Virtual Breakfast Date

virtual breakfast date

…I would usually hug you before we sit down, but I’ve been sick these past few days, so we’ll nix that for now.

…I would be eating leftover green banana pancakes via The Healthy Maven that I made yesterday.

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topped with plain Greek yogurt, “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter, and peanut butter + glass o’ almond milk on the side

…I would ask you if you’ve been watching the Olympics. It’s funny; I feel like I become more sedentary as I watch ALL the sports all the time on TV. I’ve been enjoying the gymnastics, tennis, beach volleyball, diving, and swimming the most so far!

…I would take a second to fan over Simone Biles and Oksana Chusovitina, that 41-year-old gymnast from Uzbekistan who is STILL KILLING IT at the Olympics. Literally almost three times older than some of the gymnasts competing.

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I just want to finish everything I do in life with gymnastics arms from now on

…I would tell you that I leave for Ireland to study abroad in less than a month, and I have very few (if any) emotions about it. I tell people that I’m excited, which is half true, because I’m looking forward to the adventures and travel. But I’m also NOT excited, because I know how much I’m going to miss my family at home and friends back in Boston. I’m just gonna go and see what happens, honestly!

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I just need to start thinking about what to pack…and stuff like that.

…I would recommend that you read Kylie’s post about why she hasn’t weighed herself in 2.5 years. Whether you have a history of an eating disorder or not, this is a great read for anyone with body image issues (which is most of us living in an affluent society). Kylie rocks.

…I would tell you that my new veggie obsession is Thai “pun” (wraps, not funny puns). Lettuce + some kind of protein + cucumber + cherry tomatoes + Thai basil + cilantro + mint + spicy peanut sauce. The fresh herbs are ESSENTIAL.

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For this week’s version, Madre grilled up some lemongrass-scallion-black pepper pork patties. For her peanut sauce, she mixes her classic spring roll dipping sauce (similar to this recipe) with peanut butter to taste.

I’ve also had the combo on a big bed of salad greens.

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JUST DO IT.

…I would tell you that I think baking skills are a prerequisite for becoming a physical therapist. All the the treats that the PTs bring in to work are phenomenal. Like these cookies and cream cupcakes for someone’s birthday:

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oreo on the bottom, chocolate cupcake, homemade cookies and cream frosting, mini oreo on top

Other treats this summer have included cake pops, homemade chocolate chip cookies, the moistest (sorry) banana bread ever, and pound cake. #help

…I would perpetuate Asian stereotypes for giggles.

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Italian pasta originated from Asian noodles anyway

…I would tell you that I got to hang out with Daliza twice this weekend! She took me to the movie Cafe Society on Thursday night, which I really enjoyed (check it out in smaller, indie movie theaters!). It stars Steve Carrell, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Blake Lively.

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Then on Saturday I met up with her and our other high school friend Apaula to see our high school chorus teacher at one of his gigs. Fun to catch up with all of them!

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…I would gush over the weather we had last week and hope that it continues into this week.

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…I would tell you that eats at home recently have been on point. It’s been fun eating out these past few several weekends, but I loooooove eating home cooked meals.

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classic overnight oats

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Mom’s comforting meal on Friday night after a long, sick day at work: whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce, grilled spicy chicken, and fresh basil

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banana nectarine hot oatmeal with “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter

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classic avocado egg toast with sriracha

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delicious panini a la Madre: whole wheat roll with turkey, swiss, greens, homemade carrot and radish pickles, spicy hummus, and sriracha *drool*

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artichoke hummus that I finally popped open from Stowe, VT with baby carrots

…I would tell you that moves and grooves were low-key this weekend since I was sick. Thursday was yoga, Friday was rest, Saturday was Pilates + one day of the 100s challenge (sort of…I didn’t do all the sit-ups), and Sunday was some walking and random playtime on a playground.

…I would tell you that it’s already been a year since I went to the local Indian festival with Rachel! I went with Ben and Pop yesterday, where we shared some Indian grub and walked around the park.

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 …I would ask you:

Which Olympics sports are you following?

If you studied abroad, how did you feel before going?

What is your favorite way to eat vegetables lately?

Have you seen any good movies recently?

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Sick Day Eats

In the past four days, I have only left the house to go to church, the grocery store, and the train station.

