bit of an aftertaste.” ← yeah, sure, believe what you want.)

I made myself an avocado, bacon, and egg toast + another egg + sriracha. I also ate my weight in leftover roasted brussels sprouts while I was cooking.

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This was amazing.

Joe, Louis and I hit the road for Boston and made it back in time to enjoy the FREAKING GORGEOUS weather. It hit 70 F — shorts and t-shirt weather! As soon as we arrived on campus, we joined more friends for Can-Jam until it got dark.

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Then we ate dinner at the food court on campus, chilled out on the dock, and played the Ellen Degeneres iPhone game, “Psych”, until we were all falling asleep. Good people, good times.

Yesterday’s activities included some quick moves and grooves (this ab workout), Mass, lunch at Tasty Burger, the Museum of Fine Art, and a special pre-screening of the new movie, The Young Messiah. It’s hard to pick out the best part of the day!

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This was a “dine-in” theater with the most luxurious seats I’ve ever seen in a movie theater.

And today I’m going to Mass and lunch with a friend, maybe working out at the gym, and definitely doing lots of studying.

Now that we’re all caught up, how about some Five Minute Friday action? (This post probably took you five minutes to read already…sorry.) This week I’m talking about something very random: where I would want to live after I graduate!

link to the video!

Taking a video of myself on a tire swing in a park that I’d never visited before. Sounds about right for me.

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

So tell me:

Have you ever tried convincing someone that a smoothie with spinach does NOT taste gross?

If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?

If you love where you live, why is that?

Fueling for a Day in the City

The city is exhausting!

New York City in particular has the most draining effect on me. I definitely love the city, and I’m so lucky to be living close to one of the greatest cities in the world.

Besides the walking and heat, there is so much stimulation from the millions of people, cars, lights, sounds, and smells. If you try to slow down, you will either get run over by an automobile or pushed over by busy people. That being said, walking, dodging flying objects/people, and climbing stairs for a few hours requires lots of fuel.

Starting with breakfast!

Actually, starting with pre-breakfast. I woke up hungry at 5 AM. Why.

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spoonful of Nuttzo power fuel

I tried going back to sleep, but then 6 AM came before I could. After dropping off dad at the train station, I was READY for breakfast.

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Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, chia, and maple syrup // banana, strawberries, granola, and a giant scoop of peanut butter

A little while later I warmed up a couple of strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes that I had froze, and I snacked on one with some maple syrup as a morning snack. I did get to sleep a little more too!

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I took the day off from my {flexible, volunteer} internship to join up with some good friends from BU who are also NY/NJ locals, health professionals to be, and…Asian 🙂

By the time I had arrived at Grand Central and then walked 19 blocks to Shake Shack, I was a hungry, hungry hippo (<— always wanted that game when I was a kid).

We surprised our friend Dana with cupcakes and horridly off-pitch singing (on my part) for an early birthday celebration before ordering and chowing down on our burgers from Shake Shack.

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My first Shake Shack burger! It was perfect and I miss it already.

Tina and Cassandra were kind enough to pick up Georgetown Cupcakes for Dana, and Dana was kind enough to share with all of us!

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happy early birthday, Dana!

We trekked it over to High Line Park, where we took touristy pictures despite not being actual tourists. Before that though, we stopped by Eataly to use the restrooms, and LOOK WHAT WE FOUND.

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A NUTELLA BAR {inside Eataly, not inside the restroom}

Take deep breaths, I know it’s a lot to take in. We didn’t buy anything, but I need to go back to try it out soon!

Back to High Line… (thanks for the photos, Cassandra!)

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After High Line and a quick walk through Chelsea Market, we parted ways and went home. I took a nap on the train because I was dead meat. I think I felt almost as tired as I did after our 7 mile hike in Colorado!

My stomach felt weird when I got home, but I knew I needed a snack. Or two.

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steamed veggies + 34 Degrees poppy seed crackers with hummus

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more Nuttzo (this spoonful + more because this spoon has limited space to hold drippy nut butter)

A couple hours later I ate caprese again as a dinner appetizer, along with the other cornmeal griddle cake from the morning.

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I was kinda full by the time I ate real dinner, but I didn’t stress out about it, ate slowly while conversing with Pop, and finished every last bite enjoyably!

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salad with homemade maple mustard dressing + ginger cilantro lime / pesto turkey meatballs + roasted sweet potatoes + corn on the cob

Huzzah for leftovers!

Night snack was this cinnamon roll Quest bar from the never-ending Blend swag bag.

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I microwaved it for 23 seconds (as suggested by a reader), and the Quest bar morphed into a Quest lava flow.

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I should start making Quest sculptures when they’re hot

And that’s a wrap! ‘Twas a blessed day of eats as always.

I have one more day of my internship this week before I head up to Boooooooston for the weekend! 😀 Hope you all have a wacky Wednesday in the best way possible!

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joining the WIAW party on Peas and Crayons!

So tell me:

Do you ever wake up hungry? It used to happen a lot more when I was depriving myself, but I guess it still happens once in a blue moon!

