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?

 

Finals Week: Brought To You in Part By Bread

Ohhhhh we’re halfway there.

WHO-OA bread is everywhe-ere.

I’m halfway through finals week, but since I don’t have any exams until Thursday (plus a research paper due tomorrow), I’m feel like I’m on study autopilot. Like, “meh, time to stuff more information into my brain today.” I’m not as overwhelmed as I’ve been in past finals weeks, which is great, but it’s a little weird too.

Fortunately, there have been pockets of fun amidst the stream of studying. Many of the fun things have involved BREAD (or a variation of it).

Pita chips with spinach artichoke dip two nights in a row.

Night 1: Last Thursday I stopped by the Admissions Ambassadors (aka campus tour guides) end of the year gala to mingle for a few minutes and eat some hors d’oeuvres. I was severely underdressed since I needed to study and wasn’t planning on staying long, but I just ate the fabulous spinach artichoke feta dip in the corner, took some pics, and ducked out.

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Night 2: A few friends and I went to the senior art exhibition by the fine arts students here at BU. I was also underdressed this night because I came from work/studying/walking in the rain all day, but the art was the focus of the night anyway.

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there is so much cheese under those crackers

Friday morning bagel run with so many friends.

My friend Sarah (the girl who has been getting me to run more recently) has been wanting to have a “bagel run” with people for the longest time, and her dreams finally came true.

First, Sarah and I ran ~2 miles together and then stopped at Bruegger’s Bagels to get 16 bagels + cream cheese for everyone coming to the bagel run. We individually packed them in Ziplocs because we’re the moms of the group.

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Then we met up with 15(!) of our friends to run 1.5 miles to a dock by the river to eat bagels!

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100% brought peanut butter to share

It was such a fun little event! There’s also an epic playground by the dock, so we obviously had to play there until a dad with his two little kids came, lol.

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Moves and grooves at their FINEST, I say. Thanks, Sarah, for organizing! And thanks, friends, for coming out on a Friday morning! ♥︎

Turkey, pepper jack cheese, and mustard between bread or with crackers.

I am so into this “after school snack” type of lunch right now. Doesn’t this remind you of something you’d find in your lunchbox as a kid??

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strawberries are in season and on sale, praaaaaise

Also, there were [vegan] chicken nuggets in the dining hall. They’re not the most amazing nuggets in the world, but that breading brings me back to the good ol’ days of frozen nuggets warmed up in a toaster oven.

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BBQ sauce all the way

Blueberry cobbler a la mode.

One of the best desserts in the d-hall in a while.

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Frozen nutella hot chocolate checked off the food bucket list with Rachel.

This isn’t bread-y, but I had to include it. This frozen nutella hot chocolate is from Paris Creperie, and it was delicious!

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The best way I can describe it is: nutella frosty.

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It was also so nice getting to catch up with Rachel — it had been a while!

Free cookie cake from the Google Allo cookie truck.

Basically, if three people downloaded the new Google Allo app and started a group chat on it, this random Google Allo cookie truck gave you a free cookie cake with personalized frosting.

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Free dessert sounded good to us, so Zoe, Sarah, and I took a study break to get one. We had them write “Regina Caeli” on it, which means “Queen of Heaven” (aka Mary). Because we’re Catholic and we were coming from the Catholic Center and we like Latin.

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That same night, Sarah, Domenica and Kelsey were wearing matching America socks. Look at how adorable they are!

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I also definitely brought my yoga mat and foam roller for everyone to use #finalsweek

Sunday morning French toast with Megan.

It has been one of our goals to make perfect French toast ever since we came back from Ireland, and Sunday was finally the day. I bought some quality brioche from Trader Joe’s + used some of my thick whole wheat bread to make, if we do say so ourselves, excellent French toast. We used this method!

Megan is a purist and drizzled hers with some maple syrup and powdered sugar. She’s also a stacker.

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I Alison-ified mine with peanut butter, caramelized bananas, and maple syrup.

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We each had 2.5 slices (so, yes, I ate all of that above) with a glass o’ milk on the side, and it was blissful.

Perfect avocado toast is BACK.

I hadn’t bought avocados for a while since they weren’t on sale, but Target had 4 for $4, so I jumped on that.

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one with avocado + sriracha, one with pepper jack cheese // carrots and hummus // strawberries and Pirate’s Booty at the end

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I ♥︎ pirate’s booty

Baking peanut butter banana bread / chocolate chip banana bread with PJ and Kelsey.

So I could have been hardcore studying last night, but PJ and Kelsey invited me to join in on some pb banana bread baking… A good study break, right?

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It was worth it. And I did get some studying done still because they took on the brunt of cleanup (thanks, friends!). I also winged a random cookie recipe because we had a butter/sugar/egg white mixture that was a mistake for the banana bread recipe, and this is what turned out.

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Kinda bready oatmeal cookies that tasted decent with peanut butter sauce on top.

Bread has been fueling studying and lots of moves and grooves.