I wish I could say I’ve gone on some fun hometown excursions with friends, but alas, I have come down with something. I’ve had flu-like symptoms, but nothing too serious. Just enough to make me want nothing but sleep, soup, and bread. (I just looked back at a post at this exact time last year, and I was sick, haha.)

It’s weird that I don’t have a million things to do, people to see, and places to walk. Nevertheless, I am enjoying this change of pace. I think that’s why I’m sick. Thanks to human physiology, I now understand that my immune system is repressed in times of stress, so when I am no longer stressed, my immune system starts to fight whatever pathogen has been lurking in my body.

I proudly told that to Pop, and he was like, “I know that.”

WELL.

Cooking in the kitchen has also been making me happy. Today I’m sharing my day of eats from Monday. It’s been a mighty long time since I participated in What I Ate Wednesday (aka WIAW aka wheeee-awwww)!

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630 am: Hot honey lemon water

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After I dropped off Pop at the train station, I went to the grocery store to get some lemons. All my throat wanted was some hot honey lemon water, and boy was it soothing.

9 am: Green overnight oat smoothie

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Festive, yeah? The night before, I put into a blender:

  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 HUGE tbsp. peanut butter (so like, 2 tbsp. probably)
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

Stirred it together straight in the blender and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I added another splash of milk, a frozen banana, and lots of spinach. Blend, pour into a bowl, top with granola, eat with a spoon.

1 pm: Avocado, cheddar, egg, mustard sandwich

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I went on a 20 minute run jog around the neighborhood before I decided that I was very done. I had worked out the night before, so I was sore and also achy from being sick. Thus, I came home and made this beautiful thing. I even got fancy and broiled the cheese on the toast. DREAMY.

I also ate some colorful pomegranate seeds and carrots with hummus.

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A package came in the mail during lunchtime that included no-bake balls from Arman, so I obviously had to try one. I think this was a cinnamon bun no-bake bite. Basically everything good all rolled into a convenient ball. Thank you so much, Arman!

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5 pm: Nuts

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Balls and nuts, good. (12 year-old boy.)

630 pm: Theraflu

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I appreciate that Theraflu makes tasty medicine.

730 pm: Split pea soup, leftover pesto chicken, peppers and hummus

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I made a big batch of slow cooker split pea soup during the day, and it totally hit the spot for dinner. Also, the thought of raw peppers kinda makes me queasy while I’m sick, but I ate them anyway.

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Split pea soup is my FAVORITE soup!

10 pm: More hot honey lemon water

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(I washed my mug between uses :)) I think I might even have hot honey lemon water even when I’m not sick. It’s so comforting yet refreshing from the zing of lemon. At the same time though, I might want to keep it as a sick day “treat”. Kind of like mom’s chicken noodle soup, ya know? Maybe. I dunno.

Two more days until Christmas!!! It’s 60 degrees outside right now. It’s like a Florida Christmas or something!

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! Go broil some cheese toast.

So tell me:

What do you like to eat or drink when you’re sick?

What is your favorite kind of soup?

What is the best thing you’ve eaten this week? It’s a tie between that sandwich and the split pea soup!

Fall Fever

Nothing like a little fall fever, am I right?

I’m not talking about #pumpkinspicelife fall fever. I’m talking about a legit fever— the illness. This weekend I think I came down with just that, so I took it pretty easy, drank lots of water, and popped cough drops as if I actually needed them.

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hot soup hit the spot

Thankfully, my roommates knew exactly how to take care of me. Jordan gave me some Theraflu (her “drug of choice”), and Rachel made sure that I resisted consuming copious amounts of dairy, despite me wanting ice cream for dessert last night. She also dealt with my melodrama well.

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Besides some strange heart palpitations and achiness, this weekend involved a bunch of great events and even better people.

After lots of human physiology studying, Friday festivities were very much welcomed.

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A bunch of my friends and I attended an a cappella concert featuring a few of our talented friends. I seriously almost cry whenever I hear how beautiful their voices are. Like, how are people so amazing?

just one of the many groups we watched *heart eyes emoji*

Random fact: they gave out free chocolate-covered bacon to a few lucky winners. My friends were among them.

