48 Hours Unplugged

I’ve never experienced the feeling of time slowing down until last week.

I had the privilege of spending a few days in (relatively) upstate New York with two of my best friends, Fiona and Rachel. Fiona was so generous as to let us stay at her 106-year-old (!!) summer house, located in a secluded yet beautiful town.

Monday

On Monday, Fiona and Rachel drove down from Boston to my house. I cooked us a little rather large din din of caprese chicken + spicy pork chops + roasted broccoli (which was epic, not gonna lie) + avocado toast. Lots of leftovers for the ‘rents!

DSC_2356

plus avocado toast!

IMG_1132

beautiful food, even more beautiful people

I also made them one of my favorite recipes of all time— Amanda’s banana bread mug cake. Alongside some of Emily’s delicious peanut butter chocolate chip cookies + glasses o’ milk!

IMG_1133

Tuesday

After spending a night at Fiona’s house, we ate breakfast and then drove up to her summer house on Tuesday afternoon.

IMG_1135

made some banana oatmeal for the ladies

Rachel DJ’d in the car, and it was a classic grooves-mobile fest with backseat dancing and off-pitch sing-alongs.

And in no time, we arrived at the summer house!

IMG_1202

Fiona calls it her “heaven on earth”, and I can 100% see why she does. There may not have been any cell service or wifi, but there were crystal clear waters, breathtaking views, and foliage for dayzzzz.

We were only at her summer house for 2.5 days, but it felt like we were there for a week. Fiona did warn us that time slows down at this place, but I didn’t believe her until I experienced it.

Look at how cute it is!

IMG_1138 IMG_1137 IMG_1140

When we arrived, Fiona gave us a tour of the grounds, and then we went into town to buy groceries for the next few days.

The ONE stressor I had during the trip was when I got a call from my job (which I start today) about a form that I never received via email but that I needed to fill out, sign, and send by the next morning. It was actually a miracle that we were in town getting groceries when I got that call, because if we were back at the summer house, I never would have known because there’s no service there. Thank God for smart phones, because I was able to access my email, fill out the form, sign it digitally, and send it back in time.

Anyway.

Chips, salsa, PB&J’s and salads for lunch!

IMG_1141

Followed by a lovely little hike to the waterfall.

IMG_1156 IMG_1155 IMG_1169 IMG_1174

self-timing it on a waterfall

IMG_1180

IMG_1148

IMG_1185

UGH so cool.

The rest of the night involved reading, playing Clue, eating chili (that Fiona’s mom made and sent up with us!) and s’mores!

IMG_1195

Chili and fires in the summer? Ya. ‘Twas pretty chilly up there actually (plus no heat). Rachel saved our cold butts with her fire-making skills. So Midwestern.

IMG_1192

*ding*

IMG_1198 IMG_1199

I made “fluffernutter” s’mores with peanut butter instead of chocolate — 10/10 recommend

We snuggled into our beds by 10:30 pm (!!!). After some girl chat, we fell asleep to the sound of a legit babbling brook that flows by her house. People pay good money for that sound!

Rachel and I could not stop saying, “This is a dream. This is out of a novel.”

Wednesday

In an effort to gain feeling in my frozen feet in the morning, I went outside for some moves by the babbling brook. I did Jess’ lean legs workout (with some modifications).

IMG_1200

I still couldn’t feel my feet after I finished the workout. They were ice cubes.

Nothing a good breakfast can’t fix though! Pancakes for breakfast!

IMG_1204

We made buttermilk pancakes from a mix (added chocolate chips and/or banana) and ate them with a slew of toppings (peanut butter with the richest full fat vanilla Greek yogurt for me) and glasses o’ milk in cute mason jars. Eaten out on the porch. DREAMZ I TELL YOU.

IMG_1208 IMG_1212

After breakfast, we spotted beavers, played Sequence, did each others’ hair, tanned on the deck, and plunged ourselves into the freezing cold river as per Fiona’s tradition.

IMG_1219 IMG_1226 IMG_1222 IMG_1216

so cold, so exhilarating

We had a late lunch of tacos with all the works.

IMG_1232 IMG_1235

Followed by more reading, relaxing, and probably some napping. We decided on movie night with s’mores for dinner.

IMG_1238

“You look like a frog.” – Rachel

We did a double feature of The Notebook and Hairspray. It was my first time watching both! (I know, I know. I’m only an eon behind on watching The Notebook.)

