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
BLOCK #1
BLOCK #2
  • pistol squats (30 sec each leg)
  • jumping jacks
  • broad jumps over a step, lengthwise
BLOCK #3

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?
 
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Beauty.

I think it’s that time of year when I need to start carrying around an emergency frisbee, because hallelujah, the weather is gorgeous.

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Seriously— God is SO good! We are in the season of Easter and finally the season of beautiful spring weather! I’ve literally been bouncing around like a spring lamb because I’m so freaking happy that the sun is out and warm.

I am currently typing this outside in shorts and a T-shirt, overlooking the Charles River. Although, I should probably leave soon because I haven’t gotten used to putting on sunscreen yet. #sunscreensafetyfirst

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promise I’m not trying to be inspirational with the chapter title

Besides the beauty of the sunshine and warmth, I have encountered a heck of a lot of beauty these past few days. Some not-as-serious things to start…

Dancing.

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{courtesy of my girl Alejandra<— must say it with flare or else you’re not saying it right}

Here you see my friends and I off to a funk dance party, hence Albert’s fro. If a funk dance party doesn’t scream MOVES AND GROOVESI have no idea what does. Some of my moves and grooves may not have been beautiful, but dancing with some of my favorite people under disco lights on a Friday night was definitely beautiful in my opinion.

Seeing my brother and dad.

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My dad came up for my brother’s induction into a civil engineering honor society on Sunday, so we got to spend the morning together at the ceremony, Mass, and lunch! Much love to these men in my life.

Eating with friends.

Rachel and I adore our frozen bananas.

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I also adore this Teddie peanut butter ($3.99 at Whole Foods!!), which is evidenced by the fact that only half the jar is left. I bought it on Friday. Judge me, I’m used to it.

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Also (I wish I took a picture of it), when I was having dinner with my friends Albert, PJ, and Rachel in the dining hall, they asked me to “make a salad for the table.” IN THE DINING HALL. So I filled a bowl to the brim with veggies, got chicken from another station, cut up the chicken, shook everything together with the two-bowl method, and voila— a salad for the table. I should get minimum wage.

Morning outdoor workouts.

So many people are out movin’ and groovin’, which makes me elated! Jesus has risen from the grave and humans have risen from hibernation.

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Inspiring women who show me what beauty is.

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{courtesy of Sarah!}

The women of the Catholic Center met for a group talk about body image and the media on Sunday night (as we chowed down on pizza and cookies, heck yeah). Having struggled with negative body image and disordered eating myself, this group talk really struck a chord in me.

Some major takeaways from the evening about beauty:

  • In order to instill the fact in our society that truly everyone is beautiful, we need community, support, and solidarity.
  • Our words about our own bodies can have such a large impact on how others perceive their own bodies as well.
  • It often takes more humility to accept a compliment (just saying “thank you”) than to turn the compliment against yourself (“oh, but look at how bad my arms look”).
  • You are beautiful in the fact that you are a living, breathing human being. (<— Distinctly remember my friend Christina saying this!)

Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is what you are and that is fact. End o’ story.

Go on and have a beautiful Tuesday. Put on your sunscreen and make sure you have an emergency frisbee.

So tell me:

Two beautiful things about your weekend.

Favorite thing to do outside when the weather is nice?

How many days will it take me to finish that jar of peanut butter?

Brother-Sister Rivalry

Hello and Happy Memorial Day!

This weekend has been the closest taste of summer yet, which I guess is often true once Memorial Day swings around. The community pools open, the air fills with BBQ smoke, and the Hugh Jass (stole that from Kath) bumble bees start harassing me. A lot of marvelous things have been happening in the past few days including some moves, a Frozen movie date, treats, and a trip to Boston!

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All marvelous things, yes? Thanks for hosting as always, Katie!

 

Here are the highlights:

Friday

1) Finished the AP Bio exam and keep myself from jumping up and down like a maniac.

2) Went to the gym for some moves:

5 min. arc trainer, then 3 sets of each:

  • 10 pistols each leg + 20 Bulgarian split squats each leg
  • 1 min. wall sit + 30 side jump lunges (my glutes were sore for two days AGAIN)
  • 20 hamstring ball roll-ins + 20 single leg bridge pulses

I was gonna do abs, so I started to do some exercises, but then I stopped because I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

3) Ate my new favorite dessert:

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Vanilla bean ice cream with fresh mangoes

You’re welcome.

Saturday

1) Baked the best banana muffins (from Two Peas and Their Pod) I’ve ever had:

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Fresh out of the oven with almond butter— this is what dreams are made of.

2) Went grocery shopping for two bunches of bananas, two tubs of 2% Greek yogurt, and two containers of hummus. It was like Noah’s Ark on that checkout conveyor belt.

3) Attended a super late lunch/early dinner with the other religious education teachers and volunteers, courtesy of our pastor who is retiring this year!

4) Worked on handstands. I’m starting to hover more with that freestanding handstand! I’ve caught the Crossfit Games bug. (You can yell at me for the fact that I’ve never done Crossfit in my life.)

5) Watched Frozen with one of my best friends, Daliza! Now I understand the hype for that movie— Anna is my hero and if Olaf were real, he’d be my best friend. Daliza and I are also working on our duets for some of the songs, so you better watch out for our voices in Frozen 2.

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Sunday

1) Drove up to Boston to visit Ben!

2) Disowned him for wearing this shirt:

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No.

Northeastern and Boston University sibling rivalry has commenced.

3) Ate a delicious sushi lunch at Avana Sushi:

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4) Bought some BU gear and put on my (mouse-like) game face:

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5) Walked to J.P. Licks for some awesome ice cream. Ben and I shared a scoop of mint cookies and cream (uh, two favorite flavors in one) and a pistachio scoop. Perfection:

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Wait, why did I share my ice cream with this kid again?

6) Took a lovely, long stroll along the Charles River. The weather was absolutely PERFECT on Sunday, even though it was supposed to rain according the forecast. The sun was out, there were almost no clouds in the sky, and the temperature was just right (even though I think I did overdress with my jeans and long sleeve shirt). Can we please just pause the weather so that it can be like this forever?

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Aww cute bro + sis picture…

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k bye.

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It really hasn’t sunk in that this will be my home for the next four years. I’m excited though!!

Now I’m off to go exercise outside on this warm, sunny Memorial Day, and then we’re gonna dig into my mom’s grilled feast! Hope you all have a wonderful day!

So tell me:

Three fun things you did this weekend!

What are you Americans doing for Memorial Day?

Have you ever watched Frozen?