Recent Fun Facts

1) I turned 22 last Thursday.

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This past year being 21 was probably the most difficult year of my life, academically, spiritually, and emotionally. Makes me both terrified and AMPED for 22!!! I am grateful for this beautiful life. Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday through text, Facebook, Instagram comment, in person, or over the phone!

2) I have needed someone to roll me home after dinner this whole weekend. Figuratively, that is. But it would have been nice hilarious to have someone actually do that for me.

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My family and I went to Montreal this past weekend for my friend Monica’s graduation from McGill University, and we went all out with the food. Poutine, hand-pulled noodles, Montreal bagels, excessively expensive sushi… It was delightful and indulgent to say the least. But the main star of the show was this gal!! We are so proud of her.

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Rachel also took me out in Boston the night before my birthday to a place called Alden and Harlow, where we got the “Secret Burger” (a food bucket list item of ours!), among other delicious fare. The Secret Burger has a crispy freaking CHEESE DISK under the top bun. Good g r i e f.

 

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semolina pistachio cake with strawberry sauce of sorts + peanut brittle was also fabulous

3) I tried three weeks of a delivery meal service (the ones where the company sends you all the ingredients + recipe instructions and you make it yourself). One week of Hello Fresh for a free trial from my brother’s girlfriend, Elaine. One week of Hello Fresh that I paid for because I forgot to cancel the subscription after the free trial (*rolls eyes at self*). One week of Plated for a free trial from my friend Christie.

I typically would not buy these meal services for myself because your girl cannot afford that, but it was a blast getting to try it! It was fun exploring new recipes and using cooking techniques that I never would have tried on my own. It’s even more fun cooking and sharing the meals with another person. I recommend trying it at least once (i.e. asking a friend who subscribes for a free code hehe).

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Some recipes from Hello Fresh: balsamic onion jam burgers with arugula and aioli on brioche buns // pork tenderloin with crispy potatoes and roasted vegetables // chicken cheddar fajitas. One from Plated: spicy crunchy tuna bowl

There was not a recipe from either company that I didn’t like! It’s great that each recipe also takes less than an hour to cook. “Hangry” prevention is key.

4) I have not been sleeping enough despite having no work to do since finals ended. I am craving routine again. Work starts next week!

5) I have not done a workout more than 45 minutes in the past year it seems. That will need to change as my friend Ben and I are doing another Spartan Race in August, except this time it’s a Spartan Super (10-ish miles) instead of a Spartan Sprint (5 miles), which is what we did last year, and even that wiped me out. HAHA oh my word, I have zero endurance right now.

6) I peed while on the Tappan Zee Bridge.

…Because I was on a coach bus that had a bathroom on it 🙂 Did I freak you out??

7) I kind of want to do another vlog like this one (“half a week in the life”) from last year. That was so fun to make! A little bit of an unnecessary time sucker, but hey, #summer.

8) My talented friend John (← check out his portfolio!) took some fun graduation photos for me and my friends. These people make me so happy.

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eMoTiOnz.

Too bad I have two more years of school left.

9) I am newly obsessed with Sean Lew and Kaycee Rice, two incredibly talented nugget dancers who know more about life at the age of 15/16 than I do.

Hits my soul pretty deep and makes me want to be a better person, to be honest.

10) I made a friend over the age of 80 yesterday, and she made me cry with her sweet and beautiful words of faith, hope, and love. What a gift.

GOOD NIGHT (as I type this into the wee midnight hours).

So tell me:

Some recent fun facts about yourself!

Have you ever tried a Montreal bagel OR poutine?

What is something that has touched your heart recently? 

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Hi, Summer!

What time is it!?

{Summer time! It’s our vacaaaation!}

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I told you I’ve been listening to High School Musical.

Technically, my summer vacation started two weeks ago, but I haven’t really talked about my summer plans yet.

These first few weeks have been the “vacation” portion of my summer, during which I’ve had minimal responsibilities and plenty of time to hang out with friends and family, soak up some sun, and watch people graduate.

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© Kelsey C. Photography

I’m currently living with my friend Christie for June and July before my apartment lease starts August 1. I’ve unpacked only as much as I need, and I’m trying not to invade her space too much. This means my food supply is doubling as a window display.

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My bed situation is also kinda eccentric.

