How do you introduce your friends?

pray.

This is another reflection inspired by the “What God is Not” Podcast. In one episode, Sr. Natalia and Fr. Michael were talking about the misconception that we need to “earn” God’s Love (spoiler: we do NOT need to earn God’s Love, because we could never deserve it but He gives it to us wholly and unreservedly anyway).

Related to that, they talked about the culture of utility that is prevalent in society. “What is your job? What have you accomplished thus far? What kinds of things can you put on your resume? What are your goals in life? How can you contribute to this world? How do you earn respect?”

Perhaps as a result and/or contributing factor to this, they noted that many people introduce their friends to other people by stating (1) their name and (2) their occupation. I think I typically do that, and I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, since a full-time job takes up the majority of someone’s hours; if the person truly enjoys and believes in their job, then that could say a lot about their personality and values.

However, the dangers with introducing someone by stating their occupation are that (a) not everyone has a job; (b) some people don’t like their jobs; (c) some jobs may be seen as more or less impressive/helpful than others, thanks to societal norms. Thus, it may feed into this underlying assumption in people’s minds that the more you do or the “better” your job, the more you have to offer to the world.

But each human person inherently has wonderful things to offer to the world. Of course, we are responsible for harnessing and utilizing the gifts we have been given, but what comes of that (i.e., our occupation and successes) does not define us or make us any more worthy of love.

So how might I introduce my friends then? Again, I don’t think it’s necessarily bad to state someone’s occupation, but maybe I can think of other qualities and interests of a person to mention as I introduce him/her. Perhaps this can promote a culture of appreciation for ~the human person~ vs. a culture of “what-are-you-good-for?”.

For example: This is my best friend Rachel, someone who loves fiercely and has a heart for hospitality.

I dunno. Just some thoughts, but what do you think about this topic?

eat.

I am a big proponent for real dessert and eating non-diet types of snacks, but sometimes I want a sweet snack that won’t knock me out for a nap in the middle of the day. The other day, I decided to eat a bowl of plain Cheerios with almond milk BUT THEN I mixed in half a scoop of this s’mores protein powder (I think my brother’s girlfriend gave it to me a while ago) in with the milk… and it was delicious.

If you don’t like protein powder, you obviously wouldn’t like this, but if you have a protein powder you like, you might enjoy this. All we have in the house is plain Cheerios, but the s’mores protein powder dissolves in the milk and gives it that beloved “cereal milk” vibe.

move.

Walking, stretching, and practicing titibasana (firefly pose).

groove.

When I was on a walk in the neighborhood last night, a sweet little girl (still in her chub chub toddler days *heart eyes*) yelled, “Hiiiii!” and waved to me as I walked by. That made me very happy and grateful.

So tell me:

How do you introduce your friends usually? How do you yourself like to be introduced?

What is a snack combo that you’ve been liking recently?

What is something that made you happy yesterday?

Not Quite Back to Dining Hall Food

I unintentionally squandered my unlimited meal plan yesterday.

I didn’t eat a single meal in the dining hall. I did, however, use my unlimited swipe-ability without guilt to pick up some fruit as a snack.

Yesterday was our last hurrah before the start of classes, and I’m glad to say that it was both a productive and fun day (without any heart palpitations, thank God).

I felt like a spring chicken after sleeping in and doing a bit of yoga and foam rolling in the morning. Once I was finished with all that, it was 10AM, so a quick dorm breakfast felt like the way to go.

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peanut butter + vanilla protein + banana on Dave’s killer bread

Followed by some human physiology reading, Jesus loving (Mass), and then more food. The admissions office graciously hosted a welcome back BBQ for all the admissions ambassadors (tour guides, etc.), complete with burgers, dogs, cookies, and sunshine.

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there’s a big burger patty in there somewhere

I was kinda antisocial at the BBQ, but I didn’t mean to be. I just needed to sit down and eat my burger with two hands, which meant that I had to remove myself from all the people standing and talking. In reality I was doing everyone a favor by not talking to them with lettuce in my teeth and mustard on my cheeks.

Domestic dorm duties beckoned me, so I went back to the dorm to do laundry and tub scrubbing.

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fueled by some zucchini bread that my wonderful roommate baked

My roommates told me not to clean the bathroom since it’s only been a week, but I rebelled and cleaned it anyway. Mold preys quickly.

And I prey on peanut butter even more quickly.

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My accidental homage to “I ♥ NY (aka The Big Apple)” 😉

I passed more time with blogging, folding laundry, and getting distracted by Tori Kelly’s VMA performance before leaving for the Catholic Center’s trip to the North End!