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My voice was giving out on Saturday, which was perfect for a day of touring and Catholic Center Phone-a-thon-ing.

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I left a lot of messages with a voice that sounded like a dying frog, but maybe that will induce pity and bigger donations. Or not.

Many meals and much fellowship took place as well.

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I figured that I should eat a lot of toast while I was sick, but I think I should eat buttered toast more often. I forgot how simple and delicious that stuff is.

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bonus points for cinnamon raisin toast

These past couple of weeks have been filled with midterms for all of us at BU, so we’re just trucking along. Nothing to truly complain about though. God is good!

Also, thank you all for your support and kind words on last week’s post. My relationship with exercise has been a rocky one for the past three years, so although it’s liberating to be free from obsession with exercise, it certainly took work and patience with myself to get to this point. And it’s still not perfect!

If you’re struggling with an unhealthy relationship with exercise, I can honestly say that my best piece of advice is to try decreasing the amount of exercise OR try some less intense but really enjoyable forms of exercise (hiking, walking, yoga, leisurely bike rides) for a month or so.

the gym is unappealing when there’s fresh, crisp fall air #BUmovesandgrooves

A video posted by Alison (@alison_grooves) on Oct 23, 2015 at 2:51pm PDT

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Even if you’re not necessarily trying to gain back physical health (like I still am right now), I discovered that these things aid in mental health more than anything. It might help you take a step back from exercise and refocus on other fulfilling things in life. I know it did for me!

As always, I must say that I am not a medical professional, so please take everything with a grain of salt and advice from your own doctors. 🙂

Hope you all have a great week ahead! Take your vitamins and get sleep.

So tell me:

Have you gotten sick recently with the change in weather? 

Are you a fan of a cappella?

Do you like buttered toast?

What did you do this weekend?

Our First 5 Days of 2015

Well hey there, I haven’t talked to you all since last year!

Last year being five days ago, but still! Happy New Year! I hope you all had festive celebrations and fun times with family and friends. All the good F’s.

Besides some lingering sickness (read: hacking death coughs), we’ve been having a great time ringing in the new year in Florida! So much happened, but instead of boring you with a lengthy recap of everything, let’s do this alphabet style. I would like to share the fact that I do indeed know the alphabet. 😉

Ringing in the New Year: By the Letters

Avocado toast // Saturday night’s dinner along with sloppy joe meat and roasted cauliflower

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Beach trip // played frisbee for a couple hours

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Crepes // using Alton Brown’s recipe

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Ducklings // spotted in our neighbor’s backyard

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Ebelskivers // delightful Dutch round pancakes made by my aunt and uncle

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peanut butter-filled aka happiness-filled

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Forecast // looks very pleasant for the upcoming week here in FloridaScreen Shot 2015-01-03 at 8.48.38 PM

Group photos // ’tis the season

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Humbling // doing pistol squats and this leg workout after a week of being sick

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Ice cream // of the cookies and cream variety on NYE

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Jokes // trying to come up with some to incorporate into my Boston University tour guide script with only minor success

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Kansas family friends // who now live in Florida and are like family to us (they came over for NYE dinner with us, and then we went to their house for dinner on Friday night!)

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Luau // Disney’s “Spirit of Aloha” dinner and show was a blast!

(Besides the fact that I had to stand outside due to intense coughing at the end. Two people thought I worked there as I stood outside and asked me to point out the bathrooms. One of them was a little boy who called me ma’am!)

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those dinner rolls would be PINEAPPLE COCONUT rolls!!!

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I spy Madre

Marshmallows // roasted over hot charcoals for NYE s’mores

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Char, peel, eat, repeat

New Year’s Eve // spent at home with family and friends eating pulled chicken sliders, salad, ice cream, and more

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Overnight oats // with way too much peanut butter left at the bottom of this jumbo jar…never thought I’d say that

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doughy, peanut butter goodness

Pancakes // green silver dollar banana ones on Tuesday and “Melt-in-Your-Mouth” Bisquick ones on Saturday

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Quiet time // I need to set this aside for at least an hour before going to sleep

Ricola // cough drops are a hot commodity in this household currently

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Spinach in my smoothie // with frozen banana, vanilla protein powder, almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg

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Typhoon Lagoon // Ben and I spent our Sunday there with our relatives

(There was a WICKED wave pool that reminded me of the huge wave that swallowed the world in the movie, The Day After Tomorrow. It was intense.

