An Untraditional Christmas + Double Unders Cardio Workout

Greetings from Florida!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Kwanzaa/Joyful Holiday Season! My mom, brother, and I were on the road for the past 48 hours (with a brief hotel break in Savannah, Georgia to catch some zzz’s) on our way to Florida, and we have finally arrived! My butt and legs are so thankful. #sittingissues

We were indeed driving all Christmas day, which explains the title of this post. It wasn’t an ideal way to spend the beloved holiday, but there were many festivities happening throughout the week that made up for it!

Christmas Eve Eve

My cousins, aunt, and uncle came over on Tuesday so that we could all spend some quality time together for a day. It was a joy to play with my little cousins, converse with my aunt and uncle, and celebrate the anticipation of Jesus on Christmas! And we ate lots because…’tis the season..?!

Mom and I prepared a buffet spread for the crowd that included curry chicken, green beans, salmon with dill honey mustard yogurt sauce, brown rice, and Singapore noodles from H-Mart. Everything was fabulous!

DSC_0539 DSC_0541 Processed with Moldiv DSC_0542

Lots of cookies have been consumed in the past few days, but I think these chocolate-dipped peanut butter pretzels from our lovely neighbors take first prize. Oof. Just look at that peanut butter to pretzel ratio.

Christmas Eve

Mom and I got up early to prepare breakfast for everyone, and my cousin Angela also helped make the banana pancakes and waffles with me!

DSC_0557

DSC_0561

That photo of the arranged Mickey Mouse pancakes/French toast muffins would be my plate, not my cousin’s. Because I knew I would be in Florida, so Disney, so yes.

The rest of the day involved more fellowship, food, relaxation, and some moves! I did Jen’s 1000 rep home workout before going to Christmas Mass in the evening.

1000repsworkout-621x1024

No equipment, but all sweat! It was a fun, fast-paced, effective workout. However, I only quickly ate an apple after doing this and before going to Mass, so I was starrrrrrving for the 2.5 hours before we went to dinner. Christmas Mass was glorious though, and the hymns were beautiful distractions from my hunger.

Our Christmas Eve dinner was spent at a Brazilian/Italian restaurant called Gaucho Grill. Daliza’s family kindly gave us a gift card for the restaurant as a thank you for taking Daliza to Florida with us this summer (missing you here now, girl). The food was so delicious!

Processed with Moldiv

shared a crab cake for appetizer // Pop’s skirt steak // Ben’s meat-tastic paella // grilled asparagus and spinach for the table // Mom’s gargantuan chicken parm // my scallops with lentils // apple strudel a la mode to share for dessert 

Came hungry, left pretty stuffed, but happy.

Christmas Day

Why did we decide to travel all day on Christmas you might ask? Well, Pop only had Christmas Day off of work this week, but we needed to get to Florida to prepare the house for our family friends who are coming today. Thus, my family decided to spend Christmas Eve together before mom, Ben and I left for our two-day road trip. As I said before, these were not ideal Christmas plans, but we still had lots of family time, so it’s all good!

Ben and I drove the whole way down because poor mom is battling a stubborn, nasty cold that is giving her cough attacks and puffy eyes, so driving for her wouldn’t be very safe.

Morning of travel calls for overnight oats! Bonus points for it being in an almost-empty peanut butter jar.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

A road trip in the northeast also calls for a stop at Cinnabon. The three of us split this [big] baby sans frosting because none of us are too crazy about it— the cinnamon roll is sweet and delicious enough as is! (Sorry, Arman.)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Virginia is for lovers…me, myself, and I.

After 12+ hours of driving, we hunkered down in Savannah, Georgia for the night. There is no feeling quite like stretching out after being cooped up in a car all day.

Ben and I walked to and from Hardee’s (a fast food restaurant) near the hotel for a refreshing evening walk. We didn’t get anything— just walked in, took a whiff of the burgers and fries, and left.

Afterwards, I convinced Ben to join me in doing this 15 minute arms and abs workout. The chest-to-floor pushups really got us both on that one!

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

Too happy about hotel beds.

Friday

Also too happy about free included hotel breakfasts.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

oatmeal with honey, dried fruit, pecans, and banana + eggs

Ben generously took the last 4 hour driving shift all the way to Orlando, where we stopped for lunch at Tako Cheena, a little Asian-Latin fusion restaurant. We all got some yummy Asian tacos!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

tom yum chicken // “sweet stranger” tempeh and veggie // panko-crusted cod // tom yum shrimp // korean beef

And now we are finally settled into our Florida vacation house for the next 2.5 weeks! Moves were desperately needed after two days of mostly sitting, so Ben and I took a stroll around our neighborhood and then I did a quick impromptu workout in our backyard:

double unders cardio workout

This workout plus Florida humidity=drenched in sweat and chugging water like no other. The double unders were really fun though! I’ve improved a lot since this video from the summer!