What is your favorite fast food burger joint?

Something sweet that you ate yesterday!

Weekend Confessions {MIMM #19}

I feel like I haven’t blogged in forever, but it’s only been 3 days! Maybe it’s because this weekend has been packed with activities, or maybe it’s because this is one of the most social things I’ve done this weekend. #loser.

I’m only [half] kidding. 😉

This weekend involved a lot of things that I think would be fun to include in a “Confessions” post. I absolutely love it when bloggers do these kinds of posts because it gets personal (but not too personal— this isn’t the Sacrament of Penance here), and they’re often pretty darn funny. I don’t know if my confessions will be funny, but you can humor me. ….Please?

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I’m linking up with Katie‘s Marvelous in My Monday party!

Confession #1:

I procrastinated like a boss on Friday and Saturday. (How’s that for an ironic sentence?) I totally could have knocked out a lot of homework on Friday evening, but I decided to take my sweet time reading blogs and looking at prom dresses. All of a sudden it was 11:00 pm and I wanted to sleep. Then on Saturday night, I was glued to my bed with the biggest food baby I’ve had in a while (details below), so I just watched a bunch of Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen Degeneres on Youtube. At 10:30 pm, I finally got myself together and prepared my lesson for Sunday school.

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The shame.

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I ended up getting homework done on Saturday morning before dance and Sunday evening after dance.

Renewed policy: Do work first. THEN relax. (<— Easier said than done.)

Confession #2:

My abs were soreeee on Saturday! I did a longer-than-necessary tabata ab workout on Friday that consisted of 40 rounds. Why 40 rounds? That’s how my Gymboss App Timer was already set, so I just went with it. And the price was paid.

I went through these moves until the time was up: leg raises, reverse crunches, spiderman plank, side plank hip raises right and left, ankle touches, Russian twists, and ball roll-ins. I’ve actually been enjoying doing ab exercises in a tabata fashion because it keeps me from getting bored, and it keeps up the burn!

Confession #3: 

I finished a whole plate of pasta at a restaurant, and I flippin’ LOVED it. My mom had yet another Groupon (surprise, surprise 😉 ) for an Italian restaurant, so we put it to use for dinner after church on Saturday night.

We started with some delicious bread and salads:

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Then came some appetizers dal mare (We thought the Groupon came with two appetizers, but in fact it only came with one…whoops):

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Then came the entrees. My parents thoroughly enjoyed theirs, but I think I went to Heaven and back when eating my dish. I ordered the “Gnocchi Ala Sasa,” which was homemade gnocchi in a tomato and basil sauce, baked with mozzarella on top.

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Pillows of tomato-y, cheesy goodness.

I think this was the best gnocchi I’ve ever eaten. My mom and dad shared a few bites with me, but I still housed that baby. A year ago, I would never have even thought of ordering a pasta dish as an entree because it would be “way too many carbs.” Thank God things have changed significantly, because this gnocchi was on the verge of life-changing.

Dessert was also a huge hit:

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Peach cobbler a la mode. More like yellow cake with a couple peaches in it, but I seemed to have enjoyed it, considering I ate most of by myself.

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I also had a bite of the real winner— Nutella Banana Calzone. That crispy cinnamon crust with the warm, oozy Nutella and sweet bananas? All in one bite with some cool vanilla ice cream? I can’t. 

Cue the food baby!

Confession #4:

Even though I’ve been packing on the cocoa butter moisturizer, I still have those pesky hangnails. I wish I could wear spa gloves in public.

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On a similar note, my feet, along with the feet of all my fellow company members, are burning. It has been a while since we’ve danced on our bare feet for four hours, so the calluses are nonexistent right now and we have to rebuild them. We’re all waddling and currently obsessed with socks.

Proof: I just laughed out loud at all the Snapchats I just received from some of my dance mates. I sent one out saying, “Waddling through the house. Feeeet,” and these were some of the responses:

  • “Same. I have four pairs of socks on right now.”
  • “Body. is. dead.”
  • “Everything hurts.”
  • “I’m so sore it’s embarrassing.”
  • “I feel so bad for my feet.”
  • “Can’t function.”

Sums it up pretty well.

Confession #5:

I’ve been drinking a ton of water recently, which I’m quite happy about since I’m usually terrible at getting enough H2O. But I’ve also been needing to go to the bathroom all. the. time.

Confession #6:

When I came home, I accidentally opened the other garage door instead of closing the one through which I entered…so both of them were open for a good 5 hours. Our neighborly neighbor called at 10 pm to let us know. Nice move, Alison.

Confession #7:

I still haven’t made a huge dent in reading Catching Fire. Why can’t I just read the darn book?! I’ll go do that now.

Confession #9:

I’m still probably not going to read it tonight.

Alrighty, I think that’s all the confessing I have for you today! Maybe you guys can relate to some of these and make me feel better. 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Happy Monday!

So tell me:

Do you have any confessions?

What is the best pasta dish you’ve ever had?

Any other chronic procrastinators out there? (How do you keep yourself in check?)

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?