Behind the Scenes #12: No Shame

Hey!

I missed you all yesterday! I don’t think I’ve ever not posted on a Wednesday before yesterday. :-0 I guess there’s a first time for everything! It was just a busy evening, plain and simple. But today I’m comin’ at ya with some random thoughts because…

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With the amazing Amanda, who is probably sun-kissed in Hawaii right now! I’m kinda hoping she sends me some fresh poke and pineapples.

1. It’s like my stomach is trained to have food within 30 minutes of waking up. Yesterday, I woke up a little earlier than usual to go to 7AM Ash Wednesday Mass, and although I didn’t want to eat a full breakfast beforehand, I still needed to have a few clementine slices to keep me from being miserable at Mass. Like, if I didn’t have the clementine, I may not have said “peace be with you” to anyone. Kidding. But still, my stomach was growling LOUDLY and I think it may have freaked out some people.

2. I walked into class a couple minutes late, but the ashes explained the reason for my tardiness. My calculus teacher had actually already gotten her ashes at Mass too! I used to be afraid of people staring at my forehead, but now, I couldn’t be more proud of donning that thick cross on my forehead. 🙂 People don’t make a big deal out of it anyway.

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Breakfast was eaten at school:

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Greek yogurt, banana slices, chia, hemp, banana nut muffin, and pepita sunseed butter

I ate it while doing calculus, and I succeeded in keeping my calculator free of Greek yogurt. This time.

3. I ordered my prom dress already! Our prom isn’t until June, but I found a dress that I loved in my size, so I just went for it. My school has a prom dress Facebook page where all the girls post photos of their dresses so there are no doubles (’cause we all know that that is in the top ten list of high school no-nos), and I was the first one to post in that group. I felt slightly aggressive, considering I bought the dress on the day the group was created, butttttt, if the shoe fits…!

Actually, I don’t even know if it fits. I’m hoping it’ll work out for this girl’s pear-shaped body!

4. I opted to take an active rest day yesterday since I had to study for a bio test that I have today. My “active rest” moves consisted of speed walking to school from my car in the morning, physical education class (planks and step ups in the weight room…let’s just count it), and active study breaks. I set my alarm to ring every 15 minutes while I was studying so I could get off my butt (and get my mind off of Darwinian evolution) to do 40 prisoner squats, 10 burpees, and 20 butterfly sit-ups.

5. I realized I already broke one of my Ash Wednesday commitments yesterday when I complained in Italian class to my friends: “I’m SICK of translating these long paragraphs!” (5 seconds later) Darn it, Alison. 

6. I eat roasted brussels sprouts with my fingers sometimes. Really just whenever I’m feelin’ snacky and too lazy to make them a part of an actual meal. I do not have one bit of shame.

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i ♥ b.s.

wait………………

7. Thus, my brussels snackage before dinner led to a veggie-less meal:

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Seared tuna steak with mustard (which I mixed with Greek yogurt and honey post-pic) + avocado toast

Oh and this was my Mardi Gras/National Pancake Day dinner:

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Quinoa/rice blend, shrimp, roasted brussels, and avocado

No sign of either Mardi Gras nor pancakes. *sigh* Except maybe the shrimp, which is reminiscent of jambalaya from New Orleans, where Mardi Gras is huge. Is that a stretch?

8. I set off the smoke alarm in our house while searing said tuna.

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[source]

9. When I take my daily {adult} gummy vitamins, I always try to eat the orange ones (least favorite flavor) first, saving most of the berry and peach ones (best) for last. From a Darwinian natural selection perspective: the berry and peach vitamins have a favorable flavor, so they out-compete the orange ones, leaving a population that is dominated by berry and peach vitamins. Until Alison dominates them all, causing extinction of all the vitamins.

Look at that! I’m studying while blogging! Darwin would be proud….

10. …and I’m a freak.

Yet I’m still unashamed. 😉

Hope you all have an awesome Thursday!

So tell me:

Do you have to eat something as soon as you get up in the morning?

Do you ever eat roasted veggies with your fingers?

What do you do on active rest days?

Do you like to save the best for last when eating things?

Boston Road Trip Eats + Adventures

Mornin’!

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Please tell me you know that song

Evidently, yesterday was another mini road trip, but this time to Boston! My dad also came with us this time around since he had a day off of work. We left at around 8:30 AM, so breakfast was taken on the go:

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Overnight oats in a jar! I just switched out the real spoon with a plastic one and then headed out.