Dinner last night was a salad of spinach (that traveled all the way down the east coast with us in a cooler) plus balsamic vinaigrette and parmigiano reggiano + half a toasted banh mi sandwich we picked up earlier in the afternoon.

DSC_0563

A couple hours later, I made a late night Publix run for some groceries, but this was the real reason I went:

DSC_0565 DSC_0566

Publix ice cream is the besttttttttt. I got the limited edition peach cobbler ice cream…naturally. When I got home from the store, I grabbed a clean spoon and scooped out the melted perimeter of the ice cream carton, because that is where ice cream is in its prime state of matter. And that was all I needed. That big melty spoonful made me content.

There you have it, friends— our not-so-typical Christmas. Then again, what is a “typical” Christmas for us anyway? We almost didn’t make it to Christmas last year.

Thank God for safe travels and of course, for sending His Son as a child to dwell on earth and die for our sins. Wishing you all a blessed weekend wherever you are and whatever you’re up to!

(I unfortunately think I might be coming down with something… It was inevitable considering Ben and my mom have been coughing up a storm for the past week!)

So tell me:

One fun holiday-related thing you did this week!

The best thing you ate this week.

Do you like to jump rope?

Is there a food you like to get on road trips?

Do you love that melty part of ice cream or nah?

Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling to Florida

On traveling to Florida and spending our first day here:

Do make overnight oats when you have to leave the house at 5 AM.

photo 1 copy

Don’t go to sleep at 12:30 the night before.

I was still somehow awake enough to drive 3+ hours to the AutoTrain station in Virginia.

Do grab lunch at the Eden Vietnamese Center before boarding the train.

photo 4 copy

We went to a restaurant called Rice Paper!

Do endure the on-and-off service of the train to watch the World Cup final.

photo 5

So sad Argentina lost.

Don’t be picky with your food on the AutoTrain.

photo 2

photo 3

photo 1

It’s still a thousand times better than airplane food.

Do take mirror selfies in the bathroom “lounge.”

photo 4

Because it’s called a bathroom “lounge”….

Do (or maybe don’t) have one of the overly oily and sweet corn muffins for breakfast.

photo 1 copy 3

So bad, but so very good.

Don’t wear a heavy duty cotton t-shirt when going to Florida in the summer.

I felt like I was in a thermos when I arrived.

Do go to Tijuana Flats if you’re in the South.

photo 2

If that doesn’t catch your attention, I don’t know what will.

Don’t forget to pack enough underwear. Three pairs for three weeks isn’t enough.

Yep, that would be me.

Do make a trip to Publix.

photo 3

You know how I feel about supermarkets.

Don’t waste a tissue to pick up dead bugs when you can use a receipt.

 photo 4 copy 2

EW. Thanks, Daliza for taking care of that little bugger.

Do practice yoga outside with your best friend.

photo 5

Don’t practice yoga outside while there’s a thunderstorm and there are birds checkin’ you out.

We did that anyway.

Do take pictures of the sky when it’s YELLOW.

DSC_9394

God’s painting.

Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes on our travels! We’ve had a blast so far as you might be able to tell 🙂 Can’t wait to share the rest of our adventures with you!

Hope you all have a beautiful day!

So tell me:

What do you eat for breakfast on the go?

Do you like supermarkets as much as I do?

When was the last time you saw a beautiful sunset? 

Italian Food and Soccer

Hi!

My mom, Daliza, and I are currently Florida-bound! My dad is joining us at the end of the week, but we’ve been traveling a couple days via auto train, which is basically the coolest form of transportation on the east coast (it transports you AND your car!). They also feed you, and we all know how much I would appreciate that.

Daliza and I did some fun activities with our friends before saying farewell to New York for three weeks though!

On Friday night, my parents, Daliza, Jordan, Michael, and I (after prom crew!) went to La Festa Italiana at a local church. It was a cute little carnival with games, fantastic Italian food, and fun music. My parents were burning up the dance floor the whole night while I pretended I didn’t know them…. Just kidding, they’re actually fabulous ballroom dancers, and they looked so adorable!

photo 3 copy photo 4 copy 2 photo 5

We didn’t win anything at all.

