Operation “Say Yes”

…”to the dress.” I’m getting married!

Just kidding. This is about how I am the flakiest, most indecisive person ever.

“Hey, Alison, do you wanna go out tonight?”

“Oh!…maybe. I’ll let you know. I want to, but I need to do ‘stuff’ tonight.”

“Okay let me know!”

(Two hours later) “I think I’ll come!”

“Yay!”

(20 minutes later) “Actually…I think I should stay in….”

“Aw. Okay.”

(5 minutes later) “But should I just go out?”

“Yeah if you can!”

(2 minutes later) “Maybe not…”

“Alison… Do whatever you want.”

I’m indecisive because I spend too much time thinking about whether I should go somewhere or not, and then I end up procrastinating anyway, when I could have gone out, come back, and done what I needed to do.

So this past week was Operation: “Say Yes”

Yes to going out on Thursday night.

Because Thursdays are the new Friday, right? We actually don’t have classes on Friday, so Thursday really is the start of our weekends for the first half of our semester.

97% of the time, I’m not one to say, “I wanna go out tonight!” I’m usually more like, “let’s go get dessert and be in our PJs early tonight!” But I felt like celebrating the submission of our first big paper on Thursday, so I went out to a pub with some friends that night. It was my first night really “going out” in regards to drinking and such.

I drank more than I ever have that night, but I was still totally sober throughout, haha.

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“Baby Guinness” (Kahlua and a touch of Bailey’s— looks like a Guinness but tastes like chocolate!)

I only had one of these. I’m not that tolerant (or wealthy).

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arguably the most pointless €5 purchase of my life

Not even tipsy, but not mad about it. Watching all the other wild kids around me was fun enough.

My favorite part was coming back past midnight and sharing a big bowl of popcorn with my friend.

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Yes to napping.

Because I went to bed at 2:30 am after a night out and woke up naturally at 8:50-ish on Friday morning.

I was thinking of doing a longer workout later that day rather than napping, but napping gave me energy to PR my 100 burpee time! 6:16!
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I was on the ground panting two minutes before this photo was taken

Yes to walking somewhere solely for dessert.

My friend Brenna and I went to Bread & Butter to pick up dessert on Friday night, which was a freaking fantastic decision. I bought bread and butter pudding for €2.95, and the portion was HUGE. Megan was kind enough to have half, and she shared her vanilla ice cream with me to go with it 🙂

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this is only one half of the whole portion they gave me

10x better than alcohol. 100x happier. (Half the price too, holla.)

Yes to the Bray Cliff Walk with three friends.

I could have spent the whole day working on my ethics essay, but I decided to go to another cliff walk for the first half of the day. So worth the fresh air, exercise, and company!

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selfie with a banana, because I am a banana

The walk took approximately 2 hours, since we stopped for a bunch of photo sessions.

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thank you to Brigid and Caroline for this photo!

For lunch, we chose The Happy Pear, a super cute vegetarian market/cafe/restaurant.

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I got this bomb Buddha bowl, which had brown rice, pickled cabbage, “kimchi” (wasn’t actually kimchi, but that’s what they called it), lentil dahl, garlic kale, avocado, and sweet potato fries!

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Hiking and buddha bowls, are we in LA!?

Yes to FaceTiming four people over the weekend.

I miss my friends a lot, and although it can take a couple hours to FaceTime a couple people, it is always worth it to talk with such beautiful souls. I laughed and cried.

Yes to Sunday brunch.

After Mass on Sunday, I met up with my friend Cassandra for brunch at a fabulous little place called Herbstreet.

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This was one of those restaurants where you think, “I could honestly order any of this.” Cassandra and I both went for savory + sweet.

Cassandra got the “Eggos Mexicalos” for her main, which was spicy and satisfying (and GUACAMOLE). I got a strange combo— smoked salmon with capers and dill creme fraiche + small stack of blueberry pancakes with orange butter. I ate them separately, don’t worry.

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I was totally craving pancakes, and MAN did these deliver. I love blueberry pancakes, but the zesty orange butter really put it over the top.