This week for me is filled with the BU Catholic Center’s First Week events, which is a time for any and all returning students and new students to hang out, meet friends, and partake in a merry time.

Day one was a scavenger hunt with tasks such as proposing to a stranger (who happens to look like Morgan Freeman).

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Day two was a trip to Quincy Market and the North End of Boston, which is like a more quaint version of NYC’s Little Italy.

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gyro plate with rice pilaf and salad from Quincy Market

HOUSED THIS. I told Rachel, “It scares me and thrills me that half of this meat is fat.”

Afterwards we walked to Mike’s Pastry in the North End, where our bomb-dig priest generously bought forty cannoli(s?) for the group.

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best cannoli I ever did eat // no chocolate chips 😀

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back to the endless selfies of college

Beautiful place and weather with beautiful people, eating beautiful food, and celebrating a beautiful Lord.

The day ended with deep thoughts/girl talk in my friends’ dorm room and typing up this blog post. Plus a shower, because hygiene is good.

P.S. I’m going to a modern dance class today, and I haven’t danced in forever, but I’m SO STOKED.

Wishing you all a beautiful day!

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So tell me:

Do you get self-conscious eating around people? I don’t usually, but when it comes to things with big leaves, I must hide my face.

Have you ever tried a cannoli?

Are you scrupulous about cleaning the bathroom like I am?

Chronicles of Becoming a Grownup

Thinking-Out-Loud

Head over to Spoons for lots of thinking out loud!

1) I’m very tempted to see if I can cook an egg on the sidewalk. It is blazing hot here in New York!!! It was 92F yesterday, but I’m pretty sure it felt like 110.

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for now I’ll stick to cooking my eggs on the stovetop

2) Let’s talk about transitioning into a grownup. I guess I’m at a point in my life where I have a million revelations about how the world works, how other people work, and how I myself work. It’s really cool to be learning so much about life through new experiences, rather than just learning about them through textbooks and lectures.

3) So here starts my chronicles of becoming a grownup. Account #1: I was taking in the trash bin from the curb, and the lid was open. As I went to close the lid, I looked inside and saw a profusion of maggots at the bottom of the trash bin. Cue ALL THE HEEBIE JEEBIES.

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Rather than waiting for my dad to get home, I put on my big girl pants and used our garden hose + dish soap to spray the trash bin a bunch of times and rinse out the nastiness. Biggest accomplishment of the summer, in my opinion.

3) Account #2: I’ll clean the floors meticulously, admire the newly cleaned floors, walk two feet forward, and find more dirt/crumbs/scuff marks. Then I’ll clean that spot, walk away, come back to that spot 15 minutes later, and find that I missed a whole section of dirtiness thanks to the different lighting.

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4) Account #3: I paid for my own year-supply of contact lenses for the first time ever ($$$$). Then I realized those contacts weren’t fitting my eyes correctly.

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I’m getting that worked out, don’t worry.

5) Account #4: I’ve been making several doctor appointments, going to those doctor appointments, making decisions for myself (“OKAY I’LL TAKE THAT SHOT SINCE YOU SAY IT’S GOOD, DOC. I DON’T FEEL PRESSURED OR ANYTHING.”), and figuring out how insurance cards work…and stuff.

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Copay? Erm, yes? No? Can I phone a friend?

6) I often wonder how I’m going to get through life. I’ve been raised in a comfortable, loving environment; I’ve been pretty spoiled. But I’m trying to learn as much as I can, taking each experience (no matter how ordinary) for all it’s worth, and slowly learning how to be a grownup. All with God’s grace. #LordHelpMe

7) And don’t get me started on the mental/emotional/spiritual changes and revelations that are occurring as I become a grownup. To be chronicled in the future…

8) Let’s lighten up this post with some food photos. I’d like you to know that pesto and goat cheese go together mighty well.

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pesto chicken, goat cheese, greens on an English muffin

And that summer peaches are one of life’s simple pleasures.

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9) I tried a sample Vega One French Vanilla nutrition shake (from Blend, surprise surprise) mixed with just water yesterday (since I was drinking it on the go).

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in a Quest shaker bottle, also from Blend

I don’t know if I’m just not a fan of the whole protein powder + water thing, but this was gnarlyyy. In a bad way. It was kinda goopy and mealy, and the green color (from the veggie content of the powder?) did not help the cause. I still finished it, but it was a little bit of a choke.

