Work Hard, Rest Hard

It finally happened this summer.

I went to bed at an ungodly hour on a Saturday night and woke up at 11. Ughhhhh.

I’m not too mad about it though, because I got to spend some quality time with high school friends who I hadn’t seen in forever.

Other weekend happenings:

Thursday

Not part of the weekend, but I made some good food that night! “Made” = throwing things in a bowl. Like this salad with baby kale mix, leftover sautéed brussels sprouts, sweet cherry tomatoes, sliced beets (from a can ➔ college d-hall memories), and avocado.

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Late night baking adventures involved Amanda’s Greek yogurt banana oat bread! I baked it in two 8×8 pans to speed up the baking time since it was late (and I’m impatient).

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I brought most of the banana bread to work on Friday, and it disappeared by the end of the day! I was that girl who brought whole grains into the midst of (freaking delicious) brownies and chocolate chip cookies.

Friday

You know when you’re go-go-go all day, and then you finally sit down? Then you realize that you never ever want to move your butt off that chair? That was my Friday after work.

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But I love days like that (after I get to sit down).

Part of the hustlin’ day included cooking up a hearty dinner. I baked some chicken thighs with half a sliced onion, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of artichokes, lots of garlic, oregano, fresh basil, sweet cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper, then topped with fresh mozzarella near the end of baking.

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that broiled, crispy mozzarella is magical

Then I boiled some whole wheat spaghetti for the base.

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TGIF.

These babies also happened:

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balsamic roasted brussels sprouts (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper @ 400F for ~30 min)

Whenever I roast vegetables, I eat my fill straight off the pan when they come out of the oven. 😀

Saturday

Early morning overnight oat smoothie bowl (almond milk, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, cinnamon, blueberries, frozen banana, vanilla protein powder, greens + granola on top) before some praying and morning Mass.

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I came back home and napped before movin’ and groovin’ in the backyard. I didn’t have too much time, so I did 5 rounds of Jess’ KILLER 1000 rep workout. I used two 15# kettlebells and a 36# bar, so I made some substitutions:

This workout is quite difficult in an AC’d gym. HALF of this workout is MADNESS in the humid heat. God bless naps and rest days that allowed me to power through that.

I definitely snacked on some brussels sprouts and tomatoes before that workout too.

After showering in cold water, I headed to lunch with two of my good high school friends, Sam and Je’lyn! We met up at The Beehive for sandwiches (after a long bout of menu indecisiveness).

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I went with the turkey club (oven roasted turkey, thick cut bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pesto mayo) + side salad. I was hungry, so I wanted something hearty. I got what I wanted, because I think the earth shook when this landed on our table:

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thinking, “is this all three of our orders on one plate?”

A double-decker, half-foot-long (maybe longer) turkey freaking CLUB.

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Literally three meals. I had this portion you see in this photo (eaten as a single decker + an open-faced sandwich), Ben had another portion for his dinner that night, and I had the last portion yesterday for brunch. Talk about a deal!

The three of us caught up on our lives and had great conversation before heading home. I hung out with Ben for a bit, ate some frozen bananas and kettle corn, and then we went to Mass (counting for Sunday Mass). I was still pretty full from my late lunch/late snack, so I ate veggies and crackers with hummus for a light snack.

I dropped off Ben at the train station since he had his first overnight work shift in the city on Saturday night. Oof.

While he was over there making dough, I was spending dough on ice cream with Sam, Michael and Jordan. More long-since-seen friends!

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blueberry cheesecake + captain crunch berry ice cream

Village Creamery is amazing.

Sam invited us over to hang out at her house. We vegged out on her couches and chatted for several hours. Later in the night, Sam gave me a Tim Tam and made me Vegemite toast, since she just got back from studying abroad in Australia (‘Straya)!

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Vegemite smells like stale bread.

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You’re supposed to butter the toast and add a super thin layer of Vegemite. Verdict? I like it! It’s just…salty. Like, extra salty buttered toast with a hint of yeast flavor. I understand why no one can really explain what it tastes like.

Arman, are you proud!?

I got home at around 1, had a dance party by myself in the kitchen, reminisced on old blog posts for old time’s sake, and went to bed after 2:30 AM. I am fully culpable for messing up my sleep schedule.

Sunday

I got up at 8 AM first to pick up Ben from the train station. Then we both hit the hay again, and I woke up at almost 11.

