Virtual Breakfast Date

Hey, hi, hello, let’s meet and eat.

virtual breakfast date

…I would {obviously} peek at what you’re having for breakfast. Here’s what I’m having this morning:

IMG_1442

To wipe that disgusted/confused look off some of your faces, I’d explain that it’s an overnight oat smoothie blended with greens this morning and topped with the crunchiest purple corn flakes (I just attempted to find which brand it was, because we threw out the box, but I’m not sure which one it is!). I would assure you that it tastes delicious. Wanna try a bite?

…I would say never mind, don’t have a bite. I came down with a fever a few days ago and I feel 95% recovered, but my throat still hurts a bit, so don’t take your chances.

…I would attribute my sickness to two days in a row of theme parks in less-than-ideal weather. But with an ideal theme park companion by my side! My dear friend, Lauren (fellow air saxophone and groovy tune enthusiast), visited us in Florida for a few days after New Years, and we had a grand ol’ time.

Image-1

The night she arrived, Madre and I (poor Pop was the first to get a fever that night) took her to Disney Springs for dinner and perusing. We shared so many hysterical laughs at the silliest things, and it was the best.

…I would exclaim that dinner at Paddlefish was STELLAR. They started us off with the fluffiest bread with honey cinnamon butter, and now I think honey cinnamon butter should be on every table across the nation. Lauren got the mahi-mahi special, which had a macadamia nut crust and sat on top of crab fried rice. Madre got the fish and chips, which came with two giant pieces of perfectly crispy fried cod and sweet potato fries (her absolute favorite). And I got the scallops with bacon, crispy brussels sprouts, and cauliflower puree. We all shared bites of each other’s dishes, and everything was blissful.

We finished the meal with their “charred carrot cake,” which was three times larger than I was expecting. It came with excellent vanilla ice cream, shortbread crumbles and little fried carrots *jaw drops*. We took most of it home.

…I would stop drooling over my past meal and continue the story of our fun evening. Following dinner, we walked around and admired the charm of overpriced Disney merchandise.

mom: “kiss the Lego girl!” *obey* mom: “alison you need to be closer” 🤭

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

THEN WE DANCED…and participated in a lip synch competition that was 20 minutes longer than we were expecting. I posted some of the craziness on Instagram:

I was l i v i n g. This is basically what I do in my room by myself when I’m bored, except this time I was less loser status and actually had an audience! Having Lauren there was extra fun, because she’s often my groove buddy.

…I would tell you that we went to Universal Studios and Disney’s Magic Kingdom the next two days. It was rainy and chilly on Universal day, so some of the rides were down unfortunately.

after v. before the rain at universal studios #hunchbacksofharrypotterworld

A post shared by Alison (@alison_grooves) on

Lauren and I managed to have a nice time at Harry Potter World though, sipping warm Butterbeer, eating delicious ice cream from Florean Fontescue, and remarking at how Diagon Alley = diagonally, and Knockturn Alley = nocturnally. But the Revenge of the Mummy ride outside of HP World was our favorite. We went twice.

Image-1-2

Magic Kingdom was…fine. Mistake #1 was arriving at 11am, which is way too late for a theme park like Disney. It was utterly packed that day (the wait for Space Mountain kept teetering between 2.5 to 4 hours lol), and also utterly FREEZING for Florida. I was quite underdressed and just miserable by the end of the day, but it was still fun hanging out with Lauren all day and even meeting up with our friend Domenica and her cousins sometime in there (bottom middle photo)!

…I would say that Lauren really made the theme parks fun. If it weren’t for her humor and both of our “well…we’ll work with what we got” personalities, it would have been a rather disappointing two days. But anything can be a great time if you let it be.

…I would wish you warmth! As we road-tripped home from FL to NY this weekend, it felt like the movie The Day After Tomorrow when the ice was invading the city like a wave. Just coldness creeping and increasing with every pit stop. I’m such a baby when it comes to the cold. You’d think I’d be okay with it living in the Northeast for 12 years, but nah.

…I would say that I’ve been eating ohhhhh so well this winter break. But I’m sure you’ve noticed.

Image-1-3

Yes, we did go to Popeyes on our road trip. It was one of the greasiest most delicious things I’ve ever put into my mouth. Other things have included desserts from my brother and his girlfriend (she got me banana pudding from Magnolia bakery!), sushi (I think NY has the best sushi in the northeast), and mom’s homemade food (*angels singing*).

…I would laugh at how I had coffee date with a friend in a heated train station yesterday. My friend who I met abroad in Ireland, Cristen, and I got hot beverages and muffins from The Black Cow yesterday, but there were no seats left in the tiny coffee shop. Thus, I asked the cashier if she knew any place nearby where we could just sit and chat, and she suggested the train station… So we went.