We visited my brother (who goes to Northeastern University) for the day to catch up on life and visit his new apartment since he also had day off for President’s Day (I’m on winter break right now). He’s livin’ off campus like a big shot now. 😉 I kept calling him “Domestic Ben” while also telling him to clean his kitchen appliances more thoroughly. I’m not an annoying sister.

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My face = judging.

After checkin’ out his new place, we walked around town for lunch. It was super chilly and we were getting hungry, so we chose a random Cuban restaurant that we were passing.

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I ordered the yellow rice with shrimp. According to the menu it was supposed to come with fried green plantains (nowhere to be found) and a “green salad.” Hm. The main dish itself was very tasty nonetheless.

The worst part of our dining experience came when it was time to pay the bill. My mom saw that they charged a lot more for some of our dishes than what was noted on the menu. The waitress said casually, “Oh this is our old menu. The prices have changed.” (Note: Everyone in the restaurant received the same menu.) Uhhhh….ya think you could have told us that when we ordered?! Even after admitting their mistake, they still didn’t offer to lower the prices or anything. Lucky for them, Mom was feeling gracious yesterday, so she just paid the price on the bill and still gave a tip. It’s safe to say that we will not be returning there.

Anyway, we started walking around a park after lunch, but we thought our ears were going to fall off from the frigid wind, so we headed back to Ben’s apartment to eat popcorn, do some planks, and then say goodbye. It was a short and sweet day trip, but we always love spending time with Ben!

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Ben added parmesan to this microwave popcorn, and I nearly inhaled the whole bag.

Another four-ish hours of road trippin’ later and more snacking…

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Honeycrisp apple slices and a few roasted unsalted cashews

…and then it was dinner time! We decided to stop by our favorite Thai restaurant on the way home as the finale to our nice President’s Day.

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Grilled chicken salad with peanut dressing. So good.

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Dessert for everyone to share: mango with coconut milk sticky rice. My favorite Asian dessert!

My life this weekend: Eat. Drive. Walk. Eat. Drive. Walk. Eat. Drive. Sleep.

Now my butt hurts from sitting so much. My belly is certainly happy from all this awesome food though!

I hope you all have a great day!

So tell me:

Americans, what did you do for President’s Day?

Have you ever had a bad restaurant payment experience?

What are your favorite road trip snacks?

Almond French Toast + Weekend at Binghamton {MIMM #24}

Happy President’s Day!

Hi, guys!

I hope you all had a fun Valentine’s Day and a restful weekend. I have a crapton of marvelous things to share with you all from this weekend, so let’s get to it!

MiMM

Thank you to Katie for another marvelous linkup!

A lot of bloggers have been recapping their awesome V-day happenings, and I’ve been commenting on them about what my Valentine’s plans looked like:

French toast for breakfast

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To make this:

  1. Whisk one egg. Mix in a splash of milk (enough to turn the egg a pale yellow color), dash of cinnamon + nutmeg, and a scant ¼ tsp. of almond extract. Pour mixture into a shallow dish.
  2. Heat up a skillet on medium-high heat.
  3. Soak 2 slices of hearty bread (day old/dried out preferably) in the mixture for about 30-40 seconds on each side.
  4. Add a small pat of butter or coconut oil into your heated skillet and add in the slices of bread. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Meanwhile, cut half a banana lengthwise and sear on the sides of the skillet along with the bread. About a minute per side.
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with two more slices of bread (or however many slices until the egg mixture is all used up).
  7. Serve with desired toppings! (I love mine with a dollop of Greek yogurt, nut butter, and a drizzle of maple syrup.)

This was my Valentine’s Day gift to myself and it rocked my socks off. Thanks, Alison. You’re welcome, Alison.

Homemade cinnamon rolls (This recipe for the rolls [minus the egg— I don’t think you need it!] This recipe for the frosting)

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I couldn’t find our rolling pin, so I just used my mom’s pestle and wrapped it in wax paper. Gotta do what ya gotta do.

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These definitely turned out JUMBO-sized, but as Sir Mix-a-lot and Arman said, “I like big buns…and I cannot lie.” They did sink a little once they cooled though. I didn’t actually have a whole one with frosting and all until last night, and mannnnn was it dreamy. Like the recipe says, they really do taste like Cinnabon! 

Babysitting

The only stressful part about this was driving to the house because of all the snow (and I got lost), but otherwise, this guy was the cutest Valentine’s date ever. He was also the most well-behaved baby I’ve ever taken care of! I even got to do yoga after he went to sleep. Yeah, I did yoga at someone else’s house. Guatever. It was my dance director’s place, so it’s not THAT weird.