Big brunch it was!

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last of the turkey club with extra greens and sriracha + unpictured brussels sprouts and cherry tomatoes

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a small piece of banana bread baked oatmeal + blueberries

I decided to truly embrace Sunday as the day of rest (something that I need to work on). I watched Food Network while typing this post for a couple hours, went on a long walk, danced a little, did some reading…

“Work hard, play hard” is fun, but “work hard, rest hard” is what I needed.

Madre and Pop were away for the weekend in California for a family function, so after they arrived back home last night, we went to (a Groupon) dinner at Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse.

Me to Ben: “I don’t know if I’m ready for that much meat.”

If you’re not familiar with Brazilian Rodizio, it’s essentially meat on demand. Waiters come around to your table with giant skewers of various meats and sausages, and you can just say “yes” or “no” to the meat that arrives.

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red side of the card for “no meat, please” // green side of the card for “please bring me dat meat”

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They slice off a piece of the meat for you, and you use your personal mini tongs to grab it. So interactive, I love it.

There’s a salad bar buffet, where you can fill your plate with fresh accompaniments for your plethora of meats.

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And there are these complimentary Brazilian. cheese. puffs.

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These pao de queijo were so incredible that we asked for a second basket. Madre, Ben and I each had three, ignoring most of the other side dishes. They’re made with tapioca flour, which makes them the DOUGHIEST little nuggets of gold you ever tasted. I definitely Googled how to make them when I got home, which was a great yet terrible move, because I learned that they’re so easy to make…Cheese puffs ALL THE TIME.

Other side dishes that came with the meal included some superb rice, baked beans, pickle-y salsa, yucca flour (??), and fried bananas (← we ate as dessert).

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I must have tried 8 different meats, but my favorites were the top sirloin, chicken, bacon-wrapped turkey, and beef rib. They also had some bomb grilled pineapple at the end!

Me: “I think I’m going to go vegetarian for the rest of this week.”

^^^Lies.

What a wonderful dining experience to end the weekend!

Now Ben and I are skipping around between watching Sharknado (the most horrendously bizarre show I’ve ever laid eyes on), American Ninja Warrior, and Harry Potter. I’m also baking some more banana bread baked oatmeal for the week!

Hope you all have a delightful Monday!

So tell me:

Two things you did this weekend!

What are your favorite rest activities (oxymoron, I know)? Baking, walking, meditating, and jamming out to music are my faves.

What is the biggest sandwich you’ve ever ordered? 

Have you ever had Brazilian Rodizio? 

No Hunger, No Problem

Did any of you watch the CrossFit Games this past week!?

In-freaking-sane. I was on the edge of my seat eating kettle corn watching these superhumans do the impossible.

In other news…

Three of my high school dance company friends got together for a reunion at Bareburger. It had been forever since I’d seen Pam and Charli (I saw Susie not too long ago in the city), and it was so fun catching up with these girls! We’re all talking about our jobs and intense research projects these days. TOO MUCH (quasi-)ADULTING.

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what radiant women

As Charli said, we came with our eager stomachs for some kickass burgers. Pam also spotted these incredible brussels sprouts on the menu that we shared. Get this: brussels sprouts with sriracha, blue cheese, pork belly, and butternut squash.

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Whoever thought of this combo is out of his/her mind, yet so brilliant. For my burger, I got the El Matador: bison burger, queso fresco, pickled jalapeños, guac, pico de gallo, and green leaf lettuce on a sprout bun.

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it looks like a guacamole sandwich tower at first sight, which is very pleasing

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Demolished that.

Warning: the rest of this is going to be very first world problem. 

When my family went out for our Groupon dinner (that was postponed last week) at North Street Tavern after Mass, I was not hungry at all. Lunch at Bareburger was fatty and filling, but it was also pretty late (we finished at around 3:30).

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I could have eaten a salad at Bareburger, but I didn’t want to be “that person” to order salad at a burger place, especially while dining with good friends. Not that they would have judged me, but I knew that we chose this reunion to be at Bareburger for a reason (read: dang delicious burgers).

I also really wanted a burger because I had just worked out and I wanted hearty foooooood.

If I’m honest, I was almost…disappointed that I was so full by the time dinner rolled around. We were about to eat at this fancy restaurant, and I had zero desire for any food. This would have stressed me out to NO END a couple years ago.