I worked out with Ben again on Saturday morning and took us through this circuit workout:

2 rounds of each set, 30 sec on, 10 sec off

  • jumping jacks / air squats / mountain climbers / high knees
  • pushup to T / skaters / squat jumps / plank
  • side jump lunges / spiderman kick through right / spiderman kick through left / tuck jumps
  • one legged burpee right / one legged burpee left / ski jumps / tricep dips
  • broad jumps / plank jacks / side plank / burpees

On Sunday, Rachel, Sarah and I went on an easy run…

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…and stretched our calves at the foot of the stairs in the Catholic Center.

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Regina Caeli 🙂

Plus some other good workouts throughout the week at the gym.

And now it is time to eat lunch, fold laundry, and STUDY. I consider blogging a non-priority, but I still think it’s good to do during hectic weeks like this. There are many good things to stop and appreciate amidst the blur of life.

So tell me:

How are finals going for you, college friends!?

How do you eat your French toast?

What is the best bread-y thing you’ve eaten recently?

Two fun things about this past week!

Summer’s Coming

It’s been forever and a half since I thought out loud with the lovely Amanda!

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what’s thinking out loud?

1) I am never not surprised that it’s almost May. What the heck!?

2) Last week was the “Easter Octave”, which means that the Church celebrated Easter for eight days straight, since the joy of the Resurrection cannot be contained within one single day. Let me tell you, I celebrated. With lots of alleluias and just as many desserts (I definitely had two desserts on several days).

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thanks for the cute cookie, Megan!

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Sometimes I went for a slightly more nutritious dessert, but nevertheless, I let loose with my sweet tooth.

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Amanda’s banana bread mug cake — one of my favorite things ever

3) The day after the Boston Marathon, I went on a beautiful run with my two beautiful friends, Kelsey and Sarah. You all know I’m not a huge fan of running, but my body didn’t want to do any sort of strength/HIIT or even yoga, so I asked Kels and Sarah if I could run with them after Mass on Tuesday evening.

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I would say that I was inspired by the Boston Marathon, but…

Kels: “Do you wanna run a half marathon with us?”

Me: “…ehhhhhhhhhhhh.”

For now, I’ll stick to spontaneous runs when I feel like it 🙂

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3) I didn’t sign up for a half marathon, but my friend Ben and I did sign up for a Spartan Sprint Race!!! We talked about it on Marathon Monday and decided it would be a fun thing to do this summer. I’ve always wanted to do an obstacle course race for fun, so the time has come!

Our training regimen is really coming together:

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Finbar is our priest’s dog

The Spartan Sprint Race is a 3-5 mile course with 20+ obstacles. Although I want to be relatively in shape for the race, I’m not really changing anything about how I work out right now. My mind and body are happy with my 4-ish workouts per week, varying based on how I feel that day.

But I’m SO EXCITED FOR THIS RACE! There’s also beer at the end I think, and I’ll be 21 by then 🙂

4) It’s strawberry season/the grocery store has strawberries on sale!

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5) Last weekend was filled with so much a cappella, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. My talented friends Adrienne and Connor each had their last a cappella concerts of their college careers, and they were both phenomenal.

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Our whole Catholic Center fam came out to support like proud (and very loud) relatives. Adrienne and Connor, you guys are amazing!

6) I am officially in finals mode now (even though classes end next Wednesday). I am finished with regular exams and now just have one research paper for religion & medicine, a final for health policy, and a final for gross anatomy. Nighttime study sessions are all the rage these days.

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7) Should it be warmer than 60*F at this point in the spring? Boston will have one day per week when the temperature exceeds 70, but the rest of the days are still pretty chilly. I don’t even know what normal temperatures are anymore (going from Ireland ➔ Florida ➔ NY ➔ Boston in less than two months).

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There have been some gorgeous days, though, as you can see. I do like the mild weather too, so I guess I shouldn’t complain before the heat hits.

8) I feel like I haven’t been cooking as much in the apartment recently, but when I do, it always feels like I’m trying to use up as many leftovers/things in the pantry as possible. It’s never too shabby though!

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omelette with spinach, onions, lots of cheese, and ketchup

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salad with sundried tomatoes, artichokes, feta, and grilled chicken

9) Campus dining has had some pretty good hits too.

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Thai chicken salad + sandwich (roast beef, gouda, veggies, artichoke herb spread [omg so good!] on whole grain ciabatta) + apple

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breakfast-for-dinner at the dining hall: actually, this vegan breakfast burrito was just okay (breakfast burritos definitely need real eggs and bacon)

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Sarah got this delicious-looking Monte Cristo at breakfast-for-dinner night

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fantastic maple banana bread pudding a la mode (Easter Octave is over, but when do I ever not have dessert?)

10) This week was filled with a lot of goodness, but I also had rough patches. I realized that I always try to emerge from trials a little more perfect than before (which isn’t bad in and of itself — God calls us to be perfected in Him), but I end up discouraged and even surprised when I find myself in the same weak and confused state that [I thought] I had overcome before.