I’m not discrediting Vega One. I’m sure it would have been great in a smoothie or something, but with just water? Never again.

10) This seems like such a complain-y post, but it’s all for a good laugh (if you’re not laughing, at least I’m laughing at myself). God is good, and I am grateful.

Hope you have a day filled with learning, discovery, and good vibes (<— idk, trying to be hipster).

So tell me:

If you’re around my age, what’s a recent experience that made you feel one step closer to being a grownup?

If you’re already a grownup, do you still have trouble doing grownup things? (This question is to comfort and console me for the future.)

Have you ever tried just protein powder and water? 

Things My Dad Says

This post is brought to you by Pop (aka my dad).

Pop and I had a very low-key weekend— nothing extraordinary, but everything a relaxing weekend should be. This meant that I got to spend lots of quality time with Pop and really listen to some of the insightful, ridiculous, and funny things he has to say (and do).

Our Friday night consisted of some slow cooker split pea soup, which was thick, naturally creamy, and reminiscent of my childhood.

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My dad is going easy on the carbs lately, so he’s been loving cheese and fruit plates with a few 34 Degrees crisps for “dessert”.

*FaceTiming with bro and mom*

Dad: “Alison’s making me a cheese plate! Just like on the cruise!”

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Natural 34 Degrees crisps with peach slices, dried figs, and goat chese

We woke up to a stormy morning on Saturday, and because I thought the world should know this immediately, I snapchatted the weather from my bed.

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Rainy Saturday mornings basically require hot oats for breakfast. A bowl for Pop and a bowl for moi.

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banana chia egg white oats with peanut butter

*Sky Full of Stars starts playing on my Spotify*

Dad: “Oooo! ‘Cause you’re a skyyyy, you’re a skyyy….’*starts raising the roof*

The rest of my day was pretty lazy. I did a barre workout from Youtube, caught up on blog reading, ate a delicious lunch, and used up some more Blend swag (STILL!!!).

*Dad sees my lunch.*

Dad: “Mmmm that looks really good!”

Me: ……… “Do you want the same thing?”

Dad: “Can you make an egg white version?” *smiles*

Me: “Mhmm.”

It makes me chuckle and makes me happy when he subtly suggests that he wants me to make him food 🙂

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avocado toast with a sunny egg + salad with maple mustard dressing + leftover Asian turkey

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afternoon smoothie with Gnarly vanilla protein powder (from Blend), milk, frozen banana, and peanut butter

I think this might be my favorite vanilla protein powder ever! (No sponsorship.)

Coming back from church….

Me: “I’m doing the barefoot mile tomorrow.”

Dad: (after a few seconds) “Barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen!…Have you heard that saying before?”

Me: “What does that mean?”

Dad: “I think it was an antifeminist saying during World War II or something.”

Me: “Hm, well it sounds like me.”

Dad: “What??”

Me: “The saying sounds like me.”

Dad: “You’re barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen???”

Me: “The barefoot in the kitchen part at least.”

Dad: “Oh! I was about to have a heart attack! I thought maybe you knew something that we didn’t!”

Me: “DAD! No!”

Later at night….

Dad: (Excitedly) “Do you wanna help me sign some checks?” [for church collection]

Me: “…..Kayyyyy.”

Dad: “We’ll have a check signing party!”

Me: *nods* “Yeeeeep.”

P.S. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about with the barefoot mile, the wonderful and inspiring Emily invited me via Facebook to Joy International’s Global Barefoot Mile on Sunday. Basically, you walk a mile barefoot in solidarity with all the children in Cambodia and other third world countries who have no shoes and who are victims of sex trafficking.

You can donate at Joy International’s website!

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It hurt, but that just made the walk more meaningful.

It’s also been HOT and HUMID this weekend!!! You step outside and you can’t breathe for a second.

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to cool down on Sunday afternoon: Quest peanut butter protein powder (from Blend also) blended with ice and milk

Dad and I made a trip to Costco to stock up on essentials for the next couple weeks, and our pickup included this beautiful wild caught salmon. I baked it at 400F for 12 minutes with some olive oil, balsamic, honey, and black pepper.

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Yep, lots for leftovers for the week! Served with soba noodles and maple mustard salad.

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In the words of Emeril: BAM!

Dad: “That salmon was so amazing, I can’t believe it!”

Me: “Oh thanks…” *nervous laugh*

Dad: …….. “I meant that it’s incredible how good it tastes. I didn’t mean it like that. That wasn’t meant to reflect you. You brought out the freshness of the salmon.”

