Shimmying in Charlotte + Recent Eats

On top of my titles as selfie queen, peanut butter lover, and daughter of God, add saxophone enthusiast.

Not because I can play the saxophone by any stretch of the imagination, but because I went to the MOST FUN jazz sax concert in Charlotte, NC this weekend with my dear friend Lauren and her awesome parents.

Going to NC for 24 hours for a saxophone concert is one of the most random things I’ve ever done, but that’s what I love about the whole thing. There’s a saxophonist named Gerald Albright who Lauren and I talk about all the time, even though we only really knew one of his songs (“Slam Dunk” – highly recommend if you want a good time).

IMG_9770

our “Ger bear”

Lauren’s parents had an extra ticket and very generously invited me down to hang out with them and watch the concert. And BOY did we have a blast!

IMG_9763

Gerald was ridiculously amazing, even more so than I was expecting. The other saxophone star above was Kirk Whalum, who solo’d in Whitney Houston’s song, “I Will Always Love You” (casual..maybe you’ve heard it) and played for her for almost ten years. WILD.

There was also some dancing and soul trains involved during the concert, and we were all loving it. Even if Lauren and I were likely the only ones under the age of 35 there. We shimmied our way through the concert (and the whole weekend, honestly).

IMG_1438

The best part of the weekend was just spending time with Lauren and her parents. They are the most beautiful family. They also know to take a couple Boston girls to Chick-Fil-A immediately upon arrival in NC.

IMG_9750

my first Chick-Fil-A sandwich ever

A milestone, you could say. It was perfect.

Lauren’s mom also brewed some delicious iced tea at home that we sipped as we chatted in their living room. I rather enjoy the simple things in life.

Before the concert on Saturday night, we went to dinner at The King’s Kitchen, which I would describe as an upscale Southern restaurant. The food was utterly delicious, AND the proceeds go towards feeding the hungry and towards life skills development programs.

I got the pot roast, which came with three sides and either corn bread or a biscuit. I went with mac and cheese, green beans, collards, and a biscuit (you know I love corn bread, but when the waiter suggests the biscuit, you go for the biscuit – a good move).

IMG_9754

I finished e v e r y t h i n g.

The show was about three hours long, so afterwards, we made one last pit stop at Amelie’s French Bakery for near-midnight dessert. We split a lavender lemon cake, chocolate ganache cake, vanilla eclair, and raspberry lemon tart between the four of us.

IMG_9774

I think the raspberry lemon tart got the best vote all around!

On Sunday morning, I made them avocado egg toast because it is a) a joy for me to cook breakfast for people; b) necessary for every person to try avocado egg toast. I had peanut butter honey toast because they bought natural peanut butter for me *happy crying eyes*.

After breakfast, we headed to Mass and then had a light lunch at Chopt, ” the creative salad company.”

IMG_9775

sweet corn quinoa salad + turmeric ginger iced tea

Ugh, so fresh and delicious.

I already miss Lauren and her parents!! Thank you all so much again for your hospitality, generosity and love ♥︎ It was such a fun weekend.

IMG_9767

Also, I love Charlotte! I will be returning one day 🙂


Lastly, here are some recent eats and scenes that I haven’t shared yet from the past week!

My friends and I have still been using up our Groupon classes at The Ring. I will be so sad when it’s over. I LOVE BOXING.

IMG_9660

I cooked fava beans for the first time ever a couple weeks ago. They remind me of edamame!

IMG_9665

Overnight oats forever and ever. This one was with blackberries – a fine addition!

IMG_9636

My girl Elayne invited me to go to spin class with her at the HandleBar a couple weeks ago (I’m so behind with this recap), and as always with spin, the class kicked my butt! But the instructor was awesome and so fun.

IMG_9674IMG_9676

Two Fridays ago, my friends Justin and Kevin and I went to eat at Pho Countryside as our pre-exam studying treat. It keeps us going.

IMG_9677

It was everything I needed.