Dinner eaten at Downtown Disney, followed by the most difficult mini golf ever at Fairways.)

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Ben: “Again [with the selfies]??”

Upride down // did ten handstand pushups in a row with an abmat underneath my head!

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Visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios today!

Wawa walk-through // because Ben heard so much about this high class gas station chain

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Xylophones // one of the only practical words that start with X

Zzzz’s // caught some during several naps throughout the week

To all those going back to school and work today/sometime this week, I wish you good luck! You’re all rockstars, so let. it. ROCK.

{Happy birthday to my best friend and partner in ridiculousness, Daliza!!!}

So tell me:

Some letters that describe your weekend!

Have you ever tried Ebelskivers before?

Do you like wave pools?

Are you starting work/school today or later? Or have you already been on the grind?

Dear Alison… {A Look Back at 2014}

‘Tis the last day of the two-thousand-fourteenth year of our Lord. Whoa whoa.

I was still a mime yesterday since my voice was nonexistent, and I felt slightly worse than I did on Monday, which was odd and unfortunate. A nosebleed both after breakfast and after dinner threw me off a lil’ bit. All is well though. I slept in, ate a delicious breakfast (that I could indeed taste!), and accomplished a lot!

Breakfast was a few baby slices of whole grain toast with sunflower seed butter and banana slices + two scrambled eggs with mixed greens.

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After nursing my nose, I chugged water and made some hot honey-lemon-mint water. I added lemon zest in addition to lemon juice, which created a beautiful aroma.

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I joined mom for a trip to Home Depot and Walgreens to pick up some items for the house, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon snacking rather than having a real lunch, since I ate breakfast at almost noon. But in addition to snacking all afternoon, I studied my Boston University tour guide notes and did an ab workout and stretching for some moves.

Dinner came later at 8pm involving simple green foods— avocado toast and salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Simplicity did the trick for my sick funk.

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Followed up by somethin’ sweet!

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Banana with peanut butter and unsweetened shredded coconut— heck yes. To be honest, I spent a little time trying to maneuver the banana so that it looked…presentable for the photo. Bananas are forever awkward. Just like me. You are what you eat!

dear alison

And nowww for the main event!

I’ve been loving reading other bloggers’ 2014 recaps and seeing friends and family post their reflections on social media. Of course, I want to join the end of the year party, so I’ve compiled twelve mini letters to myself for each month of the year. Basically, I’m going to tell myself how silly I was. And also how much I’ve grown as a person I guess. 😉

Thank YOU all for your incredible support through this little blog of mine. With so many changes happening this year, I wasn’t sure which path the blog would take, but I couldn’t be happier and more thankful for where it is right now. It’s all because of your love, encouragement, and conversation. Hugs, nut butter, and prayers for you all. ♥

Dear January Alison,

Congratulations on some college acceptances (Binghamton University, University of Maryland, University of Virginia)! Expanding your choices, uh oh. We all know you’re super decisive! Ha.

Also, congratulations on your first workout video! Except not really, because you can’t even see your legs at some parts of the video, and it’s a leg workout vlog. Quality work, kid.

But you did realize something important— that you weren’t giving your body as much rest as it needed. Thank you for that.

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Dear February Alison,

I’m laughing out loud because of this gem of a vlog (your first one ever!). You’re such a loner.

You seem to like writing letters to people, because you wrote one to your future husband, who may not even exist. But keep on waiting, you!

Watching the Olympics was fun, eh? Mom’s frightening enthusiasm for the USA vs. Canada hockey game is a foreshadowing of the hockey excitement that you will experience in college…you just don’t know it yet.

You shared your eating disorder struggles for National Eating Disorder Awareness week. People appreciated that, and so did you.

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Dear March Alison,

You got asked to prom! You almost missed the prom-posal because you’re clueless, but you’re a lucky girl to have been asked by a great friend in such a cool way!

Fortunately and unfortunately, you danced in your very last Benefit Concert with Company. It was a crazy week, but the memories are cherished.