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twin-sized mattress topper over a queen-sized bed

I’ll call it terraced bedding. It’ll be trendy in 15 years.

This week has been about errands, a little bit of work and adjusting to being farther from campus. I still hang out on campus during these days off, but now I’m about a one-hour walk or a 30 minute bus ride away. The walk isn’t too shabby in the mornings though!

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So far this week, I:

  • worked one day
  • went to Mass and adoration a few times

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  • moved and grooved

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I had a coupon for a free smoothie from the gym!

  • cooked

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leftover brown rice and peas + garlic roasted broccoli + chicken with salsa verde from Rachel (that I learned wasn’t actually for me to eat… we sorted it out)

  • cleaned
  • withdrew money and exchanged for quarters for laundry
  • did laundry
  • joined a book club! (It’s with some people from the Catholic Center who are staying here for the summer. We’re reading Brideshead Revisited. I’ve never been in a book club, but now I feel like a suburb soccer mom!)
  • finally got a Boston Public Library card + checked out Brideshead Revisited 

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  • blogged
  • read blogs
  • watched the Crossfit Regionals online
  • helped my friend Albert move out of his dorm
  • went pants shopping (two pairs of pants ripped in the same spot [the crotch area behind the seams!?] within a single week during finals)

Does anyone else take dressing room selfies and make specific facial expressions that your friends will be able to read, because you know you’re going to ask for their opinion on your wardrobe dilemmas?

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Face says: “I know I already have athletic pants this color, but I still want these.”

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Face says: “I’m about to branch out, so speak now or forever see me in these capris.”

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Face says: “Shift dresses are not pants but they make me feel free and beautiful.”

For the record, I bought all of the above. I also did plan on sending these photos to my friends but never did, so I don’t know if anyone else approves. But OH WELL, I like ’em.

Madre kindly paid for my pants + dress as an early birthday gift. Thank you, Madre!!

You might have noticed that the dishes in my food photos look a lot nicer. That’s because Christie has exceptional taste in home/fashion/beauty, which makes my food photos look just a little bit more aesthetically pleasing.

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GOLD silverware (goldware?)

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the square bowls are my favorite – not the most practical, but as Beyonce says, pretty hurts

So I’m here in Boston doing my thang until June 1, which is when I go home to New York for a week for Pop’s 50th birthday celebration plus some bonafide family time.

Following that, I’ll be working back at BU as a gross anatomy teaching assistant for two weeks! I need to re-study.

After that, I start PT school! We start grad classes at the end of June through mid-August. This early start is what helps us get done in 6 years instead of 7 years (total). I’m excited to start the graduate studies and become closer with the other people in my program!

In other news, I had a leftover Reese’s bunny and took this photo of me getting ready for bed last night:

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I looked like a Christmas tree, but at least I was…

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I like to think I do important things with my time.

So tell me:

What are your summer plans?

What is something daring you’ve added to your wardrobe?

Have you ever been in a book club?

Bittersweet

What is your record number of times you’ve moved within one year?

By the end of the summer I think I’ll be at 7. College student, ya know…c’est la vie.

This past week has been a bittersweet whirlwind as I’ve gotten to spend quality time with many of my best friends yet watch many of them graduate and move on to the next chapter of their lives. It happens every year, but it never gets easier.

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some of the beautiful grads straight outta Compton commencement

I also feel like I’ve kind of graduated, since I’m done with undergraduate studies and am now a graduate PT student, even though I don’t officially graduate until next year. So I tell my friends that I feel like an insignificant blob: “Am I an undergraduate? A senior? A grad student? I’m moving on, but not really. Most of my closest friends have graduated. I have to do adults things, but I’m still dependent on my parents.”

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Anyway, this past week was such a blessing. Buckle up, there’s a lot to catch up on!

Monday 

I went to coffee at Trident Cafe (one of those trendy bookstores/cafes) with my friend Connor, but we neither ordered coffee nor read books. We just sat there and had great convo for a while.

Later that night, I invited some non-senior friends who still hadn’t moved out yet to my apartment for dinner, ice cream, and High School Musical 3. It was the BEST.

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Tuesday

I worked from morning until afternoon on Tuesday, did 100 burpees for time at home (the fastest workout in all the land), then went to the Catholic Center to help our superwoman of an office director, Fran, set up and cook the annual dinner for our graduating seniors.

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we (“the help”) got our fair share of the delicious food as well!