IMG_9678

We followed that up with some frozen yogurt at Cafe 472 (with Elayne!).

IMG_9679

Kevin and I shared apple pie flavor with granola, but I am convinced they actually made us pineapple flavor. It was great regardless.

IMG_9684

Some more of my beloved Asian friends invited me to join them for Kimbap on a different day. It’s basically like extra large sushi rolls with lots of yum stuff like bulgogi meat, seasoned veggies, egg, and spam if ya fancy. It was so tasty. I have such generous people in my life, my goodness!!

IMG_9687

Lots of peanut butter Puffins as a night snack these days.

IMG_9663

Overnight oatmeal smoothie bowls are my go-to weekend breakfast this summer.

IMG_9686

I think I followed up that smoothie with these scrambled eggs shortly after. Just cuz I was extra hungry. I forget how delicious simple scrambled eggs with ketchup is!

IMG_9692

I had whole wheat three cheese tortellini with sun-dried tomato pesto for a couple nights. This night I decided to put the leftovers over some greens.

IMG_9693

I’ve still been eating a lot of sandwiches for lunch just about every day!

IMG_9748

So I was at Target one day and needed to buy more bread for my sandwich lifestyle. I usually get the Harvest Wheat loaf for $1.99 at Trader Joe’s, so I tried to find an equivalent at Target.

IMG_9694

This one looked fine enough. When I got home, I decided to look at the ingredients (since the TJ’s one has a short and sweet list and I wanted to compare). I found…

IMG_9695

My first instinct was, “Aw man. I wish I could return this. HFCS is gross.” But then I thought, “Will I die? No. This is food. This is fine. It is bread. I will enjoy this bread and be grateful for it.” Do I want to buy this bread every week? Nah. But my life will not be a spiraling pit of doom if I have this bread for lunch every day for a couple weeks.

*steps off soapbox*

Last Sunday we went to Toscanini’s for ice cream Sunday! This is my favorite ice cream place in Boston. Listen to these flavors: thin mint (amazing) + matcha cookies ‘n’ cream cheesecake (yes, that’s one flavor and yes, it was delicious).

IMG_9698

Many days have looked like this recently! Blessed.

IMG_9714

On Friday night, a bunch of us celebrated our girl Zoe’s 21st birthday! She was abroad this summer and visited Boston to celebrate with us this weekend. WOOHOO!

IMG_9732

We started with apps and margarita’s at Sunset Cantina.

IMG_9738

And then moseyed on over to Landsdowne for some dancing!!

IMG_9739

I needed a midnight snack before bed that night. Smashed banana pb bread with cinnamon did the trick.

IMG_9740

When I don’t eat overnight oats for breakfast, Gina’s cookie dough cereal is another one on repeat.

IMG_9741

And last night I had another variation of pb banana that I hadn’t eaten in so long – Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie! With Greek yogurt to dip into it (remember when I did that all. the. time?).

IMG_9781

Hope you all have a marvelous Monday and a kick butt week! Don’t sweat the small stuff.

So tell me:

Are you a fan of jazz music? 

Have you ever been to Charlotte, NC?

Do you like Chick-Fil-A (juuuust talking about the food here)?

The top three things from your weekend!

Burning, Sweating, Smiling

I genuinely wonder how many gallons of sweat have been excreted from my body in this past week.

Summer is in full force, which is 75% of the reason why it’s been so long since I’ve posted. The other 25% is school. Those numbers are definitely supposed to be switched, but alas, this weekend definitely involved more summer fun than schoolwork.

There has been a lot of burnin’, sweatin’, and smilin’ happening here!

Wednesday

Yes, I’m starting all the way from last Wednesday, but I promise these are just the highlights.

After a full day of class, Colby, my friend/classmate Elayne and I used our ClassPass trial on a TRAINx360 class at a place called Everybody Fights in Boston’s financial district.