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{I received his mom’s permission to post this}

I believe Valentine’s Day was a success!

Early Saturday morning, my mom and I hit the slushy, snowy roads for Vestal, NY since this weekend was Binghamton University’s admitted students day!

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Pre-driving fuel: Greek yogurt (I go through containers like it’s my job), half sliced banana, leftover French toast, chia, hemp, sunflower seed butter

It was really not a good time to be on the roads, but the police cars, salt trucks, and ten other travelers on the road kept us company. Luckily, Binghamton is not terribly far from where we live, so we made it there in fair time.

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After checking into our hotel, we found a Vietnamese restaurant through Yelp called Nhu Y that was about 30 steps away, so we ate lunch there. We needed some pho to hit the spot on such a dreary day.

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Mom and I shared a bowl of beef meatball pho and a lemongrass chicken dish that was delicious! Binghamton isn’t really known for having the most amazing food, but this wasn’t bad at all.

After lunch, we veg-ed out in our room. When I finally had an ounce of motivation to get out of those fluffy hotel beds, I went to the hotel exercise room to do something.

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There weren’t many options, so I just did a 45-minute incline walk on the treadmill while watching the Olympics. By the way, workout selfies will forever make me uncomfortable. Check out that mini lion-mane.

The rest of our evening consisted of Mass at the Binghamton Catholic center (so lovely!), a sushi dinner, and late-night shopping at an awesome supermarket called Wegmans. We actually went a little crazy at Wegmans because it was like Target + Trader Joe’s in one. A dangerous duo (imagine me saying that in an Australian accent).

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Beautiful Mass as the snow softly fell outside— it felt like Christmas!

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Vestal sushi is sub-par since we’re so spoiled with the sushi around our area.

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We’re bread hoarders. (We freeze them for later.)

The next day was the Binghamton University Open House!

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Hotel breakfast: Oatmeal square, nut bar, orange

The parking and check-in were very well-organized, which is much appreciated. My favorite part of the whole day was probably the Welcome session though. One of the all-male a cappella groups called “The Crosbies” entertained us while we waited for the event to start. They are incredibly talented and hilarious entertainers!

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At 11:00, they introduced the BU President to make the welcoming address. Apparently, university presidents are superstars.

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Dying to shake hands with him 😉

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After his speech, along with a few others from different faculty members/students, we were allowed to break into different groups to attend sessions that interested us. Since it was FREEZING outside and I had already taken a campus tour in August, I passed on that. I decided on a general information session and the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences session.

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Of course, we tested out the campus food at lunch too.

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Sandwich made to order (chicken breast, roasted red peppers, muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato on whole wheat) + minestrone soup

My meal was not too shabby, but the options in this dining hall seemed a lot more limited compared to that of University of Maryland. Other items available in this particular dining hall yesterday included pizza, made to order omelets and pancakes, savory breakfast/brunch foods, typical cafeteria hot foods (fried chicken sandwiches, burgers, etc.), and a salad bar.

Overall, my experience at the open house neither deterred me from Binghamton nor drew me to it. These are the main points I concluded from the weekend:

Pros: distance from home, value/price, community

Cons: academic programs may not be the best for my interest (physical therapy as of now), location is sort of out there

My mom and I agree that Binghamton University will probably not be the place for me. Right now, I think Maryland and Virginia are my top choices, and I’m visiting both in April. We shall see!

Ok, wow. Are you still reading this? 

This was definitely a longer post than usual, and most of you probably couldn’t care less about my college experience, but this weekend was definitely important in helping me discern my college decision.

Wait, I’m not done actually. So Blend Retreat 2014 tickets went on sale last night, and my mom and I are seriously considering going this year! If you don’t know what the Blend (blogger + friend = blend) Retreat is, it’s a blogger/blog-reader weekend retreat during which the attendees get to hang out, get active, get swag bags, and just have FUN. I’ve seen some of my favorite bloggers attend in the past, and I can only imagine how amazing it would be to meet them in person!

You have no idea how excited I was to find out that my parents were on board with the trip. I could technically go by myself (I will have turned 18 just a week before the retreat— score), but my mom is totally up for going as well. The only thing that’s keeping us from registering right now is school. I have exams the Monday after we get back, and I’m just not sure if I could afford to go on a trip that weekend. It just depends on which subjects the exams are for, because then I can gauge how much pre-retreat-studying I should do. Schoooooool.

K, I’m done. Have a marvelous Monday, everyone 🙂

So tell me:

Tell me three things you did this weekend!

Are you planning on going to the Blend Retreat?!