Food Over Booze

My professor asked us to journal or blog for homework!!!

So now I won’t feel bad “productive procrastinating” when I blog. It is purely schoolwork 🙂

Friday

I started the morning with Lori and Michelle’s 18 minute plank workout. It is always killer.

Breakfast was my first overnight oats in Ireland! I hope I freaked people out with this.

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lots of peanut butter, banana, and raspberry preserves

This + a KIND bar on the bus fueled me well for our class field trip to Glendalough. Of course, it was the rainiest day of the entire week.

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I think I fell in love with Ireland on this trip. So much green and so many sheeeeeep!

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We made it through a couple of landmarks and a short hike before our tour guide gave us the option to either continue for another 1.5 hours or chicken out. I’m proud of our resilient group, because we were all down to keep hiking. Our tour guide saying, “It’s a Harry Potter-esque trail,” may have instigated the enthusiasm.

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I would have been miserable in the rain if the walk wasn’t so gorgeous. In fact, I have never used the word “gorgeous” so many times in a one hour period before.

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“This trail is gorgeous.”

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“These trees are gorgeous.”

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“This house is gorgeous.”

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“This waterfall is gorgeous.”

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“We are gorgeous.” (lol)

The word has lost all meaning.

But…this was GORGEOUS, guys.

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Totally worth the soaking discomfort and soggy chicken sandwich that I downed in the rain at the top of the mountain.

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bus snack feat. soaked wallet

Breakfast for dinner was the quick and lazy menu option of the night.

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I did manage to caramelize some onions and roast broccoli though.

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I went out to a bar that night with the rest of my classmates, and I was fully planning on buying a Ginger Jameson…but I was 100% NOT in the mood for a drink, so I didn’t get it. *sad trombone*

Instead, Megan and I got our share of booze by having sips of everyone else’s drinks. I discovered that I like mojitos!

I’ll buy my own drink one day, I promise.

Saturday

Money that I could have spent on booze was spent on food on Saturday. Food >>> booze. 

8 minute abs followed by a leisurely breakfast of hot banana oats cooked on the stovetop.

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A few of my friends and I walked to city centre since it was a gorgeous beautiful day. It was my ideal kinda day— lots of walking, exploring a new city, and eating good food with good people.

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handsome Irish men in a street fashion show

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“Hapenny” Bridge (Halfpenny Bridge)

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Temple Bar, which is an area and not an actual bar…

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I found a bakery called Queen of Tarts on Yelp when I was researching good bakeries back in the States, so I was stoked to visit while we were in city centre.

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I bought a huge blueberry scone and a slice of carrot cake, both to go. But look at this thing!!

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The kind lady asked, “Would you like that with butter and jam?” My heart.

Then for real food (sort of).

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The fries were subpar, but the fish with salt and vinegar and some tartar sauce was fabulous. We ate our lunch with this view.

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Then it was time to walk through Dublin Castle…

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…and Trinity University. I plan on going back to Trinity to see the Book of Kells!

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After almost getting lost on the way home, Megan and I finally made it back to the dorms. I played outside for a bit on the lush grass. I tried doing a workout, but my body was like, “Nay to that.” So I practiced handstands, pistol squats, and one-handed cartwheels (aerials one day maybe!).

I wanted green in my dinner:

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Then Megan and I warmed up our blueberry scones and added Kerrygold butter…

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…and raspberry preserves.

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The Irish do scones so right.

Then Megan and I spent over two hours making travel plans. Someone please be our travel agent and plan everything for us. We’re both indecisive and inexperienced, so planning anything is a game of, “Which airline? What’s cheaper? Is that safe? How does an Airbnb work?”

Sunday

Sleep in, work out for 20 minutes, eat yogurt, head to Mass.

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Then we brunched! I looked up the church and brunch place, choosing The Lovely Food Co.

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clipboard menus, much aesthetic

There was no question about what I wanted after skimming the menu. I went for the oak-smoked salmon and crab sandwich on their housemade soda bread.

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The soda bread was pretty dry, but it went perfectly with the flavorful crab and salty smoked salmon. UGH, so good. And it was less than 8€!

Madre was in town, since she’s taking a grand two week tour around Ireland, just ’cause {I’m here}. Megan and I visited her hotel for the afternoon and spent several more hours travel planning. So far, we have planned two weekend trips and three cities for our mid-semester Europe tour. Not too shabby, but it probably took way longer than necessary.