IMG_9264

The gym looks pretty trendy and is packed with all kinds of equipment. Our energetic instructor took us through several stations, including four different boxing stations, air dyne bike, battle ropes, KB burpees, jump squats, rowing, med ball high knees, and suspension trainer pikes. We did 6 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds active rest at each station, and we were beat by the end of it.

IMG_9265

Oh, and the instructor ended it with a squat finisher that burned my quads.

IMG_9267

I freaking LOVED it though! The atmosphere, the group effort, the workout format, the movements. Highly recommend this gym if you’re in the Boston area!

IMG_9269

burning, sweating and smiling

All last week I noshed on my favorite chicken drumsticks with brown rice and some sort of vegetable.

IMG_9271.jpg

Thursday

The most exciting news from Thursday was seeing a turtle on the way to campus…

IMG_9274

…and using another one of my ClassPass trials on Happy Hour Yoga at BurnFit. This was both a relaxing and challenging class with some groovy tunes playing in the background.

IMG_9276

Friday

After classes, I headed to the gym and completed this workout:

5 rounds:

  • 500m row (2:18 pace)
  • 10 burpees

12 minute abs:

Then I met up with some friends at Le’s Vietnamese Restaurant for some bomb pho. Rachel and I shared a bowl of pork/shrimp/egg roll vermicelli and a large bowl of meatball pho. It was everything we needed.

IMG_9279

Fun fact: it has always been a rainy day when I’ve gone to Le’s. Pho weather is a thing.

Afterwards, we headed to Ben’s place to watch John Mulaney comedy on Netflix while eating ice cream right out of the carton. Casey, Lauren and I were sharing four different pints at once, and it was bliss.

IMG_9283

everyone give attention to Casey’s corgi sweatshirt

Casey bought the birthday cake flavor of Halo Top, which everyone raves about, and for good reason because it was so good!!

Saturday

The sun was out and burning bright. Perfect for kayaking (given that you have loads of sunscreen)!

IMG_9313IMG_9338

Photo compliments of my friend Nico

My Boston friends + Colby (honorary Boston friend now 🙂 ) and I headed to Cambridge to rent some kayaks and explore the city by water for a couple hours. ‘Twas glorious.

IMG_9298IMG_9337

Thank you x2 for capturing this, Nico!

Colby was my kayak buddy, but we made the mistake of putting her in the front. The stronger person is supposed to go in the back, so I think her mighty strength at the front of the boat (and my less mighty strength in the back) caused us to have some steering issues at the start, but we figured it out (sorta) by the end.

IMG_9327

So much fun!!

IMG_9335

Shoulder muscles and skin burning, definitely sweating, still smiling.

I didn’t have shorts to wear that day though, so I was wearing capris. This was the result.

IMG_9339

That’s not disappearing until 2018.

After kayaking, we were more than ready for nourishment, so we took our kayaking receipts to Za for 10% off pizza! Lauren and I split a portobello/roasted red pepper/roasted garlic/goat cheese pizza + garlic scape/tomato/feta pizza.

IMG_9333IMG_9336

Both were fantastic. The crust was perfectly doughy and crispy all at once.

For the rest of the day, I stayed home and got some schoolwork done. That time in the intense sun also wiped us all out.

Sunday

I woke up early-ish to meet Ben for a quick workout before BEACH DAY! We ran a little less than 2 miles in the very muggy heat and then did a mini circuit of tricep dips and split squats before we needed to down a million gallons of water.

IMG_9345

lol at the butt sweat, ew

Rachel kindly drove us to the beach because she’s an adult and has a car now. We were headed for one beach, but parking was full when we got there at around 11, so we went a few miles farther to Singing Beach, which worked out well!

IMG_9346

IMG_9353IMG_9365

The sun was hot but the water was NOT. I was literally kneeling in it so I could ice my injured knee. I couldn’t even keep my feet in the water for more than 30 seconds.

IMG_9357

But Rachel is a cold-blooded fish apparently.

IMG_9362

I don’t get it.