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Dear April Alison,

College visits, hay hayyyy. You fell hard for University of Maryland and didn’t care too much about University of Virginia (but you did meet two of your favorite bloggers, Kath and Clare, while in Charlottesville eee!!!). At one point, you were set on becoming a Maryland Terp.

But then the kicker came, because there’s always a kicker. Boston University stole your heart and ran away with it. The end.

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Dear May Alison,

You’re legal now! Now you look like you’re 13 years old instead of 12!

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Dear June Alison, 

Wow, a LOT happened this month…

You guest starred on The Big Man’s World, no way! He probably just bribing you for mom’s home cooking. (Jokes, you da bomb, Arman.)

Second vlog is also in the books, look at you! Slightly less awkward than the first vlog, but you still talk too much.

One of your most doofus moments of the year happened when you hurt yourself doing burpees. You will still have the scar 6+ months later.

Aww, you made friends and met your roommate at college orientation! You’re tired of meeting new people, I know, but the best is yet to come.

Prom! Your hair looks good, stop crying. Also, new PR for number of hours awake *fist bump*.

You did it! You finished high school and you even managed to become valedictorian. Of course you made your speech about social media. You can’t get away, can you?

I’m glad you’re okay with not living a 100% clean, healthy, intensely active lifestyle, because that ain’t livin’, girl!

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Dear July Alison,

You recognized a new kind of discipline— the discipline of not exercising. Never thought you’d think that, huh?

You had probably the best vacation ever to Florida with your best friend, Daliza. Your family has practically adopted her. You guys did yoga outside, went to the beach and the farmers market, went to Disney World, went to Harry Potter World, saw Us the Duo in concert (only two days after you discovered them), and much more.

You also made this charming favorites vlog with Daliza, which you two thought was the funniest thing to ever exist. But no one else did. Also, let Daliza do your editing from now on.

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Dear August Alison,

Because you took a break from exercising last month, you’ve changed the way you see yourself for the better. Kudos!

And then you hurt yourself doing yoga. Minus one for you. But then you did your first tripod headstand, so I guess you gain that point back.

Never underestimate the power of house renovations. That ish is a serious workout.

The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived! Goodbye, NY and hello, Boston!

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Dear September Alison,

The First Year Student Outreach Program at Boston University was a blast for you! Exhausting, but an absolute blast.

Wanna know what else is exhausting but an absolute blast? The dining halls at BU. I mean…classes and activities and all that jazz.

Your favorite memory of the semester was the fall retreat with the BU Catholic center this month. That’s a little taste of Heaven for ya.

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Dear October Alison, 

It’s natural to compare yourself to others, but you’ve realized that you’re not the girl next to you. You’re you, and that’s a wonderful thing. True balance in eats and exercise have arrived as a result of this mindset.

Hey, you finally went apple picking! Welcome to the northeast! Savor those apples because dining hall apples will make you sad forever after you’ve eaten fresh ones off the tree.

You and your friends have come up with perhaps your best Halloween costume to date. Grandma Twerk. I miss the bubble butt.

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Dear November Alison,

Stay sharp, because someone special is going to visit you! Oh, too late, you’re clueless. But Daliza visited you in Boston! Stop crying in the middle of the sidewalk, you’re in the way of busy students.

You ran the farthest you’ve ever run! 5 miles. Just admire that distance, because it won’t happen again in 2014. Maybe 2015. At least you’ve given running a shot!

Take the turkey out sooner for Thanksgiving next time.

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Dear December Alison,

First semester is over, can you believe it? You’ve learned a great deal.

You also loved a run? I barely recognize you anymore.

And now, here you are in Florida without a voice, typing this post…oh, hi. Me. Your number one lesson that you’ve learned this year was to just ride the waves (figuratively). Your word for the year was “now,” and I think you’ve developed upon that. You learned to let go of situations that you cannot handle, and you’ve made the conscious decision to not pity yourself yet still be willing to ask for help. In doing so, you’ve let yourself learn many little lessons, and you’ve found greater contentment. I’d say 2014 was transformative.

Keep on swimming,

Alison on December 31st, 2014.

Hope you all have a safe, fun, and fabulous New Years!

So tell me:

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in 2014?

Three of your favorite memories from this year.

What are you doing for New Years Eve?

We’ll hopefully be watching Disney fireworks from afar, making s’mores, and drinking apple bubbly!