“Why did I eat so much at lunch? I will definitely only have a salad now. Maybe I just shouldn’t eat at all. Should I just try to stuff all this food?”

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crab cakes with mango salsa for the table to share ➔ 1/2 a cake for each person

But as intro anatomy taught me, rest and digest is the way to go. It’s easier said than done for some of us (trust me), but there’s no need to stress over food. In my recovery, there was a weird phase where I unsure whether I was stuffed because I actually overate or because I just needed to adjust to this new amount of food that I should be eating. This made me hyper-attentive to my stomach at all times, and I would stress about having to eat a certain amount for each meal, even if I wasn’t that hungry.

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tuna tartare ➔ mom shared a bite with me

Sometimes that anxiety still creeps up on me, even though I’m certain that I’m eating a healthy amount overall. Or maybe it’s just anxiety that I need to eat all this good food while it’s in front of me. Either way, I’ve learned to CHILL.

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mom’s fave: sweet potato fries ➔ I had a few of these

If I’m not hungry at all, no one is forcing me to eat. Don’t eat. If I have a few bites of food— because, hey, I’m at a nice restaurant with my family— that’s still okay. God gave us food to live and to enjoy, but He definitely did not give it to us to stress over it.

If you’ve struggled with food in any way, you know that it’s hard to naturally accept those thoughts “like a normal person”, but I can attest that it is possible to work through it.

Luckily for me, the rest of the family didn’t have nearly as much food as I did during the day, so they were ready for this meal.

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my wood-fired personal pizza with roasted red peppers, mushrooms, ricotta, and basil ➔ 2 slices of this

As I relaxed into the meal more, I found that my appetite started to appear (it had been ~4 hours since I finished at Bareburger by then).

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a bite or two of Ben’s lobster mac and cheese

I knew to save room for dessert, don’t you worry. This I finished all by myself.

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carrot cake!

A few disclaimers:

  1. We ordered so much food because the Groupon was worth a LOT.
  2. Hooray for leftovers.
  3. We are humbly grateful to have so much delicious food available to us.
  4. We also don’t usually eat out every weekend, but I dunno, I guess we have Groupons to use.

Other eats at home have involved peanut butter and banana (but I didn’t need to say that).

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brown rice breakfast bowl

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overnight oat smoothie with blueberries added in

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whole wheat banana pancakes for Sunday morning breakfast

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topped with Greek yogurt, nut butter, and blueberries

I also taught Ben how to make and eat avocado egg toast. It is truly an art and a skill. Let me know if you want a tutorial.

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I’d say the young lad needs a bit more practice, but not bad for a rookie.

Hope you all have an awesome Monday! Rest and digest.

So tell me: 

Thoughts on this first world problem of mine.

What was your Sunday morning breakfast?

Did you watch the CrossFit Games?

What are you thankful for today? Well, if I do indeed wake up after I go to sleep tonight (typing this Sunday night), then I’m thankful for another day of life and for the opportunity to go a job that I find enjoyable and fulfilling.

 

Christmas Chronicles

Post-Christmas healthy living bloggers be like:

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And I’m still just like:

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There’s been an endless supply of food on our vacation in Canada so far, and I can’t say I’m very stressed or upset about it at all. It’s definitely a lot more sugar and salt than I’m used to in such a short period of time, but there’s some nutrition in there. Most importantly, though, there has been a lot of fellowship and joy surrounding the meals, which is the best part!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/weekend. Here’s what’s been going on with me and my family…

Christmas Eve breakfast was a festive affair! Davida’s green pancakes with pomegranate arils to complete the holiday look.

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We went to Mass on Christmas Eve since we would be traveling all day on Christmas.

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After Mass we ate dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant for suuuuushiiii.

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note the ideal fish to rice ratio — crucial aspect

Apple pie a la mode was waiting for us at home (leftovers that we froze from Thanksgiving)!

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I WAS SO FULL. But superbly content.

I woke up at the fine time of 4:20 AM (lol) after going to sleep at midnight. I had a little bit of time before we were hitting the road, so I did a super quick workout just to get the blood flowing before being the car for 10 hours. Working out before traveling these days is about moving for the sake of moving, not for the sake of burning calories. It’s nice and a lot less self-imposed pressure.

Mom and I packed some quality road trip food, if I do say so myself. Exhibit A: Mom’s salmon, brown rice, and broccoli packets.