  The best part was definitely the food (you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?). I actually had my mind set on the meatball wedge alllll day long.

photo 1 copy 2

Craving satisfied.

Except Jordan and Michael kept staring at me while I was eating it, which made me quite uncomfortable because I probably looked like a barbarian trying to fit the huge, saucy, meaty sandwich in my mouth. Thanks, dudes. ‘Preciate it.

It was obligatory to get some sort of Italian dessert too:

photo 2 copy

Lemon Italian ice, baby!….

…followed by a food baby.

On Saturday the four of us played soccer along with Daliza’s cousins. I should say that they played soccer, and I was a disgrace. I don’t play soccer (I wish I could!), so it was a big mistake whenever my teammates passed the ball to me. The only thing I was good at was running to get the ball whenever I kicked it out of bounds.

Hey, I was giving 60% effort, 4000% of the time (<— such a funny video).

Nevertheless, it was a really fun time! It was also pretty dang hot, so we cooled off with ice cream at Baskin Robbins afterwards. Ice cream #becausefutbol.

And now, we start our adventure in Florida! I’ll be updating you all as much as I can while we’re there! Daliza and I are as stoked as two little girls going to Disney for the first time. Well, I’m excited to go to Publix Supermarket. 😉

Have a fantastic day, everyone!

So tell me:

Which Italian food do you crave?

Are you good at soccer?

Behind the Scenes #25: Burgers, Fries, and Ice Cream

Thinking-Out-Loud

with one of the coolest Canadians, Amanda

1) I feel like I don’t have much to do these days, yet I still end up filling my days with things. Chores, yoga/walking, seeing friends, making appointments, getting college stuff ready, blogging, reading, watching the World Cup. None of it is really urgent and I never feel busy, but I end the day thinking, “What did I even do today and how is it already 1 AM?!”

001bc77c30afecd933c903d32aee682c

[source]

2) If all THAT isn’t thrilling enough, Daliza, my family, and I are kicking it up a notch (or a hundred notches) starting Sunday. We’re going to Florida! My parents have a lovely vacation home down there, so we’ll be chillin’ there for a whopping THREE WEEKS. Daliza’s excited for Disney. I’m excited for Publix— the supermarket of the South. Typical.

DSC_4926

Last year in Florida when I made fish tacos and started the blog. Nostalgia.

3) I’m getting closer to holding my handstand! Right now, I get really excited when I hold it for a solid four seconds. I’m basically Shawn Johnson.

4) There’s nothing quite like a classic burger. Pickles, ketchup, mustard, cheese. Mmm. Lilly, Pam, and I went to Bareburger yesterday, and I had just that. We also shared sweet potato fries, because…sweet potato fries. Self-explanatory.

photo 2

The only thing that made this a little non-classic was the fact that it was a turkey burger instead of a beef burger.

photo 1 copy

Sweet potato fries with their three sauces— curry ketchup, ranch, and “special sauce.” It was wonderful.

5) The fact that my friends and I are all going to college next month has not hit me AT ALL yet. Lilly is moving back to California tomorrow for college, and it’s just not emotionally occurring to me that she’s going so far away for such a long time. I’m just gonna start bawling out of nowhere in a few weeks when I’m listening to a sad song or something.

photo 3

♥ I’ll miss you so much, Lilly!!!

6) The “core four” got together last night at the local creamery for some catch-up conversation and ice cream!  I love hanging out with those girls.

photo 4 copy

Apple pie ice cream = heavenly. 

7) I bought coconut flour yesterday just to make Amanda’s banana bread mug cake. I’m dreaming about it already.

8) I haven’t been carrying out my teenage duties of sleeping a lot over the summer. I don’t know why, but my internal clock wakes me up after about 7-8 hours of sleep every morning. That’s a perfect amount of sleep for me, but I can’t help but feel like I should be sleeping in even longer while I have that luxury.

9) As I’ve been doing more yoga recently, I’ve learned that I am so NOT flexible anymore. Well, I am and I’m not. I can still do the splits on each leg, but my shoulders are getting so tight that it’s getting difficult to clasp my hands behind my back. No bueno. If I’m gonna be a physical therapist, I better drink some of my own medicine and stretch more!

10) I hope you all have a fabulous day! I’ll leave you off with words from the coolest book around 😉

a462136a3dac807ac7cdfaae7048887a

[source]

So tell me:

Do you like burgers?

How long does your internal clock let you sleep?