Thursday

Our last day at the summer house started with leftover pancakes…

IMG_1240

…cleaning, packing, reading (I finished The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis— also 10/10 recommend!), hiking…

IMG_1251 IMG_1241 IMG_1255

IMG_1253

photos cannot do this view justice

…and a farewell to the summer house (for now!).

Back at Fiona’s house (and back to 432872 notifications on our phones), we ate a light dinner. Then Fiona took us to Bellvale Farms Creamery, aka the most incredible ice cream place of all time.

First of all, the drive to this place was beautiful. Secondly, we passed by the actual Bellvale Farm (like, we basically said hi to the cows that made the milk in our ice cream).

IMG_1260

Thirdly, their ice cream flavors were excellent. I had “Calf Trax” (vanilla ice cream with peanut butter swirl and mini peanut butter cups) + cookies ‘n’ cream in a waffle cone. No words. Fourthly, this is the view right outside their doors:

IMG_1259

I won’t stop thinking about it for the rest of the summer.

IMG_1264

Rachel and I are gonna make sure Fiona gets engaged at this spot.

Our night ended with watching The Intern (such a sweet movie!) and deep chats.

Friday

I think I’m allergic to Fiona’s cat (whose meows sound like a whining human) because I scratched my eye so hard in my sleep that I woke up with my eye half shut and swollen. Whoops.

I made us some more oatmeal and then we headed out for some tennis! Fiona is actually good at tennis, Rachel can hold a good volley, and I spent most of my time fetching the tennis balls that I hit out of the court.

IMG_1266

For our last meal together, we went to Fiona’s favorite local Mexican restaurant. We shared guac to start, and I ordered a chicken and a vegetable taco.

IMG_1268

fabulous

I am beyond grateful to have spent such a rejuvenating and beautiful week with two of my best friends. Thank you so much again, Fiona. ♥︎ I miss you both already!

Something valuable I learned from those 48 hours unplugged is that, truly, you have so much time when you’re not always on your phone/playing music/checking emails. I was able to focus on one task at a time, reflect, and do a lot without the distraction of technology. I’ll keep all this in mind as I start work today (I’ll talk more about that later!) and continue on with my life.

So tell me:

Have you ever spent an extended amount of time in a place with no service?

What was the best thing you did last week?

Do you have a special place where you like can retreat? 

Advertisements

Pray, Eat, Move, Groove, Nap, Repeat

When this happens during spring…

IMG_0427

…you think…

8-Frozen-quotes

[source]

…so when this finally becomes real…

IMG_0573

…you GET THE HECK OUTSIDE.

I’m typing this on Monday night, but it feels like a Sunday because we had an extra day off for the Boston Marathon! But the weekend fun definitely kicked off on Friday…

Friday

Class, lunch, bible study…

IMG_0521

tuna salad, artichokes, lettuce, tomato, roasted vegetables, and pesto in a whole wheat wrap

IMG_0522

corn muffin 🙂

…and some moves and grooves outside with mah girl Christina from @foodietunes and Fit University! We warmed up and started with a 12 minute HIIT workout. 3 rounds of 30 sec work, 10 sec rest:

IMG_0523

12 minutes can take it out of ya

Then we messed around with some yoga-y moves and partner pistol squats!

 IMG_0530

IMG_0531

She also convinced me to have force-fed me a couple bites of her Zinneken’s waffle with chocolate, cookie butter, and whipped cream. Life isn’t fair sometimes.

IMG_0529

It was decadent and amazing

Then I cleaned myself up for dinner with my friend Zoe, followed by my roommate’s fashion show that night!

IMG_0537

She is FIRE. Always so cool to see her rock that runway (← sounds like an ad for a new Target teen clothing line).
IMG_0539

I have never felt more awkward posing for a photo than in this moment. I have a lot to learn from Jordan in terms of effortlessness:

12957603_10153621229528178_827059039676758049_o

via Mint Julep Facebook

Saturday

I went to bed way too late for getting up at 6:30 on Saturday. I joined some friends for BU’s Global Day of Service for the morning and early afternoon. We went to the houses of senior citizens to help them with yard work. It was a lovely day to be outside, and we all enjoyed meeting new people, serving, and reflecting on the day!

Afterwards, Rachel and I proceeded to shower and take long, delicious naps. I set my alarm for a 45 minute nap, but 90 minutes later I woke up not knowing anything.

pretty-little-liars-hanna-where-the-hell-am-i

[source]

“5:45…am? Wait no, it’s sunny outside.”

