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?

Two Museums, Two Desserts, Two Blistered Feet

I did something this weekend other than “oh ya know, just layin’ low…” !!!

Not that there’s anything wrong with laying low (after all, I love kicking up my feet after work these days). But it’s nice to exit the abode and live a little, especially when the weather is as gorgeous as it was this weekend!

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Friday

There’s nothing really to share about Friday except that I worked, ate my favorite dinner of the week, and went to bed at 9.

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brown rice with eel + avocado = all the good things in sushi, amplified in a bowl

Also, BEN CAME HOME FROM SPAIN! He completed El Camino de Santiago, which is historically a Christian walking pilgrimage. There are many routes, but Ben did a super long one that totaled 890 km (553 miles) within 32 days. Casual.

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Congrats, Ben! YOU ROCK.

He actually came home at 2 AM Saturday morning, but I snuck into his room later in the morning to say hi to him before I left for NYC.

Saturday

Since I went to bed so darn early, I woke up at around 6 AM for some sunrise moves and grooves!

100 burpee workout // 10 reps of each // Click here for demos!

  • 10 tuck jump burpees
  • 10 T pushup burpees
  • 10 candlestick to chair burpees
  • 10 alternating side burpees (this one actually hurt my shoulder a bit because the pushup becomes kinda awkward, so I would not recommend this variation)
  • 10 broad jump burpees
  • 10 spiderman pushup burpees
  • 10 handstand burpees
  • 10 superman burpees
  • 10 dive bomber burpees
  • 10 plank jack tuck jump burpees

I tried to do some new/weird variations to keep things interesting, so it was definitely a fun (and tiring) one!

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banana bread baked oatmeal with plain peanut butter + “My Maine Squeeze” almond butter from The Peanut Principle

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from the farmers’ market 😀

Plus a couple pieces of my mom’s egg white pork bake.

After washing up, Pop dropped me off at the train station to head down to the city! Cue this Tori Kelly song (because she is the soundtrack to my life).

First of all, I saw an extraordinary number of dads with their kids on the train/in the city that day, and it made my heart explode.

Secondly, Park Ave looks so clean and luxurious, but it honestly just smells like manure. #overrated

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First stop of the day was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Can you believe I’ve lived in NY for 11 years, and this was my first time going there?

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I guess if you don’t live in NY, you don’t really see the big deal. But this is one of those “must see” attractions in the city.

I did my tourist thing while waiting for my friend, Christine.

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Squealing greeting + photos in front of the MET, because we’re bananas (yellow on the outside, white on the inside, in case you haven’t seen me make that joke 100 times on the blog).

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apparently this is where Gossip Girl cast ate lunch in the show??

In we went!

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We interspersed our “ooo’s” and “aaah’s” with some serious girl talk and some attempts at reading our people’s language.

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My contribution every time: “I have no idea what it means, but it looks familiar.”

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At least we’re proficient in fit fam culture.

