I’m a Slytherin!?

APPALLED.

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I was appalled when these Pottermore results showed up on my screen. I chose a snowy owl as my pet, guys. HOW.

I guess I should just own it, because apparently I’m in the “coolest and edgiest house” in Hogwarts. Slytherins are also “frequently misunderstood,” which might be fairly accurate for me.

The day after I took this quiz, I was telling my friends: “I can’t believe I’m a Slytherin.”

Friend: “How come you’re wearing black and green right now then?”

*Look down at my green Ireland t-shirt and black athletic pants*

Touche.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m thoroughly obsessed with Harry Potter now. Megan and I finished the second book and movie last week, and now we’re well into number three. HELP (but don’t, because I’m having so much fun).

Besides becoming completely immersed in the wizarding world of HP, other good things have happened in the past week, like KaisaFit liking my Instagram video! She’s one of my favorite fitness influencers of all time, and I couldn’t help but smile when she liked one of my videos that I hashtagged #KaisaFitxAsics for one of her giveaways. No shame.

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She also liked every other video with that hashtag, so I’m not special, but I won’t let that fact steal my excitement.

On Saturday, a few of us went on a Ring of Kerry bus tour! We started our day super early at 5am so that we could walk to the bus pickup in city centre. Thankfully, we had 2.5 hours to nap as we drove to Killarney.

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It had snowed a few days before we visited, which is rare for Ireland. It made the mountains look even more beautiful!

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The Toc Waterfall in Killarney National Park was my favorite stop of all. The moss-covered trees looked magical (HP on the mind, ya know), and the waterfall itself was bigger than I imagined!

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water and green things— a Slytherin’s dream.

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The tour was a lot of sitting on the bus with many photo stops that ranged from 10-45 minutes each. The scenery was gorgeous for sure, but I don’t think it was my favorite bus tour in Ireland. Connemara a couple weeks ago might have won it for me.

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always climbing trees

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Inch beach in Dingle

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We had a long lunch break in Killarney, so Megan and I walked around the charming city (reminded us a lot of Galway!) and bought…

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DESSERT.

We both got this super sweet sticky toffee caramel apple muffin, which was delicious. I very much desired a glass of milk to go with it, but life wasn’t bad without it.

(p.s. we had already eaten real lunch on the bus at 10 am due to early morning wakeup.)

It was a long trip, mostly due to travel time between places, but I enjoyed it! I think that was my last trip within Ireland, and I’m glad I went.

The weather has been frigid these days. Usually I wouldn’t mind, but I’ve had to wear only my Toms outside because I’m pretty sure I have retrocalcaneal bursitis, which causes my heel to hurt when I wear any tight shoes, such as boots or sneakers. Toms give me just enough room for my inflamed bursa to breathe.

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It’s nice to work in a physiotherapy clinic, where people can take care of me and educate me on the job 🙂 Google is also great.

Luckily, Megan offered me her bag of frozen vegetables to ice my heel like the good friend she is.

I have been advised to not do high impact exercise for a while, and to even take it easy on lower body weight bearing for a couple days. I’ve been mostly compliant. Sadly though, walking is becoming more and more painful, and I generally walk with a slight limp now.

It’s so hard to avoid walking though! How else am I supposed to go to Mass and Sunday brunch!? (The bus, yes…)

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After Mass this past Sunday, Megan and I went to Whitefriar Grill for another Sunday brunch. This one was a WINNER. She got the classic eggs benedict, and I got the crab cake eggs benedict to compare with the one I got at San Lorenzo’s last weekend.

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This was our favorite savory brunch so far. The crab cakes in my dish were a lot fresher at Whitefriar than at San Lorenzo’s IMO. And that hollandaise was phenomenal. Megan agrees!

We also got free watermelon bellinis because I “checked in” on Yelp.

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“We don’t always drink, but when we do, it’s for free.” – Megan

We didn’t even finish them.

Later on Sunday night, Megan and I made some amazing focaccia bread, if I do say so myself. Megan comes up with the best ideas. Last weekend she suggested scones, which were a hit. This week, focaccia was another fabulous treat.

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We made it using this recipe, plus rosemary, thyme, garlic, and caramelized onions. ‘Twas a pillow of olive-oily, aromatic goodness.

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fresh out of the oven ♥︎ 

We’ll be in Boston opening up our scone and focaccia storefront soon.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!!