I was just trying to read some functional anatomy while not getting a weird textbook tan over my legs or anything.

IMG_9352

We all packed our own sandwiches for lunch, and Rachel and I packed the same sandwich (except for the bread we used): pepperjack, turkey, arugula, bacon. I also had berry preserves and mustard on mine because I’m greedy for flavor.

IMG_9361

Speaking of greedy, Lauren and I just listened to Ariana Grande’s song “Greedy” for the first time this weekend and are obsessed with it. That KEY CHANGE after the bridge!!

IMG_9347

IMG_9392

thanks for this photo, Austin!

After we frolicked at the beach all afternoon, we headed back home for showers and a quick turnaround to get to Mass at 6pm. Following Mass, we wanted fooooood. More importantly, we wanted to continue our ice cream Sunday tradition by going to J.P. Licks, so we planned around that. Yelp told me that Chilacates was cheap and delicious Mexican food, so we chose that for dinner.

I got three tacos that hit the spot. So much flavor!

IMG_9369

al pastor (pork and pineapple) // chicken tinga (spicy chipotle sauce) // papas con chorizo (potatoes and chorizo) 

We all scream for ice cream!

IMG_9373IMG_9371IMG_9375IMG_9374

I got a scoop of peanut butter cookies ‘n’ cream. Mmmmhmmmm.

The rest of our night involved The Game of Things, aka the greatest game to play with close friends/family. This photo of Ben and Austin laughing/crying sums up the night.

IMG_9383

Monday

I had planned on hiking and going to brunch with the gang, but my knee was hurting from my short run with Ben on Sunday (the same pain I felt after the Spartan Race…I think it’s IT band syndrome), so I decided to stay home and rest. My moves and grooves of the day was Blogilates’ Extreme Abs 3, which never fails to annihilate my core.

Studying, laundry, a trip to the library, getting more quarters for laundry and cooking also needed to be done! Lunch intermission was an avocado, arugula, bacon, egg, sriracha sandwich. 😀

IMG_9386

I made these spicy peanut chicken soba noodles for dinner, which I hadn’t made since Rachel’s birthday five months ago. These are THE BEST. I made so much of it, so I have leftovers for dayyyyyzzzz.

IMG_9390

Tuesday – Fourth of July!

God bless America!!! This day was so wonderful.

I started off with some banana pudding for breakfast, followed by some studying and a 16 minute workout.

IMG_9397

4 rounds, 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off:

  • tuck jump burpees
  • DB thrusters
  • skaters
  • dive bomber pushups
  • plank jack burpees
  • reverse lunge to front kick (one side at a time)

IMG_9399

burnin’, sweatin’, smilin’

I took a long walk to Rachel’s place for the festivities and picked up some groceries on the way. Rachel and I double teamed and cooked up some burgers before everyone arrived.

IMG_9400

Many chips with much dip, Lofthouse cookies (← forever have a place in my heart), apple pie, brownies, homemade chocolate chip banana bread a la mode…

IMG_9403

100% brought peanut butter just for the banana bread

#BoozeAndGrooves was also in full swing. Ben brought some Jell-O shots, and I choked down this red one, which tasted exactly like cough syrup. The blue one was a little better. Lauren also made lovely prosecco grapes!

IMG_9401

Alcohol doesn’t amaze me, but I appreciate fun and festive alcohol “snacks”(?).

After several hours of grazing, dancing, more grazing, and chatting, we cleaned up and headed out towards the river to get ready for the fireworks show. The fireworks weren’t until 10:30 pm, so we killed our time with some walking, playing “Contact” (← also a fun game!), and…

FullSizeRender

cigars burnin’, all of us were sweatin’, but only some of us were smilin’

…smoking cigars (NOT cigarettes, Madre and Pop!). I learned that you do not inhale the smoke from cigars, but you’re supposed to swirl it in your mouth to taste it and then puff it out. “For conversations about philosophy.”