We had our second round of sweets from Queen of Tarts to fuel our travel planning 😉

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Someone teach us how to adult.

We decompressed with dinner at Sophie’s Bar and Restaurant. It was an early birthday celebration for Madre, but Madre also treated us. ♥︎ ♥︎ ♥︎ Thank you, Ma!!

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we loved how they labeled the source of the butter

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smoked haddock risotto with teardrop peppers (so sweet and good!) and smoked cream to share for appetizer

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my corn-fed chicken (so tender and flavorful) with broccoli puree, broccolini, purple sprouts, and merlot vinaigrette

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Madre’s 8 oz. filet (melt-in-your-mouth) with black pudding mash (← black pudding bits in mashed potatoes, we think. it was good!)

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Megans’ fettuccine dish that she enjoyed!

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Madre’s choice for dessert: coconut parfait (more like a semifreddo) with pistachio ice cream and lime dressing

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they had swings by the elevators!

We also locked ourselves in the fire exit stairwell after dinner, but that’s a long story. It was so wonderful getting to see Madre all the way over here in Ireland. I’ll see her again when she gets back to Dublin after her two week tour!

Monday

First day of classes! I did a 30 minute HIIT workout in my room using resistance bands (that Madre brought me from home ♥︎) before eating breakfast and going to 2.5 hours of Contemporary Irish Society. We had a one hour lunch break, and then I had another 2.5 hours of Ethics in Healthcare. I think I’ll enjoy both classes and be especially challenged in the ethics class.

As much as I love eggs, buttered toast, and salad, I need to mix things up and go grocery shopping. One of the girls was making fajitas last night!

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But look at how golden the yolks are here.

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We also had our first fire drill as I was eating this dinner, but that’s okay. Safety and stuff, I guess.

Hope you all have a great week! Eat something with really good butter on it.

So tell me: 

Three gorgeous things you’ve seen recently.

Have you ever eaten scones with butter and jam? If you haven’t, you must. Kerrygold butter, preferably.

Are you good at making travel plans? Any tips for the rookies?

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Living Life Like the Little Ones

Thank you all a million times over for your love on last week’s blog anniversary post (and on every post, really)!

Pop and I made it back home to New York without any 7 hour delays, thank the Lord!

I spent the past three days with lots of family members, including lots of BABIES! (I’m that crazy lady who would like to hold your baby whenever you’re ready/in two minutes/now, please.) In case you missed the update last week, I was visiting St. Louis for my baby cousin’s baptism.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Let’s catch up!

Friday

Mom and I started the day with a rather delicious and filling {complimentary} hotel breakfast. This is what I ate every morning:

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Two plain oatmeal packets with honey, banana, and two little packs of peanut butter + a box o’ milk

As long as the breakfast trifecta is present, I’m all set.

Then we went to see my baby cousins!

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My cousin CC (bottom right): “Um, Alison?”

Me: “Yes?”

CC: “Um, I’m having so much fun!”

From now on, I’m going to announce when I’m having fun, just like that.

They took us to a farm/park close to their house, where we saw some Butterball-worthy turkeys, loud goats, majestic horses, and lots of bacon giant pigs.

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Meet Maurice. He’s bigger than you and me.

We worked up an appetite for lunch involving a Southern/Midwestern delicacy.

Chick-fil-A, chickadees.

I’ve never seen a fast food joint so packed in my LIFE. A line that never shortened, a drive-thru that was backed up, and not a table to spare.

I was bummed that we missed breakfast, because the #1 thing I wanted was a biscuit, but I tried some of their fried chicken with the special sauce, and it was pretty bomb. My main order was the grilled chicken wrap + “superfood salad” (a cup of kale and craisins).

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The afternoon consisted of some hanging out and errands. Another Midwestern stereotype coming to life:

Man at TJMaxx (with beard, cowboy hat, and southern twang): *stares at me for a few seconds* ”

Excuse me? What nationality are you?”

Me: (in my 200% American accent) “I’m Chinese and Thai.”

Man: “Chinese and Thai… Well. Welcome to the United States!”

Me: ….

Man: “I mean, you probably already live here..”