Fran works exceptionally hard for our community, and even for this one event, she was up literally before dawn to make sure everything was perfect for the seniors. What a woman.

After dinner, some of the senior guys invited everyone over to their apartment for game night. We decided to play “Salad Bowl” (aka “fish bowl” to some), which is a cross between Catch Phrase, Taboo, and charades. Highly recommend this game for a crowd — ’twas a hilariously good time.

Wednesday

By the middle of the week, the temperatures were [finally] getting steamy and summery!

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I did one of my favorite workouts sometime in the morning before cooking a picnic lunch for my friend Casey and me. Casey has been a mentor and one of my best friends here at BU, and this was one of our last formal mentorship meetings since she was graduating.

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I made us some Korean BBQ salmon, sautéed frozen veggies and brown rice to eat by the Charles River on the gloriously warm and sunny day.

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My friend Briana left me with a bunch of frozen salmon and frozen veggies that sustained me during my last days on campus. Thanks, girl!

Casey and I ate and chatted for hours, so you know it was quality time.

That night, my friend Lauren invited people to go swing dancing at MIT, and you bet I came along to move and groove!

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Thursday

Domenica, Sarah and I (as non-seniors) helped out our dear senior friends with their photoshoot in the morning. Their photographer, Kelsey, was also among the graduating seniors, so she needed to be photographed too!

The following ten photos are property of my talented friend Kelsey!

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UGH I’M GOING TO CRY. I love them all so much.

After Mass that night, a bunch of us went out for $0.25 wings at Thornton’s! Wings aren’t my favorite things in the world, but I definitely couldn’t pass ’em up when they were so cheap. Plus, they had sauces other than buffalo (← yuck).

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4 BBQ, 4 teriyaki, 4 honey mustard = $3

Finger-lickin’ goodness.

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As the sun set, we headed over to Cafe 472 for some froyo. Domenica and I split a cup of vanilla peppermint that was super refreshing.

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I ended my night with some packing and more frozen veggie cooking, haha.

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sautéing them with fresh onions, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano makes them pretty gourmet, if I do say so myself

Friday

Graduations begin! First we attended the College of Communications graduation for Kelsey. Then we had a couple hours before the next graduation, during which I did a 20 minute workout in my apartment and inhaled lunch. We have a couple friends in the Business School, so we attended that one as well, but it was LONG.

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There were approximately 900 students in the school of business, so some of us had to leave for potty and snack breaks during the diploma presentations.

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I went home to pack some more afterwards, and Rachel kept me company and joined me for dinner!

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more of the same — this time, pesto salmon for me and sriracha salmon for her

Connor and Louis invited some friends over to their place to watch Shawshank Redemption, which neither Rachel nor I had ever seen. I could only stay for half since I needed to go to sleep early-ish, but I want to finish it soon!

Saturday

I needed to sleep early the night before so that I could work out with my fellow Spartan, Ben at 7am Saturday morning. We did a hodgepodge of things at the park, including suicide sprints, burpee pull-ups, planks, sit-ups, push-ups, and squats.

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I showered at home and took a nap before my parents arrived to help me move out of my BU apartment and into a friend’s apartment just for June and July. I so appreciated their help in making move-out/move-in so smooth! It was also just lovely to see Madre and Pop ♥︎

They took me and my friends out to lunch at a ramen place called Pikaichi, which was fantastic.

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fried shrimp shumai and fried chicken to start

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spicy miso ramen for me (finished it ALL)

Next I went to Mass and then rushed to work for a wedding in Cambridge all night. It was a Catholic couple who was looking for young and competent people to help out for the night, so a few friends and I hopped on the opportunity. It was a busy and tiring 7 hours, but also very fun to help make the couple’s night smooth and special.

We also got to eat some of their food, which included BBQ and Colombian food(!!!).

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Sunday

Another busy but wonderful day! It started off with the Neuroscience graduation for Rachel.

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She graduated summa cum laude and got invited into a prestigious honor society! What a babe!

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Rachel’s mom kindly took us out for brunch at Panera afterwards. I got something substantial to hold me through the long, school-wide commencement to follow.

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The weather was perfect for the big outdoor commencement — sunny, not too hot, not too cold. Sitting in the sun for 2+ hours gets intense no matter what, though, but check out these fun hats they provided!