You can see that I was just utterly pleased with the experience. I probably wouldn’t do it again because it doesn’t taste great, I still don’t like smoke that close to my lungs, and I don’t love that I’m emitting smoke around others. BUT I’m glad I tried it once, and to my friends’ pleasure, I didn’t absolutely hate it.

Weather-wise, it was a perfect night to celebrate our nation.

IMG_9435IMG_9470IMG_9485IMG_9416.jpgIMG_9407

The fireworks were spectacular, but these people easily outdo them.

Wednesday

Back to reality. I had class all day and then went back to Everybody Fights with Elayne for our last ClassPass trial. This time we did the BAGSxBODY class, which involved a lot more punching of heavy bags. It was A BLAST. I need to box more!

IMG_9488

burnin’, sweatin’ A LOT, smilin’ 

I just housed more soba noodles, 1/3 of a pan of roasted brussels sprouts, a frozen banana with pb, and some cereal after that boxing class.

It’s Thursday already!?

So tell me:

Americans – What did you do for the Fourth of July?

Have you ever tried boxing?

What is your favorite group game to play?

Three fun things you did this past week!

Weekend Confessions

weekend confessions

Confession #1: I’m currently blasting Ariana Grande’s “Right There” and belting it in my apartment (you know I’m rapping Big Sean’s part too), because Megan moved out and I’m alone.

Confession #2: I miss Megan a lot. I miss the microwave and trash bin that she provided this semester too, but I miss her more.

Confession #3: Finals are DONE, and I am now a senior/physical therapy graduate student!!! But I’m really feeling the “responsibility drop-off” (← literally just made that up) and have been trying to balance my empty study schedule with my real life to-do list.

IMG_8450

study break last week

IMG_8372

crepe study break as a farewell to our friend Tom from Ireland!

IMG_8411

fresh out of our gross anatomy final, dying inside a little but living the dream

Confession #4: Instead of doing the online portion for my CPR course on Thursday night after my last final, I went to a summer birthday celebration (for all of us who have summer birthdays that we cannot celebrate during the school year) and a bonfire.

IMG_8400IMG_8403

Confession #5: The amount of sugar I consumed that night (cake + ice cream + cookies + s’mores) is really scandalous as a future healthcare professional, but no regrets.

IMG_8410IMG_8407IMG_8409

Confession #6: Since I went to the bonfire, I went to sleep past 1pm, had to wake up at 7am to finish the online CPR course, literally RUN to print out my certificate and meet up with my friend Janice to go to the in-person portion of the CPR class. #responsible.

IMG_8413

But now I am CPR certified! “Ah ah ah ah stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.”

Confession #7: Lunch on Friday was very beige. For bucket listing, Rachel and I went to Roxy’s for grilled cheese and truffle fries, followed by Toscanini’s for the B3 (brown butter, brown sugar, brownie) flavor. A meal of champions!

IMG_8415IMG_8416

Rachel and I both got the three cheese: VT cheddar, muenster, and fontina cheeses inside perfectly crispy, buttery white bread.

IMG_8419

The truffle fries were RICH. Truffle oil with rosemary and salt. So fantastic.

IMG_8420IMG_8421

In addition to the B3 (the required bucket list item), Rachel got marshmallow fluff and I got butter almond (so much butter that day), and we both enjoyed them thoroughly. I’d say Toscanini’s has the best ice cream in the Boston area! It’s so dense and satisfying, similar to gelato.

Confession #8: I didn’t finish this blog post but scheduled it to post for this morning, so it was incomplete when it went up. Whoops. Here’s the rest.

Confession #9: Instead of sleeping early on Friday night (which I needed because I was exhausted), I went to my first Red Sox game ever because one of the Deans of the school was giving out a bunch of free tickets to my friends and me while we were playing hacky sack outside earlier in the day.

Sleep vs. first (and maybe only) Red Sox game ever with friends on a Friday night?

IMG_8427

I don’t even like baseball, but the experience was a blast.