Me: “haha yeah… I live in New York.” *walk away slowly*

He seemed rather intrigued that an Asian was standing there in the flesh.

Moving on. Dinner consisted of…

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We ate at The Old Spaghetti Factory and ordered another St. Louis classic to start— toasted ravioli.

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I like their definition of toasted (fried). I ordered the Angel Hair Pomodoro (so I guess… not spaghetti), which was everything I was craving and more. Followed by a peanut butter cookie from the hotel lobby.

After picking up bro Ben from the airport, I ended the night looking like my own worst nightmare.

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moisturizing, hydrating, terrifying face mask + lip gel mask thing

I Snapchatted my friends telling them to sleep with their eyes open that night. Sorry if this traumatized you. I’m still recovering myself.

Saturday

In short, Saturday involved family time allllll day, leading up to a big barbecue at my cousins’ house. It started with a wonderful walk with my aunt in the morning, and the day continued with helping out in the kitchen and contributing my “famous” roasted sweet potatoes.

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Steaks, burgers, creamed corn, sweet potatoes, and salad. I had some of everything and an oatmeal raisin cookie a la mode + sugar high for dessert. Thank you to all who made it happen!

With all the excitement and joy of being around family, especially the little ones, I didn’t have the time or care to worry about healthy food and/or exercise. You eat, play, and just enjoy the time you have with your loved ones. It makes sense, and the little ones have it down pat. 

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18:3-4

I’ve learned trusted that my body gravitates toward what it needs. If I need some butt-to-couch time, I will sit down and be a couch potato for a bit. If I want to let off some energy, I’ll go do something fun with people I love. For instance, the “big kids” went out for some frisbee golf at dusk, which was a blast.

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Ben, stop acting surprised that I’m taking candid photos of people

Sunday

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!

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The Sunday Mass and Baptism were beautiful (definitely cried tears of joy at some point), and the reception was lovely. God is good.

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Congratulations, Josephine and family!

After bittersweet goodbyes, everyone split ways. Dad and I en route to New York. Mom and bro Ben en route to Florida. We’ll see each other again soon!

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Asian cashew salad at Wendy’s in the Detroit airport for dinner

Back on the grind this week. We’ll get through it together.

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So tell me:

You and babies. What happens?

Do you ever use facial masks?

Have you ever played frisbee golf?

Have you ever eaten at Chick-fil-A?

What It Feels Like To…

College is all about new experiences. We have the big ones like moving into the dorm, joining new clubs, passing those incredibly difficult exams, and graduating (whoa, far into the future, eh?). But we also have all the little ones in between. This weekend I reflected on some of the small, new things I experienced, both good and not so good.

After this past week, I now know what if feels like to…

Have Thanksgiving dinner before Thanksgiving day.

It feels kinda wrong, but oh so right. Thank you, dining halls!

Stuffing ♥ ♥ ♥ 

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pumpkin pie + white chocolate cranberry cookie!

Cook a steak.

I felt so flustered. Have you ever thought about how you might feel if you were thrown into the show Chopped and you got choked up? Yeah, this was that feeling.

The people for whom I work asked me to cook up two steaks that they had in the freezer and I agreed since they had so much faith in me. LOL.

I was looking up “how to cook steak” and “how to defrost frozen steak” on my phone and trying to decide the best/safest ways to do both and ahhhhhhhhhh. I think I did okay with the defrosting and the initial sear on the steaks, but then I overcooked the steaks in the oven. I gave them well done when they requested rare and medium rare. *facepalm*

They said it was really good, but I think they were being nice. Maybe the baked potatoes and tuna salad I also made for them redeemed me.

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This was actually delicious!

Be at a hockey game where Boston University Terriers pull out an awesome win!

So much pride.

We won 3-2 against University of Maine at overtime!

Watch a quality romantic comedy.

ALL THE FEELS. I watched About Time with a bunch of friends on Saturday night, and it might be one of my new favorite movies. Watch it if you have not yet!

Have America’s Next Top Model as a roommate.

It’s fantastic for the self-esteem, really. (jokes jokes.)

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© Christina Chu

(I also know what it feels like to basically have a pro photographer as a friend!)

She might not actually be America’s Next Top Model, but she totally could be, right?! She modeled for a fashion show this weekend and I heard many rave reviews that she killed it on the runway. Evidently. I live in the same room as this beautiful person!!!