Art eventually drains ya girls, so we headed over to lunch at Bluestone Lane for some Australian fare at around 1 PM.
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the restaurant is an extension of an Episcopalian church!
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I spy vegemite toast and the word “brekkie”
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Christine got the egg and bacon roll + I got the Aussie meat pie with mint pea puree
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dynamite
Our waiter was Australian, which really added to the experience. Arman, I could not stop thinking about you.
We made it our mission to find both ice cream and Levain Bakery for dessert, so we took the scenic route and walked around the Central Park reservoir. It was the absolute perfect day to do it! Hot, but not unbearable, and bluuuuuue skies.
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We didn’t know where to get ice cream, but we happened upon Amorino Gelato, which is famous for making roses out of their gelato! That stuff is expensive, but it is undeniably pretty and delicious.
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Christine got fruity flavors + I got pistachio, black cherry, and a cookie butter flavor!
That cone was tiny and that gelato was melting wicked fast. You would think I was a magician, that’s how quickly I made it disappear.
We continued walking and found the legendary Levain Bakery. I had been hearing about their incredible chocolate chip cookies since I moved to New York, basically. This was THE DAY.
But first, a short wait on a line that spanned half the block. Expected.
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this is my “THIS IS BETTER THAN DISNEY WORLD BUT I’M TRYING TO BE CIVILIZED” pose
We descended into the little bakery…
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…I bought one chocolate chip cookie and one oatmeal raisin scone. We desperately needed to charge our phones, so we walked over to a Starbucks, where I finally unveiled the glory…
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 these are both HUGE
…wait for it!!!
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You have no idea how long I had been waiting to take that money shot. Ladies and gents, this was one of the best things that my taste buds have ever encountered. I’m not even a big fan of chocolate.
Warm.
Crispy on the outside.
Slightly under-baked and gooey on the inside.
Melted chocolate chips.
Rich walnut chunks.
Thick and decadent.
a poem about Levain’s chocolate chip cookie by Alison
Christine and I split the mega cookie, and we had a few bites of the scone, which was fantastic as well. Not too sweet at all, but BUTTERY. The bag smelled like buttered popcorn. Mmmmm.
Afterwards, we walked back around the reservoir to where we started, and continued with some more girl talk until Christine had to leave. Next museum of the day was Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design with one of my high school dance company mates, Susie!
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had to take a pic of this
This is probably my favorite museum of all time. It’s so interactive, and the vibe is an intersection between classical architecture and modern technology.
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They give you this high tech pen that acts as a memory stick. The pen has a “+” sign on the back that synchronizes to the “+” sign on each description panel on the exhibits. When you go home, you go onto their website and enter your unique code that they gave you, and you can see pictures of all the exhibits you saved via the pen. MAGICAL.
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This immersion room is your childhood dream. You basically design your own wallpaper with the pen, and watch it come to life in front of your eyes.
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Five stars for Cooper Hewitt! Thank you so much, Susie, for suggesting it!
We worked up a good appetite playing around in the museum. Susie chose an excellent Greek restaurant called Korali for dinner.
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a rare moment when no cars are about to run you over in the city
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beet salad with grapefruit, pine nuts, goat cheese, fennel, dill and scallions
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when the manager walks up to you offering a FREE platter of melted Greek cheese, you do not refuse (such a nice gesture of them!)
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soup of the day: lentil
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Susie gave me a bite of her lamb shank, which was heavenly
We also walked by this gem of a Citi bank sign (great eye, Susie).
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This is Gabby Douglas, US Olympic Gymnast. But peep the caption in the upper left hand corner…
THIS is Allyson Felix, US Olympic Track and Field Runner:
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Alright, Citi Bank.
And then I bid NYC a good night.
Ben picked me up at the train station, and I was all excited to tell him that I walked 11 miles that day (according to the Apple Health app), but then I remembered that he had been walking an average of 20 miles per day for the past month. Overachiever.
I still gave myself a foot massage before bed.
Sunday
I got up a little past 7 to get ready for Mass and say goodbye (already!) to Ben and Madre. Not for long though. Pop and I will meet them in Florida soon for our big family vacation next week!
Breakfast after Mass:
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I also had leftover roasted broccoli while cooking this. Cravings, man.
I watched some gymnastics, read some blogs, and napped before getting up and eating again. Sundays, man.
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smoked salmon avocado toast + unpictured carrots and hummus + half a frozen banana
Then I started this blog post and FaceTimed with my beautiful friend, Briana, from college. Followed by some killer moves and grooves in the basement (which I have deemed to be my “pain cave”).
60 seconds strength/45 seconds  cardio/20 seconds  plyometric/15 seconds rest
3 rounds of each block, 1 minute rest between blocks
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  • pistol squats (30 sec each leg)
  • jumping jacks
  • broad jumps over a step, lengthwise
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BLOCK #4

I hadn’t done a workout that made my quads cry in a while. I stretched out before Pop and I went to one of our favorites for dinner— Bareburger!

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I made my own burger: turkey burger, spinach, sprouts, tomato, pimento cheese on sprout bun + ketchup and mustard
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sweet potato fries with their curry ketchup + special sauce
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the inner beauty of my burger
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Pop’s “Hog Wild” burger: wild boar burger, pimento cheese, frizzled chickpea onions (!?), fried egg, and pickled green tomatoes on a brioche bun
Decadence once again.
We picked up some groceries afterwards, and now I’m finishing typing this while watching sports on TV (← yay for Olympic season coming up!). ‘Twas a fabulous weekend filled with good food, great conversation, and even better people.
Back to the grind today, but one more week until vacation! Hope you all have stellar Monday. Give yourself a foot massage. You deserve it.
So tell me:
Two things you did this weekend!
What is your favorite museum?
What is the best cookie you’ve ever eaten?
Are there any sports you are following currently?
 

Nothing Like A Little Friendly Competition

Everything huuuuurts.

This weekend was packed with good and fun things (at the expense of sleep and my safety at times), which explains why I’m posting this today instead of yesterday. What’s been happenin’!?