IMG_8428IMG_8429

My favorite part was dancing between innings to try to get on the jumbotron but failing every time. I maybe watched the actual game for a total of 5 minutes.

Confession #10: It has been utterly freezing over here in Boston in the middle of May (read: 40-50*F), but since people are moved out and it’s supposed to be hot for the rest of the week, my apartment’s heat is off. That means I’ve been incubating myself in multiple layers inside my room.

IMG_8455

MIDDLE. OF. MAY.

What is this madness!?

IMG_8434

Confession #11: I worked out with Ben on Saturday, and his original workout was too hard for both of us that we had to scale it down as we went on. It was a great one though!

10 crab walk pushups // 10 plank up downs// 10 plank shoulder tap holds // 10 burpee-squat-front lunge twists

.3 mi run

15 crab walk pushups // 15 plank up downs // 15 plank shoulder tap holds // 15 burpee-squat-front lunge twists

.6 mi run

10 crab walk pushups // 10 plank up downs// 10 plank shoulder tap holds // 10 burpee-squat-front lunge twists

.9 mi run

15 crab walk pushups // 15 plank up downs // 15 plank shoulder tap holds // 15 burpee-squat-front lunge twists

1.2 mi run

We ran on the grass to mix up the terrain, which was good. Those complex burpees were apparently added in just for me, but they were killer!

Confession #12: I returned my rental book a day late, but Barnes and Noble is generous and gave me a two day grace period instead of charging me $45 right away.

Confession #13: Briana, Sarah, Dom and I watched the Hannah Montana Movie on Saturday night, and I 100% enjoyed it.

IMG_8439

Confession #14: I took a bunch of my friends to Le’s Vietnamese for pho on Sunday because it’s cheap and good food. They let me order and advise them on how to eat everything correctly.

IMG_8451

Between six of us, this was less than $40! And it was so satisfying and delicious on the rainy day.

Confession #15: We went to buy froyo afterwards, and my cup was $7. So much for saving money.

IMG_8453

The mochi made it really heavy…okay, the amount of froyo I got also made it really heavy.

IMG_8454

Confession #16: I worked out with Sarah yesterday morning and my butt is mighty sore today. We did some rowing, weighted step ups, split squats, and squat jumps. That’ll do it.

Confession #17: A bunch of us got together last night to watch Inside Out, which Sarah and I had watched halfway through but had to leave during a cliffhanger. We finally finished it last night, and I am unashamed to say that I shed a tear. What a great movie.

Confession #18: I’m definitely not an early bird anymore. My three day streak was short-lived.

Hope you all have a beautiful week!

So tell me:

Any “confessions” from this weekend?

The best thing you ate this weekend!

Your guilty pleasure movie.

Are you CPR certified?

 

Joyful Exhaustion

So I cried on Sunday night.

Crying is pretty much a weekly occurrence just to let out all the emotions that have built up from the week, which might sound like there’s a problem that I need to fix, but crying is a very normal and therapeutic thing for me. Sometimes I cry by myself, and sometimes my parents kindly let me cry irrelevantly in the middle of our conversation (love you, Madre and Pop).

Needless to say, it’s been a long week. I started developing a very “woe is me” mentality by the end of the weekend, but the more I pray and talk about what I’m feeling with others, the more I realize that I have been given nothing but love through the people and circumstances God has placed in my life.

9 hours of sleep on Sunday night wasn’t a bad thing either.

Besides keeping up with school, here are some other things that have kept me joyfully exhausted lately:

1) Grabbing a cheeseburger with Fr. Barnes (the priest at our Catholic Center) for lunch on Thursday.

2) Gearing up for Holy Week!

3) Making time to spend with friends, even if only at the dining hall. This dining hall dinner involved double the carbs, which meant double the fun.

IMG_7694

seafood and sausage paella, so fancy!

IMG_7695

cheese ravioli

4) Cooking allllll the things at work, which gets so tiring after 5+ hours! I have so much respect for chefs and stay-at-home mothers/fathers. Yeesh.