Run five miles.

Besides feeling kinda uncomfortable because I needed to go to the bathroom the whole time, I felt amazing! That’s the longest I’ve run without stopping to date. Yay!

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I started the GPS about ½ a mile into my run, so the 5 miles were hit, I promise!

Oh, and for the record, a “running high” is quite similar to a burpee high… But the view and fresh air that comes with running is a wonderful bonus 🙂

Pay over $3.00 for just the dry cycle for my laundry.

That feeling would be rage-y.

One extra long cycle apparently wasn’t enough for my load of laundry (which wasn’t especially large or anything), and I was still left with super damp clothes by the end of it. I contemplated air drying it all, but there’s no space in the dorm for that and all the clothes were too wet anyway. Thus, I bit the bullet and paid for another full dry cycle. That totaled to $4.75 for laundry.

Life.

So there you have it! Some of my latest and greatest new experiences!

Something I’ve been thinking about doing is posting shorter yet more frequent update/musings kinds of blog posts instead of longer, spaced out dump-my-life-on-you posts. I don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity, but I’m hoping to spark interesting conversations about things that pop up during my day that I find worthwhile putting into a post. Does that make sense?

Basically, I want to try to post more often with less content (unlike this lengthy, random post) while having a more specific focus in each post. If that still doesn’t make sense, then we’ll just see how this all unfolds, won’t we?

Have a marvelous Monday, friends! I’m going home for Thanksgiving tomorrow what whattttttt.

So tell me:

After this weekend, I now know what if feels like to_________.

Do you like tuna salad?

(I can post the recipe for the tuna salad I made if ya want! It’s pretty bomb if I do say so myself.)

What is your favorite romantic comedy?

Meat Lover’s Dream

Meat lovers, where you at?!

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My mom, dad, brother, and I went out for a FEAST at Rodizio Grill last night. It’s a Brazilian steakhouse, and if you’ve ever been to one, you would know that there is pretty much a life supply of meat in the restaurant. There are several servers who constantly walk around to all the tables with large metal skewers of various meats that have been cooked to perfection, cutting off pieces for customers to enjoy as they please. Yep–all you can eat, fellas. There was also an unlimited salad bar that came with the fixed price. The salad bar was actually quite wonderful with things like chickpea salad, quinoa salad, different cheeses, rolls, and toppings. That in itself would have been good enough for a mighty tasty meal. But of course, the meat took center stage.

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The red and green object is used to let the servers know when you’re ready for meat (green) and when you’re finished (red). We kept that thing on green for quite a while 😉 I filled up my salad plate with some goodies and didn’t even have to return to the salad bar for the rest of the evening, because the servers started and kept coming with the meats! I only took a picture of the very first one that came, but there were so many different types that made it to our table including sweet and salty chicken, sausage, white wine chicken, tri-tip steak, pork tenderloin, chicken hearts (which I tasted for the first time–not bad), tilapia, marinated chicken, sweet ham, bacon covered turkey, lamb, parmesan-crusted steak, carne asada, chicken sausage….and possibly more. Yeah. Talk about protein! There was also some tasty grilled pineapple.

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Tilapia

I tried tastes of most of these, but my favorites were the ham, chicken, carne asada, and tilapia. Everything was incredibly tender and flavorful. Best of all, they were always hot and fresh out of the…rotisserie? Grill? I’m not quite sure, but it was amazing.

Oh and there were appetizers that came with everything too!

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Mini cheese biscuits (that had the most unique, gnocchi-like texture inside! Supah starchy and delicious) and polenta fries

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Fried bananas with cinnamon sugar (we just treated this as dessert)

Obviously, we were stuffed, but the whole dinner was a killer deal with the Groupon. We only had to pay for my dad’s wine, really! ‘Twas quite the culinary experience.

Moves

Not that it even matters (as in, you probably don’t care), but before church, I did this quick burpee workout from Talk Less, Say More:

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You know how I love burpees!

Happy Sunday!

So tell me: Are you a meat lover? Which of the meats mentioned above would you try? Have you ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse?

I’m actually not a huge meat lover, but if it’s done as well as it is at Rodizio, I’ll eat it! I’ll gravitate more toward chicken though.