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.

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

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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!!

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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 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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leftover pho from Super 88 with all the herbs

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you know it 🙂

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

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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.

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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?

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You Want To Be Productive But Then…

Friday was the best April Fools’ Day of my LIFE.

I am truly grateful that all of you are so supportive of my fitness company endeavors. 😉

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how I felt about tricking even my DAD about starting a fitness company

This weekend, I had a nice long list of schoolwork and shorter list fun things that I needed/wanted to accomplish, but one thing leads to another, and the list of accomplished fun things inadvertently becomes longer and the list of accomplished schoolwork consequently becomes shorter…

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Friday started off on a productive note with banana oats in an almond butter jar, biomechanics, a campus tour and a workout at the gym.

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fab lunch: kung pao sweet potatoes over spinach + bbq lentil meatball sub

There were definitely some time periods during which I could have been studying when I opted to chat with new and old friends…

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salad with carrots, chicken, beets, and balsamic + some unknown, delicious, cheesy couscous concoction

…but I think some more homework snuck in there before a bunch of my friends and I headed swing dancing!

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we’re so gross and sweaty in this photo FYI; TMI

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too adorable

It’s always fun to move and groove, even if it’s with clammy men who are either exceptionally advanced or exceptionally…not advanced.

My fellow banana (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) friend, Christine, was in town this weekend so I had to hang out with her. On Saturday, I ate wild berry freezer waffles with peanut butter and an apple in 60 seconds before meeting up with Christine for coffee/tea and a bomb pear almond scone that she kindly shared with me.

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Girl talk with Christine is always a fun time! It wasn’t the studying I planned on, but it was 100x better. You should check out her blog for fashion and fitness (especially because fashion is nearly nonexistent here on Moves and Grooves)!

I went to work from 10-1 and then grabbed a freaking weird (but yummy) lunch while studying reading blogs and getting caught up in a political discussion thread on Facebook.

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“seared tuna” salad + roast beef, smoked gouda, veggie, mustard, artichoke herb spread sandwich on whole grain ciabatta + apple

I told you it was a freaking weird lunch. Separately, everything worked well, but I must say that the seared tuna was a little more like a fish version of spam. Not the worst thing?

Then I cranked out some work. Wait no, I went to go pray at church with my friend Kelsey for a bit. The prayer time was much needed. Then actually cranked out some work. Homework intermission was brought to you by Amsterdam Falafel!

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three falafel on the bottom with almost every topping possible

It’s one of the places on the food bucket list that Rachel and I are making our way through. Since Rachel already went to Amsterdam Falafel on her own though, I decided to go there on my own for dinner on Saturday night.

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I ate this in private. I know for a fact that I looked like a caveman eating this. ‘Twas super tasty!

I ended my night with some yoga. My arms and shoulders were BRICKS from whatever I did on Friday (probably the wall walks), so yoga was lovely.

For Sunday morning, I set my alarm for 8:00 and 8:30, the latter for if I wanted to sleep in. I turned off both alarms and slept until 9:20. I knew I needed it, so I was okay with sacrificing that extra hour of work for quality zzz’s.

Breakfast was a leftover whole wheat pancake with peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon.

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Then I went to confession and Mass with Kelsey before heading to lunch to be greeted with the best dining hall meal ever!

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It was “Sargent Choice” day for brunch in the d-halls, which meant that the Sargent Nutrition Center took over the options for the whole dining hall. They offered avocado toast (!!!) with sautéed spinach and a fried egg, so I beelined for that (and topped it with sriracha, of course). Plus a side of garlicky kale and butternut squash.

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And then for my sweet tooth, I had some plain Greek (!!!) yogurt with kiwi, peaches, and blueberries + applesauce tea cake with brown sugar glaze.

I end up eating more when the dining hall offers things that I normally eat at home, because I’m like:

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My afternoon consisted of a Catholic student group meeting at Harvard and a dorm workout (warmup, foam rolling, and a 20 minute leg circuit workout):

3 rounds of 10 seconds rest, 30 seconds work // Do each exercise twice for each round (once on each leg if applicable)

Then stretch!

I showered, did laundry, did some work, and then went to dinner with some friends, which ended with a good ol’ bowl of {three different kinds of} cereal.

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Afterwards, I called my parents for a quick bit to talk about some study abroad business! I’m going to Dublin, Ireland this fall!

My beautiful study/snapchat procrastination buddies for the night:

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It’s funny because I feel like the three of us talked the whole weekend about how we need to do work, yet we could not get ourselves to be as productive as we wanted to be. C’est la vie.

Hope you all have a productive week!

So tell me:

You want to be productive but then… 

Have you ever been swing dancing? 

Do you freak out when a restaurant/event/dining hall offers a bunch of healthy food that you love?

Things to do in Dublin, Ireland! 🙂

Gratitude Wins, As Always

Random thought for your Monday morning: I really love the ice cubes in the dining halls.

They’re actually more like mini ice logs, but they’re kind of…light and airy? It’s so easy to chew them, and it kind feels like a snow cone texture when you do.