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lol

Rachel’s mom, Dom and I were betting on how long it would take for the 6,300+ graduates just to process in and take their seats. We were thinking 15 minutes or less…It took 26.5 minutes.

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Yeesh. But the ceremony and the speakers were great. I’m so proud of these people!!!

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I spent the rest of the day and night with Rachel and her mom, who took care of me so well. Her mom took us out to all you can eat sushi and let me stay at her hotel for the night. What generosity! It was so fun spending time with both of them.

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Monday

Yesterday, I said goodbye to more friends who were either going back home, moving on to work elsewhere, or going on vacation. It was a gloomy day, which definitely reflected my emotions.

Some other happenings of the day included a killer workout…

…getting some work business done, unpacking, getting interviewed randomly by two women on the sidewalk, getting asked out to coffee but a completely random stranger on the sidewalk (I know, it was a weird day to be on the sidewalk), Mass, and hanging out with PJ and friends at since PJ is leaving for a long time 😦

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we shared nachos + I got chicken fajitas

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We will miss you, PJ!

And now here I am catching you up on these million and one things that have happened this past week from my mess of a bedroom.

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But while everything changes constantly, two things always remain the same: God and peanut butter in my breakfast.

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Hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday!

So tell me:

What have you been up to recently!?

Did you watch anyone graduate this month/did YOU graduate?

What’s your favorite party game?

What’s for breakfast?

 

Fascinating Friday Links #28

Good morning!

Alright so the warmth was only playing hide-and-seek, because it has returned with a high of 45*F today. Yesterday’s high temperature was 20*F, and the wind was out of control. Not hurricane status, obviously, but it was strong enough to throw me off balance when I was getting the mail.

I think Thursdays are currently one of my most relaxing days of the week (I’m tellin’ ya— it’s the new Friday!). Of course there’s still school, homework, and dance, but for some reason, I feel like I have a lot of down time in between all the activities. I’ll take it 🙂 Tonight I’ll be babysitting my cute Valentine’s date, so my plans will involve diaper-changing, burping (the baby), and maybe a little yoga again. Just being domestic, right? I should just become a housewife right now and call it a life. That requires a husband though, so I guess I’ll stick to college first. 😉

And here are this week’s Fascinating Friday Links! Enjoy!

fascinating friday links

Health & Fitness

[Learn about it] Why Being Overweight Might Not Matter As Much As You Think via Greatist

[For running or LIFE] 3 Strength Moves to Improve Your Run Form via Cotter Crunch

[Love that she calls these guidelines] 6 Nutrition Guidelines to Follow Whether You Want to Lose Weight or Not via Your Trainer Paige

[The “dreadmill” ain’t so bad] Reasons to Love the Treadmill via Olive to Run

[I like to move it, move it] 400 Heavy Rep Workout via Nutrition Nut on the Run + Upper Body Workout Roundup via Peanut Butter Fingers + Hard Core Plank Towel Workout via Purely Twins

Food for Thought

[“Allow life to happen like it’s supposed to”] 30 Must-Do’s While You’re Young Enough to Read This via Marc and Angel

[Do what you love TO DO] What You LOVE vs. What You Love TO DO via Fitting It All In

[Educating ourselves by just doing] 13-Year-Old’s Amazing TED Talk on Health via Greatist

Food for Belly

[Too much goodness, it should be illegal] Sweet Corn Cake Eggs Benedict with Avocado Hollandaise via How Sweet It Is

[I like easy and I like mac and cheese] Easy Southwest Mac n Cheese via Budget Bytes

[Yes!] Baked Onion Rings via Damn Delicious

[I don’t even like chocolate chip cookies, but I want this] Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie with Caramel and Sea Salt via Pinch of Yum

[Tropical food is calling my name] Pineapple Coconut Tacos with Mango Salsa and Toasted Coconut via Fabtastic Eats

[Dreaming about these] Bananas Foster Crepes via Produce on Parade

St. Patrick’s Day Specials

[Check out ALL her green foods from this week!] Paleo Peppermint Donuts with Green Coconut Frosting via The Healthy Maven

[Great recipe ideas] 32 Healthy Green Recipes to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day via Greatist

[Cute!] Bell Pepper and Potato Frittata via Skinnytaste

[I must try these] Cinnamon Raisin Irish Soda Muffins via Chocolate and Carrots

Miscellaneous Fun

[Basically] 10 Ways You Know Winter Owns You via The Lunchbox Diaries

[So hilarious] You Might Be Married to a Dietitian If… via The Lean Green Bean

[Just a black umbrella— neat!] Food Photography Tip 1 via Edible Perspective

[I started doing this trend yesterday. We’ll see if it whitens my teeth!] The Deets on Oil Pulling via The Fitnessista

Happy Friday, everyone!