I needed to re-learn that, even when I feel confused, weak, or like a failure: a) it’s okay to feel that way, because I am a weak human being; b) I don’t have to try to fix myself before asking others/God for help to be better. I can’t fix myself once and for all. That would be trying to dodge this thing called life.

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Hope you all have a great Thursday!

So tell me:

Have you ever done an obstacle course race?

How’s the weather where you are? Rain all week for us :/

Which in-season produce are you excited for?

Two fun things you did this past week!

Good News, Bad News

What a week!

As the title suggests, things have been an ever-exciting cocktail of highs and lows. Life is a rickety wooden roller coaster, but fortunately, those are my favorite kinds of rides. Also, there is more good news than bad news!

Good News – Gross anatomy exams went so well last week! I am grateful for intelligent and motivating classmates/friends who helped me through that intense study period.

Good News – The men at the Catholic Center put on an incredible “Women’s Appreciation Night” last Thursday, complete with real plates and silverware, a three course meal, and SWING DANCING. Chivalry is not dead!

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look how dressed up they are!

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that bacon-wrapped chicken was bomb

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shoutout to Evan and Veronica for giving the swing dance lesson (and to all the guys for actually dancing with us – I tried hard to not be the leader 😀 )

Are we queens or what!?

Bad News – Megan and I have found SIX cockroaches in our apartment in the past two weeks. The first one was not cool, the second one was a problem, and the next four have been borderline traumatizing.

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And she really did leave a singular rain boot for me in the kitchen.

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As well as the delicious corn bread, which made matters slightly better.

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We finally just called Emergency Facilities yesterday, so they’re coming to fumigate the place today.

We’re clean people, we promise! We also tried spraying the place ourselves, but apparently, using bug killer spray on the perimeter of the floors just makes the roaches crawl on the walls and on top of the refrigerator (!!!????!?@#$!@#%!).

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How I currently walk around the apartment more often than not. Although, squishing the roaches is potentially worse, because it might attract more?? Whatever the case, Megan and I take at least 20 minutes to recover from each huge roach we encounter.

Me to Rachel:

Good News – We have a warm bed, food, and shelter. There are worse things that could be happening.

Bad News – Speaking of housing though, my roommates for next year and I are scrambling with apartment searching/landlord issues. GAH adulting is hard.

Good News – I have been drinking and eating delicious mango things.

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champagne mangos that go down like buttahhhh

Bad News – Last night I had one of those “oh crap I have so much work to do these next few weeks” moments. Naturally, I started writing this blog post in the midst of it all.

Good News – On Saturday, my friend Rebecca and I attended a free trial class at CrossFit Fenway! It was a pretty basic class, understandably, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Crossfit “box”, and our instructor was very knowledgable and motivating.

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After going through the warmup + basic movements, our short WOD (workout of the day) was:

90 second max calorie row

1 min. rest

8 min. AMRAP:

  • 12 squats
  • 9 abmat situps
  • 6 ring rows

Nothing fancy, but it was fun to do it with a group. Other people at the gym were doing Open Workout 17.5 and I was wishing I could participate! Thrusters and double unders are two movements I can actually do.

Bad News – I think it would be fun to join CrossFit box, but it is expensiveeee and your girl can’t afford that right now. Also, our Fitness and Recreation center on campus is fantastic already.

Good News – I had my first workout/Bible study this past Sunday, and it was great! Four girls are in the group, and I take them through a 30-45 min. workout + a 30-45 min. Bible study based on Theology of the Body (trying to tie together that body-soul idea ya know). I’m really excited for it! The girls killed this workout I put together:

4 rounds (10 sec rest/30 sec work)

  • burpees
  • squats OR squats with overhead press
  • plank OR spiderman plank
  • side jump lunges
  • pushup to T OR plank to T
  • high knees

And then we had a good discussion about body image!

Bad News – It’s rainy all week.

Good News – I finally got to watch Inside Out, and I LOVE IT.

Bad News – I didn’t actually get to finish Inside Out, sooooo now I’m at a cliffhanger and I need to find another time to watch the rest.

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Good News – I watched all of Beauty and the Beast in theaters with Rachel on Friday, and it. was. magical. Wonderful animation and music, and Emma Watson is gorgeous. Highly recommend! (p.s. Disney is making a live-action Mulan movie coming out November 2018!!!)

Bad News – Eh, I’m done complaining. No more bad news.

Good News – I made and ate enchiladas for the first time ever last night. I bought a can of Hatch enchilada sauce from Thrive a while ago and finally put it to use with this recipe. They ROCK and I can’t wait to eat the rest of them this week!

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I hope you all have a great Tuesday! Laugh about the little problems and have faith that it will all be okay.

So tell me:

One piece of good news (you can share a bad one too if you want, but at least one good one!) 🙂

Have you ever had a pest problem?

Have you ever eaten enchiladas before?