Hooray for really COOL [sorry] ice!

Now that I’ve celebrated that simple joy in life, let’s talk about how Friday morning sucked any kind of joy out of me.

Friday morning: Cloudy, damp, dreary, early. I walked approximately half an hour to my gynecology appointment with hopes of hearing results after the lab work from the previous Friday. That is, the lab work that I was supposed to have done two Fridays ago. The lab work that I (the worst “grownup” ever) didn’t actually complete because I didn’t realize that I had to go into a separate room after my appointment to get blood drawn.

Doc: “For some reason, the system has no indication of any lab work. Do you remember if you go that done?”

Me: “…Um, I don’t know. Actually, maybe I didn’t…”

Doc: “Did you get blood drawn?”

Me: “…No.”

Doc: “Oh okay, that was the lab work.”

Me: “Agh, I’m so sorry. She did say to go get lab work done after the appointment, but I guess I was just kinda confused and didn’t actually do that.”

What was actually going on in my brain: WTF, ALISON!?!?!?!?! 

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The super sweet gynecologist apologized for the inconvenience of me coming there for basically nothing. I apologized for being a dimwit, essentially. I then got my blood drawn like I was supposed to do the week before, and then I walked back home. The next earliest appointment they had for me is two months from now, so I must wait some more.

I was frustrated. Embarrassed. I felt so stupid. I cried.

I could have gotten answers by now. I could have gotten this out of the way sooner. I could have been smarter. I could have…

…wait, Alison.

I could be grateful. For quality healthcare. For being able to walk to my appointment. For such kind and compassionate gynecologists. For family and friends who are praying for me. For the new day of life that God granted to me.

Life ain’t so bad. This will all work itself out in due time.

Thank you to all of you who have supported and loved me through all of this. You know who you are.


The theme of gratitude only magnified as the weekend went on.

On Friday night, I had a long dinner with my friends, followed by a beautiful Mass in the North End with more friends.

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this was actually my lunch, but I’m grateful for corn bread

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Saturday morning came quickly with an early morning wake-up call for service! Some people from the Catholic Center spent the morning volunteering at the Red Cross Food Pantry, where there was nothing BUT gratitude. The people who work there are living saints, and the people whom we were serving are examples of grace and joy.

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Saturday night involved burritos— always a reason to be grateful.

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Oh, and the people who were eating the burritos with me—grateful for them too. Sophomore bonding night!

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Saturday night ended with girl talk with Rachel. Sunday morning started with breakfast also with Rachel. Ugh, it’s like we’re best friends or something. She’s everywhere!

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Lunch dessert was pretty bomb too.

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berry crisp a la mode

Lastly, Rachel and I have decided that we’re making this our BU bucket list: “50 Things to Eat in Boston Before You Die.”

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IT’S HAPPENING.

I’m grateful for a rejuvenating yet productive weekend. I’m grateful for YOU.

O Lord God: Thank you. Forgive me. Help me more.

Here we are at Monday! Hoping you find simple joys like really awesome ice cubes.

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMMA! ♥ ♥ ♥ I love you lots.

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So tell me:

What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever messed up on something that made you feel really dumb? 

Crushed or cubed ice? Crushed! Or mini logs!

Behind the Scenes #33: Feeling Productive Again

I haven’t thought out loud in forever (at least, in numbered list form), but today we are BACK.

Thinking-Out-Loud

1) I regret calling these kinds of posts “Behind the Scenes”. It was originally my attempt to come up with something other than “Thursday Thoughts” as a title, but I ended up joining Amanda’s thinking out loud linkup every time, so why didn’t I just call it “thinking out loud”?

I make life too complicated, that’s why.

2) Speaking of Amanda and her genius ideas, I made her pumpkin pie breakfast bake yesterday and it was a wintery pumpkin spice fiesta in my mouth!

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The breakfast bake is under there. Blessed are those who do not see yet believe.

I dressed it up with plain Greek yogurt, sunflower seed butter, pomegranate arils, and banana slices. Just beautiful.

2) I contemplated running yesterday, but the cold weather just killed it for me. I’m weak. Instead, I opted to take my moves to our basement (which is still pretty cold) to do this yoga video that focuses on hip-opening. Hallelujah, did I need that!

3) As I approach the start of second semester, I’m feeling the urge to be super productive in these last few days before I leave. Perhaps it is a result of my anxiety for the workload ahead, but I’m “warming up” by making checklists with activities other than eat and go to Disney.

4) Julianna even inspired me to make a budget spreadsheet! Since I haven’t worked yet this year, I am off to a great start with zero income and all expenditure.

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Yay for adulthood! (Note the childish font and color code.)

5) You know what else I realized when I lost all my hard drive information? I no longer have my thousands of recipes that I bookmarked on Safari. All my years of recipe hoarding…poof!

That could be a good thing though, because maybe now I’ll start only bookmarking recipes I honestly WILL make. Doubt it though.