So tell me:

What are your Friday night plans?

Which links did you enjoy the most?

 

 

Shortcut Puerto Rico {MIMM #10}

Hey, everyone!

I hope your weekend was restful, especially with the extra hour gifted to us for the ending of daylight savings time. I personally didn’t necessarily get any extra sleep because I just end up going to bed one hour later than usual. Even if I did go to bed earlier, I would probably just wake up earlier because my internal clock is basically set on 7.5-8.5 hours. Oh well!

This weekend consisted of quality family time and the usual activities: dance, homework, Sunday school teaching, and church. Some more exciting things happened though, like a “shortcut to Puerto Rico” on Friday night…

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Thanks for hosting, Katie!

Marvelous is…

Dinner at Don Coqui, a fabulous Puerto Rican restaurant with amazing food and fun Latin dancing to a live band! But guess the main reason why we went there. Groupon, of course. We should seriously star in a TLC show called “Extreme Grouponers” or something. My mom finds the deals like no one’s business, and the rest of us are definitely not complaining. We decided that we would go out on the occasion of All Saints’ Day 🙂 The amount of food we get for such a great price is outstanding. Don Coqui was no different with their HUGE portions. They know it too, because they charge extra if you want to share! Just order for yourself and take the leftovers. You’ll get a few awesome meals for the next day or two!

The “bread basket” was actually a basket of plantain chips with two dips—black bean and an amazing salsa.

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Appetizers: calamari and mussels with chorizo.

I was actually kind of full after the appetizers. Those things were definitely larger than entree portions even! We managed to polish them off because they were so good though.

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My entree: yuca-crusted red snapper with yuca mash and grilled vegetables

This was absolutely fantastic. Puerto Rican flavors never fail to make my taste buds dance (cha-cha-cha). The crust of the red snapper had a little bit of coconut—perfection. And the yuca mash was really good! The taste is similar to mashed potatoes, but the texture is a little more glutinous. I took the leftovers home and they were just as good on tope a bed of spinach and kale!

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Mom’s entree: Shrimp mofongo!

I’m just going to show my mom’s entree because mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish that I think everyone needs to try. It’s basically a mash of green plantains, pork cracklings (no wonder it’s so good), garlic, and broth, and it just rocks. The first time we tried mofongo was in Puerto Rico, and we’ve ordered at least one whenever we go to a Puerto Rican restaurant. It’s the most hoppin’ party that will ever go down in your mouth. Also, it makes for great leftovers!

Other dishes included braised oxtail (Dad’s), rib and chicken combo (Ben’s—such a bro meal), and tres leches and coconut flan for dessert. For the first time ever I think, we couldn’t finish dessert. Colossal meal, guys. My parents still had the energy to get up and do some salsa dancing though! They used to take ballroom dance lessons, so they’ve got some fancy footwork.

Marvelous is…

Tori Kelly on REPEAT. I think se has real talent unlike many of those hyped-up Hollywood folks. Plus, she seems like a really down-to-earth girl, which is always so nice to see! I highly recommend listening to her new EP here.

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Marvelous is…

Oatmeal. Never gets old.

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Marvelous is…

The Camera+ app that I used to edit the above picture of oatmeal. I need to use that app a lot more! I got it for $0.99, and I totally think it’s worth it. The filters, borders, and user-friendliness conveniently help to make my food look more appealing. I really wish I could photograph food better, but my impatience and usual lack of good sunlight often results in amateur pictures. Occasionally, I like to pretend I’m a food photographer, and Camera+ aids my daydreams 😉

Well, that’s about it for now. Nothing too exciting. I am really excited for all the things that are happening this month though! November is definitely one of my favorite months, so I’ll be talking more about the upcoming events I’m looking forward to.

Have a lovely Monday!

So tell me: Have you ever tried Puerto Rican food? Mofongo? What kind of music are you loving lately? Do you use photo-editing apps?