The best of the meal was Cassandra’s sweet pick: the French toast with caramelized bananas, pecans, and clotted. cream.

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Be still my heart (but not literally, please, I know this is a lot of cholesterol, sry). We already decided that we have to go back.

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Yes to working out outside. 

I usually work out in my room these days, because a) that’s all I have time for; b) it’s dewy and cold outside in the morning. But on Sunday, I took a nap and just went outside with my jump rope. It was glorious to move and groove outside!!!

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5 rounds:

  • 50 double unders
  • 2 laps (~1/3 of a mile)
  • 5 pistol squats each leg

Yes to walking.

It can be time-consuming to walk to city centre from our campus, and sometimes I feel like I should save time and take the bus, but it’s [almost] always a good idea to walk.

I say [almost], because yesterday we walked to Parliament for a field trip, and it was down pouring. I was soaked and freezing throughout the rest of the field trip, but Megan reminded me to be grateful that I can go home and be warm, whereas some people cannot.

#HUMBLED.

Yes to cooking for real. 

I bit the bullet and bought a tikka masala simmer sauce for some chicken, plus bell peppers and real rice (I refuse to buy microwave or “boil in a bag” rice).

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Prior to this, I had just been seasoning things with salt and pepper because I wanted to be cheap and minimalist, but variety is the spice of life. Or spice is the variety of life?

This delicious lunch salad also happened a couple days ago:

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beets, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, two fried eggs, salt and pepper

Yes to saying no to blogging.

It’s been a busy week with essay writing and such, so the blog has been on the back burner. I wanted to type this post for Monday…then Tuesday…then Wednesday…then Thursday…and now it’s finally typed. Life happens, and I’m always learning how to prioritize.

Yes to a free online yoga inversions class on the CodyApp.

It was on Tuesday night right after my healthcare policy class ended, plus it was free, so I just signed up and did it! I highly recommend CodyApp, guys. I mean, I’ve only tried the free classes so far, but even those are great. This inversions class really did help me learn more about handstand alignment!

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not in the inversions class, but wanted to see how titibasana was coming along

I hope you guys have an awesome weekend! I’m organizing a wine and cheese night for the group tonight, and I AM PUMPED. Finals are next week already, LOL (we start internships in November!).

So tell me:

Are you indecisive?

Is it hard for you to say yes to things?

Two beautiful things that you did/happened to you this week!

I Love Dairy {Recent Eats}

Hi!

I don’t know about the rest of the globe, but Boston was soggy sadness yesterday. The gloom, wind, and rain was so nasty that I had to change my pants three times yesterday due to them getting soaked every time I went outside.

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But there are many brighter things to think about besides the weather! Like today being the last day of classes, which means I’m a week out from being done with this semester. Crazypants.

Also, my roommate and I decorated our door for the holidays. We went on the extremely secular side with a Santa Claus “Tinder” profile. I’ve never been on it, but apparently Tinder is some sort of speed-dating-type app. We didn’t win best-decorated door, but props to my roommate for thinking outside of the box with this idea.

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The little bio for Santa says, “Don’t just swipe right [what you do when you don’t like someone on Tinder]. I’ll put you on my naughty list. 😉 “

We’re terrible.

I haven’t shown you all what I’ve been noshing since Thanksgiving! Something that I’ve really come to embrace recently is my love for dairy. My friend Sylvia was telling me about how dairy is addicting because of the lactose, and I told her I was okay with that. Cheese, yogurt, ice cream, milk— if you don’t want it, I’m your girl.

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Linking up with Jenn!