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When we finally arrived at my grandparents’ place, we had some good rounds of ping pong (if that doesn’t scream Chinese workout of the day, I don’t know what does).

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(Also, my grandma owns me in ping pong.)

Dinner was the first of many Chinese meals on our trip. It was absolutely delicious, MSG and all. The fish was super fresh too. Suuuuper fresh.

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I apologize if any of you are squeamish, but that fish was incredible.

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We’re staying at my fellow fit relatives’ place currently, so of course we partook in some ninja activities upon arrival.

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My bro offered to take a slow motion video of me throwing knives, and I thought that would be a fantastic idea so I could scare all my best friends back at college. ‘Twas a great Christmas overall 🙂

Leftover green pancakes the next morn’!

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My cousin and I worked up a sweat for an hour or so playing Just Dance on her Wii. That game is no joke! Like, you need a decent amount of dance skill to be fairly good at it.

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And then more food with more cousins for lunch! Followed by Mah Jong (Chinese card game) and Chinese checkers. Did I mention we’re part Chinese?

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solid combo of leftover Christmas food and fresh sushi

At night, we all attended my great uncle and aunt’s golden anniversary celebration. 50 years of marriage, how ’bout that!? Inspirational.

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It ain’t no celebration without copious amounts of food in this family. Ergo, more eating.

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Peep the full pig on the right. We like heads on our food evidently.

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Ermahgersh.

Also, ermahgersh at all the little ones and the ex-little ones who are now taller than me (not saying that much, because I’m so short).

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Yesterday morning, I woke up early-ish to get some moves and grooves in. I did a fun yet killer circuit workout that I came up with in the basement. A classic and refreshing Greek yogurt bowl was breakfast afterwards.

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My family went to Mass and lunch (more Chinese food!) from the late morning to the early afternoon. Then we drove over to my mom’s side of the family for the rest of the evening. They greeted us with more food hahaha. ha. ha.

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another great combo of Thai food and Shepherd’s pie

Surprisingly, I never felt super full or overwhelmed. I ate what I wanted, and that was that. Yes, there were more times than usual this past week when I felt stuffed, but honestly, it’s the holidays. THERE, I SAID IT. I’m using the holidays as an excuse. What are we gonna do about it?

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The best part was hanging out with my cousins though. We even unintentionally matched with our cousin telepathy.

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girls show teeth, boys do soft smiles

It was a fun evening, and now it’s late… and I’m kinda hungry again… Not even kidding.

I am beyond grateful for my family, nourishment, health, and fellowship. God is good. Joy to the World, the Lord has come!

Hope you all have a great Monday! Three more days of 2015!!!

So tell me:

Three things you did this Christmas/weekend! 

Best thing you ate over the holiday. The sushi on Christmas eve OR that super fresh fish.

Is Boston Home Now?

Monday funday! (ha.)

We’re back to the grind here at Boston University, and I’m kind of happy about that. Although we only drove back and forth between Boston and New York, I felt wonky and jet-lagged back at home. When I arrived back in Boston last night, I couldn’t help but feel like BU was “home.” It’s where I have a routine, most of my belongings that I use on a regular basis, lots of friends, work, school…

It’s just weird to think that I’ve become attached to Boston already. I don’t know how I feel about that, but I’m just goin’ with the flow.

Nevertheless, I had a wonderful time in New York as I got to take naps, cook, eat some scrumdiddlyumptious breakfasts, and see family and friends again. I didn’t see everyone I wanted to see, but five days goes by a lot more quickly than you would think! My first reunion was with my fellow former dance company member, Susie! We caught up on life over some dang good peppermint tea. The tea warmed my belly as the conversation and company warmed my heart. ♥ {it’s easy being cheesy}

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It’s also easy being green. I thoroughly took advantage of the avocado toast, green smoothies, and brussels sprouts at home. Mm mm good.

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My favorite smoothie: Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie with spinach added

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Oh and Madre’s cooking hit the spot every single time.

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She’s my hero.

On Friday I met up with the one and only “core four” for breakfast at the exact same restaurant as where we said our goodbyes before going off to college. How precious!

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Brunch in the exact same place as where we left each other.

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I ate a huge meal there because I was hungry and it was delicious. I had a big, fat Greek omelet that included spinach, tomatoes, and feta. It came with breakfast potatoes and whole wheat toast, and I pretty much housed all of it. I don’t play when it comes to my favorite meal of the day.