Friday

‘Twas a pretty standard day— class, bible study, gym (two rounds of this workout— another one of my faves @Jo), work, “trying” to do homework in my dorm on a Friday night.

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I was actually in a good mood

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they had avocado! *praise hands*

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very much wanted to eat the chicken I cooked at work

Saturday

Are you ever up in the middle of the night and tired enough that you can’t read a book but “on” enough that your brain can’t shut up? That was me this day.

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I must keep telling myself that I am indeed thankful for functioning kidneys.

Saturday was a big day because some folks at the Catholic Center (myself included) participated in a fun, athletic competition called the “St. Sebastian Cup”. My friend Lauren sent me a snapchat of herself that morning making a protein shake with the caption: “Are you scared?”

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I had overnight oats, so no, I was not scared.

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The competition consisted of three games of Ultimate Frisbee…

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copyright Cecilia R. Photography

My team didn’t score a single point in all three games… but we had HEART. Unfortunately, heart doesn’t get you points.

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copyright Cecilia R. Photography

But then there was this banana relay race. We all had to jump across a field and back with a banana between our knees, then run with the banana between partners without using our hands, and finally eat the banana.

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copyright Cecilia R. Photography

EXPERT. But only good enough for second place.

Next came the painful part. We played two games of capture the flag, and I may or may not have been plowed over by one of my teammates when we were both sprinting to tag the same person. It all happened in slow motion, and before I knew it, we were both eating dirt and my right hip was talkin’ to me.

But as any elite athlete would, we carried on with the competition.

Lastly, we had tug o’ war with a thin, slippery nylon strap. Safe? Not at all. Blood was shed. Maybe it helps that St. Sebastian is a martyr? (Too dark?)

Anyway, my team got fourth (aka last), and Rachel’s team got first.

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copyright Cecilia R. Photography

(*cough* stacked team *cough* what?)

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It was a mighty fun time though, and we all went to the dining hall to feast on good food, including some bomb bread pudding.

At night, I attended a Women’s Retreat about being uniquely made. It was a lovely, heartwarming way to end a hard day of “friendly” competition (things got pretty spicy at some points!).

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The lovely ladies running the retreat made us vegan sweet potato chili! I un-veganized it with cheese and sour cream 🙂

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freshly baked chocolate banana bread ♥︎ 

I did some reading for class back at home afterwards, and I kept falling asleep. Rachel kept waking me up and motivating me to finish my homework like a good friend. But I wanted to sleep.

Sunday

I think it’s safe to say that everyone who participated in the St. Sebastian Cup woke up moaning in pain on Sunday morning. Convo with my girl, Lauren:

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The pain was even worse two days later.

But Sunday was a beautiful day for productivity, Mass, and National Siblings Day!

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banana oatmeal with almond butter for breakfast

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not a cloud in the sky

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finding places to stand and do work outside

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took the siblings out for dinner (Rachel is the “adopted sister”)

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roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, spinach, balsamic pizza

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berry + vanilla creme crepe

And then there was Monday, which was a solid day all around. We had stretch and massage day in dance class, so that was GREAT.

Hope you all have a fantastic week! Play outside and get into some friendly competition (just be careful).

So tell me:

What is your favorite competitive athletic activity?

Is there something that you get very competitive about?

What did you do this weekend? 

Strawberries and Cream for Wimbledon

Jury duty day #2 is ahead of me today!

I added the exclamation point for motivation and positive vibes, because I’m so not looking forward to it. It’s a blessing and a curse to be young and open minded. Mostly a blessing though.

I wish I could tell you guys about the case, but alas, I would be tracked down and killed if I shared anything. (Joking about getting killed, but seriously, I cannot share!)

In other news, Wimbledon (one of the grand slam tennis tournaments) is happening. I haven’t been watching, but I plan on catching as many matches as possible from here on out. I love watching tennis. I’ve never even played, but it’s one of the only sports I actually enjoy watching (others include gymnastics, figure skating, hockey [in person at Boston University only], and soccer [World Cup only…I’m a fake fan]).

I’ve been to the US Open for tennis before, but I think it would be amazing to attend Wimbledon for two reasons:

1) It’s in England.

2) Strawberries and cream is the signature food to eat at the event.

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According to this website, the recipe for Wimbledon strawberries and cream is super simple: strawberries with sweet, soft-peaked whipped cream. Classic England being classy.

Today I have a more substantial version of strawberries and cream for you in the form of a smooooothie.

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A company called MyProtein kindly sent me a bag of their strawberries and cream protein powder to try, along with a mega jar (40 oz/2.5 lb!) of peanut butter (the way to my heart).