So tell me:

Which1 Hogwarts house are you? 🙂 I want to retake mine, but the Sorting Hat has decided.

What is one delicious thing you made and/or ate this weekend?

Have you ever been to the Ring of Kerry? 

Quiet and Cozy Thanksgiving

I’m such a procrastinator.

But that’s not news, right? I have yet to do any significant studying for my two exams or any additional preparation for my seven-page paper due next week. I’m telling myself that something WILL get done today.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. –Mark Twain

^^^It’s so harddddddd.

Instead of complaining any further though, I should embrace the attitude of gratitude. ‘Tis the season! It has been a relaxing and lovely two days spent with my family so far, but I started off my holiday break in Boston with a breakfast date!

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My dear friend Emma invited me to her apartment to make some FlapJacked pancakes (that I still had from BLEND!) and eggs. We finished all the pancakes and were pretty embarrassed when her apartment-mate asked if there were any left. #shame.

I arrived home with mom late Tuesday night, and since then I’ve been eating, hangin’ with my family, and procrastinating catching up on social media. Because I’m never on social media during school…

Wednesday involved eating, clothes shopping, grocery shopping, eating sushi, cooking, eating, gym, and eating.

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Kylie’s simple paleo pancake (SO FREAKING FLUFFY!) with copious amounts of peanut butter and pomegranate seeds + glass o’ milk

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late sushi lunch with mom mid-shopping

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gym with Pop

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homemade crab cakes! + plain Greek yogurt + sriracha

Ben came home late that night, so I stayed up late chatting with him. My eyes were nearly glued shut getting up for church the next morning, but it was worth the QT with the bro.

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starting Thanksgiving Day thanking God from whom all things flow

After Mass, we headed home to get cookin’! I fueled myself with overnight oats in a jar before transforming into a wannabe Barefoot Contessa. I was in charge of all the side dishes, and I asked mom to be in charge of the turkey so that I wouldn’t overcook it again.

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my love — stuffing 

In addition to bread, we used some leftover buttery croissants for the stuffing. Go big, friends.

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best roasted sweet potatoes

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rosemary thyme roasted baby potatoes

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honey balsamic roasted brussels sprouts and string beans

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cornbread muffins

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da bird

We actually ended up undercooking the turkey at first, so it was a fiasco trying to cook the parts that were still raw while keeping the perfectly-cooked parts separate. You’d think we would have this down after 15+ years, but…guess not. Nevertheless, the turkey turned out delicious and juicy!

I also went on a nice walk with Dad at the park after I finished cooking. It was the perfect, brisk weather for a Thanksgiving walk.

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Then we came home with a hefty appetite and dug in!

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The stuffing, rosemary potatoes, and cornbread muffins were my favorite. I know you know the carbs are the best part.

Speaking of carbs. Best for last!

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apple pie a la mode

We finished at around 6pm, so the rest of the night involved watching Chopped, writing this post, and just appreciating the presence of family. (Imaginary audience: “AWWWWWWW.”)

I feel fortunate that each year, Thanksgiving becomes a lot easier, mentally speaking. This year, I didn’t feel nervous about the amount or density of food that would be available to me, and I think that is because I allow myself to eat heavy foods outside of holiday occasions. I was definitely stuffed by the end of the night, but it just felt like a bigger meal, which is probably a monthly/biweekly occurrence.

As Julia so beautifully wrote, we just need to be kind to ourselves. I didn’t finish every bite on my plate, and I didn’t have pie immediately after dinner with the rest of my family because I wanted to digest for an hour or so. I still ate a lot of delicious food, including pie, but I didn’t feel (self-imposed) pressure to eat or not to eat.

As for working out, I joined my dad when he went to the gym the night before, but I just did a fun strength workout without focusing on calorie burn. On Thanksgiving day, we walked. We went with the flow.

I did not get to this point overnight, so I implore you to not be discouraged if you still struggle with restrictive temptations or anxious feelings during the holidays. In fact, there are many non-holiday instances during which I still feel anxious over food. Recovery is always a work in progress, but every effort to combat disordered habits and thought processes is valuable.

Tonight we’re going out to NYC to eat more. Not before I get some work done though!!!

So tell me:

How did you spend {American} Thanksgiving?

Favorite food from the feast?

Three non-obvious/random/quirky things you’re thankful for! yoga pants, clean public bathrooms, and towels that absorb really well