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I pin all the recipes too.

6) Still going strong with the egg, feta, and spinach + avocado toast for lunch! I bought the feta cheese in Florida, so I feel responsible for helping to finish it. (We packed it in ice on the way up, plus the car was freezing as it sat in the train. The cheese is still fine, I’m alive.)

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Also, this combo is just delicious. I ♥ fats.

7) I am currently rocking knitted socks and the fugliest sweater in the all the land, but I don’t care because I am superbly snug.

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8) We also had our first use of the fireplace this winter! I happily stationed myself right in front of the fire while I did some work.

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I kept singing “chestnuuuuuts roasting on an open fire…” in my head. 11 months ’til Christmas!!!

9) I am thinking about how bittersweet it is to be going to back to college tomorrow. Bitter because…work, less sleep, less blogging, no family. But sweet because I get to see my amazing friends and learn more about this wonderful world!

My friend Sam told me that if you’re dreading going back to college, you’re probably not in the right place. Fortunately, I’m mostly looking forward to going back!

10) What should I make for breakfast today??? #WinterBreakBreakfastMission is almost at an end. PRESSURE. I’m thinking either this “cream cheese frosting for breakfast” or the classic cookie dough cereal.

Hope you all have a thankful Thursday! (what other positive adjectives start with “th”?)

So tell me:

How will you be productive today? 

Are you a recipe bookmarking fiend?

Do you care about wearing cute clothing around the house?

What are you eating for breakfast? 

Cut Down the Time-Wasting

Officially done with classes this semester, y’all!

Last night my friends and I celebrated at the Catholic center (I know, I’m there 99% of the time) with a fun Christmas party. There were cookies, ugly sweaters, and gingerbread “houses.” ‘Twas a perfect way to end the semester before we dug into studying for finals!

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All the freshmen at the party. Check out my friend Albert in the middle with all us ladies. Player.

Before I enjoyed a multitude of cookies and snacks at the party, I ate some other delicious and more nutritious things earlier in the day. Breakfast was a classic pb-banana-honey oatmeal with scrambled eggs.

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I also ate an interesting yet tasty lunch with my friend, Lauren. We tried this vegan quinoa/mushroom Shepherd’s pie with cranberry mint sauce, and I was a fan! It was definitely no comfort food, but it was a cool alternative since “Veggie Galaxy” was at the dining hall as the guest chef of the day.

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Story time: I dropped my first plate of this all over the floor of the dining hall as we were walking back to our table because I’m clumsy and ridiculous. The picture above is take two. I like how my food just tends to fling everywhere.

Dinner also hit the spot, most likely because it involved copious amounts of dairy (for which I expressed my love yesterday) in the form of cheese. I had a whole wheat, chicken, cheese, and veggie quesadilla, as well as a little mac and cheese because it was baked and fresh out of the oven…

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Mmm mmm good.

Cutting Down the Time-Wasting

Now that finals are in less than a week, I need to FOCUS. I’m pretty good at managing my time, but there are also days where I’ll be doing work and then I’ll get “a little” distracted multiple times throughout the day. Before I know it, I’ve accumulated 1-2 hours of nothingness.

I’m all for slowing down and treating yourself in little ways every single day, but it’s easy to let little distractions snowball into major procrastination. Thus, as we approach finals week, here are some things to which I want to commit so that I can maximize productivity!

1) The ‘gram has got to go (at least during the day).

Instagram is my number one pitfall of doom. Tapping on the little icon on my phone to “just check a few posts” turns into a good 30 minutes of scrolling since I follow so many people. Once I start, I can’t stop.

2) Work out, but don’t over-think it.

I often spend way too much time deciding on what kind of workout I want to do some days. I scroll through workouts that I’ve saved on my phone, I consider making up my own workout, and I try to think of logistics as to when I’ll go to the gym. Sometimes I feel like I need to do “the right” workout, so I spend so much time thinking about what will be the most effective/intense/not intense.

I’m not necessarily proud of this fact that I over-think working out, so I want to work on just choosing a workout and being grateful for any sort of movement and exercise that I can get during the day.

3) Don’t listen to music while I study.

I’ve been in denial, but I know that I do not focus as well when I’m listening to music as I work.

4) Set time intervals for studying.

I’m a daydreamer when I am sitting and studying by myself for too long. If I set a timer for 30-60 minute intervals of focused studying and then 10-15 minutes of break time (NOT on my phone though), I can help myself stay engaged yet sane.

5) Go to places where I know I will not be distracted.

Sometimes I just want to study in my room, but I know I get distracted there because of friends coming in to talk and my bed being so close… So I want to make the effort to go to certain study places where I know I am most productive. That will allow me to walk more too!

Alright, I am kind of late for psychology review, so I’ll catch ya later. Best of luck to all my fellow college students on their finals!

Have a fantastic day!

So tell me:

What are some things you do that help cut down time-wasting?

What is your biggest productivity-sucker?

Instagram and music for me!

Do you have an ugly Christmas sweater?