Breakfasts

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whole wheat apple pancake with honey and butter + peaches + scrambled eggs

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oatmeal with honey, pb, banana + scrambled eggs

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egg white omelet with veggies and cheese + corn muffin + apple

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whole wheat toast with pb and banana + eggs + glass o’ milk

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whole wheat apple pancake with pb and banana + eggs + glass o’ milk

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whole wheat blueberry pancake with honey and butter + cottage cheese with strawberry yogurt, pb, and banana

Lunches

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baked fish + potatoes + salad

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roast beef, cheese, lettuce, honey mustard sandwich + sweet potato tots + shrimp salad

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pineapple pork + rice + broccoli

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whole wheat grilled cheese with tomatoes and caramelized onions + tomato and rice soup + bbq chicken on spinach

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polenta and a bean veggie thing + salad with tofu and greek dressing (which has feta cheese in it!) + cottage cheese with fruit

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tofu + rice + salad with Greek dressing

Dinners

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chicken pita with dill yogurt sauce

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baked fish with eggplant caponata + butternut squash risotto

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salad with Greek dressing + roast beef, cheese, hummus, veg sandwich

Desserts

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honeycrisp apple (from home) dipped in Greek yogurt, pb, cinnamon

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peach apple crisp + vanilla ice cream

That last dessert just called to me. Not to mention some strawberry ice cream I ate straight out of the pint since my roommate bought a few for $0.25 each.

I used to freak out if I ate too much cheese or drank too much milk because the fat scared the crap out of me. ONE SLICE OF CHEESE PER SANDWICH was my rule. ONE CUP OF MILK. Like my life depended on it.

But last night I noticed that the person who made my sandwich put two slices of cheese on it. I contemplated taking a slice off, but a) the two slices were already melted together, and b) I just didn’t care. The more cheese, the merrier, am I right? As for yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk, it seems pretty obvious that I don’t skimp on those either.

I am thankful that I’m not lactose-intolerant, and I’m pretty sure veganism isn’t in my near future, but cheers to milk mustaches and not being able to sing well because of too much lactose!

^^^That sentence did not make any sense.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, compadres! (shoutout to Renee)

So tell me:

Do you love dairy?

What is your favorite form of dairy?

What is the best meal you’ve eaten recently?

Fascinating Friday Links #27

Hi, everyone!

Eep! It’s been go-go-go this week, so I’ll pop in quickly to say good afternoon, show you what I’ve been eating, and give you this week’s Fascinating Friday Links! Enjoy! So many exclamation points!

Dinner Last Night

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Quinoa/rice blend, brussels, soft boiled eggs, feta

Breakfast

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Favorite: overnight oats

fascinating friday links

Health and Fitness

[Fun! Or not…] 82 Pushup Variations You Need To Know via Greatist

[Great tips] So You Wanna Start Eating Healthier? via The Healthy Maven

[Perfect for Lent] 10 Meat-Free Protein Sources That Are Totally Underrated via Greatist

[Sweat it out!] Knock ‘Em Down, Build ‘Em Up Workout via Carrots n Cake + Plank Bedroom Workout via Purely Twins + Glutes and Gams Workout via The Healthy Maven

Food for Thought

[Powerful] 7 Women Who Overcame Eating Disorders Wish They’d Known Then via Greatist

[Listen to this] I Am Beautiful When I Am Me and I Will Embrace My Imperfections via Simply Taralynn

[Sometimes you just need to do something for yourself] Buy a Bag and Get Over It via More Than Just Desserts

[Let go] Don’t Worry About These Things via The Real Life RD

[The blog world doesn’t have to be dog-eat-dog] Blogging Politics: Competitive Blogging via The Big Man’s World

[Do NOW] 40 Regrets You Don’t Want to Have in 40 Years via Marc and Angel + The Biggest Lie We Believe About Influence via Goins Writer

[Is it bad to want to look better?] Can You Love Your Body and Still Want to Change It? via Fitting It All In

Food for Belly

[MUFFINS!] Whole Wheat Blueberry Crumb Muffins via How Sweet It Is

[How could you resist?] Single-Serving Cinnamon Rolls via Chocolate Covered Katie + Yeah…Imma Eat That

[Heck yes] Coconut Milk Ice Cream with a Pistachio Crumb and Blueberries via Top With Cinnamon

[So scrumptious] Brownie Batter Oatmeal with Peanut Butter Swirl via Fit Foodie Finds

[Cool!] Homemade Greek Yogurt Cheese via Ravie Nom Noms

[Want] Cheese Stuffed Naan Bread via A Dash of Soul

Miscellaneous Fun

[Gotta love that Trader Joe] Best Frozen Meals from Trader Joe’s via A Dash of Soul

[Incredible and adorable] Elephant Painting Video

[She’s my fave] Jennifer Lawrence’s 19 Best Moments at the Oscars via BuzzFeed

Happy Friday! TGIF.