Image-1-4

These chairs were actually attached to the floor because they were more like art pieces, I think. But it was heated in there, sort of. I had to push a button every 20 minutes that said, “PRESS IF YOU WANT HEAT.” YES WE WANT HEAT.

Cristen and I are up for anything though, and we had a lovely time catching up on life. I’m not a coffee drinker, so I had the steamed milk and honey (loved it) and a morning glory muffin.

Soul warmed by conversation and esophagus warmed by hot beverages.

…I would shut up now because this post is so long and ask you:

What are you eating for breakfast?

Have you ever had a less-than-ideal theme park experience?

Tell me about an odd situation you’ve experienced recently.

How was your first week of 2018?

Advertisements

The Most Low Key New Year’s Eve

Happy 2017!!! That’s such a weird year number, but I can’t wait to see what it brings.

Saturday started with a fun stair workout to mix things up:

10-8-6-4-2 sets of stairs with two 5# dumbbells. This circuit in between each set:

I like this one a lot! After stretching and showering, I helped Madre prepare lunch for some family friends who I hadn’t seen since I was in diapers (so basically meeting them for the first time!). I made the salmon by baking it with a marinade of garlic salt, pepper, mustard, honey, and dried dill. It was one of the best salmons I’ve ever cooked!

img_5986

Madre did most of the cooking though. She made sautéed vegetables, brown rice, Chinese sausage, pork ribs, and pasta with meat sauce (“for the kids”). As always, everything was fantastic! Madre is amazing.

We ended the meal with her fried bananas, clementines, and some mint chip ice cream that was sitting in our freezer. We defy all common food combinations.

Once our house guests departed, we headed to vigil Mass. After that, I felt a wall of exhaustion hit me — the kind where I don’t want anyone to talk to me, because it takes too much energy to respond (or at least respond without sounding really grumpy). So I napped!

Soon after I woke up, we left for our 8pm dinner reservation at Seasons 52, a restaurant I had visited once before and wanted to return to while we were in Florida. They serve up a lot of delicious seasonal dishes that are sophisticated but not intimidating, healthy enough but not obnoxiously healthy.

img_6595

We all shared a braised short rib flatbread and blistered shishito peppers to start, which were both super tasty.

For me entree I ordered the caramelized sea scallops with leek and butternut squash risotto, broccolini, and lemon butter. I LOVE scallops and these were great!

img_6599

We like to share bites of all our dishes, so I had a bite of Madre’s roasted pork tenderloin with mashed sweet potatoes, Ben’s seafood paella, and Pop’s lamb shank. All got a big thumbs up!

Our last dessert of 2016 was a trio of the famous Seasons 52 “delights” — classic desserts in mini glasses. I got the pecan pie, Madre got the chocolate peanut butter torte (this was my favorite!), and Ben got the raspberry cannoli.

img_6601

With full and happy bellies, I drove us home for the New Year’s countdown. There were fireworks going off from every direction (I think Disney was setting off a show every hour), so we didn’t even have to go anywhere to experience the celebration. Good thing, because my whole family was in bed before midnight, haha.

I spent the first hours of 2017 FaceTiming Rachel! It was cozy and fun 🙂

On the first day of 2017, I spent the whole day chillin’ at home. I…

  • Slept in. I feel like my sleep deficit is finally catching up with me.
  • Moved and grooved. I stretched (oh so sore from Saturday’s workout), tried to learn a dance on Youtube (lol), had a dance party by myself, and did Colby’s first workout of her 10 day holiday workout challenge!
  • Blogged (2016 recap here!)
  • Caught up with a couple friends
  • Listened to a great podcast
  • Caught up on other people’s blogs
  • Made breakfast for dinner

img_6607

open faced egg, Canadian bacon, and cheese sandwich + sautéed spinach

img_6608

more bread for dessert — toast with butter, honey, and cinnamon (tastes like a cinnamon roll!)

I’m off to San Antonio tomorrow for SEEK, a Catholic college students’ conference, and I’m pumped!!

I also just want to say thank you for being you. For your support this past year, your kind words, your prayers, and your existence. Much love to you ♥︎

So tell me:

How did you spend NYE and the first day of the year?

Home Is Where the Food Is

So much food, so little time!!!

That seems to be the theme whenever I come home. Not the worst situation.

I’ve been home for a little over two days, and I have definitely been soaking up some R&R, spending time with the ‘rents, eating mom’s home cooking, and utilizing the kitchen.

DSC_2150

Friday

My friends Joe and Louis let me hitch a ride with them back home since we all live fairly close to one another. We left Boston on Friday afternoon, bumpin’ some tunes, chatting about our lives, and criticizing Joe for his love of country music for the 4 hour drive.

