University of Maryland Through iPhone

I’m slack-a-lackin’ on my posts aren’t I? I guess I have an excuse since I’m visiting colleges, but I still miss talking to you all!

Something I have ZERO excuses for? Accidentally eating meat yesterday (Friday during Lent). *Sigh* I realized it several hours after I ate it too. In addition to that, I ate peanut butter yesterday morning, which had been my other Friday sacrifice for Lent. Father, forgive me… #LentFailure

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Hotel breakfast: English muffin with coconut peanut butter and banana. 

I also ate some pistachios and half a mini blueberry bagel at the welcome of the UMD Admitted Students’ Day.

As I said in my last post, yesterday was the University of Maryland Admitted Students’ Open House. I have not decided to go there yet, but I can tell you that I still love it!

Reasons why I love it:

  • Cheapest out of my top three colleges
  • Fairly close to home
  • Huge, beautiful, clean campus
  • Huge campus=lots of walking=automatic exercise opportunity 😉
  • Diverse students
  • Energetic school spirit
  • Kinesiology program (I’m currently interested in becoming a physical therapist)
  • Awesome recreation/fitness center
  • Active and supportive Catholic center
  • I would be a part of the Honors college
  • Research and study abroad opportunities (I can fulfill all my Kinesiology credits if I study abroad in Australia, Arman!!)
  • I feel comfortable here

Cue the iPhone photos of our visit!

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The Welcome.

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I should wear these for college gear day at school.

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Testudo the mascot!

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Lunch at a food court on campus. Chicken (*facepalm*) platter from a kabob place. It was very tasty! But I feel guilty.

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Hot day called for fro yo, even though I didn’t deserve it. (I know— so dramatic and scrupulous I am.) For the flavors, I got peanut butter (just slap me now), strawberry banana, and blueberry muffin (<— ehhh) with mango, blueberries, and Cap’n Crunch. 

Moves

  • walking around UMD’s huge campus
  • random stuff at the hotel fitness center: 5 minute run, push up variations, triceps dips, low rows, 8 minute ab tabata (weighted Russian twists, cross knee tuck planks, ankle taps, spiderman planks)

Dinner was at a vegan place though! It’s called OVO Simply Veggie, and it was awesome.

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Refreshing and crunchy daikon salad that came with mom’s meal

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Vegan wonton soup that came with my meal (it tasted just like meat wontons!)

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Mom’s entree: mushroom protein with coconut green curry sauce and brown rice. The mushroom protein was actually the BOMB.

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My entree: Tofu with eggplant basil sauce and brown rice. Delicious as well!

This was my first time to a vegan restaurant and I was a fan, as you can tell. All thanks to Yelp! I even wrote a raving review for this place— that’s how you know it was good. I brought leftovers back to the hotel, and I’m thinking of having them as breakfast this morning. That’s right— I’m going to eat savory dinner food for breakfast (as if I can make up for my Lenten failures).

Today we’re driving down about 2.5 hours to Charlottesville, because the next open house is at University of Virginia! I honestly have no good or bad expectations from the school since I visited it over a year ago, so I don’t have many distinct perceptions of it yet. I do know that it’s an awesome school and it’s in a foodie/blogger town, which is pretty cool if you ask me 😉 A lot of people have told me that they see me at UVA and that my personality fits there. We shall see what happens!

So tell me:

Have you ever accidentally eaten meat on Friday (if you observe Lent)?

What is your favorite vegan protein? Have you ever tried mushroom protein before?

How do you find good restaurants in unfamiliar places?

 

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?!