5) Colby from You Make You (@be.happyhealthyfit) came to Beantown this weekend!! She crashed at my (now roach-free!) place, which meant a lot of quality time together 🙂

Some scenes from our foodie/fit/fun adventures:

Salads + corn bread at the food court on Friday night, followed by some bona fide college comedy.

IMG_7698

We had some study sessions. This one featured a Quest cinnamon roll cereal bar that Colby gave me. It totally brought me back to the cereal bars of my childhood.

IMG_7700

Friends who sweat together…

IMG_7702

 (even though we were both really sore this day)

Nothing some good pho can’t fix! This was my first time at Le’s, and it crushed the game.

IMG_7703

We split an XL bowl of chicken pho…

IMG_7704

…and a pork/shrimp vermicelli bowl, all for a grand total of $20! College wallets rejoice!

IMG_7707

We finished almost all of it.

IMG_7708

But our dessert stomachs were ready for [vegan] ice cream. Colby is sadly allergic to gluten and dairy, so FoMu was a Godsend.

IMG_7709

FoMu serves vegan, coconut milk-based ice cream. I got strawberry (per the server’s recommendation) and “f’oreo” in a waffle cone.

IMG_7711

Verdict? Delicious, rich, and creamy! But you have to be okay with coconut, because you can definitely taste the coconut in all the flavors.

IMG_7713

Colby got peanut butter (made with Teddie’s pb!) and strawberry

Then Colby spotted this gluten-free, vegan ice cream cookie sandwich and, being allergic to dairy/gluten and being deprived of places like FoMu at her school, she said, “when in Boston…”

IMG_7715

So we split it 🙂 (’twas a whopping $7+ though, what the freak!?)

IMG_7714

We took an Uber home because a) very full; b) raining.

Ugh, it was so fun spending the weekend with Colby. She is such a kind and genuine soul, and she has a refreshing presence in the healthy living social media world. I love you and am so honored to have spent this time with you, Colby!

6) This is the opposite of exhaustion, but shoutout to Megan for being the best roommate and always cleaning up our apartment without complaining or really saying anything. I see ya and appreciate you greatly, girl.

IMG_7728

egg in a hole on my Rainforest Cafe plate // Megan: “you have to see the logo if we want to be endorsed”

7) Workout/Bible study on Sunday mornings! This week, we had a great conversation about combatting the fear of living with our own selves.

8) Brunch with my fellow future PT friend, Selena! We went to Tatte on Sunday, and it was glorious.

IMG_7717IMG_7719

I recommended that Selena get the shakshuka, which is what I got last year. She loved it!

IMG_7718

And I got the turkey B.L.A.T (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato), which was fan-freaking-tastic. Thick cut applewood bacon, chipotle mayo, toasted and buttered multigrain bread MMM. Finished every last bite!

IMG_7725

Of course, we finished our meals with a pastry from the bakery. She got the creme brûlée croissant (!!!), and I got the pear almond muffin. Both were incredible.

IMG_7716

8) Lots of gross anatomy studying. We already have another exam next week?

9) Giving tours in the snow and the sunshine. This spring weather is sloooooooooooowly but surely coming along.

IMG_7729

10) Keeping up with relationships with friends, family, and God. I often take advantage of one or the other, but I am constantly reminded of how precious these relationships are.

IMG_7731

So my exhaustion is mostly first-world-induced, I know. But fast-paced, privileged lives can be surprisingly threatening to true peace and joy, which can best be found in the silence and simplicity of God’s Love.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

So tell me:

Have you felt super busy/exhausted recently?

Have you ever tried vegan ice cream? 

Two things you’re grateful for!

 

 

Back in Boston: Same But Different

I think yesterday was the best first day of school I’ve ever had.

And I think it’s because I felt the least anxious I’ve ever felt on a first day of school. There were still feelings of uncertainty and awkwardness in terms of the flow of my day, but there were also feelings of calm and peace. Praise God for that!