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Funny enough, MyProtein is the biggest sports nutrition brand in the UK and Europe. It’s slowly growing in the United States though! In addition to protein powders and nut butters, they sell protein cookies, bars, oats, and supplements.

Now, I am definitely not one to use amino acid supplements or anything like that at all right now (they kinda scare me, tbh). I mostly just use protein powder to make foods like Arman’s cake batter oatmeal, Gina’s cookie dough cereal, energy balls, or substantial smoothies— like this one! Protein powder helps to add calories and satiety to my smoothies.

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The strawberries and cream protein powder is sweet, but not sickeningly sweet. However, it does have quite an artificial flavor. Think Nesquick strawberry milk or Starbucks’ strawberry cream frappuccino. Luckily, I love that flavor, so this was good stuff. Also, the addition of real strawberries to the smoothie helps to liven up the strawberry flavor a bit.

Strawberries and Cream Protein Smoothie

  • 1/2 c. milk (the fattier the better!)
  • 4-5 fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop strawberries and cream protein powder*
  • 3-5 ice cubes

Blend, baby, blend.

*Can sub vanilla protein powder, just add a couple more strawberries.

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Of course, if you’re not into protein powder, you could always just do strawberries with vanilla ice cream too, which is what I ate last night 🙂

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Along with a whole lot of drippings from the newly opened and stirred MyProtein peanut butter:

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The verdict? DELICIOUS. It is 100% peanuts, just how I like it (although I’m wondering if it’s lightly salted, because it tastes just as good as salted peanut butter!). All the stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth goodness.

I would compare the taste of this peanut butter to Trader Joe’s natural pb, Teddie’s, or Costco natural pb. Maybe a combination of all three.

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waterfall of pb fell off the side of the jar as this photo was taken

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PSA/BREAKING NEWS: If you mix vanilla ice cream with some cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg (key!), it tastes like EGGNOG. Oh my goodness.

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I’m so excited about this. Eggnog in summer form.

So tell me:

What is your favorite sport to watch? Do you like watching tennis?

Have you ever eaten strawberries and cream (in any form)?

Will you try this eggnog ice cream life hack!?

Disclaimer: MyProtein sent me the protein powder and peanut butter for a review in return. All opinions and content are my own.

I Was a Twerking Grandma This Weekend

…and I was loving every minute of it.

I grew a booty bigger than Nicki Minaj’s overnight (right, Arman?) just so I could be a grandma for Halloween. It took a lot of squatting and cinnamon rolls.

As much as I like that explanation, you might be more inclined to believe that my roommate had a few of those packaging bubble/balloon things and came up with the idea that I should put them inside my shorts underneath my dress to make it look like the earth revolved around my derrière.

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She’s brilliant! I was on a determined mission to find a costume that required minimal effort and $0, and I must say that I’m pretty proud of what we came up with. Perhaps this also means that I own a lot of grandma-oriented things.

But yes, that was my Halloween. I had a pretty awesome time bumping into people with my tush and attempting to twerk at the Catholic center party. I literally danced my booty off (I took out the bubble packaging halfway through the party), ate way too many pita chips (I don’t think I had a single piece of candy— just cookies), and got to spend time with some of my best pals. Then I slept for 9 hours, which made me young and fresh again.

On Saturday night, I played some indoor sports with friends. I showed off my talent of not being able to dribble a soccer ball effectively, but my friends were nice and still let me play. My accomplishment was making two shots into the basketball hoop using the soccer ball, which is lighter and easier to manage than a real basketball, but at least my hand-eye coordination is somewhat existent.

Then I went to my first Boston University hockey game ever (and probably my second hockey game in general)! I didn’t get to stay for the whole game, but we were not doing so hot against Providence when I left. 😦

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quality Asian friend time

It was also superhero night at this particular hockey game, so my friend Liz dressed up as Catwoman. Killed it.

The rest of my weekend consisted of studying, Sunday Mass, resting, and witnessing Boston’s first snow of the season! It was super wet and huge snow, so none of it stuck to the ground, but it was still an exciting event for the population.

I had much more than my fair share of sugar this weekend, but like I said before, none of it was in the form of candy. I just chose to get my sugar high on things like cookies and anything fruit crisp-y…a la mode of course!

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‘Twas a marvelous weekend indeed, and you should go over to Katie’s blog if you want to see what other people are finding marvelous this Monday!

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I hope you all have a rockin’ day!

So tell me:

Did you dress up for Halloween? What did you dress up as?

What was your favorite sweet treat of the weekend?