After grasping a sense of reality, I did some random things before going to dinner with my friend Mai. We had some beautiful convo ♥︎

IMG_0563

that quinoa-stuffed tomato was fantastic

I spent the night in my room by my lonesome, so I watched this Crossfit “Behind the Scenes” movie on Youtube, practiced handstands, did this ab workout, did laundry, and worked on a paper. I really enjoyed the “me time” to recharge (extravert who is secretly an introvert?).

Sunday

Up and at ’em early-ish again for a fabulous girls’ brunch at Sarah’s (one of the Catholic Center missionaries) house!

IMG_0572

THIS WOMAN. Not only a radiant and inspirational woman of God, but a killer chef. She made us a crockpot egg/sausage/bacon/hasbrown casserole, blueberry cream cheese french toast casserole, and roasted potatoes. Whaaaaaaaat. Thank you so much, Sarah! ♥︎

‘Twas a beautiful day again, so a few of us took the 25 minute walk back to campus.

IMG_0574

We went to Mass and lunch before doing some work (TBH, I just folded my laundry from Saturday night and took a 20 minute nap). Then I went on a short run with Zoe before we met up with  Joe for the 1000 REP WORKOUT (← caps for dramatic effect).

IMG_0577

I’d been asking my friends to work out with me for a while now, so I was stoked that they joined me for some moves and grooves outdoors. They made it a fun and funny workout 🙂

Refueled with milkshakes (milk = protein, so essentially protein shakes).

IMG_0579

The rest of my evening consisted of Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen, dinner, a much needed shower, and homework.

IMG_0581

the finish line the day before the race!

Marathon Monday!

Since Boston University is in the heart of Boston (unlike the arch nemesis, Boston College) and the marathon course runs right through campus, we get a day off of school! Some of my best girl friends and I started the holiday with a lovely pancake breakfast in the morning. Rachel was in charge of pancakes, I sautéed the bananas, and Zoe cooked the eggs. Dream team.

IMG_0588 IMG_0587

I loved Rachel’s impressionist pancakes.

IMG_0589

one with almond butter, one with peanut butter (and then another with blueberry syrup…and another with more almond butter) + glass o’ milk!

Then we hung out before heading to the Mile 25 marker of the marathon course!

IMG_0592

IMG_0595

Atsede Baysa— first place woman!

I can’t get over how fast and resilient these people are. Holy cow.

IMG_0598

I screamed a lot again this year, but not as much as last year. Sparing my vocal cords was a smart decision. But my favorite things to yell at the runners are:

  • “YEAHHHHHH!!!”
  • “COME ON!”
  • “YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!”
  • “YOU GOT THIS.”
  • “DIG DEEEEEEEP!”
  • “KILLIN’ IT!”
  • “KEEP IT UP!”
  • “YEAH CANADA!!!”

My friends reprimanded me for that last one.

IMG_0601

We also got to see one of our friends running in the marathon (he finished in 3:00:05!!!), which was so awesome.

After a couple hours of cheering, I went to eat lunch and take a nap. I felt like I could nap for an eternity, but I got myself up after an hour and went to do some errands, move and groove a little bit outside, and do some work before having dinner with my brother and typing this up.

TL; DR — pray, eat, move, groove, nap, repeat.

Hope you all have a marvelous week! Cheer someone on (including yourself).

So tell me:

Did you get to go outside this weekend?

Have you ever spectated a big race? Are you a big cheerer?

Two things you did this weekend!

How do you feel about naps?

Let Me Brag About My Friends Again

I’m currently sitting outside on this last day of spring break, and I’m feeling all kinds of emotions.

Sad that spring break is over, overjoyed that the weather has been beautiful, grateful for amazing friends, anxious for the second half of the semester, and excited for what’s to come.

But can I brag about these people in my life who I call my friends (I think they call me their friend too, but who really knows)? These last few days of spring break have been wonderful in every way, but mostly in how down-to-earth, fun, and faithful my friends are. I’ve said this so many times before, but they constantly inspire me to be better and grow closer to God.

Friday

Friday started with some homework, maybe? I don’t remember. Regardless, the important part of the day was Mass and lunch with my friend Katie!

IMG_0029

perfect weather

IMG_0028

We chatted about the very depths of our souls over some bomb salads from Sweetgreen. I forgot to take picture with her, so my type-A-blogger self is sad.