Our first day of classes here at Boston University was just one of many things that have been the same but different as I’ve settled back into my beloved Boston.

img_6808

Moving in was the same in that the ‘rents and I stopped by Super 88 for lunch after all my stuff was unloaded…

img_6791

I was so ready for my fave lemongrass chicken after driving three hours + carrying heavy things up the stairs

…but it was different in that I was moving into an apartment with kitchen things!!

img_6805

Also different — I’m not living with my fabulous roommate from the past two years, Jordan 😦 But I am with Megan, and I couldn’t be more grateful!! Rachel also lives down the street, which is a nice bonus 🙂

img_6796

I did NOT eat all that cilantro and basil in one go

I have the same bedding since freshman year, but my living space is quite different. There’s…well, space! In reality, I just didn’t overpack (for the first time ever), and I also forgot essential things like an umbrella.

img_6801

I’ve been overloaded with the same excitement that I always have when I reunite with old friends and meet new ones, but I also have a different sense of peace that I didn’t have at the start of my sophomore year. I’m not as concerned about impressing other people, and I think I have lessons in humility (← GREAT read) to thank for that.

img_6807

lunch at Panera with a friend

I am so thrilled to have FitRec again, where I can do some of the same moves and grooves I used to do last year (I ♥︎ bodyweight/luggage workouts, but equipment is fun too). At the same time though, I’m approaching FitRec with a different perspective now. I feel like I can be more creative with my workouts, since I lived without a gym for the past eight months, and I go into the gym with a “less is more” attitude. Like, I don’t need to squat, use the rower, and the BOSU ball in one workout just because they’re all there.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 10.11.28 PM.png

Also different — Rachel convinced me to run with her. She’s training for a 10K and she’s still on her easy runs, so I can tolerate that.

img_6794

run 3 min, walk 2 min x3 // “If you can’t do that then you need to go to the doctor.” – Rachel

img_6800

Found this at FitRec on Wednesday. Peep the second line. Think I could pass for age 4?

I’m tempted to keep my same flakiness when it comes to committing to plans. “Maybe I’ll go,” said Alison always. JUST COMMIT. That is something different I want to work on. Like sleeping over at Rachel’s place on my first night here, even though I was falling asleep in my dinner beforehand.

Cooking at college is different, since I’ve always had a regular dorm and a meal plan, but that just means I can eat the same things I do at home now! It is different that I have to come to the apartment all the time now though. I almost never hung out in my room the past two years in college.

img_6798

leftover pho from Super 88 with all the herbs

img_6809

you know it 🙂

img_6815

the only plates I brought were these Rainforest Cafe ones, and I don’t know why

img_6816

my aunt’s homemade banana bread + pb

I want to attack this semester with the same diligence that got me through school up to this point, but I also want to look at my days differently. I don’t want to be busy just because everyone else is or because I want to feel like superwoman. I do want to be productive and live each day with purpose.

That may involve going on prayerful walks between classes, rather than stressing about printing the 13488705 pages of notes that everyone else already printed for gross anatomy (people went HAM, holy smokes). Also different — not freaking about what other people are doing for class.

img_6813

It’s okay if I have five or four or even three things on my to-do list. I hope to do those things well, take time to fill myself (prayer, exercise, proper meals, sleep), and take time opening my mind and heart to what others might need during their day.

I’ve always thought that I was being selfish, or at least indulgent, if I didn’t fill up my days with work, but like many a wise (wo)man has stated, we can take care of others and do a better job if we take care of ourselves. Thanks, Lyss and Jen for that reminder as well ♥︎ This doesn’t mean that we need to avoid hard, long days like they’re the plague, but allowing ourselves mental, physical and spiritual space is necessary to tackle both the good and bad days.

Lord, how can I best serve you today?

So tell me:

What are your thoughts on living each day well?

What is one thing you cooked this week?

Do you ever get overwhelmed at the gym? Or with seeing new people?