So tell me:

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Which links did you enjoy?

 

Being Humble Hurts

Good morning and Happy Fat Tuesday!

“Joyeux Mardi Gras!” sounds a lot classier, doesn’t it? French is just glamorous like that.

Before I get into Lent and deep-ish talk, I’ll catch you up on what happened in my life yesterday. First and foremost, I had a nut-butter-happy breakfast of banana bread English muffins with almond butter + peanut butter + banana slices!

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I also finished the last bit of Greek yogurt with a few more banana slices. My mom knows me so well and bought FOUR big containers of Greek yogurt for me since she’ll be leaving for Florida soon. Those might last me 2 weeks. 😉

School was swell, and then I headed to the gym in the afternoon. I didn’t forget my gym shoes this time! I did, however, nap in the car at the gym parking lot for about half an hour again. You would think I would be a little more self-conscious, but sleep trumps image at this point in my high school career (or any point in my life). I just park in the corner of the lot and snooze for a lil’ bit. I doubt anyone even noticed. A cat nap can go a long way, folks!

After my mini-siesta (I still think we should have those)…

Moves

5 min. rowing warmup

Supersets of:

  • TRX rows + TRX pike to pushup
  • TRX tricep extensions + TRX bicep curls

Then I did some proper pushups (so hard!), staggered pushups, and 6 minutes on the rope climbing contraption. I finished with an 8-minute ab tabata.

Dinner was absolutely delicious, and it was a cinch to put together thanks to Mom’s prep work.

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Quinoa/rice blend + seared tuna steak + avocado + blanched broccoli + ponzu

Mom had already prepared the quinoa/rice blend in the rice cooker, and she had also blanched the broccoli earlier in the day. She’s da best.

I don’t know about you guys, but I love me some whole grains. Brown rice, quinoa, wild rice, farro… I could totally eat grains by themselves. I adore their hearty aromas and slightly chewy textures. This organic quinoa/rice blend that my mom got from Costco (I think) was fantastic!

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Guess what I had for “dessert”? You win a virtual high-five if you guessed dried figs and Greek yogurt!

Being Humble Hurts

So tomorrow marks the beginning of Lent, which is the 40-day period leading up to Easter for us Christians. A lot of people like to give up certain pleasures or do extra good deeds to grow closer to God during this time as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

I’m not going to talk all about Lent too much, but I’ll tell y’all what I’m going to try my very hardest to give up:

  • TV
  • listening to the radio in the car
  • complaining

And I will try do more of this:

  • Meditate/read devotional

I was considering giving up nut/seed butters, but then I thought about how we have, like, 5 jars in the fridge. Someone’s gotta eat them… 😀 But in all seriousness, these four things are going to be tough for me already. I won’t be able to live vicariously through Giada or Ina on Food Network, I won’t be able to groove to jams in the car, and I won’t be able to open my BIG mouth at times.

will be able to learn humility.

We all have several humbling experiences in our lives, but I don’t think it ever gets an easier to put our pride aside. At least, for me it never does.

Last night, I was in an argument— more like a petty bicker— where voices were raised and tensions amounted. I knew I did not start the argument, but my emotions got the better of me, and I let myself raise my voice several times to try to defend myself. (This was all over something so trivial too, but for some reason it turned into a big mess).

After breathing for a few moments and letting things simmer down, I wanted to apologize to the other person, even though I did not feel like I needed to do so. Nevertheless, I practically owe this particular person my life, no matter what the situation is. Thus, I said, “I’m sorry for raising my voice at you.”