The rest of the day involved Kan-Jam, a trip to the gym (too many heavy squats ➔ sore for DAYS), homework, and early bedtime.

IMG_0030

Saturday

I worked from 10-3 before playing outside in the perfect weather (again). I also stopped by Whole Foods to buy a box of salad greens, Fage Greek yogurt (that was on sale!), fresh strawberries (also on sale) and Nature’s Path mixed berry buckwheat freezer waffles (also on sale #collegebudget). Those four things were my sustenance for the weekend.

IMG_0046

crumbs everywhere on my bed

IMG_0048

Yogurt, nut butter, waffles, berries, and leaves— nothing out of the ordinary for me anyway.

Saturday night brought some fun festivities! My friends and I went out for drinks…

IMG_0051

…and I was the only one in our group under 21, which explains my Shirley Temple pictured above.

*waitress taking orders*

Friend 1: Guinness, please.

Friend 2: I’ll also have a Guinness.

Friend 3: Guinness.

Friend 4: Guinness for me too.

Me: …Can I get a Shirley Temple?

Honestly, that’ll probably be me when I’m 21 anyway.

Nevertheless, ’twas a grand ol’ night, complete with live Irish music and dancing. I’m grateful for my older friends who let me have fun with them despite me being an infant.

IMG_0053 IMG_0063

They went to another bar at 11, at which time I actually needed to go home. #NoFakeID

Sunday

That one hour loss, guys. IT GOT ME.

Nothing a good breakfast can’t fix though!

IMG_0065

Better yet— Mass with friends… and more perfect weather!

After Mass, I knew that I had to move and groove outside. It seemed like all of Boston was saying hello to the blue skies!

IMG_0068

I ran into more friends, who were willing to put up with my selfie shenanigans in the middle of their workout.

IMG_0070

We all burpee’d a lot.

Lunch was the rest of my salad greens, Snap Pea Crisps, and an almond butter Perfect Bar.

IMG_0072

I was planning on doing some more studying, but I didn’t need to do any work… So I went back outside 😀

IMG_0073

As soon as I whipped out my phone, this squirrel that was stuffing its face stared me down and looked like it was about to kill me.

More frisbee!

IMG_0076 IMG_0078 IMG_0080

It was also my friend Lauren’s birthday!!!

IMG_1636

four-eyed friends ♥︎ 

The dining halls opened last night (praaaaaise), so a few of us chowed down.

IMG_0084 IMG_0085

Then I joined my saintly friends for Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen for a little while before coming back to do some work attempt to do work while waiting for RACHEL TO COME HOME!

She was on a mission trip in Guyana for spring break, so I had not talked to her/seen her/contacted her/known every detail of her life for what seemed like FOREVER. She shared her experiences from the mission trip, and I almost cried. God worked through her in such profound and incredible ways.

She also saw a lot of stars 🙂

Back to the grind today. Sophomore year will come to a close in just six weeks, help.

Hope you all have a kick-butt week! I’m going to need a couple kicks in the butt just to get out of bed.

So tell me:

Something you loved about this weekend.

Something you love about your friends.

Have you ever been “that” person under 21?

Have you ever been on a service or mission trip?

Sandwiches Taste Better Outdoors + Weekly Moves and Grooves

It’s TRUE.

When Jen from Peanut Butter Runner said, “sandwiches taste better on the beach,” I started hoping that I could experience a better-tasting sandwich based on the location at which I ate it.

Even though I didn’t go to the beach yesterday, I did eat lunch outside under the hot sun. The cars passing by sounded like waves washing ashore (Boston University Beach reference!), so it was close enough.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

whole wheat pita with avocado, hummus, pork souvlaki, mint, and sriracha

Lo and behold, my sandwich tasted ten times better than any sandwich I’ve eaten indoors this summer. Any psychologists out there wanna get a PhD in this matter? I can be one of your experimental subjects.

Another reason it could have tasted that much better is the fact that I had an unexpected day off my internship. I was only there for an hour before the PTs sent me home, since they forgot to tell me that they had a 2 hour meeting in the middle of the day.

Since it was such a nice day, I decided to walk around and explore the town. My internship is in a cute, quaint town half an hour away from my house, so I was excited to have a spontaneous date with myself. 😀

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I felt like the Barefoot Contessa walking into a boutique cookware shop and an organic, local market. I also wish I was a better food photographer so I could have an excuse to get ALL THE PRETTY THINGS.

I went home and napped for almost two hours. Excuse me?