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Later on Friday night, I found this idea of placing leftover stuffing + egg in waffle maker. B.r.i.l.l.i.a.n.t. (I have no idea why I put periods in between each letter there, but I already did it. So be it.) But seriously, which one of you stuffing lovers wouldn’t absolutely adore crispy-on-the-outside stuffing in the shape of a waffle??

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C’mon now.

And if you don’t have a waffle iron, I would still approve of stuffing muffins. The real goal is to just maximize the surface area of crispiness.

I saw Daliza on Saturday and it didn’t even feel like a reunion because of her epic surprise two weeks ago. But we had a lovely time together as we always do! We don’t even need to take a picture together for proof. 😉

Sunday morning breakfast. Amanda’s banana bread breakfast bake OMG DO IT.

Then Sunday came and it was time to drive back up to Boston in some dreadful traffic. We rewarded ourselves with rockin’ ramen and bubble tea once we arrived after the 5.5 hour drive though!

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I miss home in New York, but I’m happy to be back in Boston, and I’m torn as to which place I really want to be at right now. Home is where I’m with people who make me smile and thrive, so I guess I am blessed to say that both NY and Boston are my homes.

I hope you all have a marvelous day! Hug a bunch of people…just because.

MiMM

Linking up with Katie!

So tell me:

One thing you did this weekend!

What is your favorite green food at the moment?

How did you use up some of your Thanksgiving leftovers? 

Blurred Lines and Family Reunion

Those two things go together, don’t they?

Blurred Lines popped into my head as I was driving from Albany to Rochester during yesterday’s road trip. And then it got stuck in my head. The lyrics are tool-ish, but the actual song is catchy. My brother, Ben, on the other hand highly dislikes the song, saying “The bass line is just terrible.” Music snob 😉

Anyway, things were getting prettttty blurry on the road. Visibility was at about 1.38% because there were torrents for a good while, and it was getting difficult to see the road markings. The worst part, however, was when a car would change lanes right in front of me, and the trailing mist of water would cover the whole darn windshield. It was the equivalent of getting squid-inked seven times in MarioKart.

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I’m happy to say that this recently licensed driver *points at self* has been able to help with driving a lot this summer! At one point during the torrential rain catastrophe (alright it wasn’t that bad), my whole family was snoozing away. I felt *that* much more trusted and responsible. At least I know I can do that even if I can’t sample vitamin water without my mother. Hmph.

Nevertheless, we crossed the border safe and sound (although we did face an especially sassy customs officer), and plugged through THREE HOURS of traffic to get to my grandparents’ house. Thus, we were more than happy to get some blood flowin’ to our numb bums when we arrived. Last night we celebrated my grandparents’ 47th anniversary! Almost golden!

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We love you!

We feasted on Chinese takeout, followed by fresh fruit and strawberry cream cake for dessert. I was a happy camper!

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Those mussels, by the way–HA-YUGEEE!

We headed over to my dad’s cousin’s house, whose family is ever-hospitable and hosts us every time we come to Canada. They are an incredibly athletic and active family, so their basement has some handy fitness equipment that they kindly let me use this morning. I first raided their kitchen for a breakfast of raspberry yogurt with cereal on top and a banana with peanut butter. I was just a wee bit jealous of my cousin’s breakfast though. Lucky charms and blueberry eggos? I mean…

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I did a 10 minute warmup on the elliptical and then Jess’s Lean Legs 2 workout. I’ve done this one a few times now and it kills my legs every time. Love to hate it, hate to love it! I like to do the intervals with 30 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. (I use the Gymboss timer app and it rocks!) Quads were a-burnin’, friends.

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A family reunion took place for the rest of the day! We were reunited and even introduced to so many relatives! Ben and I were in charge of games such as sack racing, three-legged racing, egg and spoon, and relays. For the record, sack and three-legged racing are no joke. God blessed us with absolutely perfect weather and I think everyone had a blast! The food was amazing too. There was an insanely popular pasta station, sushi, grilled goods, and of course, lots of dessert. Whoever brought that delicious carrot cake: thankyouverymuch.

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Needless to say, I am pretty pooped now, but so grateful for a big, loving family 🙂

Off to visit my mom’s side of the family tomorrow! Night!