IMG_0578

Madre prepared a fabulous dinner that was waiting for us when we got to my house. What a wonderful woman.

DSC_2148

She sent Joe and Louis home with fried rice and egg rolls, because you don’t leave her establishment without food.

The rest of my night involved laundry, reading blogs, and watching YouTube videos until 2 AM because I’m dumb.

Saturday

I woke up naturally at 8:30 on Saturday (weird, considering I went to sleep so late), so I took my time getting downstairs and deciding what to eat for breakfast. I get very pensive about breakfast when I’m home, especially if I’m only home for a few days, because I know that I have limited time to utilize the kitchen/time to make some of my favorite breakfast recipes.

I was in the mood for either pancakes or oatmeal. But I can do regular oatmeal in my dorm any day… homemade pancakes though? Girl.

DSC_2153

I used The Baker Mama’s recipe for whole wheat banana pancakes, which were fluffy and delicious. I had three (+ another baby one) with blueberry Chobani, peanut butter, and fresh blueberries. Served with a glass o’ milk.

DSC_2151

WOW. I keep staring at this picture and reminiscing on the amazingness of this breakfast.

I think I caught up on some more blogs and took a nap before interviewing my mom for my Behavioral Biology of Women term paper. It was fun to hear all her stories! Lunch happened sometime in there.

DSC_2154

sautéed spinach, avocado, egg, and sriracha in a Flatout wrap + too many snacks to count

I got to move and groove in the basement for a bit as well! I worked on pull-up/chin-up negatives, pushups, and wall walks before doing a 20 minute circuit (and then stretching! #PTtobe).

IMG_0586

We went to Mass at night and then came home for dinner to make our way through some of the leftovers from Friday night.

DSC_2155

hodgepodge of noodles, spaghetti squash, tofu, fish, and vegetables topped with sriracha (the condiment of the gods) + a bunch of unpictured crackers with eggplant dip

Dad and I decided to watch Eddie the Eagle later that night at the theater, which was a good choice! An entertaining, feel-good kinda movie (with British accents, so +100).

Upon coming home, I ate another pancake with peanut butter, dried figs, and a glass o’ milk. 😀

Sunday

Smoothie Sunday (#smoothiesunday?)! This was an overnight oat smoothie (same recipe as this one) topped with granola that my dear friend Emma gifted me! (Catholic friend giving granola made by Catholic monks to fellow Catholic friend. How Catholic.)

DSC_2156

Fast forward through some relaxing reading, school reading, and blog reading… My parents and I went out to lunch at a seafood restaurant thanks to— the one and only— Groupon.

IMG_0593

Their warm sourdough with a sprinkle heavy dose of pepper to start.

IMG_0591

I went with the prix fixe option since it was the best deal. For appetizer I got the salad of the day, which was arugula with bell peppers, tomatoes, feta cheese, candied pistachios (!!!), and a lemon vinaigrette. It didn’t look like all that much at first, but it tasted great!

IMG_0597

For my entree I ordered the scallops with mushroom risotto. I also helped my mom with some of her lobster ravioli and had a bite of my dad’s parmesan-crusted cod. It was all pretty darn tasty!

IMG_0598

We took most of my risotto to go, along with the dessert that came with my prix fixe (pistachio cheesecake!) because a) I was full, b) we were in a rush to go to a concert, and c) we knew there would be cookies at the concert reception.

IMG_0605

It was a benefit concert to help support the Maryknoll Sisters’ global outreach mission. A local orchestra performed some awesome classical and cinematic pieces. My fave was the Jurassic Park piece at the end (mostly because it was the only one I could recognize, but also because it was spectacular).

During intermission, these happened.

IMG_0603

Beautiful mini desserts!!! I got a plate for myself and then had a bite of, like, five different cookies from my mom’s plate.

IMG_0607

Ugh, so good. The sisters baked all of them!

IMG_0609

Back at home, I changed into comfy clothes and went on a 3 mile walk around the ‘hood while listening to the latest Girls Gone WOD podcast. I ate a light dinner at around 8 since I was still kind of full from our big, late lunch.

And here I am typing up this blog post. It’s taken me two hours to type up this little recap. I’m queen of getting sidetracked (aka dancing to music and texting my friend about exploding stars).

The funny thing is that I had several different plans for spring break including a possible mission trip to Ireland or Guyana. Then I planned for a weeklong retreat after the mission trips didn’t work out, but the weeklong retreat was canceled, so then I was left with little to work with. Home has been a nice treat though ♥︎

Hope you all have a mighty fine Monday!

So tell me:

What is the best thing you ate this weekend? 

Oatmeal or pancakes?

Are you a fan of country music? 

Are you a fan of orchestra concerts? They’re not my number one activity of choice, but I can definitely enjoy and appreciate the music!