I mean, I’ve usually been getting fewer than 8 hours of sleep per night, so maybe my body just wanted to catch up. But I was knocked out during this nap. I know because I don’t remember turning off my alarm after the first 45 minutes. I always feel slightly guilty when I indulge in such a long nap, but I know I need to honor my body and focus on rest this summer!

On that note, let’s move on to another edition of…

weekly moves and grooves

Saturday: 30 minutes pilates

Sunday: gymnastics warmup + 1 mile walk

Monday: 2 mile walk

Tuesday: 8 minute abs + messing around with dance choreography (missing dance like CRAZY this summer)

Wednesday: 20 min lower body barre + 2 mile walk

Thursday: donkey kicks and bridges + handstands

Friday: maybe a complete rest day, maybe some yoga, whatever feels right!

_______________

Happy Friday, folks!!! Take a nap if you need it 🙂

So tell me:

Do you think food tastes better in a certain location/situation? Besides food tasting better when you’re hungry 😉

Do you like napping when possible?

How did you move this week?

That Time I Fell Into a Canyon

Thinking-Out-Loud

with Amanda today!

1) Guess what! I wasn’t sore yesterday! After the hardest hike of my life, I was fully expecting to wake up not being able to move my body, but I felt fresh and fine. I was confused. The hike felt so hard and painful, but I guess it was mostly the altitude? Or maybe I recovered so quickly because I ate very well after the hike? Whatever it was, I’m just happy I was not completely debilitated.

2) We saw more beautiful rocks yesterday! Our family friends drove us to Colorado Springs, where we first visited the “Garden of the Gods”.

DSC_1074 DSC_1073 DSC_1080 DSC_1090 DSC_1101

please smile, dude

3) After walking around the pedestrian-friendly path for a while, we ate an incredible lunch at The Sahara Cafe— a Middle Eastern restaurant with the most amazing falafel ever.

DSC_1119 DSC_1120

owned this chicken gyro

4) I was stuffed for the next 6 hours after that meal, because what you don’t see are the sweet potato fries, babaganoush, and baklava that I also ate with the falafel and gyro.

5) All that pita bread must have energized some of us, because our next stop was Cave of the Winds, where four of us decided to do the “Terror-Dactyl” ride. Basically, you fall into a canyon, just strapped in by a few seatbelts and hung by a cord. Juuuuust rocks under us.

Supervisor: The ground comes at ya pretty fast, so it’s over quickly whatever happens!

Oh….

I apologize for my blood-curdling scream

I prayed beforehand. The worst part was actually the beginning when they tilted us forward so that we were parallel with the ground and all our weight was resting on their somewhat questionable seatbelts. There’s a GoPro video of Ben’s and my face during the whole thing, which I’ll be sure to share when I get it!

6) It was totally amazing and worth it (the fear and the $50…).

DSC_1126 DSC_1132

the daredevils’ “before” shot

DSC_1137

head first into this beauty

DSC_1152

walking the plank

DSC_1156

after the drop, taking in the scenery and thanking God we’re alive

DSC_1164

Even my mom and aunt did a ride! They took the less extreme, but still thrilling zipline.

DSC_1180

my mom and aunt on the zipline!

7) After that excitement, we slowed it down with a fun cave tour! All those stalactites, stalagmites, and slightly claustrophobia-inducing rock tunnels.

DSC_1198 DSC_1201 DSC_1205 DSC_1206 DSC_1209 DSC_1214

It was so neat! Our tour guide was awesome, and the history was fascinating. If you’re ever in Colorado Springs, I 100% recommend Cave of the Winds. Let me know if you try the Terror-Dactyl 😉

8) “Eat, hike, repeat” is our theme of the week, so after our afternoon activities, we ate a late dinner at Thai Diamond Cafe. I was still kinda full from lunch, so I shared bites of everyone’s food and ate a salad that I had originally packed for lunch. I left the restaurant very full again 🙂

9) I’m going to meet Emily from Beauty in Christ today!!! I am so super excited. I can relate to every single one of her blog posts. It’s so wonderful to have a blogger friend who is about my age, who has gone through similar experiences with an eating disorder, and who loves Christ with a passion.

10) Speaking of blogger friends, Blend is tomorrow!!! So many exclamation points and so many things to be grateful for. I am blessed to just be alive, but God’s generosity is overflowing every darn day.

So tell me:

Would you do Terror-Dactyl? Have you done anything like it?

Have you ever gone on a cave tour?

What did you eat yesterday?