The response I received was not as forgiving as I had expected (for privacy reasons, I won’t say what the exact response was). In fact, it stung so much that I literally stopped what I was doing and stared straight forward for a good 10 seconds. I slowly grabbed my laptop and went up to my room as tears welled up. And then I just talked out loud to myself and to God.

I was angry and upset. All that went through my head was: I didn’t even start this! That wasn’t fair to say! I apologized, and that’s what I got? WHAT THE HECK?! 

In the past, I probably would have gone downstairs and made a fit again. I definitely wear my emotions on my sleeve. But God was telling me to be humble. Not to be submissive or stepped on, but to just accept things as they were at that point. Trying to defend myself even further would have been solely for my pride. It wouldn’t have actually made anything better.

I tweeted this:

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Because it does hurt. But then I think about our great Lord and His incredible humility, and there’s nothing I can do but bow to Him. And then zip my big mouth.

Again, this doesn’t mean I’m an advocate of being submissive, but in some instances, pride is only fuel for the fire.

“…he leads me beside still waters/he restores my soul…” -Psalm 23

OKAY. That got a little deeper than I initially anticipated. Fat Tuesday!!

Have a great day, everyone 🙂

So tell me:

How do you handle moments like these when your pride is roaring?

If you observe Lent, what are you giving up/doing?

What is your favorite grain?

 

Waffles or Pancakes?

Mornin’!

Yesterday ended up being very blah because I couldn’t even fall asleep for a good nap. Ah well. I had to fall asleep to the sound of the TV last night, and ended up getting more sleep. Here’s to the new day– praise God!

Dinner 

My mom makes some mean grilled salmon. It’s very common to ask for medium rare steak, but have you ever had medium-rare salmon? That’s just how we like it in our household, because the fish just melts in your mouth, and it basically transports you to a 5-star seafood restaurant. That fabulous. She cooks it on the indoor grill for about 1.5-3 minutes per side, or until you can see just a super thin line of darker, uncooked meat in the the center. Then she’ll grill the fish on its sides for about 30-60 seconds to finish it off. And voila–perfect salmon! We seasoned it with Bone Suckin’ sauce and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.

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See that slightly darker pink in the middle? That’s the money-shot (as Guy Fieri would say).

You know I had to have some of that for dinner last night!

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Wild/brown/black rice mix with salmon + spinach with hummus (random, but good!)

We discovered another package from Groupon (what can I say, my mom loves their deals) that was at our door, which contained this awesome thing:

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It’s a Waring waffle/pancake/omelet(!) maker! Breakfast just got a whole lot more efficient.

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Pancake/omelet iron on one side

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Waffle iron on the other

My mom and I wanted to test it out right away, so we decided on a little breakfast for dessert. We used yet another Groupon purchase as our mix (I promise they are NOT sponsoring this post. But we could definitely be there spokespeople):

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Shortstacks organic Oatmeal Raisin Cookie mix

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We both agreed that we like the waffles better because they got nice and crispy all over the edges. The pancakes still worked out well though! The batter itself wasn’t too sweet and didn’t really taste like an oatmeal raisin cookie at all. I’m sure a little maple syrup would have given it some more pizzazz, but I was just in the mood to have a few bites.

My mom bulked hers up with some chocolate protein powder though!

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Look at her bein’ all fancy!

The protein powder sweetened it nicely for her, and you could barely taste the chocolate after it was cooked. We can’t wait to use our new toy some more! We’ll be using the waffle side the most probably. The crispiness just can’t be beat! However, I feel like there’s something about the stackability of pancakes that’s also appealing. It’s hard to decide….

Breakfast

…So I had one of each this morning 😀

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Topped with plain Greek yogurt, vanilla sunbutter, and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup

This was so delicious!

I have yet another doc appointment today 😦 But then I have another meetup with a dance friend! And then hopefully a workout. Have a great day!

So tell me: Have you ever had medium-rare salmon? Waffles or pancakes and why? 🙂