Me: “I’m glad you liked it.” 🙂

Last but not least, my friend Michael took Daliza and me to Dairy Queen for our first time ever last night! Appropriate for National Ice Cream Day, eh? (<—Canadian side emerging.)

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The place was hoppin’ at 9 PM on a Sunday. Maybe because it’s one of two Dairy Queens in our tristate area. Maybe because the heat compels people to get ice cream.

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Mint Oreo Blizzard jeah jeahhhhh. They didn’t do the flip-the-cup-upside-down to show you how thick and creamy the blizzard is. I’ll forgive them though because the heat was making the ice cream melt faster than the Wicked Witch of the West.

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And that, my friends, is my weekend in a {rather large} nutshell. I love you, Dad ♥

Hope you all have a fantastic week ahead!

So tell me:

Do any of your parents, aunts/uncles, grandparents say funny things all the time? My mom is also a hoot.

Did you celebrate National Ice Cream Day?

Was it hot in your neck of the woods?

Strawberries and Cream for Wimbledon

Jury duty day #2 is ahead of me today!

I added the exclamation point for motivation and positive vibes, because I’m so not looking forward to it. It’s a blessing and a curse to be young and open minded. Mostly a blessing though.

I wish I could tell you guys about the case, but alas, I would be tracked down and killed if I shared anything. (Joking about getting killed, but seriously, I cannot share!)

In other news, Wimbledon (one of the grand slam tennis tournaments) is happening. I haven’t been watching, but I plan on catching as many matches as possible from here on out. I love watching tennis. I’ve never even played, but it’s one of the only sports I actually enjoy watching (others include gymnastics, figure skating, hockey [in person at Boston University only], and soccer [World Cup only…I’m a fake fan]).

I’ve been to the US Open for tennis before, but I think it would be amazing to attend Wimbledon for two reasons:

1) It’s in England.

2) Strawberries and cream is the signature food to eat at the event.

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According to this website, the recipe for Wimbledon strawberries and cream is super simple: strawberries with sweet, soft-peaked whipped cream. Classic England being classy.

Today I have a more substantial version of strawberries and cream for you in the form of a smooooothie.

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A company called MyProtein kindly sent me a bag of their strawberries and cream protein powder to try, along with a mega jar (40 oz/2.5 lb!) of peanut butter (the way to my heart).

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Funny enough, MyProtein is the biggest sports nutrition brand in the UK and Europe. It’s slowly growing in the United States though! In addition to protein powders and nut butters, they sell protein cookies, bars, oats, and supplements.

Now, I am definitely not one to use amino acid supplements or anything like that at all right now (they kinda scare me, tbh). I mostly just use protein powder to make foods like Arman’s cake batter oatmeal, Gina’s cookie dough cereal, energy balls, or substantial smoothies— like this one! Protein powder helps to add calories and satiety to my smoothies.

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The strawberries and cream protein powder is sweet, but not sickeningly sweet. However, it does have quite an artificial flavor. Think Nesquick strawberry milk or Starbucks’ strawberry cream frappuccino. Luckily, I love that flavor, so this was good stuff. Also, the addition of real strawberries to the smoothie helps to liven up the strawberry flavor a bit.

Strawberries and Cream Protein Smoothie

  • 1/2 c. milk (the fattier the better!)
  • 4-5 fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop strawberries and cream protein powder*
  • 3-5 ice cubes

Blend, baby, blend.

*Can sub vanilla protein powder, just add a couple more strawberries.

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Of course, if you’re not into protein powder, you could always just do strawberries with vanilla ice cream too, which is what I ate last night 🙂

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Along with a whole lot of drippings from the newly opened and stirred MyProtein peanut butter:

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The verdict? DELICIOUS. It is 100% peanuts, just how I like it (although I’m wondering if it’s lightly salted, because it tastes just as good as salted peanut butter!). All the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth goodness.

I would compare the taste of this peanut butter to Trader Joe’s natural pb, Teddie’s, or Costco natural pb. Maybe a combination of all three.

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waterfall of pb fell off the side of the jar as this photo was taken

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PSA/BREAKING NEWS: If you mix vanilla ice cream with some cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg (key!), it tastes like EGGNOG. Oh my goodness.

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I’m so excited about this. Eggnog in summer form.

So tell me:

What is your favorite sport to watch? Do you like watching tennis?

Have you ever eaten strawberries and cream (in any form)?

Will you try this eggnog ice cream life hack!?

Disclaimer: MyProtein sent me the protein powder and peanut butter for a review in return. All opinions and content are my own.